A new study from Australia has found that women prefer men with heavy stubble.
In the study, published this month in the Journal of Evolution & Human Behavior, University of New South Wales professors Barnaby J. Dixson and Rob C. Brooks, showed photogaphs of 10 smiling men at four stages of beard growth: clean shaven, 5-days of stubble, 10-days of stubble, and fully bearded. 351 women and 177 heterosexual men viewed each of the photos and were asked to rate each face for attractiveness, masculinity, health, and parenting ability.
The clear winner was the men with the heavy, 10-days of stubble.
Women found heavy stubble the sexiest, while clean-shaven and full bearded guys tied for second place in the attractiveness category. Participants felt that fully bearded guys were seen as being both the healthiest and having the best parenting abilities.
Light stubble, sadly, came in last in all four categories. According to the beard study authors, it’s probably because “a threshold of density and distribution may be necessary for beards to function as an attractive signal.”