Can I Speak To Your Beard?

“When Someone Has A Problem with Your Beard, Remember This… That’s Not Your Problem.”

“Beards Are An Acquired Taste. Don’t Like Them? Acquire Some Taste.”

“Awesome dads have tattoos and beards.”

Does a beard make you more approachable?

One thing that I have noticed over the last couple of years is that since I started growing my beard, more people engage me on the trail. When I was clean-shaven, most times I would barely get a nod from other folks, but now I am drawn into full-blown conversations with my fellow hikers. Even children speak to me (of course they think I look like Santa). But is it the beard? Is it the power and epic awesomeness of the beard that draws people in? 🙂 I can’t answer that question.

In a paper from 2014, it was found, however, that bearded men were found to be more trustworthy than our clean-shaven counterparts. For the life of me, I can’t figure that out.

Why am I writing about this you might ask? I really have no idea. I just saw this photo and figured I would make some observations. I’ve mentioned my beard in the past but as it grows longer, the more it grows on me (no pun intended). If you have been following my blog, or you know me, you know that I prefer solitude when I hike. I am am not a big people person when I am on the trails. As a matter of fact, I am not a people person period. Say that three times fast.

So will these kinds of forced interactions make me more of a people person and will I now choose to go out of my way to interact with hikers I don’t know?

I’m thinking that the answer to that is…no.

Let me know what you think. If you see a bearded gentleman and he doesn’t look like a crazed killer (or even if he does), are you more likely to say something to him than someone without a beard?

(If I haven’t said this already, I can write about just about anything,)


8 thoughts on “Can I Speak To Your Beard?

  1. Linda DeFeo Cascioli

    Well it would appear, from my briefest of investigations, that most serial killers are clean shaven! Perhaps, then, it could be some deep pre historic genetic thing that makes “talking to the beard” acceptable at a primal level! Besides…can a kid really take the chance that you’re not St. Nick or Gandalf?


  2. Barb Knowles

    🤔 I love reading. And I consider two things that are important in what I read. One, it has to be a mindless page turner OR it has to be something that really makes me think.

    The latter is usually a philosophical thought or an historical event. But this post actually falls in the second category. I’ve always wondered how you don’t spill on your beard a lot. But I’m the queen of spilling things at every meal so maybe that would only be a problem I would have.

    The only men I have known to grow a beard without trimming it or shaping it, and letting it grow forever, are career military officers the day after they retire, and professors. Which is interesting given your past.

    Maybe this was a “light” post for you, but it really made me think. As far as being a people person, who knows? It’s definitely a conversation starter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Zen Hiker Post author

      As usual, you are 100% correct. After I was removed from my previous position I decided that I had no one left to impress so I let it grow. And this is where I am today. I do have to take care when I eat so I don’t get all kinds of food in my beard. Obviously, some foods are easier than others to keep out of my beard, but isn’t that half the fun??? The only thing I will disagree with you about is that I have seen some bearded folks who do look like crazed killers!! Not a good thing!



    I don’t have a beard. Can’t grow one worth having. I have tried. I do row my own hand painted zen boat and hike my own hand cut trails. Still, I believe that even without one I’ve been fairly trustworthy and a pretty good Dad. I to much prefer solitary hikes, or rows, as I continue my trek forward, beardless, towards Zen. I liked this piece though. But think I’ll remain clean shaven. To each his own! Have a great day! Enjoy your hike, and your beard. Just an Adirondack Outlaw, living in the day I am in.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Zen Hiker Post author

    Thank you so much for replying to my post. First, I love the sweatshirt that you are wearing on your blog. Second, I love your blog. Lots of really interesting posts about an area of NY that I really haven’t been able to explore. Now that I have retired (teacher), I would like to head north as most of my hikes are in the Hudson Valley. Also please know that I wrote that with a great deal of sarcasm and in no way think any less of someone based on how much facial hair they have or don’t have. Maybe someday our paths will cross on some trail somewhere. I am going to spend some more time going through your blog. Take care and Happy Hiking!


  5. sparklyzazzyme

    Maybe a beard gives you more of a “through hiker” look? That might be a good thing to bump up interaction on the trail 🙂


    1. The Zen Hiker Post author

      Yes!!! When my beard was at it’s longest (I had to trim it in the hospital and after a water heater pilot light mishap!) people would stop me all the time and ask how long I had been growing it. Kids would even call me Santa! As a matter of fact, before I retired in March, my students at the high school where I taught called me Santa, Always funny!!! Thanks very much for the comment!!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s