What Does a Beard Say About a Man?

Your beard makes a statement. But what, exactly, does a beard say about a man?

Facial hair has a distinct effect on people’s impression of a man. Growing out your facial hair can make you look like a rugged lumberjack, an erudite professor, or a super-sensitive poet/singer/songwriter, depending on which kind of whiskers you choose to sport.

While the impression a beard makes depends largely on its style and level of grooming, a few commonalities in people’s impressions of a man with a beard do exist.

What Does a Beard Say About You?

Ever wondered what your beard says about you? Well, look no further – we’re about to break it down for you!

Beards, these hairy wonders, are often seen as the ultimate symbol of rugged manliness. They’re your facial frontline, separating guys from gals, providing that extra layer of warmth, and protecting your skin from the harsh environment.

Beards have long been linked to dominance, masculinity, and aggression, at least that’s what the evolutionary theorists say. But what about today? What’s the hidden message behind your bushy brilliance?

Down in Australia, a bunch of smart folks decided to tackle these hairy questions in a study published in Psychological Science. They showed a bunch of photos to 227 participants – clean-shaven men looking happy, clean-shaven men looking angry, bearded men looking happy, and bearded men looking angry. The same men were used in all categories to avoid any bias. What did they find? Well, hang onto your beard combs, guys!

People were quicker to peg the angry bearded guys as, well, angry! And they were faster at classifying the clean-shaven guys as happy. But wait, there’s more!

When they tested the same idea using sad faces instead of angry ones, people were slower to recognize sadness on the bearded faces. So, beards seem to amplify angry vibes, but not the sad ones. And in a third twist, bearded men were rated as more prosocial, particularly when they were smiling.

So, what’s your beard telling the world? Let’s dive into five fascinating insights.

Your Beard Adds Years to Your Face (In a Good Way!)

A beard can make you look older – by about 8 years, according to a 2013 study. The color, length, style, and fullness of your beard all contribute to the age people perceive you to be. Sporting a long, full, grey beard? You’ve got that wise sage vibe down. Just remember, older doesn’t mean less cool. It’s all about how you wear it!

Beards Boost Your Masculinity Quotient

Ever felt more ‘manly’ with a beard? Science backs you up on this. Beards are often tied to traits like aggression and dominance. They’re like the lion’s mane, signaling strength and masculinity. So, if you’re looking to beef up your macho credentials, a beard might be just the ticket.

A Well-groomed Beard Shows You’re a Detail-oriented Dude

Ever noticed how a well-groomed beard can really elevate a man’s overall appearance? It’s like a badge of your attention to detail, shining a light on your ability to keep things sharp and clean. So, keep those beard grooming tools at the ready!

Beards Can Boost Your Appeal

Your beard style can make a real difference in how attractive you appear to others. Stubble tends to appeal to women interested in casual dating or short-term relationships. A fuller, well-kept beard, on the other hand, signals a man ready for a long-term commitment. Either way, a well-groomed beard can give you an edge in the dating game.

Beards May Make You More Trustworthy

According to research from St. Edwards University, bearded guys seem to excel in sales and service-based jobs. Why? It’s not just your dazzling charm – it’s also how customers perceive you. Bearded men come across as more trustworthy, leading to a higher success rate in closing deals. So, your beard could be your secret business weapon!

Remember, the most important thing about your beard is how it makes you feel. So, keep rocking that facial fuzz with pride, and embrace the unique message it sends to the world.


young stylish bearded man

There’s no question about it – beards are trendy right now.

The beard has seen ups and downs in its popularity over the centuries. At times, it has been a sign of wealth and status. In other eras, only the lowest classes wore beards. At one point in American history, it was a staple of revolutionaries and hippies.

These days, everyone from the hipster at the local coffee shop to your dad seems to want to rock facial hair of some sort.

Growing a beard styled in a manner that flatters your features and lifestyle is a sure way to show off your awareness of the current ubiquitous fashionability of whiskers.


A beard symbolizes masculinity and this one is pretty obvious. Men can grow beards, and women, well, can’t.

Facial hair is a secondary sex characteristic, so it makes perfect sense that we would associate it with being a man. It follows that many people perceive men with beards as being more innately masculine than clean-shaven men.

This may be an unfair perception. Plenty of men with no visible facial hair are as packed with testosterone as their bearded brethren. But, fair or not, studies indicate that people tend to associate beards with traditionally masculine traits like assertiveness, aggression, and decisiveness.

This perception can also be a double-edged sword, as bearded men can be seen as intimidating and less likely to cooperate in group settings, which can be crippling in professional situations like job interviews.

Then again, rocking a beard can be advantageous in some professional situations – more on this later.


A more surprising effect a beard has on people’s perceptions of a man is that many view bearded men as having more expertise than unbearded men. This perception may be an extension of the maturity effect previously discussed.

There is a reason the stereotypical college professor sports some kind of facial hair, whether it’s a goatee, neatly trimmed full beard, or long Merlin-style mane. We subconsciously associate a bearded man with experience, knowledge, and wisdom.

Sure, there are plenty of bearded guys stumbling around with more happening on their chins than in their skulls. Still, the fact remains that people associate a well-groomed beard with competence.


Senior stylish man with grey hair and beard

Another obvious association with facial hair is maturity. Little boys don’t have it. Grown men do.

A thick, well-tended beard can make a man look older, especially if there is any gray in it. But even jet-black beards add a few years to people’s perception of a man’s age.

This perception can be an advantage for young professionals. One easy way to tack on a few years of experience (or at least its appearance) for a man just starting his career is to grow a beard. Colleagues may take you more seriously if they think you’re a little older than you actually are.

If you’re growing a beard with hopes of boosting your professional cred, make sure it’s a tidy one. The Castaway look won’t do you any favors in the boardroom.


Perhaps the most unexpected perception of bearded men is that they are trustworthy.

While associations with masculinity are a given, and perceptions of expertise might be written off as an extension of the maturity factor, the fact that people view a man with a beard as inherently trustworthy is genuinely puzzling.

But it’s definitely a thing. A recent study indicates that having a beard may be a significant asset in sales and service professions.

The findings were consistent across racial and age groups. So if you work in sales, you have plenty of motives to put the razor down.


Sorry, fellas – this one is a mixed bag. Studies and surveys present a very polarized view of men with facial hair. Some men and women find a beard irresistible.

Others see any facial hair at all to be a turnoff. Among those attracted to beards, the most popular options are heavy stubble and full but well-maintained beards.

The least popular looks are light stubble – which can be patchy and uneven and is likely to make you look like you’re just too lazy to shave – and long, bushy beards – which can seem unclean and sloppy.

The key to an attractive beard is for it to look intentional, well-groomed, and fitting for your face shape. But bear in mind that some potential partners are going to hate your facial hair no matter how well-maintained it is.

Your beard has plenty to say about you. If you’re looking to appear manly, mature, intelligent, stylish, honest guy, you might want to toss out the shaving gel and buy some beard oil.

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