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Do women really like beards? Find out what they think

From stubble to full beards, do women really like facial hair as much as we think?

It’s a question that’s probably been on your mind these past few years, especially if you grew a beard during the early stages of the pandemic, and more so if you’ve kept that beard going. Men might love the look, but do women really like beards? There’s actually more research and evidence out there on the topic than you might think, and it seems more and more common that guys everywhere are sporting facial hair of some sort.

A beard could be a personal style move and fit in nicely with your personal style or wardrobe. It could also be a nice change of pace for your overall look if ever you’ve wanted to try out a refreshed grooming routine. There are plenty of beard styles for men to choose from, and you’re now one step closer to figuring out if women like face scruff. You’ve got questions — and we’ve got answers.

A man outside with his head to the side, wearing a beard.
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What women really think of beards

The answer is varied overall, not in the least according to the type of beard you’re sporting. But a UK study covered by ZME Science stated that women tend to find men with beards more masculine and aggressive, which are both potentially strong signs to search for in a mate.

Other studies have shown that women tend to rate men with beards as more attractive, or potentially better as partners or at raising offspring. Research also indicates that women view having a beard as a sign of stability, meaning men are viewed as being geared towards a long-term relationship rather than a short-term one.

There’s also the whole personal taste angle. Some women love a little scruff on the jawline and some just like a clean, freshly shaved look. Whether a person is innately drawn to a beard or likes the feel of it, a partner’s preference for facial hair could be as unique as the style of the facial hair itself.

A bearded man waring glasses, smiling.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The beard style that’s best

What kind of facial frame should you rock? It all comes down to finding the right beard for your face shape. In recent years, popular beard styles have varied from the stubble-driven look of the 5 o’clock shadow to slightly longer facial hair (think, Keanu Reeves) to the short, neatly trimmed business beard or goatee.

A full beard with long facial hair shaped to frame the chin, sometimes known as the “Viking beard,” is also a style that’s on the rise in popularity, and it signals virility and masculinity. Just like female hair trends, which style of men’s facial hair is popular right then varies. That’s why you should know what works best for your face.

The style of beard females want

It’s tricky to pinpoint just one style of beard that all women agree on, but it’s a safe bet that the best style is the one that works for your face shape. Not everyone can pull off a goatee or just stubble or scruff; some men are better suited to wearing a full beard, and others tend to lean more towards a neatly groomed middle ground.

The same UK study referenced by ZME Science notes that light stubble prevailed across the board as a facial hair style women tend to find most attractive. Longer beards, however, signaled more stability and the potential for a long-term relationship, according to a 2016 University of Queensland study. When in doubt, groom your beard and facial hair accordingly, and opt for something neat and well-maintained, yet full of character.

A man trimming his beard in the mirror.
Milkos/Getty Images / Getty Images

How to keep your beard game sharp

So, we’ve established that in general, women do like beards, or at least light stubble or well-groomed facial hair. But there’s something even more important to keep in mind. You’ve got to use the best beard products to truly keep your facial hair in check so that the end result will be facial hair that women find attractive and appealing.

Think of beard balms, beard oils, and even beard brushes as your secret weapons in building the perfect beard. Don’t shy away from trying products to find some that work for you.

Wearing a beard is an intentional style choice. Without properly caring for and maintaining your beard, you’re doing your facial hair a disservice. The better you take care of your beard, the better you will look and feel, and the more attractive women will find all of that.

While you might have been wondering for years if women like beards, we’re here to say that the definitive answer is yes – if that’s what you like the most as well. The best facial hair for your own personal look (and the image you want to give off to the world) is something to consider carefully as you grow out that stubble or trim your beard down to a shorter length.

If you care for and maintain your beard, and if you’ve selected the right style for your face shape, there’s no doubt that women will find your beard — and, by extension, you — attractive. That sounds like a winning grooming strategy in our book. Experiment with your look until you find the beard style you feel good wearing.

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Beau Hayhoe
Beau Hayhoe is a freelance men's style writer, consultant and PR pro based in Brooklyn. Beau's menswear and gear writing has…
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