Every man grows a beard at some point in his life. But that’s not to say that it’s a good idea. In fact, science now supposedly confirms that while a beard makes you look older and of higher status, it makes you less attractive to women.
The research, conducted by Barnaby Dixson and Paul Vasey from New Zealand and Canada respectively, tried to get to the bottom of human perception of bearded men. The researchers took photographs of 19 men with full beards and then asked the unthinkable — for them to shave. Then, they took more photos so they could compare the reaction of 200 different women to the same individual with and without a hairy face.
The results were conclusive. Women — both Europeans and Polynesians — said that the men looked significantly more attractive when clean-shaven. They also reported that bearded men looked older and of higher social status. When men were asked to look at the same photographs, they reported that bearded men looked more aggressive.
Nick Neave, a psychologist from Northumbria University, explained to the Daily Mail that a man’s ability to grow a beard is nothing to do with making them attractive to women. “[M]ales’ faces and bodies are probably mostly designed to fend off other males and what females like is neither here nor there,” he explained.