Women prefer men with multi-day stubble, which seems more attractive to them than light facial hair or a clean shaven face. But in order to attract the attention of women, men’s facial hair should be at least ten days old.
The length of men’s facial hair and its attractiveness was measured by the scientists from the University of New South Wales (Australia), who published the results of this study in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.
The work involved 351 women, 177 heterosexual men, and 10 men who served as models. The models had a beard, and the scientists photographed them at various stages of the process and showed the photos to the participants of the experiment. It was necessary to assess the attractiveness of people with varying degrees of facial hair.
It turns out that women find multi-day stubble, which appears after about the tenth day without shaving, the most seductive. A full-grown beard and a clean-shaven face were not so enticing. Finally, the least attractive choice was the facial hair about five days old. Different men have different rates and density of facial hair growth, so it is better to talk about being moderately or severely unshaven rather than discuss the exact period.
Men stood in solidarity with the women in terms of the unattractiveness of light facial hair. Perhaps both women and men associate it with being not very neat on a Monday morning after a stormy weekend. As for the men, they found a beard and multi-day facial hair to be of similar attractiveness, while a clean-shaven face took the second place.
Psychologists emphasize that in the case of women neither their menstrual cycle nor oral contraceptives affect the attitude to men’s facial hair (although at the stage of ovulation, ladies call “hairy” faces more masculine).
All the participants of the study believed that bearded men were more aggressive, though bearded men were also thought to be better fathers. In general, the researchers find it difficult to explain such preferences.