The case for a clean-shaven face
On Father’s day morning, I spent a little time shaving before church. My young son watched as I explained what I was doing. He felt his face, then mine. “This razor holds sharp blades to take the hair off my face,” I told him. He looked puzzled, but eventually grasped the concept. At the end, he slid his fingers along my smooth chin.
Thanks to King Camp Gillette and engineer William E. Nickerson, the world gained a marvelous new invention – the disposable razor blade (patented in 1901). With that innovative product, it became easier and safer for men to shave. It would take another twenty years before a shaved face became the norm, but since then it has stuck.
A smooth face just looks good. Here are a few reasons:
1. It portrays a more youthful appearance – think about it – young kids have no facial hair.
2. It slims your cheeks by reducing the appearance of shadows.
3. It cleans you up as hair can make you look like you need a wash.
4. When you shave, you give the impression of a man who pays attention to the details – as if you started the day right and didn’t simply jump out of bed to head out the door.
5. A case can be made you look more believable and honest – like you are putting your best foot forward – not hiding your face. Many groups of people desire to show these traits. Allow me to illustrate. Think of a politician, news journalist, or CEO with facial hair. Hard to do? That’s because they are rare today. In fact, the last American president to display facial hair was William Taft who left office in 1913 (Check out the presidents gallery). Look at the current Senate. Only one Senator has facial hair –North Dakota’s John Hoeven with a mustache (Check out the current Senate photos). The most well known people in the media also maintain a close shave. They know what I am telling you now – a clean-shaven face portrays you in a good light.
6. My last reason for a smooth chin resides at the other end of a kiss. Which would your wife or girlfriend prefer, to snuggle up to a scouring pad or soft skin? As I ran through the preliminary draft of this article with my wife, she emphasized this point. A man’s face can be rough (even Jeremiah Johnson can relate).
Don’t get me wrong. I write today not to dog facial hair, but to highlight the benefits of shaving. In fact, there are men who look great with facial hair (i.e. David Beckham with the six o’clock shadow). If you decide it works for you, then be intentional. Think it through. People usually look at your face first. So, make sure your beard or mustache stays well trimmed.
© Copyright 2012 Fashion for the average man.