What is a man without his facial hair?
When my brother started growing hairs on his chin, his greatest goal in life was to eventually have a full beard. I remember the stubble on my grandpa’s chin on Saturday afternoon, as he enjoyed not shaving for the day before Sunday church service.
Famous men have donned their beards in stylistic ways. Modern men have decorated their beards with tiny Christmas lights, glitter or even flowers. There are specialty shops dedicated to the art of maintaining a well-groomed beard.
Beards are a man’s choice, and to shave is a personal decision. Women love men with or without facial hair, but whether or not they see him as the ideal parent, husband or partner all depends on factors involving the primitive side of the brain and who will be the greatest protector or parent of offspring, thus enhancing the child’s chances of survival.
Men are naturally masculine, but facial hair is like a period at the end of a complete sentence. Whiskers are masculine on a man. A burly man gives an air of protectiveness and strength. Even if he’s a soft teddy bear on the inside, emotionally, men and their facial hair communicate almost as much as their tie preference.
Are men with beards more attractive to all women? A human behavior study conducted by Barnaby J. Dixon and Robert C. Brooks on the role of male facial hair in women’s perceptions of men’s attractiveness, health, masculinity and parenting abilities, men with full beards ranked highest by women.
The study found that much of what a woman finds attractive in her mate depends on her reproductive stage. Women who were in the reproductive stage of life found men with beards at the top of the attractiveness scale. Women who were on birth control or at the end of their monthly reproductive cycle found light stubble more appealing.
Men with moderate facial hair, particularly those with a bit of stubble communicated masculinity to women too. Contradictory to the latest report that male facial hair is dirty and full of bacteria, there are some health benefits to men with facial hair. Beards provide natural UV blockers and protect facial skin from damage caused by the sun.
Men with beards — and yes, mustaches — who have asthma or allergies reported relief, perhaps due to the protectiveness of hair around the face and mouth blocking bacteria and pollen from entering airways.