To beard or not to beard?

I once let my beard grow more than I was used to, and just for fun I took a couple of selfies before and after shaving. I then posted those pictures to Facebook with the caption To beard or not to beard?. For me it was kind of obvious that the answer to my question, if I got any, was going to be “without beard.” I not only got surprised by the amount of comments I got, but also for the result of this spontaneous survey.

All the persons who responded to my Facebook status were women, and the bearded look was the most voted. On top of that, girls who went for the facial hair option were the ones I felt attracted to. Curiously, those who chose the “baby face look” were friends or ladies I wasn’t interested in. So beard, according to this quick informal study, makes a man -or me- more attractive. Interesting, huh?

But it’s not only my own experience that has a saying in this matter. Scientists all over the world had researched this as well. I mean, actual research. So I went through some of those investigations and found some refreshing facts. I specially found this study from the University of New South Wales particularly interesting, because they even defined a determined period of beard growth as the most attractive. But I wasn’t satisfied. I needed to try this scientific evidence in real life, using myself as the test subject. I shaved and started to post a selfie everyday on Instagram with the evolution of my beard. Here’s my story.

Day 0: I wasn’t actually going to conduct this experiment. I was happy with my almost 2-month full beard. The only uncomfortable -and nasty- thing about it was the mustache that kept going into my mouth ALL THE TIME. After trimming it, I realized I looked stupid with an almost invisible mustache above the rain forest of hair on my face, so I had to make a decision: let it grow for a couple of weeks -looking horrible during the wait- or just get rid of the whole beard. Chose the second alternative. I like to go all the way, specially when I fuck up.

Being out in the open with a clean shave was weird. Hadn’t done it for ages, which made me feel a stranger, even to myself. But apparently a sexy stranger, since I noticed more looks at me than usual by the opposite sex. The theory of beard sexiness wasn’t proving right. Should I believe these scientists after this day?

Day 1 to 4: while my face became more scratchy, the ladies reaction towards me got colder. This proved the study right to certain level. My beard is not patchy at all, but density at this stage wasn’t enough to show my masculinity -regarding instinctive attraction standards- to my surrounding female counterparts. Plus, in my opinion, the untidy appearance this unshaved look gave me just made me look more of a slacker than anything else. An unattractive slacker, that is.

Day 5: and I reached the fifth day of this experiment. Scientists used this stage of beard growth as the first measure to determine the level of attractiveness. I did notice some difference. Not saying I attracted much more attention than the previous days, but the bearded look was starting to take form. And it did, in fact, got noticed. My lady friend complimented me, without me even asking, and literally said the beard look was going well. If she says so, do I need any scientific evidence?

Day 6 to 9: pretty much like day 1 to 4. Not much variation in the level of attraction to my beard or my person. Started to feel that science did have a point when it comes to sexiness after all.

Day 10: the day had arrived! “Where them girls at?” I asked myself while walking around in the city with my perfect 10-day, heavy stubble beard. Reactions? Not many. To be honest, after day 6 o 7, the beard didn’t have a significant growth or change. Still I got a couple of compliments by my special lady and a female friend, but only after I pointed the fact I was letting my facial hair, slowly but surely, take control of my face. Though, despite the cold reception my so awaited beard had reaching the supposed boiling point of sexiness, it did reinforced the conclusion I had a few months before, when I did my Facebook experiment. Girls do prefer me with a beard, as they would with any other man with a bushy face. I was right, scientist were right and -hating myself for saying this- hipsters were also right: beards rock!

Bonus study: Instagram Reaction.

If you head to my Instagram account @edoherto, you’ll see nothing but selfies. I, as an amusement and a self-esteem booster, use this social network to show the world my ever growing beauty. To leverage the reach of my precious face in this app, I use two cocky hashtags: #beard and #latinlover. I always got likes from random girls or even dudes. So, since I wanted my experiment to be unbiased, I created a new hashtag for it, #SexyBeardExperiment. But, as a little trick, I also used #nofilter, to see if I could attract any attention. Didn’t work. No likes whatsoever.

Do you also wanna be part of the experiment and help in the follow up article? Shave and post your progress to Instagram everyday, or in days 0, 5 and 10, using the hashtag #SexyBeardExperiment. Happy growing!

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