We’re fortunate to live in an age in which a beard is worthy of utmost respect. While mankind has often had a love-hate relationship with beards, there’s a lot of love these days and, hopefully, all the affection will continue long into the future.
For many men – and women – beards are more than just something to wear proudly or admire from afar (or up close, whatever the case may be). For those people, beards are a way of life.
If you’re one of those people, you’re a pogonophile. That’s what this post is about: what it means to be a pogonophile and, of course, what pogonophile means.
And if you aren’t sure that you’re a pogonophile, we’ve also included some signs which show that you qualify.
First, What is a Pogonophile?
Pogonophile definition – “One who loves or studies beards.”
The definition above comes straight from Wikipedia, and the Wiki folks deserve a round of applause for their brevity. But does it cover what pogonophile means with true depth?
We think not. Because pogonophile goes beyond mere love and study of beards. For a true pogonophile, beards are akin to religion, a way of life. For him or her, it’s a mindset, not just a fondness for an incredible patch of facial hair.
It’s not just a mindset – or love – for something that is here today, gone today, mind you. True, beards had ridden waves of popularity while sometimes plunging into near-irrelevancy – like in the 18th century when the damn Puritans frowned upon facial hair and many other things that created joy and uniqueness.
Beards, however, have a history that dates to pre-historic men and has been a symbol of strength and style throughout the ages. They emerged from the restraints of Puritanism in the 19th century thanks to folks like U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and have been more or less accepted ever since.
But beards are on a kick-ass roll today. While there are no numbers with which to corroborate, we guess that the ranks of pogonophiles have swelled in recent years.
As a pogonophile, you may have an obsession with beards. We agree, not all obsessions are healthy, but what’s wrong with treating a beard with reverence and giving it the proper attention and care it deserves, all backed by science and study? Some men, and women, like hot rod cars. Others like valuable antiques, or wine, or paintings, or what have you.
All we’re saying is that you should embrace your pognonophilia. Some things just can’t be helped.
OK, time to move on to the evidence that you may be a pogonophile. Before we begin, however, here’s the proper pogonophile pronunciation – po-go-na-file.
9 Signs That You’re A Pogonophile
1. You Weather the Beard Itch Storm
If there’s one thing you need more than anything else while growing a beard is patience. Not only because growing a beard requires time – and facial hair growth rates are different for every man – but because the early stages of beard growth often bring on beard “itch.”
While it’s helpful to know that beard itch is a normal part of the beard-growing process, that doesn’t make it any easier to endure. In some cases, beard itch is so irritating that you’d rather be locked away in a padded cell.
As a pogonophile, however, you acknowledge the beard itch beast but don’t back down from it. You accept that it’s a part of life and that life, in many cases, means endurance. In other words, nothing is going to stop you from growing the beard you’ve always wanted, beard itch be damned.
You recognize that a bit of short-term pain will lead to long-term gain. Besides, you know that there are plenty of solutions to relieve beard itch, from cleansing it with a good beard shampoo or wash, using a beard conditioner and beard oil, to trimming it with the best beard trimmer once it has matured into a full-fledged amazing beard.
If you’re a female pogonophile who loves everything about beards, kissing someone with a beard may cause discomfort as well. But you don’t care. You simply apply lip balm between kisses and get on with life.
2. You’re Willing to Pay for the Best Beard Products
The best beardsmen realize early on that there’s more to maintaining a beard than trimming it now and then, or – if not trimming – than letting the soap and water from your shower clean it.
No, they realize that there’s an endless array of products available to help their beard reach its full potential. Beard oils, conditioners, beard shampoos, beard combs, beard trimmers, beard wax – all are tools of the trade that help make one man’s beard stand out from all the rest.
Not that all quality beard products are expensive, mind you, but like anything else, what you get often equals what you pay for with men’s grooming products.
As a true pogonophile, you’re always on the lookout for the best products, the latest innovations – anything that gives you an edge in the beard maintenance game. You research before you buy and aren’t satisfied if a certain product even if a product only falls a little bit short.
The best beards often make it look easy. But there’s nothing easy about getting the look you want, yet you’ve mastered the art.
3. You Know When You’re in the Presence of a Great Beard
This sign applies to both sexes. It defines the reaction you get when a great beard has entered the room, or when you see a stellar beard on the streets.
