Sorry guys. There is no definitive answer. You know how you can ask different girls about your beard and get different responses? (Try it, if you haven’t.) The same is true for society in general. Some people just like beards more than others.
That said, we do have some general trends for you:
- Studies have indicated that women find facial stubble the most “attractive” look when it comes to facial hair. One study went a step further, separating “light stubble” from “heavy stubble,” at which point women found heavy stubble the most attractive and light stubble the least — call it the “no peachfuzz, please!” value judgement.
- Unsurprisingly, women found men with facial hair more “masculine” than men without.
- Likely tied to the idea that greater masculinity=better provider, women rated men with full beards as most likely to have good parenting skills.
- Clean-shaven and full-bearded men were rated higher on personal cleanliness than men with stubble of any length.
So, long story short, how facial hair will help you in your quest for love depends largely on the sort of partner and relationship you’re looking for.
If you want to settle down and have kids, and are looking for someone that feels the same, a full beard might be best. If you’re just flirting and having fun, a few days of stubble will work better — but make sure it’s thick and even.
Interestingly, research has shown that in a favorable marriage market, men are more likely to grow beards, while they are less likely to do so in a tougher market. This has lead researchers to conclude that men shave in the hopes of making themselves seem safer and more approachable to women.
All in all, at the end of the day, remember that outliers happen.
These are social trends, not fixed rules.
Some people are going to have very strong opinions about beards and some aren’t.
You’ll find out which are which the same way the rest of life works: trial and error and lots of patience!