Ask a Woman: Do Women Really Like Beards?

Beards are on-trend right now and there's hardly a guy who hasn't at least dabbled in growing one. However as a grooming writer, I repeatedly hear question, do women actually like beards? I decided to put everyone's mind at rest and go to the source — by actually asking women their real opinions on facial hair.

Apparently there are some (extremely) strong opinions in both camps, so read on.

Team Beard Love

These women gave a resounding "yes!" to their love of a sexy beard. Whether it's better for kissing or giving a distinguished masculine edge, they love the bearded look.

LOVE beards!


My husband grew a beard in his 20s to look more mature he was the youngest Vice President at the bank where he worked. When our daughter was born, my mother-in-law repeatedly suggested that he shave it (you'll scare the baby.) Quite the opposite happened: the baby would sit on his chest, tickle her toes on his chin and laugh! He's kept the beard for 20 years and now it looks even more distinguished as it defines his jawline (which is a bit fuller, these days!)

Renee Garrison, Award winning author of The Anchor Clankers

My answer is an enthusiastic YES!


Granted, my husband's beard is nicely trimmed and shaped and closely cropped to his face. If he had a ZZ Top beard, I might have another opinion. However, I absolutely love his beard, to the point that I cried once when he had to shave it off for a graduate school interview.

I think it makes him look equally rugged and capable as well as distinguished and intelligent. If a woman says she doesn't like men with beards, she just hasn't met the right bearded man. Once that happens, she'll understand their allure.

Amanda Oliver Founder & CEO of The Color Coded Life

Finally, an outlet to vent my feelings 


Every man in the world should have a beard! Maybe it’s my female lizard brain, but there’s something inherently sexy and masculine about a good beard. Now, I understand some women’s aversion; beards can range from Jon Hamm circa 2013 at the Emmys, to Charles Manson circa . . . any given moment. But for me, some scruff, a little burn on your cheeks after a kiss, makes all my prehistoric lizards go, “Ahhhhhhhh”. I could go on and on, but you only asked for 3 sentences!

— Taylor Covington  Content Marketing Associate, TheZebra.com

I love my husband's beard for so many reasons.


It is starting to go grey on the edges which is sexy and also reflects the fact that he is aging and growing more wise with time. I also have a tell for when my husband is anxious, he plays with the part of his beard right below his lips. He fidgets by pulling it into his mouth. That way I know I might need to reach out to him and see if there is anything he needs to talk about. He likes his beard when it is full and makes him feel more like a mountain man. ButI like it best when it (especially his mustache) is neatly trimmed becauseI feel I can have more access to his lips for kissing.

— Liz Witmer  Licensed Clinical Psychologist & Adjunct Professor of Counseling at The George Washington University

I love my husband’s beard. 


He’s losing the hair up top and it gives him a very edgy, sexy look to have a shaved head and a salt and pepper beard. I have some health issues, including pain disorders, and by the time you get to bed at night with your clean shaven man, the 5 o’clock shadow can turn into a 10 pm skin nightmare, from just uncomfortable to veritable burns. His beard, however, is tickly and soft and I never cringe when he gets close to me for kissing, because I know my skin will not go missing.

— Dawn Super  Personal Stylist + Fashion Blogger   Facebook

I used to think I preferred men who were clean shaven until I met my late husband. 


His beard and mustache were always neatly trimmed and the hair was soft. So if I meet another man who has a similar style of facial hair I’d be willing to go out with him.

As you’ll see from my career title (below my name) I’ve been a dating and relationship coach for over 10 years. I’ve found most of my female clients definitely have a preference about facial hair. About 30% prefer some facial hair, 10% are fine with lots of facial hair and 60% prefer clean shaven. I hope this additional information is helpful.

— Christine Baumgartner  The Perfect Catch Facebook | LinkedIn


Team Clean-Shaven

These ladies are all about the clean-shaven look. Whether it's for smoother kissing or avoiding the lumber-jack vibe, these women would like you to shave your damn face already.

I highly dislike beards.



