Want to know if women think beards are attractive?

If so, what type of beard?

Or maybe women prefer clean-shaven?

We had the same questions and decided to get to the bottom of it.

The only way to find the real truth is to ask a large representative sample of women the right questions.

That is why we performed a major nationwide survey of over 300 women in order to find the answer.

The results presented below will tell you the true consensus of what types of facial hair women find most attractive.

Please refer to the table of contents below to jump to the sections most important to you.

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Why & How We Performed This Survey

Most advice on what facial hair styles are most attractive to women are provided by one or two “experts”.

As much as I respect the opinions of these individuals, I decided to take a different angle and obtain the information straight from the source (i.e. the women).

As I am a true believer in the law of large numbers, I am not just talking about asking the opinion of one or two women, I am talking about getting the opinion of a large representative sample of women that is sufficient to arrive at statistically significant conclusions of what women really think is attractive.

That is why we contracted a world leader of web-based surveys to assure we got a true representative panel of women, who provide truthful and thoughtful responses, so we can be sure the data collected and conclusions presented are credible and accurate.

 

Stratification

We also took the analysis a step further and identified any significant differences in facial hair preferences between various geographic locations and demographics.

We examined the differences between the following segments:

  1. Age
  2. Type of Community
  3. Geographic Location
  4. Income Level
  5. Relationship Status

 

Sample Design

Provided are the details of the random stratified sample as well as the precision estimate calculations.

For more details, refer to the Survey Methodology here.

Most Attractive Facial Hair

We asked women to rank 7 of the most popular facial hair styles from most attractive to least attractive.

The following are the results and analysis for the US Population as a whole.

Conclusions of Total Population

The “Short stubble” beard is the #1 most attractive facial hair.

It received an average rank of 2.6 with 80% ranking short stubble in the top 3, including 24% of respondents ranking short stubble as the #1 most attractive facial hair style.

“Clean-shaven” was a close second as the most attractive facial hair style.

It received an average rank of 2.7 with 72% ranking clean-shaven in the top 3, including 38% of respondents ranking clean-shaven as the #1 most attractive facial hair style.

“Long stubble” came in 3rd place with an average rank of 3.7.

“Full beard” and “Goatee” were practically tied for 4th/5th place.

“Mustache” and “Circle beard” were ranked as the least attractive facial hair styles.

Questions:

Why do women find short stubble the most attractive facial hair style? Is it because certain celebrities or publications feature short stubble beards or is there a more technical explanation?

Is the short stubble a recent trend or has it been the most attractive facial hair style for a long time and will it continue to be so?

Feel free to comment or pose your own questions in the comment section down below.

Beards vs. Clean-Shaven

We asked women to rate the attractiveness of beards and clean-shaven on a scale of: very attractive, slightly attractive, neutral, slightly unattractive, very unattractive.

The following are the results and analysis for the US population as a whole.

Responses About Beards

R

(EN Central, 18 to 24)

Attractive – “I like the way they feel on my body”

R

(S Atlantic, 25 to 34)

Attractive – “All the men I like are with beards. They are way hotter. Beards are like makeup for men.”

R

(Pacific, 35 to 44)

Attractive – “I tend to like manly men. To me, a man with facial hair is a bit more manly. Rough and tough.”

Q

(Pacific, 18 to 24)

Unattractive – “I don’t like kissing men with beards, it feels weird.”

Q

(S Atlantic, 25 to 34)

Unattractive – “Because I don’t like a ton a hair on a man’s face, it’s disgusting!”

Q

(M Atlantic, 35 to 44)

Unattractive – “Nothing to explain, beards are gross! They hide facial features and make all men look the same.”

Responses About Clean-Shaven

R

(Pacific, 18 to 24)

Attractive – “It looks more hygienic”

R

(S Atlantic, 25 to 34)

Attractive – “Physical appearance is a lasting impression. It’s a professional and neat appearance.”

R

(Pacific, 35 to 44)

Attractive – “I like a clean shaven face, nicer to kiss.”

Q

(WN Central, 18 to 24)

Unattractive – “Makes them look young”

Q

(ES Central, 25 to 34)

Unattractive – “I like facial hair. What is a man without a beard? A woman.”

