It sounds too good to be true! Simply stop shaving for a week or so, and suddenly you’re seen as more manly, more alpha male. It’s perhaps not quite as simple as it sounds, since there is still a fair degree of maintenance required, but there might just be something in it. It seems that facial hair really does has a definite impact on the way that men and their degree of masculinity are viewed and measured by others.
A study conducted by researchers in Australia had women rate the perceived attractiveness of ten different men, each of whom was photographed four times with increasing amounts of facial hair. The results showed that the majority of women viewed three days growth of stubble as the most manly and attractive. This particular amount of stubble was definitely the sweet spot – heavier beards were seen as more aggressive looking, and were more likely to divide opinion in terms of levels of attraction, while shorter levels of uneven, patchy stubble was seen as less masculine and not as attractive.
This level of beard growth hits all the right buttons for several reasons. With the ability to grow a beard becoming apparent as men reach adulthood, any sort of facial hair is an obvious display of maturity and masculinity, which is very appealing to most women. A full beard will make a man look more dominant, which may sound like a positive thing, but is not necessarily appreciated by the ladies. Other straight men often see full beards as a good look, but many women are decidedly less keen. A groomed, trimmed, stubble sits nicely in the middle of the scale – it’s more dominant-looking than a clean face, but not alarmingly so. Men with full beards are often seen as being less friendly and approachable, whereas a face sporting stubble is much less intimidating.
In order to maximise its potential, it’s essential that the stubble is kept well groomed. Patchy, light, or poorly-trimmed stubble makes a man look less clean and healthy and will be unpopular with women – and employers! It’s very important to keep stubble clean and trimmed to an appropriate length. Most men will find that hair grows more thickly on certain areas of their face so an extra pass with the trimmer in these places may sometimes be required. Keeping the upper cheeks and neckline free of hair will also ensure that stubble stays looking clean, neat and well-maintained.
Keeping your stubble groomed and trimmed to the appropriate length is a daily task best preformed by a purpose built stubble trimmer. Some guys make do with a beard trimmer, but these usually wont allow you to trim close enough to your face to get the desired look. The best stubble trimmers will trim your whiskers right down to 0.5mm, depending on the thickness and coverage of facial hair you have will determine how close you will trim your stubble.
As well as ensuring that you still look fairly tidy, shaping facial hair can have a big effect on its appearance. The level of hair up the cheeks can make or break the look, depending on the face shape involved. A little experimentation is sometimes necessary to find the style that is just right for you. Getting exactly the right length of hair can also involve a little trial and error, as the perfect amount of stubble for one individual may be quite different to that of another, depending on their skin tone and hair color. Finally, fading the stubble as it reaches the neck is definitely worth a little extra time, as it provides a more natural looking edge and gives that slightly rougher look that women love.
So in short, stubble does make a man appear more manly, provided you keep it groomed at the right level.