The Modern Gladiator | A Man's Guide to Living

Confessions of a Pogonophobic Stylist

on March 8 | in Cover, Grooming, Issue 19 | by | with No Comments

The beard trend started about five years ago, and I thought that trend would fade quickly. Little did I know about the late bloomer who picked up the trend years later and refused to give it up.

Beards were adopted by the sort of hipster men who live in the east side of big metropolises and dress like 18th-century carpenters, and as far as I know in August 2013 the death bell for this trend was rung!

R.I.P. beard trend!

This article is for those of you who did not get the memo. If you always sported a beard and don’t do it to be fashionable, just disregard this article…but if you are doing it to keep up with the latest trend, go get a razor, have a shave, and move on. Relegate beards to the style madness. If you grew a beard because your hipster next door grew one, you’re too late to the beard party.

Based on the introduction, you probably will diagnose me with pogonophobia. Here are few reasons why I am pogonophobic (from pogon, Greek for beard).

According to psychologist Joseph Messingera man who decides to hide his face behind a beard is usually going through a deep depression and is trying to use his beard as a protective wall. Let’s assume you need a break. It’s okay not to shave, but if you are trying to be stylish and attract women like that…just go shave. Recent studies show that bears are scaring a big majority of women.

The first study is showing that beards are dirtier than a toilet seat, and men wearing a beard are more likely to be sexist, fight, steal, and cheat. No wonder the ZZ Top style just gives me the creeps! Think Bluebeard, Charles Manson, Kaczynski, Peter William Sutcliffe…even Santa has many kids crying on his lap.


Not so sexy: Beards dirtier than toilet seats


Sorry, but your beard doesn’t make you seem more interesting.  Like a Greek proverb says: “A beard signifies lice, not brains.”

Beards may make you stand out, but you’ll have to bring more to the table than your facial hair if you want to keep the ladies interested…especially after Microbiologists in Albuquerque, NM recently found that men’s facial hair can contain as much bacteria as your average toilet seat. John Golobic, a microbiologist with Quest Diagnostics, swabbed a group of bearded men and analyzed the results to see how dirty the beards were. Golobic said that some of the men’s facial hair contained bacteria that you would commonly find in a toilet. (Yuck, who wants to kiss that!?)

Facial hair makes men more likely to be sexist, cheat, fight, and steal


Two new studies have revealed that those with beards are more likely to be sexist, get into fights, cheat on their partners, and steal.

The first study by Australian psychologists found that men with facial hair are more likely to have “hostile sexist” attitudes than their smooth-faced counterparts. The report, published Oct. 28 in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, examined more than 500 men from the United States and India. The subjects completed a survey that asked questions about their facial hair and gender roles. The results? Researchers said the hairy men were more likely to exhibit “hostile sexism,” such as the idea that men are superior to women and other negative attitudes toward the opposite sex.

A separate research revealed that men who have facial hair are more likely to cheat on their partner, steal, or get into fights.

The survey of 2,000 people by video network Eva and Censuswide found that 47% of men with beards had cheated on their partner, compared to 20% clean-shaven men. The study revealed that 45% of men with facial hair regularly got into fights compared to 29% of those with no beard. It also found that 40% of men with facial hair admitted to having stolen something compared to just 17% of non-bearded men.

Most women hate beards, but some men insist on wearing them


Another question posed by researchers was given to women; they were asked whether they preferred a bearded male as a significant other. According to the results, 65% said they would “never consider getting romantically involved with a beard-wearer.”

The research was conducted by Barnaby Dixson and Paul Vasey (from New Zealand and Canada, respectively), and tried to get to the bottom of human perception about bearded men. The researchers took photographs of 19 men with full beards and then asked the unthinkable—for them to shave. Then, they took pictures after they shaved, so they could compare the reaction of 200 different women to the same individual with and without facial hair.

The results were conclusive: women, both Europeans and Polynesians, said that the men looked significantly more attractive when clean-shaven. Please don’t tell me now that growing your beard has nothing to do with making yourself attractive to women, but your sole purpose was to stroke it and drip food on it while you’re sitting on the couch in your sweatpants watching football.

I hope that for all the reason above, you will excuse my pogonophobia! Although I generally prefer clean-shaven men, it has to be said that some men carry off facial hair much better than others, and if you insist on having a beard, just stick with the heavy stubble, maybe 5-10 day growth.

As always, your comments are welcome, and if you need help updating your wardrobe, contact me at or go to The Nouveau Style.


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