Graffiti picture of a hipster on a grey wall. The hipster has a quiff, glasses and a beard and twirled moustache. He wears a tweed suit with a bowtie
13th August 2016 The MALESTROM

Time to lose the beard? Just might be

What’s long hairy and might well have overstayed it’s welcome? No not your ex-girlfriends sausage dog. It’s the humble beard of course. The beard has gone through somewhat of a renaissance period over the last 10 or so years becoming popular with Hollywood celebs and Hoxton hipsters alike. Hang around any part of East London and you’ll be hard pressed to find a bloke not sporting a massive chin curtain. Today The MALESTROM asks is enough finally enough? Is it time to lose the bristles?

Beards have come to define this generation’s look for blokes. Growing your first beard (or bum fluff as it’s usually termed as at that stage of life) in an important life event signalling the transition from boy to man. Dr Alan Withey an expert in medical history from the University Of Exeter is currently undergoing a study of facial hair’s relationship with masculinity. He suggests we’re currently stuck in a lengthy beard rut due to a ‘crisis of masculinity’. Which would seem right given the pressures and pit-falls of modern life.

Beards have long been a symbol of red-blooded manliness. We only need read tales of the great Viking warriors. Apparently not many of them were acquainted with the Wilkinson Sword. No wonder modern man want to join these rampaging hoards in one of the only ways we can by letting hair sprout from our chins.

But should we now man up in an altogether smoother way? Lets weigh up some general pros and cons of face fuzz to help you with the decision of whether to save it or shave it.

Pros

  • They’re warm
  • We save time by not shaving
  • If you happen to look like a child you can age yourself by 10 years.
  • Beards have health benefits. A study showed a beards block 95% of UV rays, reducing the risk of skin cancer and also help asthma sufferers by trapping dust and pollen to stop it entering your lungs.
  • And finally there’s that manliness again.

Cons

  • Food gets trapped in it (some people may class this as a pro)
  • Hot in summer
  • Makes you look poor
  • Makes some jobs harder to get
  • Every bugger has got one!

It’s a tight call, but the last one surely has to get you thinking about a trip to the barbers? There’s something to be said for safety in numbers, but when it comes to this epidemic of face fungus it might just have become a hazard. If the trend continues police line-ups would become a thing of the past as everybody just looks the same.

If any event ever sounded the final death knell for beards it may have been an announcement from one of the originators of the bushy hipster beard, UK model Ricki Hall.

Ricki Hall takes a selfie of himself on a train. He wears a blue zip up Adidas top and brown tortoise shell shades. He has long brown hair and a bushy beard

Ricki Hall/Instagram

He lopped his off last month for a cause close to his heart the Mesothelioma Charitable Trust. You can donate to the charity here.

Ricki’s beard was his trademark, his calling card in the fickle world of fashion, if he can lose it, then maybe we need to take a long hard look in the mirror at ourselves.

So maybe it’s time to take the leap, to stand out from the crowd in a less hirsute way. Why not do your bit to stop Gillette from going out of business, pick up that razor and for the love of God shave yourself. Goodbye beard, hello shaving rash.

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