Fear of Beards(Pogonophobia): Causes, Symptoms, Overcoming

Fear of beards, also known as Pogonophobia, can define as the phobia of beards is the irrational, persistent, and often unjustified fear of beards. The word derives from the Greek pogon (beard) and phobos (fear). Mothers often warn their daughters to “never trust a man with a beard or facial hair unless he is Santa Claus.” In the United States, there has not been a president with a beard since the 19th century.

The fear of beards or facial hair in other people can cause anxiety to a Pogonophobia. This can seriously affect your mental health and well-being. The phobia is known to affect thousands of people around the world.


Causes of fear of beard phobia

  • A variety of reasons can cause Pogonophobia.
  • There may have been a negative or traumatic event in the patient’s past related to bearded men.
  • The unconscious mind then creates the phobic response as a protective mechanism.
  • Facial hair is often seen as a sign of roughness.
  • The ‘dirty-unshaven’ look is associated with illness, misfortune, homelessness, etc.
  • Phobics think that bearded men “come from unsanitary places or do not have access to cleaning and shaving supplies.”

Untrustworthy stereotypes about bearded men, benign TV shows, or books depicting the trauma caused by bearded individuals can also trigger Pogonophobia.

  • After September 11, fear of beard phobia increased, as the perpetrators of the act were a group of bearded religious fanatics.
  • Some cultures and religious doctrines force men to keep facial hair. In western countries, however, the beard is considered old-fashioned.
  • The western depiction of Jesus is generally without a beard, although most Da Vinci’s paintings, including “The Last Supper,” show him with a beard.
  • Although the fear of beard phobia can affect all genders and ages, it is known that women are “uncomfortable” when there are men with beards.
  • A survey shows that most women don’t mind a bit of stubble or ‘five o’clock shadow,’ but a full beard was a ‘blackout’ for 9 out of 10 women who participated in the survey.

In America, the most famous bearded president was Abraham Lincoln. However, most of today’s political candidates, members of Congress, or presidents are known to prefer the clean-shaven look, as it “helps them gain the trust of their voters.”

You can also read: Fear Of Furniture: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

Symptoms of Pogonophobia

People living with Pogonophobia have to pay an actual price in health, careers, and social interactions. The problem has a significant impact on their quality of life, as patients experience different symptoms based on the level of fear. These include:

  • Difficulty breathing or hyperventilating around bearded men
  • Irregular heartbeat/palpitations
  • Sweating, shaking
  • Feeling anxious, nauseous
  • Having a full-blown panic/anxiety attack

Working men and women can face many financial shocks due to Pogonophobia.

  • They live in fear means that they cannot do their best in their career.
  • They cannot focus on bearded colleagues/bosses, so they may have to pass promotions and opportunities or suffer from poor performance or qualifications.
  • Research has shown that many social or specific phobias such as Pogonophobia can cost individuals tens of thousands of dollars.

Overcome the fear of beards

  • Doctors often prescribe anti-anxiety medications for Pogonophobia. However, these do not cure the phobia but can only temporarily suppress anxiety symptoms.
  • Talk therapy and psychotherapy are the best options to overcome and treat your fear of a beard.
  • Educating yourself about why some men wear beards is essential. It can help you remember that you should not be swayed by stereotypical notions about the beard and that not all bearded individuals are wrong or harmful.
  • Other therapies to overcome Pogonophobia include Hypnotherapy, NLP therapy, and CBT, which must be done under the guidance of an experienced professional.

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Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.

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