It was love at first sight when you saw that hipster hunk behind the bar. His starched, collared shirt. His canvas apron clinging to his chest. His bulging, tattooed arms as he shook and strained the perfect whiskey cocktail. But what most caught your eye was the brilliant tuft of facial hair on his chin.
He’s finally asked you out, and you’re really starting to picture a future. But you’re also having some doubts about that big, bushy beard of his. What will it feel like, when you kiss? Will he get more attention than you? Here are some things to know before you fall for a man with a beard.
1. It Could Mess With Your Skin
When you kiss a man with a beard, his hair can rub up against your face. The friction can be uncomfortable and irritate your skin. Especially if you have sensitive skin, you might notice a lot of redness and inflammation. You could develop a rash, and you may notice your face is a little itchy. This will be doubly true if he occasionally shaves, and you have to contend with stubble.
The friction and irritation from his beard hair can also stimulate oil production in your skin. This can lead to clogged pores, and if not treated correctly, could cause you to develop acne. You’ll need to stay on top of your skincare regimen and choose the right products. Cleansing with salicylic acid can help keep your pores clear. You may also need to seek prescription acne treatment if things get really serious.
2. It Might Get Dirty or Smelly
It shouldn’t need to be said, but beards are hair. They need to be cleaned with shampoo or beard wash, not regular soap. A lot of guys don’t realize this, and will wash their beards the way they wash the rest of their face. They’ll run a nasty old bar of Irish Spring over the hair and call it a day. This is a huge mistake, and can lead to a smelly, extra-scratchy beard.
Your man’s beard may get even grosser than the hair on his head. It can trap crumbs or sauce leftover from meals. It can also get coated with your makeup or his sweat. It can even contain the, err, remnants of bedroom activities. Make sure he cleans his beard with an appropriate beard cleanser. If all else fails, get him in the shower with you and rub his face with your shampoo.
3. Or He’ll Need More Bathroom Mirror Time Than You
On the flip side, some bearded cuties are meticulous about their facial hair. They spend hours in the mirror applying beard oil or combing their mustaches. You might get a little insecure, realizing his face and haircare routine has 19 more steps than yours. You might have to wait your turn just to brush your teeth. Your bathroom counter might be cluttered with dozens of products.
Then there are the little hairs that clog up the drains, especially when he trims. The tiny beard hair bits stick to the side of the tub and ruin your bubble bath. When you date a man with a beard, you’ll both need to stay on top of keeping your bathroom clean. Try disposable wipes to catch the bits of hair and countertop storage units to keep all his products in order.
4. People May Treat You Both Differently
Don’t be surprised if people shout strange things at you on the street. You might hear the occasional “Jesus!” or “Abraham Lincoln!” People love to give random nicknames to men with beards, especially if those beards are very long and full. They might also make assumptions about your boyfriend, like thinking he’s an artist or a Rabbi. It’s best not to let any of this get to your head; it’s usually all in good fun.
The real problem comes when other women can’t stop ogling him. Science shows men with facial hair are considered more attractive. Beards are on trend now, especially if they come in a set with a man bun. You may find that your friends can’t stop staring dreamily at his chin. Try to stay calm if he gets more attention than you when the two of you are out in public.
5. He Can Change His Appearance on a Whim
One of the strangest things about beards is how much they change a person’s face. A man with a beard can go from the hottest thing on earth to medium-ugly in a single shave. You may start to dislike the beard. But think twice about what made you first fall for him. If he’s thinking about shaving it off completely, consider carefully before offering your opinion.
Then again, one of the best things about beards is how much fun they can be. You can try out funny new styles or wax them into shapes. You can get a little silly, and dress it up with bows or hang tiny Christmas decorations. You can even dye it colors, if you’re really looking to get wild. Just make sure you get his permission before any of the above.
Hipster or Caveman: The Choice is His
A man with a beard may be extra style conscious or a little gross and grooming-averse. But remember, whoever he was when you met him is who he’s always going to be. You may be able to influence his beard-care, but don’t try to call all the shots. You may want him to take better care of it, shave it off, or string it with lights. But, at the end of the day, they’re his luscious facial locks, not yours.