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Bye, Bye Beards: Study Claims Facial Fuzz Less Attractive When Trendy

Movember: Wacky Mustaches

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By Chelsea Karnash

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s a question we “mustache”: Are you over facial hair?

Hipsters brought beards into fashion; now, they’ve gone mainstream…which could mean women no longer find them as attractive.

That’s according to a new study published in the journal Biology Letters by researchers in Australia, who claim they’ve shown the facial hair fad has resulted in women finding stubble-sporting men less sexually attractive.

It all relates, scientists say, back to “negative frequency dependence” (NFD), which essentially means that rare traits have a biological advantage.

In the experiment, study participants rated photos of 36 men. Each of the men had been photographed when clean shaven, with light stubble, with heavy stubble and then with a full four weeks of facial hair growth (a beard). The study subjects each looked at 36 photos – one of each man – which included either 24 clean shaven, 24 with full beards, or six men from each of the four stages of beardedness.

While light and heavy stubble didn’t vary in attractiveness, bearded men were deemed more attractive when the participant saw fewer photos of guys sporting whiskers.

“What this means is that, under experimental conditions at least, patterns of facial hair enjoy greater attractiveness when rare than when they are common,” writes one of the study’s researchers Rob Brooks in a piece for The Conversation.

So if you’ve jumped on the beard bandwagon lately, you might want to dust off your razor and start shaving.

For more info on the study, click here.

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