Before we get any further, there is a huge difference between a man with a beard and a man who is trying to grow a beard. When I say "man with a beard," I don't mean those people who grow out tufts of wispy hair on their faces or people who can't get their mustache to connect. Those are not beards, and those are not men with beards.
1. Do not ask us to shave it.
In some cases, we've spent months growing this thing out and grooming it. We don't ask you to shave your head "just to see what you look like." Don't ask us to screw around. We'll shave it if we want to, and then probably grow it back out in three weeks.
2. It will tickle when we kiss you.
And you will love it. If you do not love it, we don't care. See no. 1 if you think we're going to do anything about it.
3. We're not all hipsters.
There were beards before there were hipsters.
4. We're also not all lumberjacks and outdoorsmen.
All lumberjacks have beards. Not all bearded men are lumberjacks.
5. It doesn't mean we're hairy everywhere, weirdo.
Just please keep that in mind. Just because we have a hairy face doesn't mean we've got a thick, glistening coat of back hair.
6. Yes, you can stroke it.
No you can't pull it. Just go easy. No braiding either. That doesn't fly.
7. We have care products specifically for it.
We might have more stuff than you have for your hair. It's important to groom a beard. If we didn't use this stuff, it'd feel like a brillo pad. Please don't use up our beard oil because it makes your hair more manageable.
8. We need a little extra shower time to shampoo it.
This shouldn't be weird to you, but you're going to think it's really odd the first time you see it. It's one of those things you never think about until you see it firsthand, like fish going to the bathroom in the ocean.
9. We're going to get food stuck in it.
This is the price you pay for manliness. It's not so bad when we're eating a steak, but don't invite a bearded man to eat a mission burrito with extra guac with you. This should be done in a room by themselves.
10. We're going to shed like a dog.
R.I.P. your bathroom sink. We'd clean it up but we're too busy having an awesome beard.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.