A beard study from Australia found that men who put the razor away and grow a healthy amount of scruff perform better with women.
In the study, published this month in the Journal of Evolution & Human Behavior, researchers showed photos of 10 smiling men in various lengths of beard to 177 heterosexual men and 351 women. The beard study showed pictures of each man with a freshly shaved face, five days of stubble, 10 days of stubble, and a full beard.
The clear winner was the men with the heavy, 10 days of stubble.
The least attractive men in the beard study were those with light stubble and clean shaven.
“In contrast, men rated full beards and heavy stubble as most attractive, followed closely by clean-shaven and light stubble as least attractive,” the study found. “Men and women rated full beards highest for parenting ability and healthiness. Masculinity ratings increased linearly as facial hair increased, and this effect was more pronounced in women in the fertile phase of the menstrual cycle, although attractiveness ratings did not differ according to fertility.”
News that heavy scruff is more attractive comes on the heels of another beard study suggesting men with heavy facial hair are healthier. Published in the Radiation Protection Dosimetry Journal, the beard study found that heavy facial hair protects skin from UV rays that cause premature aging.
A heavy beard is able to block up to 95 percent of UV rays, depending on the length of the hair, the study found.
“A balding, bearded surfer will have more sun damage and pre-cancers on their heads than they will on the top of their faces,” noted Nick Lowe, a Lond0n-based dermatologist.
Beards are not only healthier and more attractive, but they apparently create better parents as well. The Australian beard study found that men with full beards were perceived as better fathers who could protect and invest in children.