A long while back I posted about facial hair styles on here in "Facial Hair and Baddassedness," essentially summing up my findings that cool facial hair nets you better results with a better reception from the opposite sex; in effect, girls just like guys with facial hair better.
For me, the result was no comparison; the instant I had the right facial hair, women were telling me I was "hot" and "sexy," when these weren't words they used with me before (when I was clean-shaven it was more like "cute" and "handsome"). So I started recommending my clean-shaven friends to test drive some new facial hair styles, and they reported back similar results.
But just in case you'd like a little further support, here what the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality has to say on the topic in a study published under the name "The Influence of Facial Hair on Impression Formation":
“Results indicated consistently more positive perceptions of social/physical attractiveness, personality, competency, and composure for men with facial hair.”
So women see men with facial hair as:
- More attractive
- More charismatic
- Smarter and more capable
- Calmer and more in control
And here's how the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences weighs in a paper entitled "The Effects of Facial Hair Manipulation on Female Perceptions of Attractiveness, Masculinity, and Dominance in Male Faces":
“Male faces displaying a full beard were considered the most masculine, aggressive, socially mature, and older. Males with a light beard were considered the most dominant. Males with light stubble were considered to be the most attractive, light stubble was also preferred for both short- and long-term relationships.”
The study "Do women’s preferences for men’s facial hair change with reproductive status?" further establishes that women (especially ovulating / fertile women) favor men with heavy stubble.
For our purposes, that means that some kind of stubble or light beard is the way to go.
But which facial hair style is the right facial hair style? That's what I'll show you today.
The Wrong Kind of Facial Hair
Before we go into showing you and discussing the various kinds of facial hair styles there are out there, I'd like to say this on facial hair first: there are a whole lot of ways to do it wrong.
I'll spare you the photo, but when I first started wearing facial hair at age 18, I didn't know what I was doing, and I didn't do a very good job of it. I grew in a thick, red moustache and goatee that did a nice job of making me look about eight years older (good for getting me into bars without an ID check), but didn't do much else. Nobody liked my facial hair that much, which wasn't a big deal when I was working with a bunch of rednecks and inner city guys, but when I went off to college the next year people called me "scary" and "that kid with the red beard."
I spent a few years hemming and hawing on my facial hair, sometimes wearing the moustache/goatee, sometimes going clean-shaven. But I never seemed to get it quite right.
I also didn't know much about facial hair maintenance, and, being a perfectionist, I used to spend a fair amount of time in front of a mirror with a pair of small scissors, diligently trimming away at stray beard hairs poking out in the wrong direction.
What a waste of time!
So, before we begin, here are a few notes on the kind of facial hair styles to avoid:
- Facial hair that's mangy / unkempt / wild
- Facial hair that's time-consuming to maintain
- Facial hair that doesn't accentuate your face and looks
- Facial hair that gives you the wrong
kind of look for what you want
Thankfully, you've got this guide, which is going to give you a much better launch pad than I had, so you can start off on the right foot. My aim here is to arm you with everything you need to look good enough to get girls excited about you for your looks.
One Quick Note on Looks
A lot of guys think they can't get girls because they aren't "good looking" enough. What you might not realize is that unless you're really, REALLY ugly (and usually even then), a lot of that is under your control.
Don't believe me? Go to a nightclub. Walk around. Look at those really HOT girls getting all the attention.
Now... take a closer look. At their faces. JUST their faces.
Are they beautiful? Stunners? Knock outs? Girls whose faces look like works of art?
Nope - they're totally ordinary. Plain Janes. Nothing special about 'em.
What makes the girls in nightclubs look so jaw-droppingly good that guys are spilling their drinks on one another trying to get over to meet them is:
- Their hair
- Their bodies
- Their makeup
- Their clothing
- Their nonverbals (e.g., she looks aloof / unattainable)
... not their base-level physical attractiveness. They look good because they made themselves look good, not because they were born with better genes than those poor girls being ignored outside the nightclub. Actually, when you start doing enough day game and meeting girls during the daytime, you'll realize that you almost never meet women with the highest natural beauty in nightclubs... they just don't go to those places.
