Your beard might be balding you, but you look a lot younger with one

There’s a lot of pros and cons to growing a beard. We’ve listed a few so you can decide for yourself whether the beard road is one you’d like to travel on.

1. Viva la beard! It makes you look younger
Having a beard is the ultimate youth elixir. It makes your skin healthier and reduces signs of aging. (You may say you don’t care about this, but you will at some stage in life).

2. It might make you bald
Your beard could be balding you. Having hair on both your face and scalp causes extra heat. As the body reacts, this can cause hair loss on the scalp to compensate for a growing beard. The more hair you have on your face, the more you’ll sweat on your head.

3. It’s great for long term health
It’s said beard wearers are less likely to suffer throat, lung disease and respiratory illness.

4. It helps with self esteem
Abe Lincoln’s beard exists because an 11-year-old girl told him his face looked too thin and it made him insecure.

5. They can be gross if you’re lazy
Beards can be pretty gross if you don’t keep up your hygiene. They’re the ultimate breeding ground for fleas, bed bugs and other parasites. An unclean beard is said to have more germs than a toilet seat… then again so does a mobile phone and money so germs can’t be all that terrible.

6. They’re free (for now)
Beards weren’t always a free right. While he had a beard himself, King Henry VIII of England introduced a tax on beards. the price paid depended on the wearer’s social position. His daughter, Elizabeth I, reintroduced the beard tax forcing anyone with more than two weeks growth to cough up some cash. In Russia during Peter the Great noblemen who wore a beard had to buy a ‘beard licence’ for 100 rubles a year. License holders were given a medallion with the words “The beard is a useless burden” inscribed.

7. You may scare some people
Did you know some people have a legitimate fear of beards? Pogonophobia is the term used to describe those who suffer from a fear of beards which can even result in panic attacks. On the other side, a pogonophile has a fetish or great love for beards. Try not to mix-up the two.

8. Less time wasted
The average person who shaves from age 15 to 70 will waste approximately 139 days shaving. Conveniently, that’s about the right amount of time to grow a pretty impressive beard.

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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.