The Truth About the Hot Effect Beards Have on Women

man with beardI have terrible news for guys who've been riding that "beards are hot" trend. Women no longer think beards are sexy. Hey, it's not me -- this is according to science!


According to a study in Australia, once beards became fashionable, and more men grew them, they lost their charm. Women have become more attracted to clean-shaven faces because they're more rare.

Now, we should take this all with a grain of salt. Beards may be fashionable, but I still feel like only 15 percent of guys are wearing them (and I live in Brooklyn, the bearded guy capital of the East Coast). Also, that study was done in Australia, which if my geography is correct sits clear on the other side of the world.

But just out of curiosity, we decided to conduct our own poll. And surprise, beards on this side of the globe are still considered HAWT. By almost half of respondents. Okay, the real deal is more complicated than that. Actually, it depends on what kind of beard -- and who's wearing it. And whether or not you actually want to kiss the guy.

What beard lovers say: 

"I love 'em. Not long scraggly Portlandia beard, but like well-maintained man scruff. Hot." --Maressa, New Jersey

"Love them. Sexy, manly." --Suzanne, New York

"Sexy, made my husband grow it out and he gets compliments all the time and loves it now." --Kaci, Arizona

"I'd say, yes, I find most sexy as long as you're not heading into ZZ Top territory, in which case I find them pretty gross. I try to encourage my husband to grow a beard every winter. I tell him it's like being with a new man without me having to put in any effort or even leave the house!" --Liz, New Jersey

"Well kept, yes. Though not overly fastidious. Sparse, no. Super scraggly Duck Dynasty style, NO." --Jenn, Brooklyn

"Eternally sexy, but only when it's more like 'scruff.' Like, 'I forgot to shave today and maybe yesterday too and I don't care what the world thinks' So hot. If you can still see the skin = yes. If you can't see any skin = no." --Cynthia, Westchester NY

"For the most part ... love!" Jane, San Diego

"Love. Only if well groomed with a nice smelling bread oil. I will admit I was against it when he said he was growing out. I said, HELL NO! It grew on me. Now I want it to stay." --Grace, Wisconsin

"If it's kept trim it can be okay, but ultimately it depends on the guy it's on." --Lisa, Houston

"Love the scruffy kind." --Aki, Brooklyn

Attractive but moot because we can't kiss over all that hair:

"I sometimes find them attractive as a general thing but I don’t like kissing guys with beards (my boyfriend is clean-shaven)." --Amanda G, New Jersey

"Clean and trimmed, short, can be handsome (my husband looks great with a beard). Def not as kissable though." --Robyn, Los Angeles

"Depends on the guy. They seem to be back in a big way and I think they're sexy to see. But up close and personal, I'm happy my guy is clean shaven." --Dominique, Chicago

What beard haters say: 

"I don't like them and not the least of which is that because now I associate beards with a guy being gay, thanks to my ex who grew one before he came out so he could look more "bear-like" for his bearded gay hook-ups." --Kiri

"Barf." --Mary, New York

"Generally I don't love them. It all depends on the person though." --Meredith, Brooklyn

"Mixed. I appreciate a well-kept beard. My dad had a beard most of the time I was growing up so I don't automatically associate them with sexy." --Mary Ellen, Utah

Nope. Nope. Nope. No more urban lumberjacks, please. It's so overdone. --Angelica, Denver

"Crumbs and spittle, so no." --Janet, France

"Yeah, no." --Minerva, Switzerland

What do you think, are beards sexy or not? Why?


Image via Djomas/Shutterstock

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