Q

(ES Central, 35 to 44)

Unattractive – “I like a man, not a boy”

Conclusions of Total Population

More women find beards “attractive” compared to clean-shaven.

But…

More women find beards “unattractive” compared to clean-shaven.

There is a much greater polarity among women’s opinions of the attractiveness of beards versus the clean-shaven look.

14% more women think beards are “attractive” relative to clean-shaven (57% vs 50%).

But 21% also think beards were unattractive, including 8% that think they are “very” unattractive.

Compare that to clean-shaven where only 7% think clean-shaven is unattractive, including only 2% “very” unattractive.

That means 3 times more women think beards are “unattractive” relative to clean-shaven.

More women had a neutral stance for clean-shaven as almost 2 times more women selected neutral for clean-shaven (43%) versus beards (22%).

Questions:

Why do women have stronger opinions on the attractiveness of beards (both attractive & unattractive) versus clean-shaven?

Do you believe women’s attraction to beards and clean-shaven have always been like this or is it constantly changing? Where do you think it is headed?

Feel free to comment or pose your own questions in the comment section down below.

Results by Age Group

We segmented the data between 3 age groups (18 to 24, 25 to 34, 35 to 44) to determine if there were any statistically significant differences in their attraction to facial hair.

Conclusions by Age Group

Women 25 to 34 find beards significantly more attractive and clean-shaven significantly less attractive compared to women 18 to 24 and 35 to 44.

While only 12% of women ages 25 – 34 find beards unattractive, 26% of women in the age groups 18 to 24 and 35 to 44 find beards unattractive.

In other words, more than twice the amount of women 18 to 24 and 35 to 44 find beards unattractive relative to women 25 to 34 (117% to be exact).

This preference for facial hair by women 25 to 34 was also reflected in the question regarding the attractiveness of a clean-shaven look in which 29% more women 18 to 24 and 35 to 44 find clean-shaven attractive versus women 25 to 34 (54% vs. 42%).

Question: Have women 25 to 34 always been more attracted to beards than other age groups or is it more of a generational influence due to the passing golden era of beards?

Feel free to comment or pose your own questions in the comment section down below.

 

Here are the results of the most attractive facial hair by age group.

Results by Community Type

We broke down the following data between the 3 types of communities where the respondents were currently residing (Rural, Suburban, Urban/City) to determine if facial hair preferences differ based on the type of community women live.

Conclusions by Community Type

Women residing in rural communities find clean-shaven significantly less attractive than women in cities or suburban communities.

24% more women of city or suburban communities find clean-shaven attractive compared to women in rural communities (52% vs 42%).

4 times more women of rural communities find clean-shaven unattractive compared to women of city or suburban communities (16% vs 4%).

Question: Is there a specific cultural influence in rural communities that may explain why they don’t find clean-shaven as attractive?

Feel free to comment or pose your own questions in the comment section down below.

 

The following are the results of the most attractive facial hair by community type

Results by Geographic Region

We segmented the data by geographic region to determine if there were any differences in women’s attraction to beards among the different parts of the country.

Below is the data as well as a map indicating which states are included in each region.

Conclusions by Geographic Region

Women from West South Central (Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana) find clean-shaven the most attractive out of any region with 75% selecting it is attractive.

Women from West & East North Central find beards the least attractive but were also fairly neutral of the clean-shaven look.

Women from the Mountain region were the most polarized for both clean-shaven (attractive:50%, unattractive:15%) and beards (attractive:65%, unattractive:27%).

Results by Income & Relationship Status

Income Level

72% more women with household incomes of $100,000+ found beards unattractive when compared to women with incomes less than $100,000 (31% vs 18%).

 

Relationship Status

No statistically significant differences in women’s facial hair preferences were identified when segmenting the data based on relationship status.

Submit Suggestions for Next Survey

Please submit questions you want to have included in the next survey in the comments below!

It can include anything related to grooming, style, and beyond.

These surveys are expensive to conduct but we will do our best to include as many requests as possible.

Also, please submit any comments or questions you may have regarding this survey as well.

Ben Rose is the founder and senior editor at Prim&Prep, the definitive guide to male grooming. He is a wet shaving expert and body grooming aficionado. His work has been featured on many other prominent publications including Good Men Project, Addicted to Success, Steven Aitchison, and Sharpologist.