It’s that second (or third) glance you give the bearded construction worker on your way to the office or favorite coffee shop.
It’s the walking up to the magnificently-bearded stranger at a party and striking up a conversation because you want to take a closer look at his facial masterpiece. As a fellow beardsman, you’ll ask him questions about his beard care routine and the products he uses.
As a woman, you may ask for his phone number (while resisting the urge to run your hands through his beard).
You may even watch certain television shows or athletic competitions in which the beard to non-beard ratio is high. You like beards and you want to see them. There’s nothing wrong with that.
4. You Buy a Product Because of a Beard
Ladies who classify as pogonophiles understand this scenario: You’re looking at products in your favorite store, and you end up buying something you don’t necessarily need because the salesman has an awesome beard.
In this case, the beard has an almost hypnotic effect or makes you feel like you did when you were much younger and in the presence of an attractive guy you so desperately wanted to talk to but hadn’t yet worked up the courage.
Or, perhaps you find yourself returning to the same store over and over just to check out the salesman with the beard. It has now become your favorite store.
Beards, after all, aren’t just worthy of your imagination, they have a powerful presence. As a pogonophile, you understand a beard’s ‘presence’ more than other people. If you have to spend a little money on something you really don’t need just to admire a fantastic beard, so be it.
5. Growing a Beard is Your Passion
We’ve already talked about the true pogonophile’s willingness to weather the inevitable beard itch that comes with a new beard. Simply put, there’s no way they’re going to shave at the first sign of discomfort.
For pogonophiles, growing a beard isn’t something to be endured but something to be pursued with a passion. It’s a labor of love, and like the person who loves tattoos and is willing to endure some pain to get the tattoo they’ve long dreamed of, nothing we’ll keep them from their pursuit.
The true pogonophile cares for his beard every morning and takes breaks at work to make sure his beard is clean and always presentable. In many ways, he is a craftsman.
Moreover, he joins a beard and mustache club for fellowship and ever-important beard growing tips and suggestions. Being in a group of fellow beardsmen has a power all its own.
6. You’re Biased Towards Men With Beards
For female pogonophiles, there’s not a lot of discrimination going on when it comes to beard admiration. Stubble, medium-length beards, beards that compare favorably with the beards of those dudes in ZZ Top – all are worthy of respect and love.
And many of your favorite actors and other celebrities sport beards. You’ll watch a movie you might not otherwise like just because one of your favorited bearded actors has a role in it. You’ll root for the man with a beard while watching game shows.
Here’s another thing: you’ll want to have your picture taken with a bearded man at a party or favorite nightspot. Even if you don’t dare to go up and ask him yourself, you’re more than willing to have your friend make the approach and set up the photo.
To you, beards are meant to be admired and it’s your work (but a labor of love) to admire them.
7. Your Routine Changes
Your favorite month used to be June or October or the month of your birthday. Now it’s November, the month when so many men are growing beards for a cause.
Meanwhile, other routines and beliefs change as you evolve into a true pogonophile. The TV channel number that features lumberjack or strongman competitions – in which the chances of there being bearded competitors is high – is now committed to memory. You used to watch golf, football, or soccer, but now enjoy watching someone chop down a tree.
Or, you’re a beardsmen who now happily joins your wife or girlfriend for a trip to the supermarket because it’s another opportunity to check out beard care products. And your Christmas wish list now includes balms, oils, waxes, shampoos, etc.
8. You Have Beard Radar
Not only do you react when a beautifully-bearded man enters a room, but you also sense their presence before you see them. You feel a subtle energy shift in the room, a disturbance in the force that only an immaculately maintained beard can create.
Once you’ve seen the man, you’ll find excuses to leave your conversation – politely, of course, unless you can no longer stand it – to gather around the wise sage with a beard. You just want to hear what he has to say, no matter what the topic.
Your perfect man is a neurologist who looks like a lumberjack, but you know that’s setting the bar high. Still, there’s no harm in dreaming, and there are plenty of other bearded men who are only slightly less than your definition of perfection.
9. You’re a Believer in a Beard’s Attributes
Women say there are many reasons for why they prefer men with beards: 1) a man who is willing to endure the early discomfort of growing a beard has patience, 2) a beard signifies maturity, 3) a beard show that a man is willing to march to the beat of his own drummer, 4) a beard just oozes masculinity, and more.
