Beard Science

A neat article:

Researchers from the University of New South Wales, Australia took photographs of 10 men when they were clean shaven, at 5 and 10 days without shaving and with a full beard. They then asked 351 women and 177 heterosexual men to evaluate what they thought of the men in various phases of beard growth. Each face was rated for attractiveness, masculinity, health and potential parenting ability.

Women chose men with a heavy 10-day beard as the most attractive and both women and heterosexual men chose men with full beards as the best with perceived parenting skills. Men with light stubble (5 days of growth) got the lowest scores across the board from both men in women in all categories.

According to the researchers concerning 5-day growth “a threshold of density and distribution may be necessary for beards to function as an attractive signal.”

Researchers also tested women who were on contraceptive pills and determined that women who were highly fertile and ovulating increased their score of men’s masculinity rating compared to women not ovulating. But interestingly, the phase of fertility that women were in had no effect on their impression of a man’s attractiveness.

They conclude that stubble conveys maturity and manliness, with less aggressiveness implied by a full beard.

Interesting study, still I’d like to see it re-tried in a few other European nations, as well as maybe East Asia, and the Middle East, where facial hair are viewed differently to rule out cultural differences.

H/T Mrs. Weer’d

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3 Responses to Beard Science

  1. AZRon says:

    A blade hasn’t touched my face in 28 years. (Just a trimmer) I undertook voluntary (I think) celibacy 19 years ago.

    I’m guessing that I’d be less than a blip on the researchers radar. Then again, I wouldn’t volunteer to answer questions, or be paraded in front of people willing to play this vain game.

  2. Stuart the Viking says:


    On the topic of beard science, I had a (rare) conversation with a bearded acquaintance recently and he claimed that in the summer, his beard acted to disperse the heat from his face (I’m guessing like a heat sink) and therefore he felt cooler with the beard than he would without it (we live in Florida where it gets HOT and muggy). It didn’t sound very plausible to me, but since the topic is up, I thought I would get your opinion on the matter.


    • Weerd Beard says:

      It certainly holds water and sweat away from the skin. hair is an insulator so it can’t conduct heat like a heat sink, but since it can aid evaporation, it can act like a cooling tower.

      i don’t keep my beard mountain-man-thick, so I don’t know about how hot those are, but mine doesn’t overheat me, and breaks the wind very well.

      and when I sweat it cools quite niceley.

      so that’s my scoop.

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