You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Men with stubble more attractive than those who are clean-shaven or bearded, study suggests

The Independent logo The Independent 14/09/2016 Samuel Osborne

© Provided by Independent Print Limited Women find men with stubble more attractive than those who are clean-shaven or bearded, a study has found.

Research published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology suggests women view men with stubble as more attractive for short-term flings than men with full beards, which were seen as more attractive for long-term relationships.

Investigators asked 8,520 women to rate photos of men for physical attractiveness in general, for a short-term or long-term relationship.

Replay Video
They manipulated the images to morph their facial hair from clean-shaven, through light and heavy stubble, to a full beard.

The researchers also altered the men's brow ridge, cheekbones and jawline so they appeared more or less masculine.

Feminine faces were judged to be less attractive than unmanipulated faces when both were clean-shaven, while extremely masculine and extremely feminine-looking faces were judged the least attractive.

Stubble was judged most attractive overall and received higher ratings for short-term flings, while full beards were seen as more attractive for long-term relationships.

The study's authors suggested beards may act as a signal of men's age and masculine social dominance. They also said strong masculine facial features, such as a pronounced brow ridge and robust jawline, may signal underlying health.

"Sexual selection via female choice has shaped the evolution of male ornamentation in many species," the study's authors wrote.

Previous research found beards may contain bacteria which could potentially be developed into new antibiotics.

Other research claimed bearded men are more likely to be sexist.

Here's why the hair on different parts of your body can look so wildly different, according to science

beardly: If you've ever wondered why the hair on one part of your body looks so different from the hair on another part, you're probably not alone.<p>This phenomenon is a perfectly natural one, and it can be explained pretty easily with science.</p><p>As it turns out, you have different types of hair that grow during different phases of your life, and they can come in different colors and textures.</p><p>Deep inside the hair follicles — tiny pockets in your skin that house each strand of your hair — there are two different types of pigment that give your lovely locks their hue.</p><p>These two types of pigment are eumelanin, which colors hair black or brown, and pheomelanin, which colors hair blonde <a href="">or red</a>. Despite what you may have heard, all humans have <a href="">a little bit of pheomelanin</a> in our hair. It's just that in people with dark brown or black hair, the pheomelanin is effectively masked by the darker eumelanin. If your brown hair has a few golden or auburn tones, that's the eumelanin peeking through!</p><p>ShutterStock / glebTvBut different parts of the body are home to different colors — and textures — of hair. A variety of factors contribute to this phenomenon, including the fact that some follicles simply produce more pigment than others. Usually, <a href="">eyebrow hair is the darkest</a>; the follicles there tend to produce a lot of pigment.</p><p>So what about texture? The hair on your beard — or on your genitals or on your tummy — can be wiry and curly, even while the stuff on your head is smooth and straight. There's another reason for this. As opposed to the hair on your head ("head hair"), the stuff coming out of your beard belongs to a type of hair called <a href="">androgenic hair, which sprouts during and after puberty</a> thanks to changes in the levels of a certain type of hormone called androgens.</p><p>ShutterStock / glebTv</p><p>Androgenic hair also differs slightly from head hair in terms of how it grows. Like head hair, it goes through <a href="">three different growth phases</a> in which the hair grows at different speeds, but these phases happen at slightly different times, which influences how long or short your hair gets.</p><p>So there you have it! If you have curly hair in one place and straight hair in another, embrace it. It's perfectly natural.</p><p>NOW WATCH: <a href="">These 25-year-old BFFs are Instagram stars thanks to their crazy beards</a></p> Here's why the hair on different parts of your body can look so wildly different, according to science

More from The Independent

The Independent
The Independent
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon