Growing out a beard can dramatically change a man’s look, but shaving one-off can be even more of a shock, revealing the dreaded post-shave babyface. Some say that the right choice of beard styles makes men’s faces look stronger and more masculine, while others argue that it all comes down to bone structure. We’re definitely not evolutionary scientists here, but we’ve compiled some photos of guys before and after grabbing the razor, and we’d like to know which one you’d rather ride off into the sunset with.
Beards certainly have their place in this world, and they do a lot more than just aiding in human mating rituals. Bearded men, especially with thick facial hair, can boast about having a healthy balance of bacteria in their stubbles that are actually good in keeping skin healthy, according to a 2014 study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection. Male hospital workers in the US who were in the habit of shaving beards had higher amounts of harmful bacteria present on their faces than their bearded counterparts, possibly due to the damaged skin often sustains after a shave. The youthful glow of a smooth look is worth a few nicks, though, and shaving has also been proven to scrape away dead skin cells.
It’s hard to say whether having a beard is healthier or not, but it’s undeniable that men with beards are either a hit or miss in aesthetics. Check out a whole list of before-and-after shaving comparisons below, and just try to believe that it’s the same person in each photo.