It can be tough. Potentially months of solid beard growth removed in one fell swoop. Whether it was a personal choice or a forced decision, sometimes, shaving a beard or mustache can leave you looking or feeling pretty weird. So, what can you do about it?
Giving it time will help get you past the awkwardness you may feel after shaving your beard. But focusing on skincare, changing up your hairstyle, or simply leaving behind some stubble next time should also help.
Although most men can get over a dislike for their new, freshly-shaved face by simply giving it time, it’s worth digging a bit deeper into this problem.
Before giving you 5 tips for getting through this awkward phase, I’m going to go through 3 key reasons why men feel so strange once they’ve shed their facial fur.
Let’s get to it.
Why Do People Look Or Feel Weird After Shaving?
Not all of these may be relevant to you. But there’s a great chance that at least one of them will be. Bear them in mind and it may well be enough to see you through.
People tend to dislike change. It’s natural but works against us sometimes. It’s what stops us from experimenting and having fun, particularly when it comes to style and fashion.
Facial hair is no different. There’s a good chance that a close friend or relative may have seen your beard for the first time and recoiled in shock. They may not have been a fan, but quickly got used to it.
It’s usually not the case that the beard didn’t look good – it’s just that it was so different to the you they know and love.
The same goes for your opinion of your new, freshly-shaven face.
Getting rid of a beard is a lot quicker than growing one.
This rapid transformation from bearded to beardless can be difficult to get to grips with at first because it’s so different from the look you’d grown used to.
It’s not that you look “weird” clean-shaven. It’s just that you look different and people – including you – might find it hard to come to terms with this change.
The next reason is nostalgia or longing for the past.
Growing a beard can be an intensely personal experience. Some men spend a lot of time on them – brushing, combing, oiling, balming, and so on.
For many men, growing one becomes a sort of hobby. For others, it simply becomes a part of their identity.
You become known as a “bearded guy” and most people tend to enjoy this new tag on their identity. It can be easy to get attached to this new identity; this often happens without you even realizing it.
Once you’ve shaved off that beard or mustache, it’s pretty common to wish you could get this old identity back.
This often manifests itself as feeling like you look weird without the beard, even though to most others you look perfectly fine.
3. The Look
This last one is different.
While the other two reasons were mainly to do with mindset, this one is to do with how shaving your beard can actually change the way you look – sometimes for the worse.
Sure, growing a beard can add a few layers of “masculinity” to a man’s face. Shaving it off can lead to some regret over losing this.
But more importantly, losing your beard can pretty drastically change the shape of your face. It doesn’t literally change the shape of your facial bone structure.
But the beard can definitely make the shape of a face look different – often for the better. It can make a round face look less round, or a short face just a little longer. It can add strength to the chin as well.
Shaving off a beard can do the opposite. That length and strength you added using the contours of your beard is going to be swiftly removed.
This can make the face look rounder and shorter than you might have gotten used to with the beard.
Or, it may just reveal a chubbiness or asymmetry that was previously covered up by the beard.
None of this is a major issue or anything you can’t get over. But here are some tips to help see you through or prevent the awkwardness.
5 Tips For If You Look Weird After Shaving Your Beard
Again, even if all of these aren’t entirely relevant to you, there’s a good chance that at least one of them will be.
1. Give It Time
Although this may not be everyone’s favorite tip, I’ve left it right at the top because it’s the most important one.
For the majority of men, this is all that’s necessary.
As I explained earlier, unfamiliarity with your new look and longing for your old look are the key reasons why you “look weird” or “feel weird” with your beard gone.
It’s the quick transformation from bearded to beardless that’s got you down. Within the space of 15 minutes (or less) you’ve completely changed the way your face looks.
This can take a week or two to get used to, but there’s an excellent chance that others don’t find your new look as offensive as you do.
On the contrary, there are plenty of not-so-beard-friendly people who probably prefer it.
2. Leave Stubble Next Time
Maybe, you could consider not going all the way next time. Don’t get me wrong – if your workplace (or life partner) dictates that you have a clean-shaven face, this may be out of your control.
But you’d be surprised how leaving a bit of stubble behind can take the sting away from saying bye to that beard.
You don’t need much – heavy stubble is incredibly versatile, but even a bit of light stubble might be better than nothing.
It makes your transformation just a little less drastic and eases you into the transition. It’ll leave some facial hair behind to remind you of the good ol’ days.
Plus, stubble can do a lot more to the shape and structure of the face than it may be given credit for.
It can add shadowing, definition, and contouring to the bone structure of the face. Heavy stubble can also add just a bit of length and prominence to the chin as well.
If you wanted to draw the eyes toward the chin even more, you could sculpt the stubble into a goatee. Goatees are great for round faces because they draw more attention to the chin and give off the illusion of a longer face.
3. Focus On Skincare
When the facial skin is buried under layer upon layer of beard hair, it can sometimes get neglected.
It doesn’t get as much light, moisture, or general attention as a clean-shaven face that’s on full show all the time.
Because of this, when you shave your beard you may notice that your skin isn’t quite as good-looking as it was way back before you even grew a beard.
This can be one reason why you feel as though you look “weird” after shaving your beard. It’s another way you may look different to how you remember.
It’s been neglected, so it’s time to show that skin some love.
The key to this will be cleansing and moisturizing. It isn’t a quick fix, but a daily routine will definitely help.
4. Change Up Your Hairstyle
Remember how shaving your beard can leave behind a face shape you may not be used to? One that looks rounder or shorter now that the glorious contours of your beard have disappeared?
You can use the hair on your head to compensate for this.
Head hair can elongate or adjust the shape of the face, just like a beard can. Don’t forget this. If shaving your beard has made your face look rounder or shorter than you would like, add some height with your hair.
For example, style a pompadour, quiff, or even a faux hawk. You’ve got plenty of options.
Plus, changing up your hairstyle could be a good opportunity to express yourself or make a style statement now that you don’t have any facial hair to do that with.
5. Go Back To Bearded
This may not be an option for some men. As I mentioned, going bearded isn’t exactly a choice for everyone.
But if you’ve got the choice, here’s what you should do.
As per tip no. 1, give it time. I’d say 3 to 4 weeks of being shaven at least. This should be enough to time adjust to your new look and you can reasonably expect to get used to it within this time frame if you’re ever going to at all.
If after this trial period you’re still struggling to come to terms with the absence of beardedness, strongly consider returning to it.
Even if it’s just a short beard, there’s a good chance you just love having one and it’s not worth denying yourself the joy.
Again, this may not be an option for you. But if it is, honestly – just go for it.
There you have it. No quick fixes; just tips and tricks to help get you through the difficult early phase or make decisions going forward.
Whatever happens, try not to stress too much about it. At the end of the day, that beard will grow back if you really wanted it back.
But it may well be worth giving clean-shaven life a proper chance beforehand.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.