Nightclubs draw the ordinary, plain folks masquerading themselves as
beautiful people... kind of like Hollywood.
And the great news for you as a man is, all of that is available to you, too... the one exception being makeup.
And do you know what a man's answer to makeup is?
Yeah, that's right - facial hair.
Sexy Facial Hair Styles
All right - let's get you armed with some cool facial hair.
I'm going to take you through a bunch of different facial hair styles, discuss the merits and drawbacks of each, and help you figure out which one's the best one for you and your look and what you're going for.
And I've got pictures for each of these, so no risk of you not having a clear idea what something looks like - we're going to get you looking good in a hurry.
#1: The Full Beard
The full beard is a classic look. It gives you age, power, and credibility. It's hard not to trust a man with a beard - beards just speak "father figure" when you see them.
Full beards are most attractive to women in their 30s and older. Women younger than that usually tend to steer clear of men wearing beards, and men younger than 35 or so sporting a full beard tend to get thought of as somewhat weird, at least in the 2000s (in the 1970s, apparently, full beards on young men were fine).
The impressions a full beard makes are:
- Very masculine (full beards give the greatest masculinity boost)
- You look established and mature
- You look older
For a man in his late-30s, or in his 40s or older, the full beard can be an easy ticket to garnering more respect from his peers, and having women be softer and more deferential around him.
I recommend the full beard most for men in committed and stable relationships over the age of 35 who want to maintain a dominant role without needing to worry about being as attractive to newer women, since the full beard sacrifices some of the attractiveness boosts of other forms of facial hair in exchange for a greater masculinity and authority boost.
#2: The Light Beard
The light beard is an interesting look. You don't see it a whole lot, and it packs some novelty punch simply because of that. It's halfway between stubble and a full-on beard, and the impression you make as a man while wearing it is somewhere in that in-between land, too.
Men wearing light beards have a certain "edge" about them that's
difficult to describe, but basically feels like they've been working a
little too hard, a little too long, and they're close to losing it and
going off and living in the mountains. You
get the impression that the man with a light beard used to wear stubble, but somewhere along the
line he just gave up on shaving and now this is where he's at.
He's loose, a little crazy - think Captain Jack Sparrow and his light
The light beard is the wildcard of our facial hair styles here because it can go both ways. You could just as easily sport a custom-tailored business suit with your light beard or a tattered old t-shirt and look right at home.
When it comes to the light beard, I recommend that only younger men wear this look. By the time you're mid-30s or older, the expectation that you'll be established and accomplished is too strong, and sporting something as loose and uncertain-looking as the light beard can make you seem immature and "not there." The light beard makes you look sexy, but at the expense of credibility - only wear it in occasions where you don't necessarily need to be thought too highly of, and can sacrifice some credibility for a little extra sexiness boost.
#3: The Moustache and Goatee
The moustache and goatee is a tried-and-true combination that can serve different functions depending on the purpose behind wearing it.
For men with a weaker chin or a more feminine jawline, wearing a goatee can extend the chin visibly, giving the appearance of a longer face and a more masculine look. Therefore, often for men with softer or rounder faces, a moustache-goatee combination can be just what's needed.
For black and dark-skinned men, the moustache-goatee is often the facial hair style of choice regardless of jawline strength, simply because anything else (e.g., the full beard, light beard, chinstrap, or stubble) looks too dark against the skin and makes them look too intimidating to most women.
Dark-skinned men sporting a moustache and goatee typically want to make sure they keep the lines of their facial hair very thin, neat, and trim. Because black and dark-skinned men are usually considered more masculine and more aggressive than lighter-skinned men, maintaining very thin, neat facial hair signals to women that these are controlled, conscientious men that those women can feel safer opening up around.
My recommendation: if you're a light-skinned man with a softer jawline, choose the goatee and moustache. If you're a darker-skinned man with any jawline, this is probably the facial hair style for you.
#4: The Chinstrap Beard (with
Here's a fun one: the chinstrap beard.
When I first arrived in California, I spent a little time in horror at how much guys who looked like "douchebags" seemed to be pulling some of the hottest, flashiest women, while those women had little interest in me.
"Why are they all going for those douchebags?!" I'd ask myself, rather concerned. "How do *I* get those girls, and beat these guys?"
