Women Prefer Heavy Stubble on Men, New Study Finds

Listen up, men: If you’re thinking about shaving off that facial stubble you’ve got going on, you might want to rethink that decision.

A new study from the University of New South Wales in Australia found women prefer men with stubble over guys with the clean-shaven or full bearded look. But it’s not just any type of stubble; heavy stubble is preferred over the lighter, patchier variety.

The findings were published in the May issue of the journal Evolution & Human Behavior. It took into account the opinions of not only 351 women, but also 177 heterosexual men. The participants looked at photos of 10 smiling men in which each man was shown with either a clean shave, a light stubble grown over five days, a heavy stubble grown out over the span of 10 days, and with a full beard.

The researchers then asked the participants to rate the men based on their attractiveness in the photos. Women went for the heavy stubble look, while the men seemed to think a full on beard and heavy stubble was more suitable on their peers.

Professors Barnaby J. Dixson and Rob C. Brooks who led the and authored the study explain although men and women found these looks as the most physically attractive, both genders also perceived the fully bearded guys as better fathers with  higher parenting abilities.

The study also revealed that masculinity ratings went up linearly as facial hair increased, especially when women were in the fertile phase of their cycle. Attractiveness was not impacted by fertility.

The bottom line: Give that razor of yours a little break, and you might find yourself going on more dates.

Feature Image by Associated Press