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The beard came back into fashion with a bang recently. It would appear that, for many men, it has swiftly overtaken the likes of watches and jewellery as the must-have trinket to compliment your fresh clothing.
A recent report in the Financial Times showed how the popularity of the beard has caused a growth in many related industries, such as aftershaves and grooming products. The male grooming industry in the UK is expected to be worth £1 billion alone by 2018. A deluge of new grooming products like skin creams and moustache cream are constantly being added to the market.
With it being a free and (potentially) easily accessible addition to the outfit, it has fast become one of the pinnacles of male fashion. For some men it simply requires a few days or weeks of patience and perseverance, along with a rudimentary competence with a razor, to sculpt a desirable face mane.
Yet, it is not easy for all men. We all undoubtedly have that one friend who can grow nothing more than a whisper of hair that almost looks like a solitary plant in the middle of a vast desert. What makes it worse is that, more often than not, they insist on keeping this thin whisper in a futile attempt to compete with the array of meticulous moustaches and bombastic beards that more fortunate men have the capacity to grow.
Many can grow the fabled five ‘o’clock stubble, the less popular, younger brother of the beard. This can be pulled off if tailored and sculpted correctly. Yet, in many cases it can appear patchy and uneven.
Why has the beard seen this surge in popularity?
Fashion trends aside for a moment, scientists believe that men grow beards to in fact please or get noticed by other men, as opposed to women, as reported in Atlas Obscura. The report claims that men originally would have grown beards to increase their social standing among the community against other men.
This certainly makes sense as, although some women undoubtedly prefer some or a great deal of facial or body hair, reports have shown that many also prefer the clean shaven look.
The report goes on to say that the capacity to grow a beard, although not directly linked to testosterone, was, in the past, linked to a perception that the owner of said beard is older, stronger and more aggressive. The beard, therefore, could have been a way for our ancestors to buttress their claim to potential mating partners, enticing them as well as deterring possible competition.
Ultimately, according to science, men in fact grow beards to impress, yet possibly deter, other men. It is therefore not the end of the world if you are unable to grow a fulsome and flattering beard. Just ensure you employ a different tactic to intimidate the potential competition. Similar studies have shown that the likes of a deep voice can have a similar effect.
If you find yourself without all these attributes, fear not. You can simply don the latest urban clothing at Pawn Future Kings to woo those potential partners.