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Stubble Trouble: How (Men’s) Facial Hair Affects Attraction 

Should men go for the clean-shaven look, a full beard, or somewhere in between when trying to attract a woman? To answer this question, researchers showed heterosexual women and heterosexual men photographs of men with full beards, heavy stubble, light stubble, or cleanly shaven faces. Importantly, the pictures were the same men but with different facial hair styles. Women found heavy stubble more attractive than the other styles. Interestingly, men thought full beards and clean-shaven were more attractive than women did. A follow-up study focusing on fertility indicated that women’s preference for heavy stubble was the same regardless of  menstrual cycle phase.

For more facial hair science, check out this article.

Dixson, B. J., & Brooks, R. C. (2013). The role of facial hair in women's perceptions of men's attractiveness, health, masculinity and parenting abilities. Evolution and Human Behavior, doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2013.02.003

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Reader Comments (2)

You know, it's so funny. I've practically gotten into arguments with women before because I tell them that I look better clean shaven, but they swear they prefer stubble. My ex used to almost cry when I'd shave.

Any idea where this difference in perception comes from?

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

Fascinating study about men's facial hair and attraction. It's interesting to hear this study found men preferring full beards over stubble while women did not.

August 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMicro Touch Max
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