There are a lot of misconceptions about growing a beard. Here is a list of them...please contribute your thoughts and maybe we'll make this a permanent link.
1. Myth: A beard should look complete in 2 to 3 weeks. Reality: It takes 2 to 3 MONTHS for most guys to have a complete beard.
2. Myth: If my beard has not filled in by the time I'm 20 years old, it never will. Reality: Beards improve throughout the 20s and 30s, sometimes into the 40s and 50s. Most guys are in their mid 20s before it fills in completely.
3. Myth: Beards make you hot in the summer. Reality: Beards can actually make you feel COOLER in the summer because it shades your face and acts like an evaporative cooler when you sweat and get a little breeze. In particularly humid climates some guys report the beard makes them uncomfortable, but it is not clear whether shaving it off will help.
4. Myth: You should shave for an interview. Reality: Most employers that are not anti-beard in general will not discriminate against a guy wearing a nice, groomed beard. In fact, many times it helps the employer remember the candidate, and it may also give the illusion of additional experience and confidence. In cases where the company has a no-beard policy, the interviewer will likely inform the candidate of this restriction, and this information should help the candidate decide if he wants to work for such a company.
5. Myth: My wife/girlfriend thinks my beard makes me look like a homeless child molestor. Reality: Often times it is the CHANGE that she objects to and she will use hyperbole to shock you into changing back by shaving. It takes time to adjust, sometimes up to a year, and in most cases, she will come around. But if you let her use these sort of tactics or withholding affection to get what she wants, you are only encouraging this type of behavior. A better approach is to discuss WHY you are growing your beard and how it feels to you, and ask for patience, understanding, and tolerance while you journey down the bearded path.
6. Myth: A beard requires connectors between the moustache and goatee to look good/complete. Reality: If you look around, you'll see lots of guys with missing connectors, but chances are you never really thought "Great beard, if only the connectors were filled in". The truth is that when looking at other people we tend to see the beard as a whole and how it suits the man, not the missing parts. But when looking at ourselves, we focus on what is not perfect. It is a good idea, however, to even things out. If one connector is weak or missing, shave the other to match. Symmetry is much more important that complete fullness.
7. Myth: Shaving makes the beard grow back faster/darker/thicker. Reality: There is no evidence it does any of these things. It CAN make the stubble LOOK like it is coming in thicker because the blunt ends of the hairs when cut reflect light differently.
Here are some new ones with some minor editing. Original author in parenthesis. We will end up with more than 10 I can see that now. Anyway, I'll paraphrase these a bit before finalizing the list, but please comment if you disagree.
8. Myth: Only dark beards look good. Reality: Guys with fair haired (blond, red, grey, white, light brown etc.) beards have the potential to grow excellent beards though it may not seem that way until the beard gains some length. This is the result of how the color reflects sunlight. Multi-colored beards can sometimes make the beard look even fuller during a face-to-face encounter (bearding).
9. Myth: Beard inheritance (growth pattern, density, color, etc.) comes from the mother's side. Reality: Beard inheritance comes from both the mother and father. The myth comes from the belief that the "baldness gene" comes from the mother and therefore so do the beard genes. Experts have posted before showing this to be false as well as lots of anecdotal evidence. (Bearded in BC)
10. Myth: A barber is the best place to get your beard trimmed. Reality: More often than not, a barber will over-trim or re-style your beard especially if you are not very clear about what you want. It is generally better to get your own beard trimmer and trim it a little bit at a time until you reach the desired shape and length. (danofromco)
11. Myth: People will not accept me with a beard because most people don't have beards. Reality: You are you, and as long as you respect the integrity of others, what you do is your business. When one is centered in his core, his life will turn out as he wants it (thevman)
12. Myth: Having more than one color to the beard makes it look weird and ugly. Reality: Having multiple colors in the beard gives it a unique and distinguished look in the eyes of most people that appreciate beards. It is often only on ourselves we tend to find this some kind of deficiency. (ibruno)
13. Myth: There are products, such as Minoxidil and others, that will make your beard permanently denser, give you full coverage, or kick-start a budding beard on a teenager. Reality: Few products have demonstrated any improvement to beard growth. Minoxidil has demonstrated some success, but most report that the gains are lost when the usage stops. (dudebeard)
14. Myth: If I grow a beard, I will have problems when traveling because my passport or other ID shows me as shaven. Reality: Officials see hundreds of photos a day and are trained to look past as superficial as a new beard or different hairstyle. (danofromco)
15. Myth: I can't grow a full beard because I have a bald area on my cheek(s). Reality: In most cases with 2-4 months of committed beard growth, the bald/weak/light spots will fill-in or fill-over completely due to slower growers emerging or sufficient length that the some of the beard will lay down over the sparse area. (brint1212)
16. Myth: I won't grow out my beard because it grows in wirey and wirey beards are unattractive. Reality: Wirey beards when fully grown often take on a very distinctive shape that can be very distinguished. And even for those wirey beards that need taming, there are products such as BlueBeard's Original Beard Conditioner that can help. (brint1212)
17. Myth: All parts of the beard should grow at the same rate. Reality: Cheeks often grow in slower than the chin hairs and there is nothing wrong with that. Eventually the cheeks will catch up and with some trimming/shaping, the beard can look completely full once you've reached 2 or 3 months growth. (italianbeard)
18. Myth: Beards are itchy and scratchy. Reality: Most guys have little or no itching. For the ones that do, usually this passes in a week or two. If it comes back, it is probably related to dry skin or other skin condition, not the beard itself. And once past the stubble phase, most beards get significantly softer to the touch, so scratchiness is no longer an issue. (kovy09)
And here are the ones that I don't think are common myths. Please comment if you disagree and are not the original poster:
Myth: 'ALL BEARDS' enhance the wearers appearance.
In a 'small' number of cases the beard may need to be
reshaped or even shaved off. (kurt behm)
Myth: A corporate beard is less maintenance than shaving daily. Reality: A decent looking "corporate" beard requires at least as much time in the morning as a regular shave. (er, my experience, at least) (brint1212)
Myth: My beard will go grey when my head does. Reality: Beard hair and head hair are independent in just about every regard, including color and the rate they'll go grey. Some beards go grey many years before head hair, and vvs. (brint1212)
If I missed any, please let me know or add some more. Thanks!