Facial Hair in Men

Facial hair in men is a secondary sex characteristic that develops during puberty. It includes hair growth on the face, such as beards, mustaches, and sideburns. The extent and type of facial hair can vary based on genetics, age, and hormonal factors. Facial hair can have cultural, social, and personal significance for men.

What are Men's Facial Hair Called?

Facial hair is the hair that grows on a man's face and can vary widely in style, length, and location. Some of the most common types of facial hair include beards, which typically grow on the chin, cheeks, and neck and can be worn in a variety of shapes and lengths, from a short goatee to a full, bushy beard. Mustaches, which grow above the upper lip, are another popular option and can be worn on their own or combined with a beard or goatee. Sideburns, which grow on the cheeks in front of the ears and sometimes extend down to the jawline, are another common type of facial hair. Other styles include soul patches, Van Dykes, stubble, and the 5 o'clock shadow. Facial hair can have cultural and social significance and is often used by men as a way to express their individual style and personality.

Significance of Facial Hair in Men

The significance of facial hair in men can vary based on cultural, social, and personal factors. It can be a symbol of masculinity, maturity, and wisdom, as well as an expression of individual style and identity. It may also affect perceptions of attractiveness and social status. In some cultures, facial hair may have religious or ceremonial significance.

However, personal preferences and grooming habits also play a role in the significance of facial hair for men. Here are a few points elaborating on the significance of facial hair in men −

Symbol of Masculinity

Facial hair has long been associated with masculinity, and growing a beard or moustache is often considered a sign of manliness. In some cultures, growing a full beard may be seen as a rite of passage into adulthood.

Personal expression

Facial hair can be a way for men to express their individuality and personal style. Some men choose to grow and maintain a specific type of facial hair as a way to stand out or make a statement.

Social status

In some societies, having facial hair may be associated with social status or power. For example, in ancient Egypt, pharaohs and other high-ranking officials were depicted with elaborate beards and mustaches.


Studies have shown that women tend to find men with facial hair more attractive and masculine than those without. However, individual preferences can vary, and not all women may find facial hair attractive.

Religious and cultural significance

In some religions and cultures, facial hair may be required or encouraged as a sign of piety or adherence to tradition. For example, in Sikhism, male followers are required to grow their hair and beard as a symbol of their faith.

Grooming habits

Ultimately, the significance of facial hair for men may depend on their personal grooming habits and preferences. Some men choose to shave regularly, while others prefer to let their facial hair grow out naturally or trim it to a specific length or style.

Men's Facial Hair and Religious Beliefs

Facial hair can be of significant importance in various religious traditions, particularly for men. Here are a few examples of how facial hair is viewed and practiced in some major religions −


Many Muslim men grow beards as a sign of religious observance and adherence to the teachings of the Quran. The Prophet Muhammad is said to have encouraged his followers to grow beards and trim their mustaches, and many Muslim scholars consider it a religious obligation.


In Sikhism, male followers are required to grow their hair and beard as a symbol of their faith. The uncut hair and beard are considered sacred and should not be altered in any way.


Orthodox Jewish men may grow beards and payot (sidelocks) as a sign of religious observance and devotion to God. The tradition is based on a biblical injunction against shaving with a razor.


In some Christian denominations, such as the Amish and some Mennonite groups, men may grow beards as a sign of piety and separation from the secular world.


In Hinduism, the practice of growing a beard is not mandated or prohibited. However, some Hindu saints and gurus may grow beards as a sign of spiritual devotion and wisdom.

Facial hair practices can vary widely among individuals and communities within each religion, and not all men in these traditions may choose to grow facial hair.

Men's Facial Hair in Ancient History

Facial hair has been a part of men's grooming practices since ancient times. Here are a few examples of men's facial hair in ancient history −

Ancient Egypt

In ancient Egypt, men of all social classes commonly wore beards, which were often styled and decorated with jewelry. Pharaohs and other high-ranking officials had especially elaborate beards, which were sometimes false beards made of metal.

Ancient Greece

In ancient Greece, beards were a sign of masculinity and wisdom. The philosopher Socrates was known for his long, unkempt beard, while the warrior king Alexander the Great was clean-shaven. In the Hellenistic period, beards became less popular among the elite, and shaving became more common.

Ancient Rome

In ancient Rome, beards were seen as a sign of barbarism and were often associated with enemies of the state. As a result, most Roman men shaved regularly. However, during the reign of Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD, beards became fashionable among the elite.


The Vikings, who lived in Scandinavia from the 8th to the 11th centuries, were known for their long, bushy beards. Beards were seen as a sign of masculinity and were often braided or styled with metal ornaments.

Ancient China

In ancient China, beards were often associated with barbarism and were seen as a sign of inferiority compared to the clean-shaven Chinese elite. However, during the Ming Dynasty in the 14th century, beards became fashionable among the ruling class.

Facial hair practices varied widely among cultures and social classes in ancient times and were often influenced by factors such as fashion, religion, and social status.


Likewise, men's facial hair can take many different styles and forms depending on the context, and it can have a variety of cultural and social meanings. From beards and moustaches to sideburns and stubble, men have a wide range of options when it comes to grooming their facial hair. These styles can be used to express masculinity, individuality, or fashion sense and can also be influenced by religious, historical, or cultural traditions. Whether you choose to grow a full beard or keep your face clean-shaven, your choice of facial hair can be an important part of your personal style and identity.

Updated on: 20-Mar-2023


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