• Sciencenow


Men may now think twice about reaching for a razor. A new study shows that facial hair says a lot about a man and that attractiveness peaks at the “heavy stubble” phase.

Researchers photographed 10 men at four stages of beard growth: clean-shaven, five-day “light” stubble, 10-day “heavy” stubble and fully bearded. Then, 351 women and 177 heterosexual men viewed the photos and rated each face for attractiveness, masculinity, health and parenting ability. Women ranked heavily stubbled faces as the most attractive.

Participants said that the clean-shaven men looked about as healthy and attractive as those with a full beard, but they rated the bearded men higher for perceived parenting skills.

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