FRE0 saidI ignore fashion. I stopped shaving in 1974 because I became tired of dealing with the incompatible combination of tough beard and tender skin. There really was no satisfactory way for me to shave. If I shaved closely enough to be socially acceptable, I had trouble with ingrown hair, pimples, and bleeding. So, when I felt that it had become at least slightly socially acceptable to stop shaving and that it would not impact my ability to support myself, I stopped shaving.
It seems strange that for many years the fashion of shaving was foisted upon American men. If people want to shave and if it is a quick and painless operation for them, OK. But it ought to be optional.
I thought it was optional except for some professions/jobs.
There was a long period, roughly from the early 1920s to the early 1970s, when it was generally socially unacceptable to have any facial hair except perhaps for a very light mustache and even that was suspect. Even sideburns were unacceptable if they extended below the middle of the ear. It was either conform or suffer consequences and the consequences could include restricting employment opportunities.
When I was a boarding school preppy, one of the students would be playing a part in a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. He was also the organist at the local baptist church. In preparation for the operetta, he was growing long sideburns. Because of the reaction of the church congregation, he had to shave off the sideburns. That was in 1955.