The Urban Gent – Why I grew a beard (and why you should too)

Courtesy of The Urban Beardsman - Pictured is Eric Bandholz, the founder of Beardbrand, a beard care company that sells products like beard oil and beard shampoo.

Courtesy of The Urban Beardsman – Pictured is Eric Bandholz, the founder of Beardbrand, a beard care company that sells products like beard oil and beard shampoo.

This article is the first installment of “The Urban Gent” – a recurring men’s blog dedicated to style and class. If you’re looking to write or have any critiques, e-mail the blog’s founder, Joseph Sykes, at or start a conversation in the comment section below.

By Joseph Sykes | Sports Editor

Back in high school, I got in trouble a lot. Don’t get too excited; it wasn’t for anything cool like partying or cutting class. No, it was for failing to shave.

Yes, the beard I so lovingly cherished was once my enemy. I was tasked with shaving every day in fear of getting a detention, but toward the latter half of my senior year, I said, “Screw it,” and merrily took a pink slip almost once a week, in turn earning me the nickname “Grizzly Adams” from my American Government professor.

So when I started my undergraduate career here at Duquesne, you could bet that I let my facial locks go, and I most certainly did. In fact, coming up on graduation, I could probably name only two times I had to take a straight razor to my face: The first was the morning of my sister’s wedding and the second was the day I interviewed for my internship.

You may think that behind this bearded curtain lies an insecure demeanor – a demeanor that is afraid of the “baby face” look that a clean-shaven look provides. But rather, it’s just fun to have one. Below I listed a number of reasons why I grew a beard, and why I continue to sport one. So keep reading if you wish to gaze into the mind of an Urban Beardsman.

It’s Time Saving To Grow A Beard.

This is probably the biggest reason many people keep facial hair, including myself. I don’t have to shell out 20 bucks anymore for overpriced razors (Gillette) or spend the time actually shaving, so I can do more bearded things like building cabins or writing this blog in nifty little cafés. Huffington Post even reported a study, which stated that men could spend up to 3,350 hours dedicated to shaving in their life. Bummer.

Beards Are Fun to Take Care Of!

Like the hair on your head, beards need to be washed, shampooed and groomed. This may sound like more work than shaving, but there are plenty of products that make facial hair look, smell and feel amazing.

One of my favorite companies that specializes in beard care is Beardbrand, a startup founded in Portland three years ago by Eric Bandholz, who has even been featured on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”

Beardbrand sells quality beard oil and shampoo, which help nurture the hair follicles and skin underneath in order to keep it looking healthier than ever. If you currently sport a beard, or wish to in the future, I highly recommend you check out their website at so you can view some of their products.

In all honesty, I love waking up and making my beard look great. To me, it’s an art form.

They’re Healthy!

Earlier last year there was a widespread Internet rumor that insisted that beards were a haven for e-coli and other disturbing particles. Of course, my own mother caught wind of this and begged me to shave. However, I was quick to tell her that the rumor was false, and showed her an article published by Men’s Health that shunned the it once and for all.

In fact, they’re even healthy for you! According to the Huffington Post, “your scruff can block 90 to 95 percent of UV rays, preventing wrinkles and decreasing the risk for skin cancer.”

Growing a beard is also great for keeping skin moisturized and warm, as well as reducing allergy symptoms all at the same time!

They’re Associated With Great People.

Some may argue that having a beard gives off an air of laziness and being unhygienic. Well there’s boatload of famous people who donned beards that were up to more than riding motorcycles or doing keg stands in wooden canoes they made with their bare hands.

Guys like Dumbledore, Abraham Lincoln, Ernest Hemingway and Sir Ian McKellen all sported beards, and what are they known for? WISDOM. So yeah, if your looking to, you know, lead a superpower, write an epic or save the Shire from the likes of Sauron, grow a beard.

So, if you’re a guy, just think about growing one. It may be impossible for you to do so whether it’s because of the workplace environment or just genetics in general, but that’s okay. Let’s all just think a little differently when it comes to beards and try not to label guys who already have them, because in the end, we’re just people too!

Comments are closed.