Are beards a benefit to mental health?

A GROWING desire to help people is what keeps Carlos from trimming his beard.

The Los Angeles family man (pictured) works in the public health sector.

The former Emergency Medical Technician, now mental health worker said he used his rare downtime to start documenting street art in his city.

While he was keen to grow a beard, the EMT/EMS appearance guidelines didn’t allow it so when he crossed over to focus on mental health he found solace in being able to let it grow.

“I decided to grow my beard once I was allowed to, because it’s something I’ve wanted to do but hadn’t been able to up to that point,” he said.

“I’ve been growing my beard for the past two years. As of now I haven’t trimmed it in five months, and plan on extending that time for much longer.”

Despite previously having trouble growing a beard in the workplace, Carlos said he found plenty of professional benefits to having one on the job.

“I’ve noticed clients really embrace my beard and feel more comfortable opening up to me,” he said.

“They view me as one of them as opposed to a typical suit and tie or authority figure.”

“I’ve noticed patients were not only more receptive, but gravitated towards me more than other staff and I really feel it’s because of my appearance.”

“Some of my other colleagues that wore beards mentioned the same thing about patients being more comfortable with them as well because they had a beard.”

He felt there was a certain connection found with others who were able to appreciate a good beard.

When he’s not helping others Carlos documents street art in his city.

“I started taking pictures of all the work I would come across every day because I felt that it needed to be seen and appreciated by others who don’t have this kind of access in their own communities,” he said.

Check out Carlos on Instagram here.

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Written by Natasha Christian

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Natasha Christian is a news producer for Yahoo7 and editor for Beardspo.com. She also runs mental health project Anxiety Exists and has a never ending Lego collection. She currently lives in Perth, Australia.