Study Asks, ‘Has The Beard Trend Made Beards Less Attractive?’


In a study of 1,453 bisexual or heterosexual women, researchers at the Australian University of New South Wales found that the more women were exposed to images of bearded men, the more likely they were to find clean-shaven men more attractive, and vice-versa.

The women were shown 36 images of men’s faces — “the first 24 pictures were exclusively of bearded or clean-shaven men, while the final twelve offered up a mix of facial hair styles.” As they viewed each picture, they were asked to rate each man’s attractiveness on a scale of four to negative four.

In a classic case of supply and demand, the women who saw lots of beards found themselves more attractive to men without them.

Head researcher Professor Robert Brooks said that men who grew beards to be more sexually attractive may have lost their allure as facial hair became more popular among other guys. “We may well be at peak beard,” he quipped.

But if you're a bearded man not trying to attract a female, please carry on just as you are, you bearded wonders.

(image via)


  1. Kess says

    What I mean is that focusing on beards as trends is ridiculous. I love bearded men, well, except the Hollywood closet cases who “date” women in order to appease redneck bigots. We should be focusing on that beard phenomenon.

  2. Jean says

    @lucca let me guess…you’re an uppity leftist who thinks it’s not racist to mention that he’s white, but you think it *would* be racist if the guy in the photo was non-white and someone pointed it out in the same context? 😉

  3. jake john says

    luckily we are not women nor do we care what women think about our attractiveness.. BEARD LIVE ON!

  4. UFFDA says

    Beards, especially the mere stubble kind, are definitely a trend, or, say, a fashion. If you don’t think so just check out the kinds in the 19th century where many forms prospered, especially the ridiculously puffed out sideburn kind. Men’s hair and facial hair have gone through all kinds of trends. Which fade away and then come back. They all become “cool” because most of the boys jump on the same band-wagon.

  5. Lazycrockett says

    Isn’t there evolution theories on this? Women prefer less hairy men cause it cuts down on blood sucking insects i.e lice, crabs etc. Less hair less weakened immune system.

  6. jason says

    What is the point of this article? What women think of men? Who cares!!!!

    Men should be able to do whatever they wish. Women are irrelevant. Women should be more concerned about the horrors they inflict on each other with their jealousy and envy towards other women.

    Women are caught in a competitive spiral with each other to see who can look the “sexiest”. You only have to look at the women’s magazines – they are totally obsessed with appearance as well as this demand that women must look sexy. It’s not surprising that these magazines are heavily funded (through advertising) by the fashion and cosmetics industries.

    Memo to women: nobody cares what you think about men, and nobody ever will.

  7. Darwin says

    @Crockett: Wrong. From an evolutionary perspective, beards (and body hair) protect men from deadly disease carrying insects like mosquitoes/malaria, thus providing evolutionary advantage.

  8. Rick says

    @DARWIN Well, I have plenty of body hair and I still got malaria. Mosquitoes are more resourceful than that. Try again.

  9. says

    So the study concluded that the law of diminishing returns applies to desire for bearded men? That after seeing a bunch of shaven or bearded men, women want something different and will go after something different? Doesn’t everyone have a threshold for anything and will crave change after so long? I know that in order to know this someone would have had to conducted the study, but should we really be surprised by the results?

  10. TJ says

    @Gerry-White guys are hotter?…to you! That what people have been conditioned and socialized to believe that if “it’s white, it’s alright”. Have your preferences but don’t generalize or show your stupidity/arrogance/ignorance.

  11. Droc says

    Lucca, feel free to find another site, this site is not for you. Adults visit here.

    As for beards, on most men they make them look worse, but they are always better than just a mustache.

  12. Dback says

    Women are also much more likely to choose tall men–at least, taller than they are. Definitely some discrimination going on there, but it may be based on a few thousand years of evolution.

  13. will says

    There is no evidence anywhere (“from an evolutionary perspective”!) that facial or body hair protects against any disease — or “disease-carrying insects”. “Evolutionary advantage” my ass. Somebody’s peddling fake science. LINK PLEASE.

  14. NOTICE says

    young, bearded, and white is a whole consumer demographic in my hipster laden city.

    i made my husband shave off his massive beard last night. it will grow back, but hopefully not until this fall. giant beards in the water and sun are lame.

    i’m afraid this trend is going to get much worse before it gets better.

