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March 14, 2012  | by: Amanda Jones

Marc Anthony with & without facial hair

There seems to have been a recent resurgence in facial hair. Everyone on TV these days looks to be sporting some sort of beard, goatee, or stubble. NBC’s The Voice has three stubbly male judges as well as host Carson Daly, Bravo’s new show Love Broker had matchmaker Lori Zaslow holding a manscaping extravaganza for two clients with beard/chest hair issues, and on FX’s Justified Timothy Olypant’s character Raylan Givens has a goatee. So what gives, is this hot or not?

Well as expected it depends on who is being asked. A 2008 study, done by psychologists at Northumbria University in England, claim that hair is the way to go. “Stubble is the way to win a woman’s heart” (Dobson).

That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but to be fair I do know a lot of women, myself included, that appreciate a nice, light scruff. I think when maintained and kept short and clean, facial hair is fine.

According to the study,

“Faces with full beards were judged to be the most masculine, aggressive and socially mature. Men with light beards were considered the most dominant. Those with light stubble were rated the most attractive and as the ideal romantic partner for the short or long term. Clean-shaven men finished bottom for masculinity, dominance, aggression, and social maturity, and they were the least favoured choice as a long-term partner. They came second-to-last for attractiveness.”

Two men I prefer clean shaven are Hollywood heavyweights Brad Pitt and Denzel Washington.

Brad Pitt looking perfect and Brad Pitt looking less attractive...but still perfect

Denzel Washington, smooth and smiling and Denzel with questionable facial hair

Though a newer study claims the opposite is true. In a 2012 study done in New Zealand, clean shaven men were ranked more attractive. One researcher believes the trends of the time influence how attractive facial hair ranks. But the simple fact is whether it’s trendy or not, some men just look better with their facial hair. Gerard Butler and Robert Downey jr. are two good examples of this.

Sexy, stubbly Gerard Butler and Clean shaven Gerard Butler

Robert Downey jr. rocking his signature facial hair and Robert Downey jr sans hair

The final verdict, from what I’ve gathered through my research, is trimmed but not bare. Most girls like what looks good on a particular guy whether that happens to be some hair or no hair at all on his face. The body rule for hair on men is less ambiguous.

It’s pretty unanimous that too hairy is just as bad as too bare. Trimming body hair is a good thing, but leave a little unless it’s unsightly like shoulder/back hair or long nose hairs. Of course, It’s entirely up to the guy, as it is his face/body, but radio DJ Charlamagne Tha God said it best on MTV’s Guy Code, “Back hair is disgusting. Back hair is for gorillas and werewolves getting caught in mid-change.”

If you hate shaving, are bad at it, or have sensitive skin prone to razor burn, bumps, etc. there is help. One of my favorite youtube gurus is Jim Chapman and he does a ton of men’s tips on hair styles, men’s products and fashion, and grooming.

You can check out his channel for more of his tips on getting a good, irritation free shave and more.

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