Much like the mullet of the late 80’s and early 90’s, the beard is highly glamorized today, and the longer the whiskers, the better, apparently. However, there is still a huge segment of the male population that takes pride in being clean-shaven. The men who take time out of their day to keep their skin smooth and hair-free may actually enjoy some benefits they might not expect.
1. Clean-Shaven Men May Have an Easier Time Getting Hired
For men who are considering a career change, being clean shaven could actually give them an advantage, according to numerous studies. Although many companies are taking on a more progressive mindset these days, it’s a fact that hiring managers view a clean-shaven man as better put together, more productive and even more capable. In a study published in 2003 entitled “Perception of Men’s Personal Qualities and Prospect of Employment as a Function of Facial Hair,” authored by Lino de Souza, personnel managers preferred clean shaven men (40%) most of all, with mustached men (36%) being acceptable. Bearded men (18%) and goateed men (6%) were the least preferred prospective employees.
2. Clean-Shaven Men are More Likely to Get the Girl
Although there are quite a few pictures floating around social media sites featuring supposedly super-hot men with tons of facial hair, studies actually suggest that women find clean-shaven men more attractive. A recent study published in Behavioral Ecology asked 200 women to rate pictures of men in terms of attractiveness and the women overwhelmingly rated clean-shaven men as more attractive than their bearded counterparts.
Add the element of “devil may care” bravado, associated with pressing a blade fifty times sharper than a freshly sharpened kitchen knife to the face, and men with BBS (baby butt smooth) skin become almost irresistible. 🙂
3. Clean-Shaven Men Appear Younger Than Those with Facial Hair
Although women are often more vocal about their aging worries, the thought of looking “old” doesn’t sound so appealing to men, either. Most men wouldn’t make fashion choices that would add, say, 10 years to their appearance. A shirt that magically added 10 years when a man put it on probably wouldn’t be the most popular shirt in the store, but research shows that a beard can age a man up to 10 years. So, by taking the time to shave every day, clean shaven men are literally shaving ten years off of their appearance.
4. Shaving Promotes Healthier, More Attractive Skin
Every time a man shaves his face, he is not only removing the hair but also exfoliating his skin, removing dead skin cells and promoting healthier skin. There are many benefits to exfoliation, including making facial skin smoother and softer, promoting a more even skin tone, preventing clogged pores and outbreaks, fighting the signs of aging and more.
5. Shaving in the Morning Can Increase Productivity
Productive individuals have known for quite some time that having a set morning routine can increase their productivity throughout the day. This includes actions that signal to your brain that it’s time to start the day, such as having coffee, showering, shaving and getting dressed. By taking the time each morning to shave, men create the right mindset for having a productive, successful day.
6. Better Personal Hygiene
The term “clean-shaven” doesn’t just mean the face is clean of facial hair. In fact, it could mean that the face is a great deal cleaner (in general) than a man who sports a full beard or goatee. Several studies have been done on the cleanliness (or lack thereof) of beards and facial hair, as well as the number and types of bacteria present in facial hair. The results are enough to make even the most beard-devoted hipster flinch in horror. A few facts from those studies:
• Bearded men have more bacteria on their faces than clean-shaven men.
• Beards promote and spread bacteria.
• The same bacteria is found in facial hair that is present in human waste matter.
The majority of men would find these facts pretty cringe-worthy. Dirty bristle and bacteria are not sexy… Don Draper instinctively knew this. It sure makes it seem a whole lot more important to pull out that razor and lathering bowl every day. Although many men enjoy the process of shaving and look forward to it each day, even those who don’t particularly care for the ritual can agree that these benefits are too powerful to ignore.
Getting the Closest and Most Comfortable Shave
A single straight razor blade that actually glides over the skin will produce a closer shave than one designed to avoid direct contact, by way a guard, as is the case with disposable cartridge and double-edge safety razors. To get close, multi-blade disposable cartridge razors may use a lift and cut system, where some of the blades are dull, and some sharp. Dull blades pull the whiskers out, and sharp blades cut them off. The severed whiskers then snap back; often below the skin’s surface. This can lead to ingrown hairs and bumps, and all that tugging is simply not very comfortable.
Straight razor shavers typically shave every other day, while cartridge shavers can expect to see a five o’clock shadow, and may have to shave again before the evening. Many cartridge razor users have learned to mash the razor into the skin, in an attempt to get in closer, leading to skin abrasions and irritation. Aerosol foam creams do not provide sufficient protection for actual blade contact with the skin.
Most ‘foam in a can’ solutions are chemical cocktails that could promote aging. Take a moment to read the ingredients listed on the label. Some popular aerosol shaving creams contain a polymer used in the manufacture of rocket fuel, fuel grade propane, as well as propolene glycol, the primary ingredient in automotive antifreeze. The rapid evaporation of volatile fuels apparently helps aerosol foam expand quickly. Yikes! By comparison, the rich lather from good old fashioned shaving soaps typically contain natural ingredients like lanolin and tallow, that nourish and moisturize the skin. Premium pre-shave oils and after shave balms often include moisturizing, skin repair and anti-aging ingredients like vitamin E, Moroccan argan oil, jojoba oil and aloe vera.
Straight razor shaving, with a traditional blade that’s re-honed for decades (and even centuries), and a bowl that’s refilled with replacement soap pucks, is sustainable and green. You’re not tossing aerosol cans and razor cartridges into the landfill every month, and replacing the handle every time a cool new colour or feature is released. Straight razors also save water. You don’t require a steady stream of water to rinse out the hair that constantly clogs cartridges and the heads of safety razors. All of the whisker clippings and soap can build up right on the straight razor’s blade as you shave, requiring one quick rinse at the end.
Straight razors are precision instruments. The blade isn’t buried in a bulky “safety” enclosure, requiring you to shave blind. You can actually see the blade’s edge at all times. Consequently, many men nick themselves far less often with a straight razor than with a so-called safety razor.
Many modern shavers view the morning task with a disposable cartridge razor as an expensive and annoying — but necessary — evil that just slows them down as they dash through life. The victim mindset is, “I’m a man, society expects me to shave, so what’s the quickest way to deal with this pain in the ass problem?” Straight razor shavers savor life and embrace shaving as a manly benefit. A warm lather with a luxurious soap and fine brush, followed by precision grooming with an elegant straight razor blade, can be a meditative experience that grounds a man, reinforces his value and right to the finer things, and prepares him for a day in which the other events are also planned and precisely executed on cue.
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