Even though we don’t have it, women certainly have some very strong opinions about facial hair.
So strong, in fact, that certain facial hair can make or break a guy’s shot at even a first date with a woman, if she thinks his facial hair isn’t all that.
Personally, unless it’s Walter White, of course, I think goatees should be banned. Yes, they were cool once, but that was for a hot minute in the 90s and, if we’ve learned anything from the 90s, it was a bad time for style — even for facial hair.
Do women like men with beards and other styles of facial hair?
Although the full-beard trend is currently alive and well, research has found that it’s actually stubble, or more specifically heavy stubble (which takes 10 days of living a razor-free life), that has women swooning the most.
We’re not talking about a mere five o’clock shadow, but rather a six o’clock one, and maybe even a six-forty-five one.
Of course, while science may have its version of things, it doesn’t speak for all women.
From scruff to goatees, to mustaches, to the oh-so passé soul patch, to thick chops, to a full beard, to even the chinstrap which, in my humble opinion should be outlawed, we asked ladies for their input on the hot (and hairy) topic.
The solo mustache, sans a beard to go with it, is likely to put you in the creepy category.
“Very, very few men can rock a mustache without looking like a child molester. Actually, no man can at all,” says Tamara, 36.
“Mustaches make me think of two things: hipsters trying to be cool, and Terry Richardson. I’m sick of hipsters being hipsters, and Richardson, especially thanks to those glasses, looks like the type to have child porn stored somewhere anyway,” says Jo, 29.
Despite the popularity of beards on younger men lately, ladies also seem to have some standards for the “perfect” beards.
“A beard done well is excellent. A bad beard is worse than no beard at all. Unfortunately, my husband is Irish and grows this patchy thing. It can be groomed into a nice goatee thing, but will never be a full, luxurious beard,” says Lena, 29.
“I like a good beard. That’s it. Everything else should freaking go,” says Fallon, 24.
“My preference for a full beard is it not being styled AT ALL. I even like when it grows down to the neck. So, a homeless beard basically? I’m into homeless guys?” says Amanda, 27.
“Full beard or nothing at all. Unless it’s stubble à la Robert Pattinson/Adam Levine, sometimes that can be nice. Some males are just meant to have facial hair. They get older, grow it out, and then you just can’t imagine them without it; their look… their essence… would seem incomplete. Also, if I’m used to a guy having no facial hair, I always have this feeling that I would like to see him with it and that I would most likely prefer him with it,” says Monika, 25.
What about goatees, soul patches and chin straps? It wasn’t pretty, as you’ll see.
Amanda, from above, continued her input on the matter: “No to goatee, no to soul patch, hell no to chin strap!”
As did Tamara: “No goatee, no soul patch, no chin strap. If you are too lazy to shave and look presentable, then why should I shave my arm pits and legs?”
“Can we say snake oil salesman? No thanks!” says Sharon, 39.
And as for that heavy stubble that scientists claim we love so much?
“He needs to look rough and tough, but I don’t want rough and tough my face,” says Stephanie, 24.
“It’s hard to say. I love the look of being recently f*cked and ravaged, but I definitely don’t want it to look like I just had a chemical peel,” says Tricia, 33.
Amanda Chatel is a writer who divides her time between NYC and Paris. She’s a regular contributor to Bustle and Glamour, with bylines at Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Livingly, Mic, The Bolde, Huffington Post and others.