Psychology of Styling 01: Stubble
What does your facial hair really say about you? We ask the experts to reveal the secret messages that beards send out
You like the way it looks. For most men, that’s all you need to know. But everything about your appearance is sending out secret messages, and beards of every description are part of that coded message.This Month: Light Stubble
Grooming your facial hair into a controlled, stubbly look says a lot about who you are. In fact, it’s been found that light stubble is the most desirable look to women.
Psychologist Dr Nick Neave asked a large group of young women to rate different types of facial hair for masculinity, aggression, dominance, attractiveness, age and social maturity. The results showed stubble to be the ideal look for finding a partner.
While full beards were connected with dominance, maturity and aggression, clean-shaven men were associated with sexual immaturity. The stubbly look came right in the middle – not too dominant, but still mature enough to be masculine.
"In desirability for a short-term relationship, a female preference for male faces with stubble or light beard was found, with clean-shaven and fully bearded faces being the least preferred,” says Neave.
“It seems women are not selecting faces displaying relatively high or low masculinity, but prefer males who are clearly mature - but not too masculinised.
“The same pattern was found for preferences for a long-term relationship."
For men who feel their faces are too young looking, or want to accent their jawline to underline manliness, then stubble is the way to go.
A light beard would work just as well, especially if it’s well groomed to emphasize a lightness of personality.
So, leave the grizzly look to the bears – unless you’re hoping to stay single for a while.