Are you contemplating growing a beard but aren’t sure if women we’ll find it attractive? Obviously, no two women are the same, so while one woman may find a beard wildly attractive, another may be completely put off by it.
But what is the general consensus on beards? Read this guide from Beard Gains to find out what women think of beards.
Do Women Like Beards? What the Science Says
There’s a surprising number of studies looking at beards, many of which have to do with women’s attraction to them. However, most beard-related studies are relatively small, and the results may be influenced by factors such as familiarity and culture.
For example, in 2008, UK researchers looked into females’ perception of men with beards. The study surveyed 60 women and found that men displaying full beards were typically considered more aggressive and masculine and perceived to be older. Additionally, women tended to perceive men with light beards as the most dominant and men with light stubble as the most attractive in terms of short-term and long-term relationships.
Another study published in 2013 confirmed these findings. However, this study theorized that menstrual cycles might influence women’s preferences for beards. Additionally, the study theorized that women’s preferences might vary based on the type of relationship they’re looking for.
The study found that women also perceived men with fuller beards as more masculine and that this effect was more pronounced for women in the fertile phase of their menstrual cycle. However, the men rated the most masculine wasn’t consistently rated as the most attractive, and a medium-sized beard was found to be the most attractive in this study. Many studies suggest that women find men with slight stubble the most attractive.
Results may also vary based on sexual orientation and familiarity. A joint study done in the Czech Republic and Brazil found that gay men had a stronger preference for beards than straight women. The study also found that Brazilians had a stronger preference for beards than those from the Czech Republic. However, this may have to do with the familiarity effect, as beards are more common in Brazil than in the Czech Republic. However, a 2014 study found that some women prefer beards when they are less common.
Beard Length Matters
Beard length is a vital component of attractiveness. Researchers from the University of New South Wales, Australia, surveyed 351 women and 177 heterosexual men to offer opinions on men with various beard lengths.
Participants rated bearded faces for health, attractiveness, masculinity, and potential parenting ability. The participants ranked men with heavy 10-day stubble as the most attractive, whereas men with light stubble received the lowest scores from both male and female participants. While participants found medium-level beards to be the most attractive, interestingly, they perceived full-bearded men as better fathers who would be protective and invested in their offspring.
Related: 5 Most Popular Long Beard Styles
Why Women Dislike Beards
So, what’s going on with the women who don’t find beards attractive? After looking at the studies, it may seem logical to conclude that women consider more masculine men more attractive. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. Studies find that women often find masculine faces more threatening and aggressive.
But this isn’t the only reason why some women dislike large beards. Often, women associate big beards with dirtiness. Many believe thick beards are full of bacteria and can breed parasites. Unfortunately, there is some truth to this belief, as beards that aren’t cleaned daily may contain parasites and feces particles.
Additionally, one study found that about 69% of men don’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom. And, as we’ve learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us tend to touch our faces too much, so this may be how unwanted particles wind up in beards. So, ensure you’re cleaning your beard regularly (and washing your hands) to ensure you’re not turning off women.
Click here to learn how often you should watch your beard!
What About Mustaches?
Women find beards attractive to some extent. But how do women feel about mustaches? Salvador Dali, the surreal artist with perhaps the most recognizable mustache in history, once said in an interview that his mustache was “the most serious part” of his personality. However, mustaches now seem to be a thing of the past, with the assumption that only the most dapper or hipster of men can pull off a mustache.
One dating site surveyed women’s preference for facial hair. Of the 2,500 women surveyed, only 6.44% preferred mustaches alone, whereas 43.27% of women preferred beards alone. However, most women preferred fully covered faces, as 50.29% of women stated they preferred a beard with a mustache.
To Beard or Not to Beard
As highlighted by the above studies, women find beards attractive. While most women prefer medium-light level beards, some women appreciate full beards, especially if they’re looking for a long-term mate!
One thing that’s certain is that women don’t like men with dirty beards, so make sure your grooming game is on point. With no-shave November just around the corner, now is the time to grow out your beard, but make sure you’re keeping up with your grooming!
Check out our beard care products to help you keep your stubble in good shape!