on trend


Do Women Like Bearded Men?

January 19th 2017
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Masculine hairiness is a serious matter. Not just for all the hipsters frequenting stylish barber shops, and who go in for the latest cosmetic products in the field of facial hair beauty and grooming. It’s also a serious matter for eminent researchers – biologists, historians or sociologists – who write studies about them. Of all the questions that occupy these scientific minds, there is one that is primordial: are beards an instrument of seduction destined to please women? FAB carried out its own investigation…

Beard Or No beard, That Is The Question 

A “bad boy” style with three-day stubble, seven-day “lumberjack” style, a trimmed, oiled and perfumed beard for dandies, or several months of growth in “biker” style. There are beards for all tastes and all men, and thus, we can assume, for all women too… unless they prefer clean-shaven faces.

Photo credit: Baxter of California

All over the world, the beard’s power of attraction is a subject of debate. An Australian study in the very prestigious Journal of Evolutionary Biology has declared: women prefer bearded men. The authors even give details: three-day stubble for a brief fling, and longer, thicker beards for a lasting relationship. On the other hand, a Canadian-New Zealand study published by the International Society for Behavioral Ecology has found that beards are perceived by women as making someone older and more aggressive. In France, an IFOP survey established that 45 per cent of women find beards attractive, whereas 50 per cent are attracted by the softness of smooth cheeks. One point each. The debate is still not decided.

It’s All About Fashion

“Everything is relative”, stated Albert Einstein, who by the way, sported a famous mustache. In this regard, a study published in Biology Letters may perhaps be able to bring all parties together. It shows that bearded men are more popular with women when they are rare (in particular in the West), while clean-shaven men are preferred by women when hairiness is the norm – typical examples are in Mexico and India where mustaches are very common or in Muslim countries (Iran, Pakistan, etc.) where men more often wear beards.

So after all, it’s a matter of culture and historical period. The attraction of men and women to facial hair appears to be cyclical. The same applies to facial hair styles. In the West, beards were very often worn at the end of the 19th Century, then mustaches were popular in the 1920s and ’30s, before they went out of fashion. In the 1990s, it was the metrosexual era, and body hair was shaved or removed. Now, some are saying that hipster beards will soon reach their peak in popularity

Why Do Women Like Bearded Men?

Isaiah Webb, AKA Incredibeard, a wacky American, beard sculptor, declares that women are attracted by his beard. The greatest admirer of his beard is his wife Angela, who strokes, smooths and models it. A large number of his followers are ladies. On Facebook, Isaiah posts funny cartoons that illustrate women’s passion for his beard in a humorous way: “Does she want me or my beard?” asks one.

Photo credit: @incredibeard

Philippe Dumas, a 60-year-old model with a flamboyant beard, confirms: “A beard conveys virile and reassuring poise. And in general, women look for a companion they can rely on. A beard ages a man’s face. Some women find a paternal side to it, which they may enjoy.” Scientific studies go along with this. They find that, to women, beards are a symbol of virility. Vigorous facial hair growth is unconsciously considered by these ladies as proof of a man’s fertility, an indicator of his level of testosterone, essential to the reproduction of the species. Most people would say, no doubt more prosaically, that a beard brings out a man’s sexy and animal side, which ladies don’t find disagreeable. Some studies remind us that a beard is a sign of the dominant male. Historically, beards were associated with positions of power (Medieval kings or barbarian warriors), wise men or intellectuals.

Photo credit: @dumphil

Apart from scientific theories, some women openly express their appreciation when they encounter a bearded man, especially if he has a stylish look that stands out from the crowd. For a man, a beard acts as an ornament that allows him to hide a part of his face that he may find unattractive, or else to draw attention to his eyes. And let’s not forget the little sensual pleasures conjured by the silkiness of a man’s beard or that divine prickling that women feel when they kiss and stroke the face of their bearded loved one. On the Bro Council website, Caitlin makes an urgent appeal to all men to let their beards grow, and she writes about her love for men’s facial hair: “A beard is like a blanket that keeps you warm in the winter months.” A beard appears imposing to other men and gives women security. Beards have been worn by great men in the past. Just look at Zeus, Jesus, Santa Claus, Abraham Lincoln… she enumerates with humor. With a beard, “you’re THE man”, Caitlin concludes.

So the archetype of the ideal man in all his splendor wears a beard? It’s finally up to each woman to decide.