There’s a growing body of scientific evidence that suggests the act of shaving your beard may be as effective as using a razor to trim it, and may even make you more attractive.
In a new study, scientists from New York University found that people who shaved their beard had a 15 percent higher attractiveness rating, which may be a sign that their facial hair has improved.
“We’ve known for years that shaving your facial hair can be as good as shaving your face, but it was very unclear how this would translate into an actual increase in your attractiveness rating,” said study co-author Yvonne A. Chaykowsky, a professor of psychology at NYU.
“We thought that shaving facial hair could increase your attractiveness by boosting your perception of your attractiveness, which could in turn lead to an increase in the amount of facial hair that you grow.”
The researchers also measured how people felt about their appearance, and found that those who shaved were rated as more attractive than those who did not.
“This study was designed to understand whether facial hair affects the attractiveness rating of people, or if facial hair does not affect the attractiveness of others,” Chay.
“The answer is yes, facial hair is a major factor.”
Chaykowski and her colleagues recruited about 1,000 adults to participate in the study.
All were randomly assigned to shave their facial hairs, with half of the participants shaving at home or at a salon and half at a barber shop.
The participants rated their attractiveness as “very attractive” to “slightly attractive” and “not at all attractive” on a 10-point scale.
“People who shave are perceived as being more attractive because their facial fur, which is the hair on the top of their head, appears more prominent,” Chai said.
“They also appear to be perceived as more confident, and more attractive, because they are more likely to be seen by other people.”
The study found that facial hair did not affect people’s attractiveness rating on the 10-item beauty scale, and that those with facial hair were judged as more sexually attractive.
“Our study found people with facial hairs on average rated themselves as more sexual attractive than people without facial hair,” Chays co-authors explained.
“This suggests that facial hairs may increase our attractiveness by enhancing our ability to detect others and make us more attractive.”
“The facial hair of men and women are linked to attractiveness, and the facial hair effect has been demonstrated in a variety of studies,” Chiykowsky said.
“However, we don’t know why facial hair increases our attractiveness, or whether it contributes to a greater sense of sexual attractiveness.”
The team also found that men and boys who shaved had a 20 percent higher average attractiveness rating than men and girls who did no shaving, which suggests that grooming your beard might actually help men and other men maintain a youthful appearance.
“These findings support the hypothesis that facial grooming may reduce the appearance of baldness,” Chais said.