Throughout human history, facial hair has served as a symbol of power and overall manliness. In ancient civilizations, beards were a sign of honor. In the Middle Ages, touching another man’s whiskers was considered offensive and grounds for a duel. These days, beard growers are perceived to be more respected and high status, but do women like facial hair?
The short answer is yes. A study published in Evolution and Human Behavior revealed that women rate men with heavy stubble (vs. clean shaven or fully bearded) as most attractive. Another study found that light stubble conveys dominance and is preferred by women for both short- and long-term relationships.
The Zoosk population echoes the same feeling. According to a poll conducted among thousands of Zoosk users, 64% of males say they have facial hair. And, that’s a good thing, considering 80% the Zoosk’s female respondents said they are okay with, and even attracted to, men with extra scruff.
But, before you ditch the razor, remember: Not all facial hair styles are created equally.
Although the stubble—light and full—wins, specific facial hair patterns can impact attractiveness. Zoosk women rated the goatie as the most desirable facial hair. The soul patch, on the other hand, was rated least attractive.
When you compile the data, having some facial hair can be a bonus for attracting the opposite sex—especially if you’re growing facial hair for a worthy cause, such as the annual Movember event, which encourages beard growth to raise awareness of prostate cancer.
Whether you decide to grow a push broom or a nose neighbor, your choice doesn’t have to be influenced by what other people think. Go ahead and try the Abe Lincoln look or sport some muttonchops; the right partner will still love you in all your bearded glory.