Using digital facial mapping software and the Greek Golden Ratio of Beauty Phi, experts might have definitive proof to rank the 10 most attractive men in the world. And what do 9 in 10 of these men have in common? Facial hair. At some point, all but one has used a full-faced beard as a fashion accessory.  

Looking good isn’t the only advantage of growing and maintaining facial hair either. More than just making men appear more attractive, beards can make men seem more masculine, healthier, and even more confident.

As it turns out, all might not be fair in love and facial hair. In many cases, men without facial hair don’t go without by choice – they simply can’t grow it. To learn more, we surveyed over 1,000 Americans to learn more about the importance of facial hair and how it might be significant to their partners. Want to know how growing a beard could impact your sex life (and more)? Read on to see what we discovered.

Growing It Out

When it comes to buzzworthy male fashion trends, beards might be at the top of the list. With seemingly endless options for styling and wearing it, facial hair gives men an opportunity to tailor their look to their personality easily.

So how many men really prefer growing it out to being clean-shaven? According to our poll, nearly 62 percent of men chose to sport some facial hair. From a full beard (over 17 percent) to short stubble (nearly 25 percent) or a goatee (more than 5 percent), a majority of men in America are making the fuzz work for them.

Nearly 1 in 4 of all men said they couldn’t grow one at all, and almost 7 percent said they were unsure or never tried to grow a beard.

Finding Facial Satisfaction

Being able to grow a beard isn’t just the luck of the draw. How well your body fills out a mustache, goatee, or even a full beard is more a product of how your body reacts to a chemical synthesized from testosterone. According to research, men who can grow full beards are more sensitive (or responsive) to testosterone than those who can’t.

If you find yourself in the latter category, you’re not alone. Plenty of men in Hollywood (like Keanu Reeves and Channing Tatum) haven’t been able to escape the patchy reality of their facial hair, and others (like Justin Bieber) basically can’t grow them at all.

According to our survey, almost half of men wouldn’t change their facial hair. Nearly 30 percent wanted more hair, while around 22 percent wanted less. Men who had no issues growing a beard were the most satisfied with their whiskers, whether short or long, while more than 1 in 10 men who couldn’t grow facial hair were the most unsatisfied. Less than 9 percent of men who said they couldn’t grow a beard were very satisfied with their facial hair (or lack thereof).

Stubble Stigmas

For men who can’t grow facial hair at all, the emotional impact can go further than disappointment or beard envy.

More than 1 in 5 men who couldn’t grow a beard said they’ve felt they weren’t masculine enough, and over 38 percent spent time worrying about it. For some men, the pressure of masculinized stereotypes can have a negative impact on their overall mental health. In reality, men can feel self-conscious about their bodies too, and physical appearance (including facial hair) can play a role.

Nearly 19 percent of men who couldn’t grow a beard said they’d been teased for not having enough facial hair, compared to less than 4 percent who had no issue growing a beard. Over 20 percent of all men also said they believed facial hair would give them more dating opportunities.  

Emotional Fallout

There’s no denying the role confidence plays in our success. From physical performance to feelings of happiness and comfort in the face of adversity, confidence is more than just swagger – it can be vital to our well-being. Unlike growing a beard, which is rooted more in hormonal balances than blind luck, confidence can be a learned skill.

Our research found men who were able to grow facial hair were not only more confident in themselves but were significantly more satisfied with their sex lives as well. While nearly 80 percent of men with the ability to grow facial hair said they considered themselves attractive, less than 74 percent of men who couldn’t grow a beard said the same. When asked about their professional lives, over 3 in 4 men who could grow a beard felt confident at work compared to less than 2 in 3 men who couldn’t.

And sexual performance? Sixty-seven percent of men who had the power to decide whether to sport facial hair were happy with their sex lives compared to nearly 53 percent of men who couldn’t grow it at all.

Never Satisfied

Men who couldn’t grow facial hair weren’t the only ones who weren’t happy with the status of their beards, though. A vast majority (nearly 2 in 3) of men with facial hair weren’t completely satisfied with their look and had some complaints about it.

The biggest complaints? Fullness and consistency. For more than 46 percent of men, the biggest issue with their facial hair was that it didn’t grow thick enough, while roughly 43 percent said it didn’t grow everywhere they wanted.

For 27 percent of men, patchiness left them wanting more from their facial follicles. Despite advice on how to grow it out, even world-famous athletes like David Beckham can’t escape criticism for growing out a patchy look.

Holding Out Hope

It goes without saying that our bodies change as we get older, and the way our hair grows is no different. Graying often begins for most people in their 30s (or earlier for some), and balding can start around the same time. Eventually, age catches up everywhere – even in your beard. Over time, your facial hair could get thinner and eventually stop growing completely.

According to most men, the median age men could grow a full beard was 24. Nearly 15 percent were able to grow a beard in their teens, and roughly 1 in 5 men started seeing growth when they turned 20. For most men, 25 was the youngest point their beards started growing in, and very few saw this change once they hit their 30s.

So why the hold up on the growth spurt? Men who couldn’t grow out their facial hair were more likely to research ways to build a better beard and believe their hair growth was an issue with testosterone production.

Personal Preferences

Despite the way men felt about themselves and their love lives when they couldn’t grow facial hair, the consensus wasn’t always as clear to people who might be attracted to them.

Women attracted to men were more inclined to suggest men looked better with facial hair than without. While just over 54 percent of women thought beards, stubble, and mustaches were more attractive than a clean face, nearly 46 percent of women disagreed. Men attracted to men were even more confident a clean-shaven look was more attractive than a beard, with nearly 65 percent saying they preferred no hair at all.

And if their significant other couldn’t grow a beard in the first place? Nearly 58 percent of women and nearly 2 in 3 men said they wouldn’t care in the slightest.

If you decide facial hair is the way to go, take note: Exactly a third of men and women preferred short stubble to any other look. Even if you can grow a full beard, it doesn’t always mean you should. People told us they’d rather a man be clean-shaven than have long stubble, a full beard, or even a goatee.

Getting Your Groove Back

Even though growing out facial hair is more of a biological factor than a skill set, men tended to be dissatisfied with their beards. Of those who chose not to incorporate any style of facial hair into their personal look, a majority weren’t actually able to grow it in the first place. For men without the ability to grow facial hair, we found confidence suffered a bit in their personal and professional lives, and even sexual satisfaction was lower.

If you aren’t satisfied with how you look or feel, the Metabolic Code may be able to help. We believe there’s more to health than meets the eye: Genetics, diet, environmental factors, and exercise can all play significant roles in our overall well-being. Whether you want to feel healthier, lose weight, or have more energy, the Metabolic Code can help. By evaluating your body’s chemistry and unlocking interruptions that could be influencing your wellness, we’ll help you create an individual approach to your health. Visit us at BodyLogicMD.com to learn more.

Methodology

We surveyed more than 1,000 Americans (52 percent were men, and 48 percent were women) about facial hair, attraction, and self-confidence. All demographic information included a sample size of at least 25 respondents.

Sources

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