If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “do girls like facial hair?” Wonder no more. We’re breaking it down in this article and telling you everything you need to know.
Man’s facial hair is like any other trend--80s power suits, low rise jeans and clashing prints--it comes and goes in cycles. Sometimes it’s on-trend, and then it disappears, only to resurface a decade or two later.
Right now, it’s still relatively fashionable and common to have a beard. But do women prefer the lumberjack look or a clean-shaven man?
So, Do Girls Like Facial Hair?
You’d think the world would be over beards by now. But this is a trend that refuses to go away. With all the advances in razor technology (check out the razors we think are the best here) it's MUCH easier to keep a beard looking good than it has been in the past.
Facial hair continues to be a key fashion accessory for the modern man, as they redesign their own sense of masculinity.
The beard has always been a sign of a rugged, outdoorsy-type, man’s man.
And of course, some men simply don't want to shave. This leaves them with a beard by default.
But the question everyone wants an answer to is--do girls like facial hair or not?
Girls like facial hair when it’s rare
According to a recent study, women (and men) find facial hair most attractive on a man when it’s uncommon.
In the study, participants viewed a series of faces with a variety of facial hair as well as clean-shaven ones. The faces with beards or stubble were deemed more attractive than clean-shaven faces. However, beards were most popular in the line-ups where there wasn’t a lot of facial hair on display. Likewise, when facial hair was the norm, the participants preferred clean-shaven faces.
This might explain why beards tend to go in and out of style in a cyclical pattern. To begin with, a man with a beard stands out in the crowd. But once the trend catches on, it becomes less noticeable and therefore less desirable.
Facial hair can increase your perceived masculinity
One of the main reasons why girls like facial hair on a man is because it signals strength, dominance and masculinity. These can often be desirable traits to women when looking for a potential partner.
In research by Neave and Shields (2008), the effect of facial hair on women’s perceptions of men’s attractiveness was put to the test.
Female participants rated a series of digitally altered male faces on attractiveness. They viewed different degrees of facial hair including light or heavy stubble, a short or long beard, and a clean-shaven face.
Women then rated each alteration on how masculine, aggressive, dominant, mature and attractive he appeared.
Results showed that women perceive faces with full beards as the most masculine, aggressive, and mature. Lighter beards were deemed the most dominant men.
And if you notice that girls seem to always want to touch your facial hair, it's one way to tell that she likes you.
Stubble indicates a fling, while a beard represents commitment
Many girls do like facial hair on a man. But what does that facial hair signify to them in terms of relationships?
Different styles of facial hair suggest different things when it comes to commitment.
According to a study published in the Journal of Evolutionary Behavior, women rated men with light stubble as the most appealing for a casual fling or one-night stand. In contrast, men with full beards were seen as the most desirable for a long-term relationship, and/or to father their future children.
This makes a lot of sense seeing as men with beards are seen as more masculine. Naturally, they would be perceived to be better fathers.
During ovulation, women love men with beards even more
In case you didn’t know, ovulation is the part of a woman’s menstrual cycle where she’s fertile and able to conceive.
The study above found that women view men with beards as better potential fathers. The same study found that this attraction to beards increases when a woman is in the ovulation stage of her cycle.
So girls who are ovulating appear to be drawn even more than usual to men sporting a beard.
If you’re looking to settle down, a beard might attract women looking for the same thing. But if you’re happy having fun and not committing, then a beard may be giving off the wrong signals.
Women love stubble
Other research has found that women like heavy stubble on a man. In particular, they like the kind of growth that comes from not shaving for around ten days. In this study, women rated heavy stubble as the most desirable look for a man. They viewed this as a sign of maturity and dominance--a “manly” man.
Women prefer beards to mustaches
But stubble isn’t the only kind of facial hair that women like.
In a study of almost 2,500 women, over 50% said they preferred a man to have both a mustache and a beard. But less than seven percent of those women said they preferred a mustache on its own. And just under 44 percent preferred a beard on its own.
It’s safe to say that women love a beard compared to a ‘stache!
Do girls like facial hair? Yes, but it can be scratchy!
If you’re a guy who has ever grown some kind of facial hair, you’ll know from direct experience that it can be uncomfortable and itchy.
On top of that, you’re used to it because it’s your hair. But just imagine how it feels when it’s rubbing against our skin.
So while many women like facial hair on a man, we don’t love the irritation it sometimes causes us. And some women have incredibly sensitive skin, which is prone to rashes and discomfort. This may mean that while some women like the look of facial hair on a man, they might not enjoy dating someone with it.
So if you notice that a girl is giving you a little less attention, you can get her to like you again by shaving off your scruff.
If you know you can’t grow a beard, don’t bother
Some men are blessed with genes that let them grow a full, luscious beard. Those of you who aren’t will know that not shaving only leaves you with patchy sections of hair. As much as you want to believe it’s a beard, I have to break it to you: it’s not.
If you can’t grow a proper beard, then don’t go there at all. Stick with the clean-shaven look you were blessed with and embrace your bare face. After all, even if you can't grow a beard, you might have other attributes that girls like such as being tall or muscular.
Girls like facial hair if it’s well-groomed
Growing facial hair is one thing, but it’s so important that you look after it. A messy, untamed beard just won’t cut it. You might be able to roll out of bed without laying a finger on your hair, but beards are unforgiving.
Women tend to like facial hair that’s neat and tidy. It shows that you take some pride in your appearance. And if you like how you look, girls can see that and they'll appreciate it by showing signs that they like you.
There is such a thing as too much
Anything more than a couple of inches of facial hair tends to be a turn-off for most women. Less is more here. So don’t go overboard and try and grow your hair as long as you possibly can or get lazy with grooming.
Do Girls Like Facial Hair? Yes, But Not These Styles
In case you weren’t sure what to avoid when it comes to facial hairstyles, we’ve rounded up a few of the notorious culprits below.
These either scream that 70s pornstar vibe or worse still, a creepy sex offender. I’m not sure there’s any man who can make a solo mustache look good--not even the most beautiful men in the world.
If you want to grow one as a joke for Movember and raise some cash for a good cause, go for it. Otherwise, just don’t do it.
A soul patch is a small section of hair underneath the center of your lower lip. That’s it. It was cool in the 90s and early 2000s. But today, not so much.
I don’t think we need to elaborate on why this is a facial hair flop. Avoid.
Think Craig David at the beginning of his career. A thin line of hair running all the way from your sideburn, around your chin and back up to the other side. It creates a kind of strap for your hair.
This might be a good way of shaping your jawline and appearing more chiseled and masculine. But there aren’t many times it works in your favor.
Grow Facial Hair for You, Not for a Girl
The research doesn’t lie--your facial hair says a lot about you.
If you’re looking to keep things casual and have fun, then light to heavy stubble may benefit you. But if you’re looking to settle down, find “the one” and have kids, then a beard (with or without a mustache) might help you attract a woman with the same relationship goals. So get clear on what you really want.
That being said, the way you groom yourself should be entirely your choice. By simply being you and making your own choices, you’ll naturally attract the right woman for you.
And as we’ve seen, some girls like facial hair while others don’t. Some are completely indifferent to it. So soak up the advice in this article, but remember to stay true to yourself. The right woman will like you whether you can grow the manliest of beards or you can’t grow one at all!