To beard or not to beard?

Oh Bearduary, what can I say? The shavings of Movember have barely hit the sink and now the two month event of Bearduary has begun; we will soon be hard pressed to find a clean shaven face anywhere in town.

Goatee, full beard and the “Colonel Sanders” all provide viable options for a trustworthy yet ruggedly handsome look, acceptable for any Canadian lumberjack. But while I love a well-maintained beard, I have a feeling that what will result during Bearduary is a mass of cavemen-esque facial hair explosions that will haunt my dreams — the homeless man beard is well into the threatening section of the beard scale (available online at

So, in honour of this, the beardiest of months, I have decided to find out why we all love them so much and if there are any downsides — apart from looking too cool. Are they not itchy? Does it not annoy you when there’s food in it? Does it not deter lady friends and employers?

To find out the answers to these questions and more, I posted a frantic Facebook plea for all of my male friends to tell me about beards and their fascination with them. And let me tell you, never in my life have I received such enthused responses from this many males in such a short span of time. Dudes are really into their beards.

I received a myriad of responses, from all over the world, most of which revolved around the “I’m lazy and it keeps my face warm” theme. Runner-up responses included the power of a beard to make faces look more distinguished, and the opportunity to look very intelligent while stroking a nicely sculpted beard.

Some guys extended as far as to say that beards are the most obvious way to represent manhood, the outward representation of the warrior within, if you will — and also, chicks dig them. While this is true, most chicks do dig beards, there is a certain point where our train of thought goes from, “mmm, beard” to “ewww, beard.”

Keep an eye out for that, because once you get to that point, there is no turning back; your beard will be forever tainted. As for food getting caught in there, it was expressly made clear that it is not a hindrance but a bonus; “It’s dessert!” my friends declared.

That is just gross. No one seemed to have complaints about itchiness; the minor discomfort in the early growth stages is apparently well worth it.

After perusing some websites solely dedicated to the growth and maintenance of beards, like and, I discovered that some men have in fact lost out on jobs or love due to their beards. They did not seem overly concerned about it though, which makes me overly concerned that their love of beards surpasses all else.

Clearly this thing has gone further than we ever expected! The most thorough and organized response came from my friend Jesse, who texted me a list of seven things he loves about beards, which I think sums up every guy’s sentiments quite nicely.

1) Not shaving saves time and money

2) Keeps your neck and face warm in the winter

3) Hides zits, scars, etc. on your face

4) Makes you look older and worked for buying beer as a 16-year-old

5) People like to talk about beards and beard maintenance and thus leads to conversations

6) Again, you don’t need to shave!

7) It’s fun to play with

There you have it folks, the seven best things about beards. How can you really argue with that? I am jealous that women really do not have an equivalent. If we got lazy and stopped shaving it would definitely not result in us looking more attractive. So think about our plight as you let your beard grow down to the floor — it’s not just for you! We are living vicariously through you, and since we cannot participate, we observe — and we want to observe something nice, dammit!

So, to sum up, in the words of my dad’s friend Jim, an experienced beard grower for more than 25 years, “Beards are a luxury . . . and a curse!” A bit more of an existential response to a fairly basic question, but I can appreciate the paradoxical spin he puts on things. Yes, beards are wonderful for many reasons, but keep it tidy and stylish! One wrong turn and before you know it, your girlfriend has ditched you and your beard is the only thing keeping you warm at night.

The frightening thing is I don’t think that would bother most of you in the slightest. Happy bearding!

3 Comments on "To beard or not to beard?"

  1. oh my dad.

  2. oh, and he said its more like 40 years rather than 25..he could grow a good beard at 15!

  3. it should be decemBEARD rather than BEARDuary

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