If you thought growing a full-blown beard is just merely a hipster quirk, think again. According to a study, having a beard can also help make you look more handsome.
New research has found that women looking for a long-term relationship find men with beards more attractive than those who are clean-shaven. Those with stubbles, meanwhile, were seen as most attractive for those hoping for a short-term relationship only.
Scientists from University of Western Australia conducted an experiment to see how primates signal their dominance in their social groups. They looked at 154 species of primates and analyzed how they use ornaments to show off their rank in the group hierarchy and get the women's attention. They found the monkeys that live in bigger groups tend to use more embellishments, in order to stand out from their inferior peers.
The researchers claim men use beards, tattoos, and piercings in the same way—in order to stand out from the crowd and shine a spotlight on themselves. The bigger the dating market (especially now, thanks to online dating), the bigger the competition among men, so those looking for an edge grow facial hair to make them look the most appealing to women.
Apparently, beards can enhance a men's masculinity, sending a signal to the ladies that they're more fertile and better equiped to survive. Researchers also found that beards could make men look tougher than their competitors.
Guess it's time to go on full-James-Harden mode then.