  15. simplet0n says

    @darwin on the other hand, men in the tropics, where malaria is more prevalent, have shed their beards, evolutionarily speaking. Beards in temperate regions protect against cold; in the tropics, nah, not much use. In fact, it’s a disadvantage as it accumulates germs and insects.

  16. Randy says

    “the women who saw lots of beards found themselves more attractive to men without them.”

    I don’t think that’s how it works… showing women lots of beards makes clean-shaven me find those women attractive?

    Exodus may just re-open their business.

  17. TonyC says

    I am B O R E D!! Be creative. Dye your beard/ cut it differently.. Something a tad different.. Beard = normal. Remember when long hair anywhere on the body was you rebelling against society.. My Catholic High school.. The rule was you could have long hair but it could not touch the top of your shoulders.. These brothers( Jesuit order) watched us come to school and we all stuck our hair under a shorter WIG!! What a dump!! That’s a true story & in Middle Village NY. Thank god for the brother that taught us four years of Latin.. He was the only normal one

  18. Nelson says

    Being a child of the 60,s and therefore a gay man of the Castro era, I still cannot find any interest in a man without facial hair. Or who , god help us, shave all the masculinity (aka, hair) off their chests. Male still=hairy in my book. A very RARE book, obviously…..:)

  19. Rod Roddy lookalike says

    Another man here who doesn’t give a rat’s ass for what others think of my full beard, which I am growing longer. If I end up looking like one of the guys from ZZtop, so be it. I wear/keep a beard because;

    1) I am a man and I am able to do so, and,
    2) I love being a hairy man, beard included.

    I don’t wear a beard for anyone else but myself. If another man finds me attractive they by hairy or not, great! Enjoy our collective manhood and celebrate it!!! I – and my fellow males – are just breathtakingly beautiful! A natural male, hairy or not, is a wonderful thing!!!

    If anyone doesn’t like seeing men with body hair, and/or beards, DON’T LOOK!!! Beards are beautiful, and men are beautiful. To me, and many men I’ve met over the years, question why ANY self-respecting man would even consider removing any body hair “outrageous,” and any man who IS ABLE to grow a beard and chooses not to, a bit odd.

    Again, men – in their natural state – are beautiful, be they hairy, semi-hairy, lightly-furred or smooth. I just question why ANY man would want to remove their body hair, and DON’T tell others who don’t like it to “go to hell.”

    Really. And – yes – sincerely. I am not ashamed of being a man, and celebrate it, DAILY.

  20. vitkor says

    Unfortunately most guys with beard don’t look the model on the photo. They more or less look like the neckbeards on reddit.

  21. Paul R says

    I don’t understand why anyone would care about, much less obsess over, what other people find attractive. Obviously everyone has their preferences. Is that really news? And you’re not going to convince anyone that they’re wrong or misguided because their preferences differ from yours. I would think that gay people would know that pretty well.

    It remains slightly amazing but also strangely sad that so many comments try to promote such a black and white view of things. Tats are hot/tats are disgusting. Beards are hot/beards are disgusting. Fat guys are hot/fat guys are disgusting. Trans people are hot/trans people are the scum of the earth. A, B, and C are required to be a man, much less an attractive one/No, only X, Y, and Z.

    It’s like when I was a kid and heard others arguing over whether Donkey Kong was better than Pac Man or Galaga was better than Space Invaders, then hearing the same fights 20 years later about the XBox v. Wii. I love people with strong opinions, but that hardly means that everyone needs to be the same.

  22. johnny says

    “A natural male, hairy or not, is a wonderful thing!!!”

    I second this opinion. Let nature take it’s course.

    Beards (if you can grow one) and chest hair are nature’s way of saying “You are a man”.

    And yes, they tear up your partner’s face and body during love-making and it’s a sweet, sweet pain that I enjoy immensely. Nothing better than feeling a man’s beard or scruff rubbing on my skin, thank you very much. Just a nice, natural reminder of what I’m attracted to and why – and a reminder the next day of what I enjoyed the night before.

  23. UFFDA says

    What a bunch of nonsense – I AM A MAN, I HAVE BIG HAIR. Big deal. Get over yourselves.

  24. Tom says

    No, I love facial hair, just don’t too much care for the Hatfield or McCoy type beard.

  25. Jaysonn says

    I have had a beard for my entire adult life. I take care of it, keep it somewhat short, use conditioner on it and it is as soft as the hair on my head. My man loves it.

  26. Moz's says

    since the majority of men are clean shaven then logically per this study beards will be in for a long time