KUALA LUMPUR — To grow or not to grow, that is the question when it comes to beards.
Style-wise, beards have been discussed to death, with stylists creating many modern iterations of this controversial facial hair to suit all shapes and sizes.
What isn’t talked about as often, is that beard-growing actually has health benefits.
Apart from being stylish, having good health is also what attracts a mate or a partner.
It’s time to shed some light on how facial hair not only makes a person look “beard-iful”, but healthier too.
Prevents bacterial infections
Your skin’s pores get natural protection from your stubble.
Regular shaving leaves pores susceptible to being infiltrated by all kinds of bacteria.
By having a nicely groomed beard, you’re also getting an antibacterial barrier that helps prevent folliculitis and pseudofolliculitis barbae.
Folliculitis is a common condition where hair follicles are infected by fungi or bacteria.
This causes itchy skin that becomes red and inflamed.
Acts as a filtration device
Combined with an excellent mustache, a beard can help those who suffer from asthma and allergies.
Thicker facial hair traps dust, pollen and mould before they have a chance to enter your mouth and nostrils.
Just be diligent with your cleaning and grooming routine. Make sure to use a comb and beard oil to clean those follicles.
May lessen gum disease
On the same note, a beard, plus a mustache, helps to decrease gum disease caused by airborne bacteria entering the mouth.
You still have to brush your teeth of course, but sporting a beard offers another layer of protection that the rest of us lack.
Keeps your skin moisturized
Hair follicles produce oil, promoting thicker skin growth that prevents breakage and flaky skin.
On your face, it has the double effect of keeping your skin naturally moisturized and healthy, regardless of whether you’re in cold and dry weather, or under intense and scorching heat.
In contrast, shaving exposes the pores, causes in-grown hairs and has the risk of shaving accidents.
Growing a beard eliminates all those problems.
Blocks out UV rays
Beards naturally protect the face from ultraviolet (UV) rays, with studies suggesting that as much as 95% of UV rays get blocked by beards, so you won’t form lines or spots.
Grow a beard and avoid getting sunburn on your face, or worse, skin cancer.
It may not be quite as common as other types of cancer, but the physical effects of cancer on your skin can be demoralizing, not to mention debilitating when it is discovered at a late stage.
Contrary to what you might have believed to be true, a Yale study has actually shown that specific flu viruses flourish in colder climates, replicating more quickly in the cold air.
Normally, the best advice would be to wrap a scarf around your nose and mouth if it is flu season in a cold month.
But what about when you forget your scarf?
Beards are a great substitute to help keep warm.
Even in our warm climate, having a beard could trap those cold viruses before they reach your nose.
Beards are the perfect anti-wrinkle solution for men.
It protects from the harshness of the sun if you don’t have sunscreen and adds natural moisture to the skin without you needing to worry about forgetting to apply creams.
Everyone who is able to grow a beard should try it and see how well it helps you prevent ageing on your face.
A beard will also help with keeping acne at bay.
It may not be obvious, but there is a strong possibility that your skin is smooth and perfect under that barrier of facial follicle.
In addition to causing dryness and cuts, a razor can spread acne-inducing germs or bacteria.
As it turns out, beards promote skin health much more than we think.
Respect the beard
Beards have always been associated with less than complimentary perceptions.
Pop culture images have traditionally depicted beards as unkempt or undesirable, worn by the homeless because they don’t have a reason to shave or can’t afford a razor.
In truth, a beard promotes better health as seen from the points above.
Luckily, those impressions have changed, thanks to modern men’s facial hair trends that view beards as fashionable when they are properly groomed.
If you’re thinking of growing a beard for good health, check in with an experienced barber and ask for some grooming tips.