Regarding the original thread question here, about WHY do men choose to grow beards, I have 2 main reasons. And as I wrote above, for me it's not because a beard is easier than being clean shaven. Instead I find a beard the higher maintenance of the 2 choices.
Rather, my first reason is pleasing my man, whether it was the guy I was dating at the time or my 2 partners (late & current). They're the ones who have to spend more time looking at this "kisser", not me. Same approach I have with other body hair. Let them decide for me, since they gotta live with it. That's a cause of my having gone through changes over the years. Plus having done drag a few times.
My second reason is to cover facial defects. Including the many blemishes caused by shaving, and letting my skin heal. One of my appearance problems is a large space gap between my upper lip and nose, which a mustache helps to minimize, as I'm wearing now. A long story:
On one occasion when I decided to shave the mustache off, after several years, I walked into my morning college ROTC class newly shorn. And one of my cadets blurted out: "Major Xxxx, you look like a chimp!"
The rest of the class was stunned into silence. These just weren't college students, but legally contracted military members with the official rank of cadet, until such time as they earned their Officer commissions as US Army Lieutenants. It was if I had told some Colonel or General Officer that he looked like a baboon (which some certainly acted like).
I saw by the cadet's expression he realized his terrible mistake. But believe it or not I don't have a Donald Trump-sized ego. So I assumed an evil grin, and calmly told him he might have earned himself punishment push-ups for the rest of his natural life. But the other cadets, knowing my humor, relaxed and laughed as he turned red, enough punishment for one day.
And of course he got no push-ups, I was no Drill Sergeant, and soon he was laughing, too. But it was a good opportunity for an impromptu lecture about military protocol & rendering respect to superior Officers (and to your subordinates as well, for that matter). A vital area of their future military careers most of them knew little about.
All prompted by my shaving off a mustache that morning. And realizing later in the day when I got to a mirror that I DID look like a chimp.