We Have Reached Peak Beard and Science Says the Hairy End Is Nigh


Ramp up production at the Gillette factory, because sooner or later, ladies are going to run out of patience and demand that the straight fellas, at least, show their naked chins once more. And so, a new study predicts, the great beard flowering of the 2010s will begin to wilt.

The Telegraph reports that researchers at the University of New South Wales studied how 1,453 bisexual or heterosexual women responded to 36 photos of men’s faces. After seeing several beardos, they were more impressed by those gentlemen without.

They also liked beards better after seeing more clean-shaven men. It’s called “negative frequency-dependent sexual selection.” Basically, whatever’s a little out-of-step starts looking fine, and trendiness isn’t the best way to a lady’s loins. (Do not take that as endorsement of chinstraps.) The study’s leader, Professor Robert Brooks, suggested that, “We may well be at peak beard.”

But beard enthusiasts won’t go quietly.

“Many men have beards for reasons entirely unrelated to sexual attraction, sometimes even the most basic one of not being bothered to shave,” Beard Liberation Front founder Keith Flett told the Telegraph. “There is no actual evidence that beards have peaked or are in decline as a fashion statement or anything else.” Not to mention there’s plenty of dudes sporting beards who’ve got absolutely no interest in attracting a woman’s attention.

Nevertheless, any Brooklynite sporting the immense beard of a Civil War reenactor might want to seriously reconsider his look. “I didn’t feel like shaving for the last three years” is no way to start a date.

Photo via Getty.

Photo via Getty.

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