Online Dating

To Beard or Not to Beard?

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facial hair half shaved half of face

Chloe Gray, Dating Coach

To beard or not to beard: that is the question. Fortunately, I just so happen to have the answer and a bunch of data to back it up. If you’ve been wondering if your prospective partner would prefer you with or without facial hair, you’re not alone.

The Beard Dilemma

man getting his beard trimmed at a barber

It’s one of the most commonly asked questions I receive as a dating consultant. In fact, I found several studies regarding facial hair and attraction from a simple search on Google Scholar, which means that it’s been a source of curiosity for quite some time. Let’s get into it!

Warning Label

man with facial hair holding up hand to signal stop

The contents of this blog are intended for those that don’t have a special attachment to the state of the hair on their face. If you have a strong grooming preference, please don’t make changes based on what imaginary partners may or may not like. It’s your face; you should like how it looks. If you’re curious about the data, want to try something new, or want to min/max your dating profile, then I’m happy to share what I know.

The Basics

man with shower cap and cucumber mask funny face

How much do people care about facial hair? A lot, apparently.

Approximately 62% of straight women, and even more gay men, prefer some level of facial hair on their partner. This includes those looking for hookups, casual dating, and long-term relationships.

Whatever ‘doo you decide to do, appearance matters. According to multiple studies, most women consider patchy or unkempt facial hair less attractive than a clean-shaven face. It’s also important to take care of your skin and those luscious locks. To avoid turning your flavor-saver into the chaser-away-er, let’s talk about basic grooming.

  • Wash your beard daily
  • Exfoliate to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy
  • Beard oil/beard conditioner to save your partner’s face from porcupine attacks
    balms/wax for shaping
  • Maintaining even, symmetrical lines

Santa Baby

drinking coconut on beach man as santa

Just because most women prefer facial hair doesn’t mean you should grow long mutton chops or go full Santa Claus. After reading 16 facial hair preference studies, the general consensus seems to be that some types of facial hair are vastly more popular than others. Here’s the rating system that was most consistent across research, from most to least attractive:

  1. 5 o’clock shadow
    • Most women prefer short stubble over any other level of facial hair.
    • Ex: Jason Statham, Geralt of Rivia
  2. Clean-shaven
    • Almost tied with the 5 o’clock shadow, a lot of women prefer no facial hair at all.
    • Ex: Henry Cavil from Superman
  3. Long stubble
    • Visible hair, not quite a beard
    • Ex: Chris Hemsworth, or basically any variation of Ryan Gosling
  4. Short beard
    • Most popular among women looking for a relationship and gay men
    • Ex: George Clooney. Brad Pitt before he got sad. Pick your Hemsworth brother
  5. Long beard
    • At this length, grooming becomes significantly more important with regard to attraction.
    • Ex: Anywhere between Jesus and Hagrid
  6. Mustache
    • The bit of fur above your lip. Super popular in the 70s, it dropped dramatically in popularity for a few decades but is currently experiencing a bit of a rebirth.
    • Ex: Tom Selleck; Yes, daddy
  7. Goatee
    • Mustache + a pointed beard that lives primarily on your chin
    • Ex: Jafar. Evil, but hot


different facial hair styles

Bumfluff. Chinstrap. Fur-face. Love curls. O’Bearded One. Abe Lincoln. The Gandalf. No matter what you wanna call it, facial hair has been seducing the masses for the past two hundred years with no sign of slowing down. If you’re interested in giving one a try, remember that maintenance is crucial, style is important, and never go full Chewbacca.

If you’d like help utilizing your newfound scruff on dating apps, check out my services, and I’ll get you sorted.