The study, by Barnaby Dixson of The University of Queensland’s School of Psychology and published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, lined up 36 photographs of men at varying stages of facial hair: clean shaven, light stubble, heavy stubble and a full beard. A total of 8,520 women were asked to rate the photos and, on average, said that beards give the illusion of wider jawlines and more pronounced brow ridges, which makes guys rocking them seem more powerful, macho and virile than the fresh-faced genre. However, full-bearded men were deemed most attractive for long-term relationships and men with light or heavy stubble were considered most attractive for short-term relationships.
Overall, the team found that men with stubble had the highest general attractiveness scores. So there’s no real need to go full-on lumberjack—unless you’re looking to get hitched—but there’s no shame in embracing the five o’clock shadow.
Hey, works for Leo!