Thinking of going au naturel and cultivating a facial forest? Hold it right there. You might be more attractive to the opposite sex than you think – and relaxing your grooming routine could have a detrimental effect on your pulling power.
According to new research, the more men who grow beards, the less attractive facial hair becomes to women, proving that it doesn’t always pay to follow the pack.
After being shown a succession of pictures of bearded blokes, women consistently rated clean-shaven men more attractive, researchers at the University of New South Wales found.
The study of 1,453 women involved them being shown images of 36 men’s faces, with the first 24 being exclusively bearded. The final twelve included a mix of differing facial hair styles – some of them clean-shaven.
Women consistently rated the smooth-faced men higher on a scale of attractiveness than those with beards of moustaches – showing that daring to be different and standing out from the crowd sends popularity soaring.
Individuality often translates as confidence, which could explain the spike in desirability for the well-groomed .
While we at Bluebeards are all for the clean-shaven look, there’s no denying that stars such as Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake and Liam Hemsworth have sparked a flurry of facial-haired imitators in recent years, leaving only a select crowd, including a newly clean-shaven Brad Pitt, to fly the fresh-faced flag.
With a daily razor date conveying an air of self respect, men who do so have also been shown to enjoy greater career satisfaction than their bearded counterparts, with better promotions and bigger salaries coming as part and parcel. A study conducted by Behavioural Ecology proved that better-groomed men enjoyed greater overall success at work, and with just 8 out of the 86 men on the Forbes 100 Richest People in the World list sporting a beard, it’s all the evidence we need!
With facial hair having gone so “mainstream”, it appears that we may now well have reached “Peak beard” – and the best time yet for men on the lookout for ladies, luck and a lavish lifestyle to give up the ghost and shave it all off.