Growing up, beards were something that I commonly associated with distinguished professionals such as psychologists or college professors. In fact, that is part of the reason why I decided to grow a beard. Along with being able to skip out on shaving, a beard also gave me the opportunity to look more thoughtful and distinguished. The general trend at the time, however, was for men to stay clean-shaven.

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These days, all of that has changed. More and more men are opting for beards rather than shaving every day. Beards can range in style from just a bit of stubble all the way up to a beard that any self-respecting wizard would be proud of. Recently, I was talking about beards with one of my friends. He was wondering whether women found facial hair on men to be an attractive look.

As I have looked into the topic over the years, I have discovered that women often appreciate well-groomed men. Of course, every woman is different. Some women like facial hair while others prefer men to be clean-shaven. It is really a matter of personal preference.

Interestingly, this topic has been studied in depth in the past. Neave and Shields, for instance, published research in 2008 on how facial hair affected the way that women perceived a man’s masculinity, dominance, and attractiveness. Women who participated in the study were tasked with rating the faces of average men. The photos had been digitally manipulated, however, adding different lengths of facial hair that ranged from short stubble all the way up to a full beard. Women rated each of the variations of the photos based on the overall dominance, aggression, social maturity, masculinity and level of attractiveness. Along with that, participants were questioned on how desirable they found each man as a partner or mate.

Interestingly, the men that women found most attractive had a small amount of stubble on their faces. They rated these men the highest for both long-term and short-term relationships. The men with full beards, on the other hand, were perceived to be the most socially mature. They were also found to be more masculine and aggressive than faces with less facial hair. Interestingly, most women also believed that the men with beards looked older. The study found that men with light-colored beards were rated the highest on the dominance scale.

In 2013, Dixson and Brooks published a similar study that also took into account the way that men view other men with facial hair. Like the previous study, women were most attracted to men with stubble. Men with full beards, however, were perceived to have the best overall health and the best ability as parents. As a general rule of thumb, men who had the most facial hair were rated as the most masculine. This was particularly true for women who were fertile at the time of the study. The results for men were similar. Men found all levels of facial hair equally as appealing. Like the women in the study, they perceived men with full beards as being more masculine.

Based on the results of these studies, it is fairly safe to say that women find men with stubble the most attractive. Men with full beards, on the other hand, are perceived as having better potential as fathers.

If a man is thinking about growing a beard to make himself more attractive to women, he should think about what he hopes to accomplish with a relationship. A man who is just looking for a short-term relationship with a woman may find it beneficial to grow a bit of stubble since the women in the studies found that look most attractive. Stubble coupled with the right clothing and attitude can make a man quite appealing to women.

Men who are more interested in starting a long-term relationship, on the other hand, may want to consider growing a full beard. This is particularly true if the man is ready to start a family. Because the women in the studies perceived men with full beards to have better potential as a father, it may be beneficial when it comes to finding a long-term partner. If you decide to grow a full beard, just make sure to regularly groom it to keep it from getting overgrown or unruly.

According to Grooming Adepts, a large proportion of people purchasing beard care items are actually women doing so for their men. It showcases the fact women are encouraging men to grow facial hair, but also ensure it’s kept well.

Of course, not all women are attracted to facial hair. If you like to keep your face clean-shaven, there are definitely women out there who prefer that look. On the other hand, once you understand how facial hair can affect the way that women perceive you, you can use that information to help you attract the kind of relationship that you are looking for.