Eventually, after all else had failed, I turned to a radical strategy: if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
Having been clean-shaven at that point since midway through university, I decided to start sporting a chinstrap and soul patch.
Many reading this might be alarmed; the chinstrap is the height of douchebaggery, the ultimate pretentious look. What man would choose to wear his facial hair this way?
As it turned out, the instant I started wearing a chinstrap and soul patch, my results with the typical California girl skyrocketed. Suddenly, I was among the "in" crowd; I got it. I was one of those guys that men hate... and women lust after.
And my results with my usual demographic (classically beautiful smart girls with Master's degrees) didn't suffer for it, either... if anything, they improved. For once, the pretty smart girl got to date one of those sexy-looking guys that the pretty airheads usually monopolize for themselves... and this guy wasn't a meathead, either, so he was right up her alley.
If you're over 35 and wearing a chinstrap and soul patch, it's a bit much; of course, test it out and see how it goes. My instinct tells me you'd do better with the next one we'll cover (stubble) than a chinstrap-soul patch combination as an older man.
But if you're younger than 35, I recommend trying out the chinstrap and soul patch at least once, if just to see how you're received by women. This is doubly so for men with square, masculine jawlines - the chinstrap highlights your jaw, and makes it look even boxier, which is a good thing if you've got a manly mandible.
#5: The Stubbled Look
This is my current look, and the one I'll probably keep for some time. I adopted it when I first got to Asia and I found that the chinstrap and soul patch was too much for Asian women, as noted in the earlier facial hair styles post; a chinstrap made me look like too much of a bad boy for Asian girls (while it was just enough bad boy for American ones). I tried clean-shaven briefly, but found that it lacked any kind of sexual punch, even with Asian women. So, I segued into a stubbled face with a clean-shaven neck, and I never looked back.
The advantage of stubble is that it's sexy, and it's universally sexy, without being intimidating, at least in lighter-skinned men. It works just as well with white American girls from the Midwest as it does with women from Southeast Asia, girls from the Eastern Bloc, or women from Africa or Latin America. And, it's universally sexy regardless of age: it looks just as good on a 60-year old as it does on a 19-year old.
If you want to maximize the visual (and sexual) impact of your facial stubble, shave your neck clean (with a razor for a close shave) while keeping the stubble on your face. The contrast of a clean neck with a stubbled face gives you a look that's both rough and sexy, yet clean and neat.
Another advantage of this look is that it's acceptable almost
anywhere except the military, in terms of where you can wear this look.
You'll have a hard time getting away with a chinstrap and soul patch in
a lot of lines of work, but most places of employment aren't going to
give you to much trouble for a little bit of stubble (yes, I'm aware
that rhymes, I couldn't think of any better way to phrase it).
I strongly recommend taking stubble for a test drive. Sooner rather than later. If you can't decide what on this list to start with, start with stubble - it's safe enough that you can wear it and see some gains just about anywhere. It won't give you the kind of polarizing effect that something like a chinstrap-soul patch will, but it'll give you an edge and position you as a sexy man - the kind that women want to be around (and do things with).
Parting Thoughts on Men's Facial
There are a lot of great choices (and plenty more bad ones... mutton chops, anyone?) when it comes to facial hair styles, and I hope you'll choose one that fits your own personal style well, and the kind of women you want to be going for.
For maintaining facial hair, you can actually grab what's known as a "beard trimmer" pretty easily - they're cheap (some as low as $15) and they do their job well. A beard trimmer looks like this:
Makes keeping your facial hair neat and trim a snap. Use a razor for the parts of your face and neck you don't want facial hair on to keep them smooth and stubble-free, the better for the contrast with the facial hair look you're sporting.
If you've been going through life clean-shaven, you've been missing out. You don't realize what a difference it makes in your ability to get a girl's attention until you start wearing some sexy facial hair all your own.
Put plainly, if you want to upgrade your looks and become the kind of man that women describe as "hot" and "sexy," you need to get yourself some cool facial hair.
It's one of the biggest ways how an ordinary guy becomes a good-looking one, and how a good-looking one becomes a stunner.
Ciao for now,