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New Beard Study Has Hipsters Rethinking Their Facial Hair

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“Weird” facial hair has become more of a turn-off in cities where it was once popular. The issue? It’s not so weird anymore. According to a study published April 16th in journal Biology Letters, these “peacocking” facial hair styles, from big, bushy beards to curly-Q cartoon villain mustaches, may be less attention-getting, and more attention-repelling these days.

An Australian study showed that some degree of heavy stubble or facial hair can actually help to attract women. A healthy stubble implies virility, maturity and masculinity. However, the study from Biology Letters found that those who overdo it don’t look as rebellious as they think, but rather, quite conformist in areas like Austin, New York and San Francisco, where such facial hair styles are more common than they are unusual.

Ultimately, bucking the local facial hair trends, even if that means sacrificing the shaggy, animal appeal of a little stubble and going fully clean-shaven, will attract more attention than being just another beard in the crowd.

The inverse is, of course, true as well. In a clean-shaven town, a beard can set you apart from the crowd and help to make you more visually appealing. The idea is generally to go against the grain. Quoth Lucius from Planet of the Apes, “Beards? I don’t go in for fads.”

In short, if you’re having a little trouble getting a date for the weekend, try switching up your shaving routine and see what happens.

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