In middle school, some may have thought a boy with hair on his face was just gross. The ones wearing it were proud, refusing to shave any little bit they had. In most cases, it looked dirty or out of place. Now, as we grow older, the beards may not have the same effect.

A popular tradition that is currently underway is what’s known as “No-Shave November.” All month long, people all over the country participate to support the American Cancer Society.

“The goal of No-Shave November is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free,” according to its websie no-shave.org.

The site asks people that participate to donate what they would spend on shaving for the month to cancer. It has become more than just a cause. People do it to have some fun during the month when it goes from cold to colder. This year, Phi Mu Delta fraternity is putting on a No-Shave event on Monday, Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. in the Angell Collge Center Warren Ballrooms. Programmed similar to a pageant, men will perform talents and show of their beards to a panel of judges from the Greek community. All men who are interested are welcome to compete in the evening’s event.

In past several years, more people who can grow full beards, or any facial hair, have been letting it grow freely.

“I started trying to grow a beard probably sophomore year of high school,” senior Ezra Hodgson said. “I failed pretty hard until senior year of high school.”

He claimed he didn’t reach “peak manly beardness” until sophomore year of college. A full beard isn’t the only option, however.

“My favorite type of beard is (Actor) Idrias Alba’s,” junior Lateef Wearrian said. “I really like the goatee look, but I like the chin strap too.”

Mustaches, van dykes, soul patches or muttonchops — the list goes on. Each type represents a different personality that can pair only with the right person.

“I, personally, never really have liked facial hair on a guy. It’s kind of just like a gross factor,” junior Mel Iglody said. “You’re lazy and you don’t want to shave, so you just have facial hair.”

Now that she has gotten older, Iglody has found that it depends on the person that is wearing it. She said if it looks good and it is well-maintained, it could actually look good and suit the person, rather than add to a lazy, roll-out-of-bed look.

This newer trend has taken the professional world by its roots and has developed a culture change. Hodgson had recently conducted a survey about beards. When analyzing, he found that men trust people with full beards.

“So, I’m going to keep the beard and keep looking like a grown-up because if I take the beard off, I look like I’m 14,” he said. “And you can’t look like you’re 14 when your applying for a job.”

Wearrian also has the same outlook, claiming to look 10 years old when he shaves his face clean. When looking into the professional world, the fate of facial hair depends on the industry.

“It depends on the company or organization you’re working for and how relaxed they are,” Director of the Career Development Center Julia Overton-Healy said. “There are no absolutes.”

She said, regardless of the industry or type of employer a person works for, a well-kept and groomed face is always preferred.

“If you’re going to go to Google, I don’t think they’re going to care because they’re so relaxed,” she said. “If you were going to go to Wells Fargo, the investment management company, they’re probably not going to think too well of someone with a big ‘ole beard.”

She also mentioned that there is an image an interviewee is trying to project. If the industry is open and welcoming to a more casual appearance, then a well-groomed beard will make the cut. Telling a student to have a bare face for an interview is rare, unless it’s for a highly conservative company.

“I will, however, suggest you get a haircut, trim up a bit, and clean up,” she said. “You’re all adults, and you know you should dress up and show your best self to an employer.”

Looking outside the professional world, some people that grow beards have traditions that they have started themselves or have jumped on the bandwagon with.

Hodgson has a finals week tradition. His full-grown “man-beard” becomes a monkey tail for the entire week.
“It brings good luck to both me and those who see it,” he said.

Email Lisa Scivolette at lisa.scivolette@cardinalpointsonline.com.

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