I highly dislike beards, especially near me. I understand this could be an unfair and knee-jerk response, but it's the honest truth. You could say I have a beard phobia of sorts. Sometimes I appreciate the way they look on certain men from afar especially when the beards are shorter and well groomed, but generally speaking I dislike them and I have never dated anyone with a beard. I have, however, been with a man who had a goatee for much of our relationship and that didn't bother me in the slightest. All in all, I'm Team Clean (Shaven)!


— Kristen Hovet Science journalist and actress, contributing editor of BRIGID Magazine
   
Twitter Instagram

Hate them, sorry. 



Beards: Hate them, sorry.  Kissing a guy with a scratchy beard is like kissing a big thick brush. Ruins the romance.


— Deborah Rogers Owner, The Gifted Rat Minneapolis, MN  | Facebook

I'm over the whole beard trend. 



The worst part about meeting a man who has a beard is that he can never shave it because you don't know how he'll look without a beard. Have you ever dated a man with a beard who turned into a boy after shaving? Frankly, it's jarring. It's much better to begin dating a guy who doesn't have a beard and then ask him to grow a beard. That way, you'll know what he looks like without a beard, and with a beard.  Hope this helps!


— Lauren Crain Digital Marketer, Health Labs

I do not like beards on men.


Do I like beards on men: I do not like beards on men, especially young ones.

 I feel it makes them look older. Honestly, I really do not understand the whole beard

trend anyway.


— Michelle Morton

If I have to choose between full on beard or clean shaven, I would pick clean-shaven every time. 



Even men who take care of and trim their long beards tend to look unkempt or like they chop trees in the woods in their spare time. Now, there is nothing wrong with chopping trees in the woods, it's just not my type of guy.My favorite however, is when a guy has a 5 O'Clock shadow, with a millimeter or two of beard. The 5 O'Clock shadow makes them look really good without trying, definitely an unfair advantage for any type of guy.


— Stacy Caprio

Clean shaven means caring.



Pitch Contents: Burn. That’s the first word. Scorch. That’s the second word. Trough. Need I say more? Thanks for the opportunity to provide insight and observation. 


— Deb Trees A nineteen seventies sister from Saugerties, NY. 

I don't like facial hair. Period.



I think hirsute guys would shave if they could mentally picture kissing a woman with a beard or mustache.

Men's facial hair makes me think a man is trying to hide his face (or something about his personality) or to distract me from the fact that he is losing his head of hair.


— Stacy Harris Publisher/Executive Editor, Stacy's Music Row Report

Conclusion

I think it totally depends on the person.


I live in the mountains of NorthCarolina, and there are lots of men who look pretty darn good with a gnarly beard. My boyfriend is the most handsome man in the world to me, but his beard just a few days after he's shaven is my favorite. As long as men are confident with their decision to grow it out or keep it short, they'll look handsome no matter what! Other than facial hair....is it weird that I like back hair?!

— Joanna Faith Williams  Fashion & Lifestyle Influencer  | Instagram  | Pinterest

This is a wonderful question with varied answers. 


The truth is, it depends on the man and it depends on the beard. If a man can't grow a proper man beard, clean shaven is preferred. If the beard is covering a man's lips in any way, clean shaven is preferred. If a man can't take care of his beard, clean shaven is preferred. If the beard is longer than a quarter inch, clean shaven is preferred. With all that said, I do prefer a beard to clean shaven for two reasons. One, I am attracted to the masculine look, and, two, a beard is easier on my chin. Many men's clean shaven face actually destroys my chin when kissing for extended periods of time.My boyfriend right now is currently creating some kind of darken callous on my chin. Come fall, he'll be growing a beard to protect my chin.

— Vanessa Valiente  Personal Fashion Consultant. Wardrobe Stylist. Writer.  
 Instagram  | Twitter | Facebook


In the end, like everything in life, it boils down to confidence and personal preference. If you want to try a beard, find a beard style that fits your personality. A few women might not mind the lumber-jack look but most will be happier if it's tidy and well-cared for.  

Meanwhile, if you feel better clean-shaven, just own it and know that beards will (eventually) go out of fashion. Up-grade your shaving routine to make it an enjoyable ritual and banish in-grown hair and razor burn.

On the fence? Stubble is your friend. It's rare to find something simultaneously sexy, simple and stylish but there you go.