Looking for love? Science says your beard could be helping or holding you back from snagging yourself a date.
An Australian study says facial hair strongly influences people’s judgments of men’s socio-sexual attributes.
According to Barnaby Dixon and Robert Brooks study ‘The role of facial hair in women’s perceptions of men’s attractiveness, health, masculinity and parenting abilities’ (2013), the most attractive beard length is “heavy stubble,” which comes after about 10 days of growth.
Heavy beards, light stubble, and clean shaven were all equally considered less attractive than heavy stubble.
Science says that each length of beard sends a different signal to potential partners.
“Facial hair correlates not only with maturity and masculinity, but also with dominance and aggression,” Dixon and Brooks say.
“An intermediate level of beardedness is most attractive, while full-bearded men may be perceived as better fathers who could protect and invest in offspring.”
The researchers also found that facial hair affected women’s perceived fertility of men as well.
The more facial hair a man had, the more masculine a woman perceived him to be — especially while in the fertile phase of her menstrual cycle.
Dixson and Brooks came to their conclusions by showing pictures of 10 smiling men at different stages of beard growth to 351 women and 177 heterosexual men.