Ladies Love Beards, Here Comes The Science
Beards have a long history of masculinity and attractiveness. All the best jobs in history are associated with beards. Lumberjack, Biker, Civil War general, King, Amish guy, Santa Claus, Viking, Pirate, Late Night Talk Show Host During a Writer's Strike, Athlete in the Playoffs... the list goes on.
One study out of the University of New South Wales has found that women, on average, rate men with at least some stubble more attractive than their clean shaven (aka "debearded") counterparts. Results did vary depending on facial structure, as men with more masculine shaped faces and light stubble rated well, but men with more feminine shaped faces and full beards rated well. While it certainly ran the spectrum of facial structure and degree of beardedness, one thing was constant across all facial structures: our debearded friends were not seen as very attractive.
The highest debearded face was rated barely higher than the lowest rated light stubble and full beard faces, with heavy stubble as the heavy favorite across the board, with the exception of excessively masculine faces (the only category light stubble won).
They also broke down where facial hair landed within the context of relationships. Debearded and lightly stubbled men fared better with women in the context of short-term relationships, but in regards to long-term relationships, women preferred heavily stubbled and fully bearded. You can read the full study here. Or, you can read a breakdown simpler than that, but slightly more in-depth than my run-down here.
Personally, it's been many moons since I last went debearded. So long, in fact, this is the only photo I can find of me without any type of facial hair:
LOOK AT THAT FACE! Would you marry that face?! NO! Because that's the face of a three year old child who can barely tie his own shoes, let alone hold down a job, enter into a legal contract like marriage, or handle the complexities of human emotion. And he doesn't have a beard. Coincidence?! I think not.
Now look at THIS recent (as in taken yesterday) picture of me:
That's the face of a man who can sign his name to legal documents and no one questions the validity of said signature. The face of a man who can hold down a job. The face of a man who can tie his own shoes (take THAT, velcro!).
So, gents... if you're looking for a long-term relationship, better grow out some long-term facial hair. Ladies know what they want. And they want a long, flowing face mane.