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08 May 2013

Do Women Find Men with Facial Hair More Attractive?

Painting by Vincent Van Gogh
"Portrait of an Old Man with
Beard (Part of Public Domain)
A recent report concluded that men with heavy stubble are more attractive to straight women while men with full beard are regarded as better father figures.  The study, entitled “The role of facial hair in women's perceptions of men's attractiveness, health, masculinity and parenting abilities,” was conducted by Barnaby J. Dixson and Robert C. Brooks and published in the journal of Evolution and Human Behavior.

One wonders if women’s preference for bearded men is applicable in the Philippines considering that we have some Hispanic influence.  My parents grew up at a time when men with facial hair are considered more masculine and attractive to women. Dad was often compared to a younger Joseph Estrada. Most of my uncles have facial hair and they had much luck with women as well.  Personally, the day I started to have a noticeable stubble was quite important for me too. That was a big day indeed. However, as I grew into full adulthood, having facial hair became less important. Teachers and other female mentors told me that men looked more presentable and more responsible without any facial hair.  They regarded clean-shaven men as reliable and respectable.  Now are all these things true?  What do women, especially Filipino women, really think about men’s facial hair? Do they matter in choosing a life partner?  Are women looking for Prince Charming, Ben Affleck, Wolverine or Moses?  Alternatively, do women want their men to look a certain way depending on the situation? If a woman will introduce her boyfriend to her parents, should he look a certain way? If she wants a hot date that she can show her friends and her a-hole of an ex, does her new boyfriend have to look another way? 

We here at Brun Magazine (brun is French for brown, a man’s color) conducted an informal survey among our female readers.  The survey should not be taken seriously because we just did it out of curiosity. Some of the women who answered our questions are close friends, friends of friends, random readers and even some moms and grandmothers. We only have less than 100 respondents. 

For this pseudo-research, we only had one requirement. You need to be a straight woman (single, married, young or old). Below are our questions:
  • Q1: Which do you find more sexually attractive?
  • Q2: Which do you find more masculine, not necessarily attractive?
  • Q3: Which would you be proud to show to your parents?
  • Q4: Which do you regard to be more fertile?
  • Q5: Which do you think will be a better father figure to your children?
The choices are men who 
A: are clean shaven, B: with light stubble, C: with heavy stubble, and D: with a full beard

If you were Jennifer Garner
and you were still dating Ben,
which Ben would you find sexy,
which Ben you would introduce
to mom and dad?
Use of Non-Free Media
Click here


Q1: Which do you find more sexually attractive?

Q2: Which do you find more masculine but not necessarily attractive?

Sixty percent of our female respondents (aged 50 and below) found men with light stubble to be the most sexually attractive.  This kind of man also received sufficient votes for the other questions, except for Question #3.  However, women above 50 years old (and there were only a handful of them) found clean-shaven mean to be more attractive.  My grandma would say the same thing if she were alive today. Grandma used to say, “Shave, you look like hairy caterpillar!” 

Women also found men with light stubble to be more masculine and no one voted for the full-bearded man, not even the grandmothers.

Q3: Which would you be proud to show to your parents?

Predictably, many women prefer to bring clean-shaven men home to introduce to mom and dad.  Nevertheless, sixty percent of the respondents abstained to vote for question #3. Makes you wonder. Isn't it because most women have not found the right men to show to their parents or most women have voted based on experience, meaning clean-shaven or with stubble, there are more important factors to consider in bringing a man home for a family dinner. Table manners, perhaps?

Q4: Which do you regard to be more fertile?
Thirty five percent (35%) of the women perceived men with light stubble to be more fertile and only fifteen percent (15%) chose men with heavy stubble.  The rest of the respondents abstained. Shy?  However, the most interesting thing is one pregnant woman chose men with full beard to be more fertile.  Her vote is somewhat similar to the original findings in the Journal of Evolution and Human Behavior.

Q5: Which do you think will be a better father figure to your children?
This question did not yield a clear majority.  One female respondent explained that women do not really rely on appearance in deciding who will make a good father figure.  They have other criteria for that.

What does all of this mean? Well, not that much. We need more data from more Filipino women to make a substantial conclusion. The only advice I have for men right now is when dating a girl, look presentable but you should also know when to stay away from the razor and sport a sexy stubble, not too much, just enough to make you look reckless and bad.  As one male friend explained, “Looking too clean may bore a woman, a man with a light stubble is the compromise. He’s nice but not too nice. He’s bad but he can be tamed.”

Now, when it is time to meet the girl’s parents, shaving is still a must. You already have enough pressure; do not let possible itchy stubble add to the stress. 

For some men who cannot grow a stubble (like myself), we can still hold on to the Schick Skin-dex U.S. Survey, which claim that men who shave regularly (about 5 times a week or more) have twice as much sex, happier, more outgoing and more social. But then again, Schick does sell razors.  

Bottom-line, if you want to know what a woman really wants, ask her, read between the lines and good luck!

We are still receiving some votes from our readers, and we will add the new votes once they become substantial and let's see what will happen to the results. Again, this is all for fun. :-)

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