Last week I ran in to two different studies about beards. This was interesting, as it’s not normally a hot topic in academia.
My Dad has a beard, and except for two brief occasions, has had one my entire life. Thus I was interested to see that beards might actually help keep you young. Apparently the block UV rays from getting to your skin and help prevent skin damage. My only question would be if this helps your whole face or just the part covered by the beard (Dad you could be like 23 under there!)
Second, there was this report on two studies where researchers tried to find out which type of facial hair women found most attractive. Apparently it’s stubble. The study that ruled out beards apparently took women from cultures where men did not traditionally wear beards (Somoan/Polynesian) and showed them pictures of men clean shaven, and pictures of the same men after 6 weeks of growth. The rated clean shaven more highly.
Studies that focus on attractiveness levels like that are always a little strange to me, especially with something like facial hair. While having a control group is good for a study, most people do not choose their facial hair style at random…they go for what they’re comfortable with/what looks good on them. Some men can rock a beard, some look goofy. There’s a context here that a controlled study misses.
Also, beards not trimmed for 6 weeks are gross. I’ve seen sports teams during winning streaks. Things get yucky in a hurry.
While we’re on the topic, apparently there’s a website called Awesome Beards. Enjoy!