A lot of men tailor their grooming style towards what they feel makes them most attractive to the people they care about. This inherent trait has made male grooming products a major part of the cosmetics industry estimated to worth millions of pounds. The idea of what the ideal grooming habit for men is has evolved through history. In the 17th century, bearded men as people generally perceived it as a representation of a high level of sexual prowess.
The 1700s introduced a new perception about what polite masculinity looked like. This era came with the idea that beards were a rough look for men, and promoted smooth and soft faces as the socially acceptable “public face”. Men’s barbers were also responsible for shaving them, and their skin care; hence, the word “barber” was a very broad term. However, with the emergence of the 18th century grooming habits, men started shaving themselves due to new product innovations introduced by cosmetic manufacturers.
The bearded habit returned to fashion in the 1850s particularly due to the British men; a typically Victorian man was usually displayed donning a thick patriarchal beard to match his “manliness”. However, not all Victorian men were seen to sport beards, these were many facial hair styles that still needed some facial hair removed.
One thing that can be learned here is that; each age comes with its own acceptable fashion hair styles, and this has constantly forced cosmetics companies to move with the times. With the expansion of the range of male cosmetics in recent times, it is even harder to keep up with the trends. The recent craze for bearded mean seems to be dying off and we are moving back into an era that demands less facial hair. Understanding this creates an awareness that it was never about whether beards were better or not, it was always about what was socially acceptable at different times.