While 2020 will always be known as the year COVID infiltrated the United States, it was also inherently a year of beards. According to WWD, The "Corona-Beard" was men’s new quarantine hobby in 2020.

If someone said that growing a beard was a hobby pre-pandemic they might get some odd looks.  But, now that social situations have been limited, lockdowns put in place, and social distancing measures enforced, it's understandable that focusing on facial hair could be a hot topic because, well, what else is there to do.  Even I have unknowingly participated in the trend.

There are a few reasons why men are growing out their facial hair.  It seems as though it is more a matter of convenience rather than a true hobby to commit to.

One of the most obvious reasons is that way less people are at physically at work.  Employment often equates to professional environments which means looking clean and well groomed which in turn means that shaving must be a regular part of the routine.  But, now that less and less people are considered "essential" and are working from home, the pressure is off and appearances can be a lot more casual.

Another reason is simply due to masks. I'm sure everyone can agree that we miss the no mask days.  But, there is a silver lining for those of us that grow facial hair.  Masks obviously cover beards so why bother shaving when no one will see it anyways?  This reasoning probably pertains to lazier guys like myself and is perfect for those who hate having to shave every week.

Finally, according to sources like Medium, beard growth can also be tied to mental health. 2020 caused a large shift in mental health for many which unfortunately means that self care often decreases.

I and many other have embraced the beard during COVID, and you could too!

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