It is no big secret that beards have become increasingly popular throughout the years. And while the lumberjack look may be making a comeback, it appears that there is more to it than meets the eye.
A study that was published not too long ago in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology titled ‘The Masculinity Paradox: Facial Masculinity and Beardedness Interact to Determine Women’s Ratings of Men’s Facial Attractiveness’ seems to suggest men with beards make better boyfriends than those without them. For this study, almost 9 thousand women were asked to rate different men on whether they thought a relationship with them would last or not. The men were both with and without facial hair and of course in a variety of selections in regards to those with beards. They found that the men with beards were thought to be able to last much longer in relationships than those without.
That being said, they also noted that these women rated the men with beards as more attractive as well. Clean shaven men were deemed more suited for casual relationships or mere hookups which is not something I personally would have assumed. Even just light stubble was enough to make a man more attractive to the women who took part in this study.
Although preferences for masculine faces were reportedly stronger when considering short‐term than long‐term relationships (Little et al., 2002, 2011), we found that ratings for all faces were lowest when considering shorter‐term attractiveness than other rating conditions. Further, preferences for somewhat more masculine men were higher for general sexual attractiveness and long‐term relationship ratings than when rating for short‐term relationships, wherein slightly feminine‐looking and unmanipulated faces were most attractive. Extremely masculine and extremely feminine‐looking males were least attractive, irrespective of relationship context. However, although we used well‐established techniques to morph faces to vary in masculinity, whether or not our experimental approach extends to natural variation in craniofacial morphology will be important for future research to determine. Previous studies have reported that preferences for men’s beards are stronger than for clean‐shaven faces when considering long‐term relationships (Neave & Shields, 2008; Dixson & Brooks, 2013). In the current study, stubble was judged as the most attractive overall and received higher ratings for short‐term relationships than full beards, which were more attractive for long than short‐term relationships.
With all of that being said, this is merely one study. It is nearly impossible to conclude that all bearded men make a great boyfriend without further research. Do you think bearded men are better?