Well, unfortunately, it’s not completely up to you. In fact, it’s not really up to you at all – your girlfriends and wives all have opinions when it comes to the hair on your face, and new research says they’d prefer you not have any – ever.
The study, which was published in the journal Behavioral Ecology, queried women from New Zealand and Canada to determine their preferences on men’s facial hair. Those women responded that bearded men looked older and more aggressive.
Over 200 women were presented with pictures of clean-shaven and bearded men making different types of faces (normal and angry). The results showed that women found the clean-shaven men significantly more attractive.
Interestingly enough, a group of men were also shown the same pictures, and they perceived the men with beards as having more social status.
While the Hulk Hogan ’stache isn’t making a comeback, there definitely seems to be a Hollywood trend of facial hair – at least if you use the hairy faces of guys like Zach Galifianakis, David Guetta and Brad Pitt as any kind of cultural barometer, which, let’s be honest, you should be. In fact, we use Zach Galifianakis’ facial hair as an oracle for predicting future world events, so its significance in terms of dictating men’s grooming trends is all but a given.
Regardless, women have made it clear: While it’s not a universal rule, the majority of them find clean-shaven men more attractive.
Gentlemen, start your electric shaver. Or, you know, grab your rusty blue Bic out of the shower. (Never use those! Why do you use those?)
Of course, you could argue, that if she really loves you, she will love you with or without the hairy face.
Written by Dave Golokhov, this article originally appeared in AskMen