Should I grow a beard?

I’ve always been clean-shaven but think I might look good in a beard. What do you think?

Sean – Michigan

Hi, Sean. This is one of the easiest questions to answer.

Yes.

Whether you are a corporate executive or a personal trainer, growing a beard in your middle ages is essential. You are old enough to decide what you want to do with the hair follicles on your face.

Grow it because it’ll give you something to reflect on, and that’s the point of our middle ages. You can’t grow a beard without realizing – I look older. You may look better, too.

So, yes, grow your beard. And then ask yourself a further question: should I keep it? And to answer that question, you have to consider four things:

1. What does my spouse think? You will have to look at your beard a couple of times a day in the mirror. Your spouse not only has to look at it all the time, she may also want to physically interact with it. While some women can’t get enough of a man with a beard, others will respond the same as if you announced you’ve been diagnosed as having leprosy.  

2. Am I prepared to keep it well-groomed? Throwing on some shave cream and running a blade over your face each morning is the easiest thing to do. Unless you want to look like a crazed prophet, you’re going to need a good trimmer, scissors, some beard oil, and be prepared to trim it at least weekly. And don’t forget to head to a mirror each time after you eat to make sure you’re not sharing your love for barbecue sauce with the rest of the world.   

3. Can I keep my hands off it? Some men grow beards and can’t get out of the habit of pulling on it like a brooding professor. No one likes to watch that. And touching your face is a surefire way to spread germs.

4. Can you walk that razor line between over-groomed and under-groomed? Your style is up to you. But don’t be ridiculous. A pencil-thin moustache and chin line? An eight-inch long taper? Ridiculous in both cases. Grow a beard but keep it groomed. And make sure your beard matches your hairstyle. If you don’t know if it does, ask your barber. And spend the extra few dollars to have it shaped each time you visit him. Remember that you’re in your middle ages. Don’t be a cheapskate.

Finally, beards are safer than many fashion choices you may make in your middle ages. Unlike a tattoo, you can try it out for a couple of months and see.

-R.L.
Chop That Wood

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2 comments

    1. The whole axe thing is more of a metaphor. But I’m going to do a bit of research anyway and will write something up. I’ll include my thoughts on what I think is the pretty awesome WATL (World Axe Throwing League).

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