Why is the modern African man obsessed with wearing beards and sideburns?

Charles Ayitey Dec 31, 2019 at 04:00pm

December 31, 2019 at 04:00 pm | Opinions & Features

Charles Ayitey

Charles Ayitey

December 31, 2019 at 04:00 pm | Opinions & Features

There is a growing fashion sense among many African men today, well, modern African men.  From the thirst to build some muscles at the gym to slim fit attires, modernity seems to be redefining the already masculine look of the modern African man.

Transitioning from the afro haircut, bootcut-legged jeans of the 70s to slim fits in modern times, many African men are attaching a new sense of belonging to their looks. Call it a culture of belonging, men are now exploring new ways of looking more masculine – wearing beards and sideburns.

This was not the case in recent history as wearing long beards was often seen as an exhibit of unseriousness and irresponsibility, especially among conservative Africans.  In fact, in some extreme cases, employers denied prospective employees the chance to work particularly based on their facial appearance.

Things have changed now! Many urban African ladies are seeing well-groomed beards as sexy and an epitome of a real man. Those obsessed with this fashion can argue that wearing a clean beard exudes inner-confidence and some testosterone.

From Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa to Ghana, the fashion industry is inevitably cashing in on the facial hair trend. Urban men have no issue spending some cash in grooming their beards to look attractive. For those who cannot grow beards or sideburns naturally, there is a huge market of facial sprays and creams to quicken growth in weeks.

With price ranging from two to 10 dollars, you can get yourself a beard growth spray at any men’s groom shop in Ghana, for instance. But the huge demand has increased market surveillance as the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has raised concerns over the chemical composition of some of these products that often tend to be harmful to the skin.

As social influencers including actors, musicians, and even pastors flaunt their beards on billboards, social media handles, and television, the demand has gone viral as one could get hold of such facial hair supplements or creams by the click of a button.

With this, market surveillance has been very weak in Ghana and Nigeria as regulatory bodies are being inundated with fake products. In Ghana, for instance, the FDA has come out clear that all facial hair creams and supplements are not regulated and that consumers patronize them at their own risk.

Whichever way you look at it, the quest to look good is deepening among modern African men and the beard fashion-craze is no exception to this fast-growing culture!

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