Here’s what happens to men who grow beards, according to science

Maybe you’re like me. (Sorry, it’s not always easy. Well, sometimes it is. But I hold back.)

I mean, maybe you’re a guy who was basically clean shaven for the rest of his life.

And you may have decided during the early stages of the pandemic, when you were isolated from most of the world, anyway: Okay, let’s see what happens if I stop shaving.

Now that the world is going back to the office (at least part-time), you’re left trying to find out what science says about your newly inspired impressions.

Same happened to me, from around March 2020. By April, I had passed the stage of itching; By Memorial Day, it was full on Grizzly Adams. By the end of the summer, I went to my hairdresser and said, Hey, how do you help me figure it out?

I like how it turned out. I have to stay on top of it, because I’ve realized that probably the best look for me – the one I feel most comfortable and confident in – is when I try to keep time, maintain a consistent position. Approximately 10- to 14-day growth.

No, “the man who came late last night and didn’t have a chance to shave;” No, “Trying to imitate Tom Hanks” cast away,” but instead: “Short beard, two weeks, may decide to shave, not sure.”

Now, I don’t know if this is pure coincidence, or just luck, but it turns out that a 10-day hike is exactly where science says most men should strive to send the most positive messages, statistically. Speaking to, the people around them.

Let’s start with a study University of Queensland in Australia, in which researchers attempted to determine whether different lengths of facial hair in the eyes of heterosexual women could alter men’s perception.

The researchers collected women’s responses to photos of men whose beards fell into four categories: clean-shaven, light stubble (5 days growth), heavy stubble (10 days growth), and thick beards (about one day of growth). month increase).

The study actually broke down the women’s responses into categories, based on the type of romantic relationships they were looking for.

But in short, men with lighter stubble and heavier stubble performed best in the “just looking for a little fun” category, while men with heavy stubble and full beards were most attractive to women looking for a long-term relationship.

Men with clean shaven faces were at the forefront of all matters.

Another study out of Brazil found fairly similar results with respect to gay men, a. According to new York Times report good; In any case, they were more attracted to men with more facial hair.

Now, I’m happily married, so as long as my wife is cool with a beard, I guess I can check that box. But, I was also very interested to learn how people view bearded men in social and professional settings, especially if there is any scientific research to support it.

Here is perhaps the most interesting study. So far Another group of Australian researchers (There must be one thing) asked 227 people to look at pictures of men with and without beards, and the facial expressions indicated happiness or anger.

In general, study participants identified angry, bearded men most quickly, concluding that bearded men gave an aura of severity and aggression regardless of other factors or manifestations.

What was surprising, however, was that in a follow-up study of 450 people in which they were asked to rate the same photos as aggressive, masculine and/or social, they ranked happy, bearded men in all three categories. rated high. –including, “professionals.”

One theory: The mere presence of a beard suggests aggression and masculinity, so a change in expression resulting from a smile or any other sign of pleasure results in an increased reaction on the part of the other person to the accusation.

Look, there are many reasons why men grow beards: Epidemic, sure. But, your culture or religion may encourage or even require them. Maybe you want to see what it will look like.

maybe you just got it traded away from New York YankeesAnd you want to let your freak fly a little.

Obviously, I’m not going to tell you whether a beard is a good idea for you. But, if you are able to develop one, perhaps knowing what science says to other people’s perceptions of you will influence your choice.

Oh, and keep it clean. I don’t think we need scientific research to know that a lard rates high with food not on one’s list.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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What does science say about your new look?”,”inc_homepage_deck”:null,”inc_sharing_deck”:null,”inc_clean_text”:”

Maybe you’re like me. (Sorry, it’s not always easy. Well, sometimes it is. But I digress.)

n

What I mean is, maybe you’re a man who was clean-shaven for basically his whole life.

n

And maybe you decided during the early stages of the pandemic, when you were isolated from most of the world, anyway: Heck, let’s see what happens if I just stop shaving.

n

Now that the world is going back to the office (at least part-time), you’re trying to figure out what science says about the impressions your new look inspires.

n

It’s what happened to me, starting around March 2020. By April, I’d grown beyond the itchy stage; by Memorial Day, it was full-on Grizzly Adams. By late summer, I went to my barber and said, Hey, how ’bout you help me figure this out?

n

I like how it’s turned out. I have to stay on top of it, because I’ve realized that probably the best look for me — the one I feel most comfortable and confident with — is when I try to make time stand still, by maintaining a perpetual state of roughly 10 to 14-day growth.

n

Not, “guy who got in late last night and didn’t have a chance to shave;” not, “trying to imitate Tom Hanks in Castaway,” but instead: “short beard, two weeks, might decide to shave, not sure.”

n

Now, I don’t know if it’s pure coincidence, or grooming serendipity, but it turns out that 10 days’ growth is exactly where science says most men should try to be in order to send the most positive messages, statistically speaking, to the people around them.

n

Let’s start with a study out of the University of Queensland in Australia, in which researchers attempted to determine the degree to which varying lengths of facial hair might change perceptions of men, in the eyes of heterosexual women.

n

Researchers collected the women’s reactions to photographs of men whose beards fell into four categories: clean-shaven, light stubble (5 days’ growth), heavy stubble (10 days growth), and thick beards (about a month’s worth of growth).

n

The study really broke the women’s responses into categories based on what type of romantic relationships they were looking for. 

n

But in short, men with light stubble and heavy stubble fared best in the “just looking for a little fun” category, while men with heavy stubble and full beards were most attractive to women looking for a long-term relationship.

n

Men with clean-shaven faces were at the back of the line in all cases.

n

Another study out of Brazil found fairly similar results regarding gay men, according to a New York Times report; if anything, they were more attracted to men with more facial hair.

n

Now, I’m happily married, so as long as my wife is cool with the beard I suppose I can consider that box checked. But, I was also very interested to learn how people in social and business settings perceive men with beards, especially if there were any scientific research to back it up.

n

Here’s perhaps the most interesting study. Yet another group of Australian researchers (must be a thing) asked 227 people to look at photographs of men both with and without beards, and with facial expressions connoting happiness or anger.

n

In general, the study participants identified the angry, bearded men most quickly, leading to the conclusion that men with beards give off an aura of seriousness and aggression, regardless of other factors or expressions.

n

But, the surprise was that in a follow-up study of 450 people, in which they were asked to rate the same photos as either aggressive, masculine, and/or prosocial, they rated the happy, bearded men as higher on all three categories–including, “prosocial.”

n

One theory: the mere presence of a beard suggests aggression and masculinity, so the change in expression as the result of a smile or another signal of happiness results in a magnified reaction toward prosociality on the part of the other person.

n

Look, there are a lot of reasons why men grow beards: pandemics, sure. But, maybe your culture or religion encourages or even requires them. Maybe you just want to see how it would look.

n

Maybe you just got traded away from the New York Yankees, and you want to let your freak fly a little. 

n

Obviously, I’m not going to tell you whether a beard is a good idea for you or not. But, if you’re able to grow one, maybe knowing what science says it does to other people’s perceptions of you will affect your choice.

n

Oh, and keep it clean. I don’t think we need scientific research to know that a beard with food stuck in it doesn’t rate high on anyone’s list.

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