How To Grow A Beard That Demands Respect
As men, we're pretty much always comparing ourselves to each other. "Damn. why is his beard/car/house/wife better than mine?" We all do it, and in fact, it's natural for us to compare ourselves to others. Society forces us to compete against each other from a very young age (think grades in school) and while it's beneficial from time to time, if you're always stuck comparing yourself to others, it can lead you to focusing on what you can't control.
Comparing and competing with others is, for the most part, a good thing. It keeps you motivated and driven to become the best version of yourself and having a physical baseline to compare yourself to when tracking progress is very helpful for personal growth. But when this comparison creates frustration, then it's time to stop and concentrate on whats in your control.
So cut the bull, how can this help me grow a great beard? The thing is, a great beard will be different to everyone and, all things considered, there are a lot of factors you can't control. You can't control if your job allows for a beard, nor can you control your genetics. Further, you can't control how great your neighbours beard looks and that you want his beard over the one you have now.
There's more than a few things to consider when deciding what a perfect beard is for you. But let's look into the main factors to consider when growing a good looking beard.
HOW DO MY GENES EFFECT MY BEARD?
Your genetics control the look, shape, and feel of your beard. Whilst I may desire a Nordic God like beard that helps me tower over my foe (half joking here), in reality, my genes will only let me grow a patchy, curly beard that makes me the butt of all jokes. So sad.
But we all have potential to grow a good looking beard. Whilst your genes might not let you be the worlds most handsomely bearded man, with training and the right routine, you too can have a great looking beard. Think the local sprinting champion in your town rather than Usain Bolt. Your perfect beard is within reach, no matter what kind of facial hair you have!For more on training your beard, read our guide - The Five Keys To A Great Beard
ARE YOU READY TO GROW A BEARD?
Growing a beard comes with changes, both to your daily routine and to how you see yourself in the mirror (literally). A new beard comes with changes to your skin, including itchiness, as well as getting used to how you look in the mirror. It's important to contemplate wether you actually want a beard or not and whether you're ready to make the commitment. Here are some questions to ask yourself when determining if you're ready:
- How does this beard feel? Is it comfortable on me?
- Do I really want this beard? Is it what I want or just some trend I'm following?
- How does my beard feel on the daily? When I'm exercising, when I'm sleeping and when I'm getting it on?
- Am I more or less confident with a beard?
- Do I like the new me? Do others like the new me? Do I even care what others think?
A beard is more than just hair on your face. It will literally affect how you see yourself, how you feel in your own skin and even how others see you. Make sure to think about whether you're ready before making the commitment.
WHAT'S MY FAMILIES OPINION?
Whilst you should always be yourself and do what makes you comfortable, asking what your family thinks of your beard can provide a realistic check of how others see you with your new beard. It can also provide valuable feedback in terms of what looks good and what doesn't look so good.
Asking for feedback on your beard can open up some really helpful insights. Maybe your wife doesn't like kissing you with your beard? Maybe she digs it but you are meeting your in laws for the first time and they aren't so keen on bearded men. Maybe your significant other thinks your beard might impact your job prospects. The family might love how the new beard looks and give you a big thumbs up on it.
Whatever feedback you get, it will help you see how others see you with your new beard as well as give you insight into what works and what doesn't.
WHAT ARE MY PRIORITIES IN LIFE?
Let's face it, some workplaces aren't open to bearded looks. Certain jobs demand a dapper, well kept look and a beard just wont fit in.
Before growing a beard, ask yourself, what's important to you and your life? Are you running against your workmates for a promotion and a beard might hinder getting you there? Maybe your wife digs the look and that's all that matters to you. I believe that being the most authentic version of yourself at all times is the most important thing you can do. This means I refuse to work in an environment in which I'm forced to adhere to a dress code and shave my beard and hair to match the "look".
But hey, maybe I need this promotion and I'm willing to give up my beard because of it!? Well I'll tell you, that's more than okay! We all have to make compromises every now and then. Sometimes that might mean not expressing yourself, just until you are financially comfortable.
Conversely, perhaps other things are holding you back from the real you. If your job doesn't want you to look or act like yourself and that's a big problem for you, it's time to scope out other opportunities and assess your priorities again. If you love having a beard but dread your morning routine, maybe it's time to bust out the clippers and cut your length by half. Having a beard that demands respect is about making sure you know who you are, you know what's important to you, and aligning your lifestyle accordingly.
WHAT OTHER LOOKS MIGHT WORK FOR ME?
You don't know if you'll like it until you try it! The same goes with your look. Maybe you've had the same look for too long and it's time to change it up. If you're afraid of changing up your look but feel it's time to try something new, remember this: you're never going to know unless you try, and your facial hair will keep on growing. You can also change your hairstyle, the clothes and accessories you wear, and the colours in your wardrobe before committing to altering your facial hair.
If you like the beard and look you have now, and you don't want to change - keep on bearding on brother!
My point? Having a beard that demands respect means having a beard that you are comfortable with. As long as you are happy with your look, keep at it and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. Be your true self and rock on.