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Do Women Really Find Bearded Men More Attractive?

Do Women Really Find Bearded Men More Attractive?

Guys on the dating scene are always looking for their best shot at locking down a lovely lady. Men go out of their way to dress to the nines, plan fancy dinner dates, and take their conversational skills to the next level. All those aspects are well and good, but there's supposedly a much easier way to become the ultimate eligible bachelor: women love a man with facial hair.

That's the popular belief, at least, but does science back it up? Here at The Beard Club, we decided to investigate…

Man and woman under the sheets

A 2020 study by Barnaby J. Dixson and Robert C Brooks aimed to decipher the role of facial hair in women's perceptions of attractiveness, and the results were undeniable.  After judging a number of pictures featuring men with varying degrees of facial hair, the vast majority of women found full-bearded men to be the top dogs in the mix. Women saw men with full beards to be the most healthy, and the best suited to parenting.  As a matter of fact, the study showed that as facial hair length increased, the men were viewed as more masculine.

"The results showed women were more attracted to those who had some sort of facial hair"

These findings were doubly confirmed by another study published by the Journal of Evolutionary Biology in 2016.  This study asked over 8,500 women to rate men with different lengths of facial hair. The ladies were presented pictures of men who were clean shaven, wearing light stubble, heavy stubby, and a full beard.  Once again, the results showed women were more attracted to those who had some sort of facial hair.

Bar chart of facial hair styles
This graph shows data from the 2016 study published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology showing that facial hair of any kind is more attractive than a smooth clean shaven face.

The study also found that women were not only more attracted to them, but expected to have longer relationships with men rocking a beard.  Facial hair, in general, was viewed as an indicator of a "male's ability to successfully compete socially with other males for resources," as they "render men with an older, more masculine, socially dominant and aggressive appearance."  

To break things down even further, the same study showed men with full beards to be the most masculine, aggressive, and socially mature, while light stubble was preferred for both short and long-term partners.  In other words, anyone who wore some type of facial hair was found to be more attractive in general. It doesn't matter what type of facial hair you have. As long as you're sporting something, you can expect to be viewed more favorably by the opposite sex, statistically speaking.

Four mugshots of man with different beard styles
The selection of faces used in the survey.

While scientific studies consistently show positive results for bearded men in a very controlled abstract settings, we've seen the same results play out in the real world as well. 

AdonisClothing, a US-based online store focused on men's apparel, started to pick up on something with their listings. They had a sneaking suspicion that product pages where the male models had beards led to more purchases when compared to those with clean-shaven men.  AdonisClothing estimated their shopper base to be roughly 70% female, so they decided to run a rather sneaky test that provided definitive results.

comparison photo of man in green shirt with and without beard
Clean shaven and bearded versions of the same model photo, used by Menswear retailer Adonis to test female shoppers' response.

The company ran a 15-day test unbeknownst to their shoppers.  When browsers would visit any apparel listing, they would get a page that showcased either a man with a full beard or one without any facial hair.  Absolutely everything else in the picture was exactly the same, minus the addition of some digitally-added whiskers.

Believe it or not, the tracking of 36,000 visitors over the 15-day period showed the bearded pictures to outperform the clean-shaven options by nearly 50%, leading to a 33% increase in total sales.

Science aside for a moment, there are countless real-life examples that are just obvious. Take Jason Mamoa aka Aquaman aka Khal Drogo, it's pretty clear which version is better.

Comparison photos of Jason Momoa with and without beard
Sorry Jason, the data doesn't lie. Stick with the beard.

Between the multiple scientific studies and real-world applications, there's no denying the power of facial hair.  If you're looking to make the best impression possible with the ladies, a full-on beard or even a covering of stubble can work wonders. 

Guys have thought for a long time that beards are best, and now we know the vast majority of women agree!  

Man trimming his beard in front of a mirror