The study involved 1,453 bisexual or heterosexual women being shown images of 36 men’,s faces. Attractive beard styles.
The first 24 pictures were exclusively of bearded or clean-shaven men, while the final twelve offered up a mix of facial hair styles.
Those who had been shown hirsute men beforehand were much more likely to rate the smooth-skinned attractive on a scale of minus four to four, while the opposite was true of those who had originally been exposed to the clean-shaven.
Professor Robert Brooks, who led the research, said beards helped men attract members of the opposite sex when rare, but lost this advantage when they became too fashionable.
Attractive beard styles
But supporters of beards have already dismissed the research as “,one dimensional”, and “,making heterosexist assumptions about who men with beards might be attractive to.”,
Keith Flett, the founder of the Beard Liberation Front , an informal network of beard wearers, said Professor Brooks' argument “,may be fun but makes too many improbable assumptions to be taken seriously.”,
He said: “,Many men have beards for reasons entirely unrelated to sexual attraction, sometimes even the most basic one of not being bothered to shave.
“,There is no actual evidence that beards have peaked or are in decline as a fashion statement or anything else.”,
Telegraph Men grooming columnist Lee Kynaston has argued the fashion for sporting beards is here to stay, while it was recently reported that men were paying thousands of pounds for ‘,beard transplants’, to keep up with the trend.