Should I Shave My Face: Pros And Cons
If you never shaved your face, you’d probably look like a mountain man or a wizard. Every man shaves or trims to some degree. The biggest question here is to what degree shaving and trimming your face is necessary.
Some guys prefer the look that minimal work gives them. They like a full beard blended with a long mustache. It’s rugged, it’s virile, and it exudes a unique kind of strength. Others prefer a cleanly shaven face. They want to look clean, neat, and professional. They like the charm that comes with a smooth, clear complexion.
There are pros and cons to both sides. There’s also the grey area that embraces some of column A and some of column B. If you’re looking to master your grooming and work out the perfect facial hair for you, you have to consider the situation from every side.
The Cases For and Against Shaving
Some people shave religiously. There are men who wake up every morning and set themselves up at the bathroom counter before they’ve even had their coffee. The clean and neat look has many loyal followers. It’s a tried and true classic. If you don’t want the responsibility that comes with maintaining facial hair, you probably run for the razor at the first sign of stubble.
Pros of Shaving
- Clean aesthetic
- Skincare is easier
- Acne can be treated more efficiently
- Sensitive or dry skin won’t get itchy
Shaving your face comes with some aesthetic benefits. Some people like the way a cleanly shaven face looks in a professional setting. If you have a high powered job and find yourself in a suit more often than not, you might feel like a clean shaven face contributes to the overall appearance.
If you’re prone to sunburn, have rosacea, live with chronic dry skin, or are dealing with an ongoing case of adult acne, shaving makes it easier to care for your skin. You can still apply skincare products through a beard or mustache, but the process is a little more time consuming and often messy.
If keeping your skin pimple free, uninflamed, soft, or protected from the sun ranks higher on your priority list than sporting a beard, there’s nothing wrong with that. In essence, it’s choosing health over aesthetics.
Some people shave because they find their beard gets itchy. They get dead skin and oil trapped beneath their beard, leading them to claw away at it throughout the day. Then, they have to fix and groom their beard once they’ve gone to town scratching it. Rather than endure the debacle, some men choose to just shave it all off.
Cons of Shaving
- Lots of maintenance
- Ingrown hairs or razor bumps
Keeping your face baby smooth all the time is a lot of maintenance. You’ll have to shave at least every other day, if not every day, to maintain that smoothness. If you’d rather sleep in an extra ten minutes, you’re out of luck. You have to pencil in that morning shave.
Shaving can also lead to ingrown hairs and razor bumps, especially if you shave frequently and you aren’t the best at replacing your razor heads when they begin to dull. These big red bumps really stick out on a cleanly shaven face. They’re a little more embarrassing than pimples, because they can’t easily be popped. You have to be patient and wait them out.
The Case for Not Shaving
Your facial hair is natural. It’s kind of liberating to let it go. If you can grow a pretty incredible beard, you probably want people to know about it. As long as you’re willing to keep up with the grooming and hygiene tasks that come with sporting that beard, do what makes you happy.
The Pros of Not Shaving
- No razor burn or ingrown hairs
- Easier to get ready in the morning
- Enhances your facial features
Some people find that shaving their face leads to increased sensitivity, ingrown hairs, and razor bumps. If letting your beard live its best life prevents you from dealing with skin complications, it might be worth it to limit your shaves.
It’s also much easier to get ready for work in the morning if you don’t shave. Smoothing your beard down or running a brush through it if it’s on the longer side is going to take much less time and prepwork than going down to bare skin a few times a week.
One of the main reasons men choose not to shave is because they like the way their facial hair complements their features. A beard can be your best weapon. Unhappy with your jawline? Not the biggest fan of your chin? Wish your upper lip looked nicer? Just grow the hair out. Nature’s always giving you a workaround.
The Cons of Not Shaving
- Facial hair may not be appropriate for every occasion
- Under-beard buildup might make you itchy
- Taking care of your skin can be a little more difficult
Some jobs or special occasions may require a certain grooming standard. You might have to wear a hair net on a long beard if you’re a chef or if you work in the medical field. It can be a bit of a hassle to keep your facial hair protected and out of your way when it’s required of you. Some workplaces might outright forbid beards for safety reasons. They don’t want you getting your face stuck in a machine, and it’s hard to blame them.
Men with sensitive or dry skin sometimes find that their beard makes them itchy, even when it isn’t very long. This can be due to trapped oil or trapped dead skin cells beneath the thicket of hair. While it is possible to thoroughly cleanse and exfoliate beneath your facial hair, it’s going to be much harder than performing the same task on a bare face.
In fact, any kind of skincare is a little more difficult when your beard acts as an obstacle. Applying something like an acne treatment to a pimple that formed underneath your facial hair requires some extra patience and effort. If you don’t find yourself breaking out very often, it may not bother you. If you get the occasional spot, treating it will take a bit longer.
There is no definitive right or wrong way to manage your facial hair. Unless a doctor or a dermatologist requires you to groom a certain way for medical reasons (like acne, rosacea, or psoriasis), you’re free to live your life however you want.
Both sides come with pros and cons. The goal is to make a decision based on the pros and cons you’re most comfortable with juggling. If you’re a low maintenance kind of guy, grow it out. If you think a soft, smooth face is worth the extra effort, go ahead and put in the work.
The right choice is the one that makes you feel most confident. When you’re satisfied with your appearance, you’ll project that confidence to everyone you speak to. You’ll make great first impressions when your self esteem is strong. The only question left is whether you feel better with or without the beard, and honestly, sometimes it’s just a matter of how you feel that particular day.