Dear Anon-O-Box: I’m Not Wesley Crusher

Dear Anon-O-Box,

I usually keep a small, and trimmed, beard since I look like I’m 15 without it. I’ve always been told that the majority of women dislike facial hair on their dates. How much validity is there to this and am I seriously hindering my dating efforts?

Doesn’t Want to Look Like Wesley Crusher

Dear Not-Wesley,

What’s wrong with Wesley Crusher?  He’s so adorable.  (Then again, I’ve always been more of a Picard girl myself…)  Oh right, we’re not playing Screw, Shoot or Marry using the stars of TNG.  I’m supposed to be answering your question about facial hair.

Well, here’s the deal…

The Science

A study done last year in the UK asked women aged 18 to 44 to judge photos of men that had been digitally altered to show stages of furriness ranging from clean-shaven up to full beard.

It came to the following conclusions:

  • Women preferred men with stubble over bearded and clean-shaven men.
  • Stubbly-faced men were seen as more masculine, dominant, and mature.
  • Men with stubble were also seen as the best romantic partners.
  • Fully bearded men were judged to be more mature (and 5 years older than their actual age).
  • Lightly bearded men were seen as dominant.
  • Clean-shaven men scored at the bottom for nearly every category.

Of course, these are UK ladies.  I wonder if US ladies would have the same opinions!  Looking at some of the sexy men in the movies and on TV, there are certainly many that sport stubble or facial hair of some sort.

My Advice for You

If you feel you look too young without a beard, keep the beard.   The older, more masculine look will probably be a safer bet than looking like a teenager.

Keep your facial hair groomed and under control, though!  A little stubble is one thing.  A full grown neck beard is another.

If you are doing online dating, I’d recommend including at least one picture of yourself with your “alternative” facial hair (or lack thereof).  That way, women can see you both ways, and if she really likes your clean-shaven babyface, she can convince you to shave once you’ve been dating for a while.

Happy dating, not Wesley!

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