5 Ways How Your Beard Affects People Around You

how a beard affects people around you

It’s often been said that we are the consequences of our actions.

Spending too much time in the sun without proper protection can bring with it one kind of consequence. So does crossing an urban freeway during rush hour. It’s simple cause and effect.

The same sort of thing happens when you grow a beard. It affects your appearance, no doubt. It changes your daily grooming habits.

These are obvious. But there also more subtle ways having a beard affects other people in your day-to-day life.

Perhaps you even sense it, consciously or subconsciously, or perhaps it doesn’t register. Science, however, can back this up: in various studies and research, beards have been shown to have magical powers that can have a definite affect on people.

OK, so ‘magical powers’ may be stretching it a bit, but there’s something about a beard. You know it, even if it’s not as obvious as the hand in front of your face.

So, let’s take a closer look at the ways that great-looking, manly beard you’ve grown is impacting those around you.

1. Beards and Social Perception

Our friends in science have put in the time when it comes to all things beards from the perception/psychological side of things.

They tell us that when a man has distinctive facial hair – even just stubble – people associate certain traits with you.

Traits like aggression and dominance, and maturity.

The aggression part of the equation comes from the notion that beards are a sign of active testosterone in the body, and the brain thus recognizes it as having the potential for more aggression.

The maturity aspect makes obvious sense in one way: the ability to grow a beard is a sign of physical maturity in men. One study showed that the longer the beard hair, the more masculine the man is rated.

2. Beards and Sexual Appeal

Ah, yes. Beards and sexual appeal.

You’ve probably heard about it, read about it, or even listened to a bearded friend discussed his sudden upward trend in meeting women. And that leads to the million-dollar question – will a beard help you have better success with women?

While there may be no definitive answer – different women have different perspectives on beards, and many other factors can come into play – studies indicated certain general trends when it comes to beards and sex appeal.

*Women like stubble. But they favor heavy stubble over lighter stubble when it comes to overall attractiveness.

*Women find men with facial hair to be more masculine than those who don’t. Again, it circles back to the point of beards and signs of maturity. And men who are perceived as being more masculine are also perceived as being better providers.

*Besides being perceived as being better providers, women also perceive us bearded gents as having better parenting skills, as well.

3. Beards and Trustworthiness

Previous studies seemed to indicate that men with beards were deemed to be less trustworthy than men who were clean-shaven. That’s apparently shifted, however, as at least one study shows.

Participants in the study preferred bearded men when it comes to issues of trust, particularly when it comes to first impressions. And we all know how important first impressions can be.

When you have a beard, people are going to trust you more. In a 2011 study in the United States, participants were shown images of men with varying degrees of facial hair and asked to rate them on several personality traits.

Compared to clean-shaven men, men with a full beard were consistently ranked as more trustworthy and dependable. The men with heavy stubble or a light beard were considered more dominant.

4. Beards and Respect

A man with a beard often commands respect.

A beard makes you look wiser, older, more learned (and certainly more experienced) than your clean-shaven brethren. Along the same line of thinking, people often perceive men with beards as being more aggressive, rightly or wrongly.

It is, after all, what they think and not a matter of whether you walk into a party and drag your potential love interest out the door by her hair, caveman-style (which we strongly, strongly advise against). But beards certainly signal that testosterone is active in your body.

Beards often command respect. It’s no coincidence that the most powerful men in history had beards: Lincoln, Einstein, Darwin and Jesus. Having a beard has the power to give you a commanding presence and help you come across as a leader in your personal life and at work.

People are more likely to listen to you when you’re sporting facial hair, because your beard gives off an air of authority and importance. This doesn’t mean that clean-shaven guys don’t or can’t command respect—but having a beard is an easy way to get people to take you seriously from day one.

5. Beards and Jobs/Job Interviews

There are mixed results when it comes to beards and how they’re perceived in jobs and interviews.

Clean-shaven men seem to have an advantage when it comes to entry-level positions while a well-groomed beard may help you when it comes to land more executive-type positions.

That’s because beards can help you be perceived as mature, knowledgeable and dominant – and, hey, people respect people like that. Stubble?

Makes you look unkempt like you couldn’t bother yourself with grooming before you showed up for the job interview.

Don’t do it.

How people perceive and act around you is obviously affected by a lot of things.

Being intelligent, kind and strong will typically produce one kind of result, being a jerk will produce another.

But there’s no arguing that beards do have an affect when it comes to how people perceive us, and even how we’re perceived by the opposite sex. Wear that beard with pride, friends, and be conscious of the messages it may be sending others.

About The Author

Domen Hrovatin
Domen Hrovatin

Domen—a self-confessed facial hair addict—is a grooming professional, style enthusiast, and someone with deep personal experience and knowledge about male pattern baldness. His work was mentioned in countless notable men's grooming and style publications, including Beardbrand and AskMen.

  • well for me the lazy bit is right, but the bit about keeping it clean that’s just rude, 🙁
    anyway, try kissing someone with an unclean beard and you soon get to know about it.
    is that your experience!

  • Even more probable is the bearded goats are to lazy to shave, and or keep it clean, but try to con everyone into thinking it is cool.

    • well for me the lazy bit is right, but the bit about keeping it clean that’s just rude, 🙁
      anyway, try kissing someone with an unclean beard and you soon get to know about it.
      is that your experience!

  • One unmentioned point is what beards do to others. Growing a beard causes everyone else to chime in with stupid statements that frequently demonstrat demonstrate the other’s Knowsle knowledge of bearded men in pop culture. It used to be limited to ZZ Top, but a beards became more abundant the list of celebrities grew, and it is not a phenomenon you see elsewhere. Could you imagine going up to a strange womanand remarking that she has the same hairstyle as Jennifer Aniston?

    Related to this is this inherent belief that a bearded man is more thick-skinned than a woman. Could you imagine going up to any woman and remarking how you dislike their haircut? Even the guys on Impratical Jokers aren’t that brave. Bearded men, on the other hand, will receive this and oftentimes it is an unsolicited comment from a stranger! “Hey you need to shave because you are rejecting looking like the Ken doll I had as a little girl”

    • You’re right. Though things have gotten a lot better over the last several years. I remember Beardbrand had the motto: “Change the way society views beardsmen”, or something like that. And we did, but there’s still a long way to go.

    • Yes, I agree completely. As a matter of fact. I have a handlebar mustache that goes all way acroos my face and a Buffalo Bill goatee. When some comments on my well groomed, well cared for facial hair, it tends to be someone that is clean shaven. I will usually reply “yes I know, I mostly get comments from those unable to grow facial hair”. That usually shuts them up. One of the things I find interesting, is some men trying to grow facial hair, (and they can’t) and it looks patchy, like a coyote with mange.

    • I had a gentleman at work comment that I should trim my beard as it would make me look more professional. I’m quite certain he didn’t think that comment through before he made it.

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