Both men and women love a good beard. From the smallest of soul patches to gloriously bushy biker beards with handlebar mustaches, we’re all about celebrating the brilliance of facial hair. And with it being Movember, we felt the time was ripe to speak to men about their own feelings on the matter.
All Things Hair surveyed over 300 beard-wearers (311, to be precise) in order to find out how their facial hair makes them feel, from their level of confidence to their sense of professionalism and whether they feel that they are more attracted to women.
Whether you’re already a fully-fledged beard aficionado or just tentatively trialing your first goatee, we think you’ll be delighted to discover the strength of feeling that facial hair can evoke. Let’s take a look at how the respondents felt about all things beard.
Beards make you more attractive
A whopping 71% of the beard-wearers that we spoke to felt that their beards made them more attractive. Just 8% felt that they were less attractive due to having a beard. The remaining 21% of men, meanwhile, felt that they would be equally buff regardless of the presence (or absence) of facial hair.
There’s plenty of other research out there that backs up this finding. According to Barnaby Dixson, a researcher at the Australia’s University of Queensland, facial hair carries connotations of maturity, social dominance and masculinity. It can serve to emphasize the eyes and present a larger, stronger jawline.
So, at a fairly primal level, beards equal attractiveness – and the majority of modern men are certainly feeling this while sporting facial hair, according to the survey. Women, it seems, agree as well. One of Dixson’s studies, published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, found that women are more attracted to men with facial hair than to those who are clean-shaven.
Facial hair is the key to confidence
Not only did the beard-wearers who we surveyed feel more attractive thanks to their facial hair, they also felt more confident. 59% of those we spoke to reported feeling more confident as a result of their beards, while just 5% of respondents felt less confident (the remaining 35% felt that having a beard has no impact either way).
It’s pretty clear to see the link here; attractiveness and confidence often go hand in hand. After all, if you feel that you’re looking your best, then it’s likely you’ll feel more confident, so beards manage to tick two boxes in terms of feeling better about yourself.
Beards and professionalism
When it comes to whether or not beards make men look more professional, opinion is a little more divided. 54% of respondents felt that they look more professional when sporting a beard. However, 16% felt that they look less professional. The remaining 30% of the men we surveyed felt that a beard has no effect on how professional a man looks.
These differing opinions could well relate to the huge number of variables at play. There’s a big difference between a lumberjack-style beard and a shapely goatee, for example. There’s also a vast difference between what’s considered professional in, say, a private bank versus the artfully styled offices of a tech start-up. It’s possible that an employee sporting a Gandalf-esque beard in the bank might just feel less in tune with his surroundings than the chap with the hipster beard playing on the pinball machine in the start-up’s den.
What the survey has shown is that, while the majority of men feel that a beard makes them look more professional, it’s not a conclusive win when it comes to beard-wearing in the workplace.
A growing trend
The survey supports a growing trend towards the acceptance – nay, the admiration – of facial hair. The majority of the beard-wearers we spoke to felt more attractive, more confident and more professional as a result of their facial hair. And they are far from alone.
Beard-toting stars on the red carpet have certainly played a role here. From George Clooney and Ryan Gosling to Aldis Hodge and Jason Momoa, there are plenty of icons out there showing just how fabulous a shapely beard can look. A number of prominent politicians have also helped to build the association between facial hair and professional (and financial) success in recent years.
According to Statista, 33% of the US’s male population now wear beards full-time, while a further 27% sport them some of the time. Just 40% of men report being clean-shaven all the time.
The growing popularity of beards is mirrored in the growth of the global beard grooming market. Valued at $24.1 billion in 2018, that market is projected to grow to a value of $43.1 billion by 2026. Clearly, beards are back for the long-haul.
Top beard grooming tips
The expansion of the beard grooming market means that there’s a whole array of products out there waiting for you to discover them. To keep your beard in tiptop condition, so that you gain maximum benefit in terms of feeling more attractive, confident and professional, make sure that you nurture it with high-quality products packed with natural ingredients.
You’ll need a decent pair of scissors to help trim and shape your beard or a beard trimmer if that’s more your style. Be sure to shave your cheek and necklines too, to give your beard the definition that it deserves.
In terms of products, good beard shampoo and conditioner will help to keep your facial hair soft and manageable and can also help to protect the skin underneath, to ward off any itching or flaking. Be sure to use beard-specific products, as haircare ones may strip away some of the essential oils that keep your beard well nourished.
Once you’ve cleaned and conditioned your beard, you then have a world of oils, butter, creams, pomades and more to explore. It’s worth trying out different products to see which you get on with best. Most will help to soften your beard as well as helping you to achieve a healthy shine. Pomades also have wax in them, which can help you to shape your style.
The survey has shown that a great beard could well be the secret to making you feel more attractive, giving you a confidence boost and even helping you feel more professional. So, wear your facial hair with pride and ensure that you keep it in perfect condition!