Beards are definitely in style and they seem to be springing up everywhere. There's an unspoken bro code when a man sees's another man with a good looking beard. It's respectable and it's like being a member of a special club. You may give each other a nod as you walk by or a quick hello and it's just a way of saying "hey, nice beard!" but what are women thinking about this beard trend?
It's obvious that the majority of men love a great looking beard but do women feel the same? If you're a single male this is going to have the greatest effect on you since you're out dating and trying to meet new women. If you're married it may have a lesser effect but not all wives are as vocal about their opinion on appearances so let this article be your guide into the mind of women and their thoughts on bearded men.
What Do The Studies Say?
There have been many studies done on this subject and you'll typically find someone picking a single study to verify their point of view. I rather combine the outcome of many of these studies to get the best results. This way I can show you what women are actually thinking about your beard and remain completely unbiased.
Here's what we found...
Clean Shaved & Light Stubble
Men who are clean shaved or with very light stubble were found to be on the bottom of the scale on attractiveness when compared to men with facial hair. Which is a big problem for single men working in an environment which requires them to shave.
This category accounted for the lowest percentile average out of all studies we looked at. So does this mean you should grow a beard in order to attract more women? This answer is not necessarily... because the next category was found to have the highest sex appeal and you're not far away from it.
If you typically sport a heavy stubble as a single male then you're in luck because this style is considered the sexiest facial hair style among women. For most men, this is going to be 3-4 days of beard growth. The trick is keeping your facial hair shaved to maintain the heavy stubble look.
It's one of the hardest facial hair trends to keep because there's a fine line between sexy stubble and just looking like you need to shave. There are trimmer dedicated for the stubble look which can help with this and it's what I would recommend using if you're going to go this route.
The Full Beard
Full beards were found to be the second most attractive option. The studies also showed that full beards made men appear as better parenting partners, father figures, and appeared more masculine. The thicker the full beard was the more attractive and higher perceived masculinity was.
This beard style was also associated with being more mature and a sense of "having it together". As a single male, you'll do well with either the full beard or heavy stubble but I recommend avoiding most other types of facial hair which I'll address next.
If your goal isn't to be more attractive to women and you want to sport facial hair the full beard is a solid go-to choice. It's easy to maintain and manage and it's an all-around solid choice.
Other Facial Hair Options
The majority of other facial hair styles weren't very appealing to women. These studies showed images of these facial hair styles and none of them ranked very well. This includes goatees, mustaches, long beards, sideburns, and other forms of facial hair.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't ever try them. It can be fun to experiment with different facial hair styles. They're much easier to shave off and change out compared to hairstyles. So have fun with it if you want to but if you're trying to date around maybe stick to the heavy stubble or full beard if you can.
If you're unable to grow facial hair don't worry because a clean shave is better than light stubble.
If you're curious about the deeper details of each of the studies to see how they compared or just want to see the individual results we looked at here are the studies we looked at: Study 1, Study 2, Study 3, Study 4, Study 5.
So, What's That Mean For You?
Fortunate for us we live during a time period where beards are in and women also find them attractive. It's like the perfect storm when we're accessing facial hair in the world of dating, relationships, and attractiveness. Will this trend hold up?
It's difficult to say how long any trend will last but you should enjoy it while it does. Another thing we found while researching this topic was that beards were found to be even more attractive when there were fewer beards around.
Basically, when a beard fad dies down and men start shaving again, the men who keep their facial hair appear even more attractive. So if you're able to grow it out it's worth keeping it even if you begin noticing all your friends shaving.
Don't just take our word for it or the combination of statistical information from multiple studies. The video above by BeardBrand is an out in the world interview with different women to see their first impression and response to beards. Most of these women line up with the studies we dissected.
Do You Have Trouble Growing A Beard?
If you have a difficult time growing a beard you're not alone. A lot of men have trouble growing a beard they're happy with. Some of the problems are just being able to grow a beard in general but there are other problems that plague men and beards.
The biggest issue is beard thickness. Most men believe their beard doesn't grow in thick enough but this can be combated by using a beard pomade. It's the waxier paste version of a beard oil that usually uses a beeswax base. Using a product like this can help make your beard appear thicker.
The second biggest issue is the way the beard grows in. Everyone's going to experience beard growth in a different way but this issue is usually when the beard grows in patches. The cheeks may fill in first and then the chin etc... instead of growing in all at the same time. The only way around this one is to wait it out and give your beard more time to fill in.
If you're having issues growing a beard you're not alone. Don't let these problems prevent you from growing your beard because most men experience these troubles and you just have to stick it out and grow it out.
Age Is A Factor In Beard Growth
If you're 18 and trying to grow a full beard you may be in trouble but it isn't your fault. Even though women love a full beard you may not be the right age to grow one. Studies show that the median age for men that can grow a full beard is 24 with the most beard gains starting at age 30.
If you're a bit younger you'll likely want to shoot for the heavy stubble instead. It's going to be easier to achieve for you and when you've added a couple more years under your belt shoot for the full beard then. It's difficult to fight with genetics and better to work around it.
What Age Were The Women?
One factor that stood out from the studies was that as women got older the beard became less required. They still found beards nice but it wasn't as big of a factor as it was for younger women. Women between the ages 20-35 were more likely to make a bigger deal over beards.
Oddly enough this almost matches the time frame where men have better beard growing capabilities. This could be a coincidence but it's also possible that these women notice the beards more because men at this age can finally growing decent facial hair and full beards.
What's The Final Verdict?
If you can grow a beard your best options are either heavy stubble or a full beard. If you have trouble growing a beard stick with being clean shaved until you can or feel like attempting it. Anything else like goatee's or long beards are out!
Always keep your beard well maintained and use a good beard oil to make sure it looks healthy and smells great. The way you take care of your beard is just as big of a factor as it is being able to grow one.