As a male pogonophile, you know that your beard affects people around you in many ways and that it exudes confidence. People like to be around other people who have confidence and you know that as much, if not more, than the next guy.
Why There’s Nothing Wrong With Being a Pogonophile
While being a pogonophile suggests that you have an obsession and that certain obsessions are unhealthy, there’s no reason to have shame about it. Instead, being a lover of beards is almost always a good thing and, besides, you understand the many benefits of having a beard.
Indeed, as a male pogonophile, you know there’s more to a beard than the simple fact that it looks good:
- A beard makes you seem more intelligent. Not that we’re saying you need some help in the intelligence category, but rather look at the many lofty souls who wore beards: Albert Einstein, Lincoln, Sigmund Freud, Alexander the Great. None of these gents was a dummy, mind you.
- A beard makes you seem like your own man, which other men and women love. Studies show that bearded men are often seen as a non-conformist; like someone who knows what he wants and isn’t going to back down from what he wants if someone doesn’t like it.
- A beard makes you feel – and look – more mature. Not that we’re in a hurry to get older, but if you’re the guy with the perpetual baby face who now has a beard – well, folks will look at you differently. You may have already achieved proper manhood, but a beard is your VIP pass into it.
- A beard adds to your sex appeal. Ah, yes, beards and sex appeal. There are dozens, if not more, of studies and research projects about how women dig a man with facial hair. Lincoln grew a beard after an 11-year-old girl wrote him a letter and told him that one would prompt more women to vote for him.
- A beard shows a commitment to grooming that others will notice. After all, as a true pogonophile, you’re serious about doing what it takes to keep your beard looking its best. You’re a man who doesn’t just rush out of your house or apartment in the morning without taking the time to look good.
- A beard may make you seem more aggressive, even if you’re not. But who doesn’t like an extra dose of swagger? Aggressiveness doesn’t always mean bad things; in fact, women often perceive it as being a sign of strength and protection.
- A beard gives your face character. If you don’t like the shape of your face or chin, you can always grow a beard to lessen those “flaws” while accentuating the attractive parts of your face.
There are other reasons why you have a healthy obsession with beards, including their many health benefits, such as:
- They help lessen your chances of getting skin cancer. Indeed, the sun’s UV rays can seriously damage exposed skin. But a 2012 study in Australia showed that a heavy beard blocks up to 95 percent of the sun’s harmful rays from reaching a man’s face.
- With a beard, there are no more shaving issues. You know what we’re talking about – the nicks, cuts, abrasions and other nasties that may result from running a razor blade over your face. Shaving may even cause in-grown hair and infections. Love your beard and your face will love you back.
- Which brings us to our next point: a beard looks a helluva lot better on your face than nicks, cuts, abrasion, and other blemishes on your face. You’ll look better with a beard and protect your skin in the process.
- Not shaving will save you time. Think about the many, many hours you’ve spent at the bathroom mirror in your lifetime. Eliminate shaving and those hours automatically decrease.
- Oh, and last but certainly not least, wearing a beard may improve your sex life. A 2008 British university study found that women think men with facial hair make for better romantic partners. A better sex life is undoubtedly a health benefit in many, many ways. Who are we to argue?
Now, if you’re a woman, you’re obsession with beards is perfectly understandable, as well. Why?
- For one, you prefer mature men. A man with a beard is almost always more masculine and it gets back to the primitive idea that a strong man is a better provider and will be a better family man. It’s evolutionary psychology, not just hearsay.
- You prefer bearded men because they’re more attractive than non-bearded men. There’s no shame in that. And we’re not just talking about how good his beard looks, but almost everything he wears looks good because he’s bearded. It has even been said that a man wearing grungy sweats and a T-shirt still looks better than a clean-shaven man in nice clothes.
- Oh, and you like what your pogonophile qualities have brought you: a masculine, strong, handsome man that makes other women jealous. And it makes you look like a real woman, not one who’s satisfied with a whimpering, whining, clean-shaven lad on her arm.
So, embrace your inner (or outer) pogonophile, friends. There are legitimate reasons for being one and more power to you in how it manifests itself in your life.
As always, we’d love to hear from you. Do you consider yourself a pogonophile or know someone who is? We truly appreciate your questions and comments and promise to respond promptly. Until next time.