No-Shave November: Do Women Hate Our Beards?


| 6 Comments

This fall, I've been seeing a lot of scruff. Whether it's the boys from Boston growing out their playoff beards, brave souls pushing the limits of No-Shave November, or just misunderstood men trying to keep their faces warm, it's hard to escape. 


beard 2.jpg

I find it funny that our society has made beards, something which must have served some evolutionary purpose in our species' history, more or less a novelty. On an even smaller scale, I am constantly hearing women complain about men's facial hair this season. My favorite overheard comments from the gentler sex so far have been:

1.     "Baseball players are so hot, but I could never date one because they grow those nasty beards every year."

2.     "I wish my boyfriend would shave that ugly beard of his, but his stupid friend bet him he couldn't do No-Shave November."

       3.   "Beards are gross."

I can't even turn on my television without seeing America's sweetheart Kate Upton telling me she likes a clean-shaven man. (Note: this Gillette campaign is actually more geared toward hair on places... other than a man's face).


Is the clean-shaven look really the way to go? I've always felt that a clean-shaven face is nice, but a good set of whiskers really sets you ahead of the crowd when it comes to attractiveness. I decided to do some research to find out whether or not it's worth keeping my razor away for another few weeks.


I found a study done by the University of New South Wales, published by Nature World News, where 351 heterosexual women were asked to rate the attractiveness of males in a series of 10 pictures, each picture representing a different stage of facial hair growth. They even accounted for women's menstrual cycles and birth control pill intake to factor out bias.


The study found that women preferred neither a clean-shaven man nor a heavily bearded man, but rather men with a "10-day heavy stubble" look.

 

While the reason for this is ultimately up to the preference of each woman, the researches in the study offered an evolutionary hypothesis: perhaps women perceive lightly-bearded men as better fathers for their offspring.


Either way, most men were out of luck this year as November 10th fell on a Sunday. Sorry, weekend warriors. Hopefully your 9-day beard was handsome enough for the nice young lady you met at the bar while you drank away the memory of Penn State's loss to the Golden Gophers.


But there's still a question unanswered: what if you disregard women? If attracting a mate weren't a priority and I had some men to impress, would it still be worth growing out a beard?

 

The study also included 177 heterosexual men who were asked to rate the same pictures. Like women, men felt that bearded men were more attractive and had high parenting ability.


However, men and women disagreed on how attractive a clean-shaven face is.

Men rated a clean-shaven face slightly more attractive than having light stubble (5-day growth).  Women, on the other hand, rated a clean-shaven face as the least attractive stage.

 

With that knowledge, why then do so many negative comments about facial hair come from women?

 

Perhaps these comments are directed at those of us (myself included) who are growing out our "beards" before we've quite earned the right.


little-boy-beard.jpg

(Note: I am not the young man in this photo)


Either way: it's my beard and I'll grow if I want to.



6 Comments

It is funny that you did this article because a few of my guy friends are currently participating in no-shave November. I find it to be gross. I do not like facial hair. I can handle a little bit, but nothing too extreme. I also found it interesting that most women found a clean-shaven face to be the least attractive. I like a clean- shaven face probably the best. Again, like you said each person is different and find different aspects attractive. I found another article that did a study involving 200 women and pictures of men either clean- shaven or not shaven. This study found the opposite that women prefer a clean-shaven man. Here is the link below.

http://www.askmen.com/dating/news/2_women-prefer-clean-shaven-men.html

PERFECT article for this wonderful month of no-shave-november. It really amazes me how much fun guy shave not shaving for this month. Personally, I think they enjoy being hairy! In my opinion, a guy with a little bit of stubble is perfect. I don't like full grown beards, and baby faces...they kind of freak me out sometimes. It's funny that when it comes to a clean shaven face, I agree with most other women. But why do women hate clean shaven faces? I was interested to find out so I did some research. My findings were anything but surprising to me. This is for all you ladies out there!
http://globalgrind.com/2013/05/09/reasons-women-love-men-facial-hair-photos/
Although this isn't necessary "research" these are some reasons why us ladies like a scruffy man! Okay, but seriously, I found some research on stubble vs clean vs beard. I got some of the same findings that you did. I find it interesting that men with beards were ranked better for parenting. HOW does that work?! I'd really like to know. Lets face it though, women like the scruff, so keep it up boys! Here is the link to the article I researched.
http://news.sciencemag.org/2013/04/scienceshot-heavy-stubble-makes-men-more-attractive

Great Article I did a project on "No Shave November" in high school and it was interesting to see how facial hair has developed over time and what it means to certain cultures. Facial hair is almost like another muscle to most men and in other cultures it shows mans masculinity, power, and wealth. But the history of beards and women go back to even Darwin who believed beards to be part of complex facial communication signaling status and aggressiveness. Click Here to check out more information. I think the fact that most men have beards which make them look more aggressive or intimidating would be the reason why women aren't the biggest fans. On average about 55% of the men in US have beards or some sort of facial hair. The info graph I looked at also said 98% of Forbes 100 richest men are clean shaven men while 98% of lumberjacks, warriors and badasses have beards.Beard Info

This would have been a really interesting post had I not had to stop reading in the middle due to shock at your "gentler sex" comment.

I found this interesting and actually fairly accurate based on observations I've made while hanging out with my friends. I also think that age has something to do with it (the older you are, the more attractive a little scruff is). However, another thing I thought was interesting was that facial hair can "trap" pheromones, which is the hormone responsible for attraction. So, while girls may say that they don't like beards, they are more attracted to men who have them due to the increased amount of pheromones that beards can hold.
Here is a fun article that mentions this effect.

I found this interesting and actually fairly accurate based on observations I've made while hanging out with my friends. I also think that age has something to do with it (the older you are, the more attractive a little scruff is). However, another thing I thought was interesting was that facial hair can "trap" pheromones, which is the hormone responsible for attraction. So, while girls may say that they don't like beards, they are more attracted to men who have them due to the increased amount of pheromones that beards can hold.
Here is a fun article that mentions this effect.

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