How Your Facial Hair Can Earn You A Promotion
By Kasey Panetta
Beards: Ladies hate them, guys fear them. In the same study from Northumbria University that saw women rate men’s bushy beards as less attractive than light stubble, researchers also discovered that dudes who rock facial hair are seen as more aggressive than their clean-shaven counterparts.
Researchers recruited 10 men with 6 weeks’ worth of beard growth and photographed them with neutral, smiling, and angry expressions, with and without beards. When participants were asked about the men’s age, attractiveness, and aggressiveness, bearded men with angry faces were thought to be older, of a higher social status, more audacious, and more assertive. The most surprising finding? It was guys who were the most impressed with their fellow men’s manes.
Beards make you more intimidating to rivals, says study coauthor Paul Vasey, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Lethbridge in Canada. That’s great news for businessmen: Vasey says that beards might benefit men in professions requiring a more assertive personality, like sales.
So put down your razor and start growing—but don’t ditch your shaving tools for good. We collected tips from beard aficionado Allan Peterkin, author of One Thousand Beards: A Cultural History of Facial Hair, on the right way to wear (and benefit from) your beard.
Keep It Simple
This should go without saying, but don’t get fancy with your fuzz. That means no braiding, no beads, no elastic bands, no dyes that don’t match your natural color, and no wild, scraggly Galafianakis beards, Peterkin says. A clean, well-maintained beard is the most attractive option.
Fit Your Face
If you have an oval face, keep the hair on your chin shorter than the hair on the sides of your face to soften the shape, advises Peterkin. For a round face, try an angular style to give some definition to your jawbone. And if your face is square—we’re looking at you, Mr. Pitt—a fuller beard will make your face look less angular. Everyone can skip the carved-up, pencil-thin, architectural styles, as most of them require too much upkeep and look unnatural, Peterkin says.