Since the first days of the mankind, the man with the mightiest beard had a special place in society. Beard was always considered as a sign of masculinity and, depending on the age of those who grew it, it was also a sign of bravery or wisdom. Although the first men grew a beard just to keep their face warm during the winter, later this “custom” became something completely different. Beards also served as an intimidating factor during the fight. It is no wonder that many warlike cultures (such as Gauls or ancient Germanic tribes) had warriors with long beards whose appearance on the battlefield alone intimidated the enemies. There was even the tribe whose name literally meant “Long Beards” (The Langobards).
In some cultures, the beard was a symbol of bravery, in others, it was a symbol of wisdom. There are beards whose “styles” were attributed to the religious people such as priests. There are beards that are a part of a cultural movement (“Hipster beard”). Strong beard also makes a man look more mature, showing that he is no longer a kid. Philosophers in ancient Greece always retained their beards so they could be easily recognized among another folk. Ancient Egyptian went even further. They dyed their beards and even decorated them with gold threads. Also, ancient Egyptians were first to invent false metal beards that were used as a symbol of sovereignty. Somehow the beard always found a way to affect society in one way or another. Peter the Great even “banned” beards in Russia for some time, while on the other hand, the Ainu tribe in northern Japan considers a beard to be a necessary asset of every man in their society. Whatever the case, it is clear that even now, in modern times, beard still sends some “hidden message” to the person that stares at the man who grew it.
What scientists say?
According to the scientists (and some historical facts) it has been proved that beards make males appear more masculine and dominant. The recent findings say that men with long beards are not as much attractive to women as they are intimidating to other men. This does not only refer to humans. When it comes to primates in general, it has been proved that body ornaments (such as beards or hair) are more common in the group whose members are competing for dominance. This research included hamadryas baboons, silverback gorillas and even proboscis monkeys. It is quite similar with men. Researchers compared the previously mentioned studies with the times when British men competed in the marriage pool during the XIX century. Every man had his mustache or beard carefully designed not only to impress his potential partner but also to intimidate and surpass his rival in the race for the lady’s hand. Also researchers mention some ancient tribes (most of them are Germanic in origin and they existed during the great migration period) whose men tied knots using hair in their beard. These knots had several meanings but the most common was “a knot for a life”, referring to the number of foes he slew.
It shows that even in these primitive communities men’s rank was literally decided by the look of his beard. Other studies show that in most cases women find bearded men more attractive. And that is one of the reasons why supplements and cosmetic products that enhance beard growth are in high demand. Such products can be found in various oils, lotions, and even testosterone boosters. Also, another studies show that bearded man look more trustworthy. Beard doesn’t always have a desired effect. For example, the scientists in the New Jersey made a test where they were showing pictures of a man that was allegedly accused of rape. First picture was that of a clean shaved man, while on the other was a bearded one. At the end, nearly eighty percent of the participants chose the picture of a bearded guy and thought that he was the rapist. This has proven that, although beard can make you look dominant, it can also make you look suspicious and aggressive. If people are to choose teacher or a doctor to treat them, according to the research, more than seventy percent would choose the guy with a beard. Same goes if we are talking about guessing “who robed that store”.
According to the studies that were performed in the UK, when the kids were asked to draw a scientist or a doctor, nearly ninety percent of them drew a picture of a man with a beard. From all of this, we can come to a very simple conclusion. The strong beard makes a man stand out from the crowd. He appears more masculine, dominant, experienced and in some cases intimidating and threatening. After all, it looks like that even after ages that has passed nothing has changed. Men with a strong beard are still regarded as kings and warriors of old. They are regarded with awe, respect and even affection or fear.
Here are some things about beards that you probably never heard in your life:
- Beard can grow over four times a man’s height
- Beards protect from bacteria and infections
- Facial hair grows more in the summer
- 55% of men in the world have a facial hair
- If you haven’t had sex in awhile, your facial hair will grow faster
- Alexander The Great forbade his men to grow beards because they could be grabbed in battle
- Beards can filter out dust and pollen if you have allergies
- The average number of whiskers on a man’s face is 30,000.
- Beards grow at roughly a half inch per month.
- Pogonophobia is a fear of the beards.
- From the years 2008-2013, beard transplant operations had risen by 600% due to beards becoming increasingly popular.
- The longest beard ever recorded was 5.33 meters, which belonged to Hans Langseth.
- The longest female beard ever recorded was 30 centimeters long. Yes, females can grow beards too sometimes.