No one can deny how much hair has been growing on men’s faces recently. Photo: © aleksle / IStock.com French beard styles.
No one can deny how much hair has been growing on men’s faces recently. Just over half of Frenchmen (52%) surveyed by Ifop say they are always closely shaven, compared to 48% who declare they have a beard, a moustache, or a goatee.
Still, the beard remains the most common facial hair form among men, with 40% of bearded men among the adult men’s population. If several beard styles can be differentiated, it is the three-day beard that is the most popular (24% of bearded men), ahead of the ten-day beard (8%), the short beard (5%), and the long beard (1%). However, there is no general agreement about the moustache, far from it: only 4% of the French aged over 18 have yielded to it. The same goes for the goatee (3%) and short beards on the chin (1%).
A social marker
Nonetheless, this big comeback is far from concerning all generations and social classes to the same extent. Indeed, wearing a beard seems to be closely related to the age of the people surveyed: the proportion of bearded men is twice more important among young men under 35 (52%) than among seniors aged over 60 (24%). And it is among thirty-year-olds aged 25-34 that it is more common to wear a beard (55%). And yet, it is actually reaching the older generation (50% for men aged 35-50), which shows having a beard is not or no longer restricted to young people.
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It can also be noticed that the beard is mostly popular among upper working classes, in particular managers and higher intellectual occupations (54%) like teachers, journalists, and artists.
The survey results also highlight a North/South split as regards the prevailing form of hair among the male sex. It is actually in the regions located in the North-East and North-West quarters of France that the proportion of hairy faces represents a majority, except in the Parisian region, where beards and hairy faces are a minority (43%). On the contrary, the proportion of closely shaven men represents a majority in all regions south of the Loire river. And after the large central region, it is in Provence that it is the lowest.
Women are divided
Bearded or closely shaven? Women are really divided over this issue. Half of them consider closely shaven men are sexier, and 45% are more easily tempted by bearded men, in particular men with a three-day beard (33%). Just like their male counterparts, women are much less attracted by moustaches (only 2% think men with a moustache are sexier) and beards on the chin (1%).
It should be noted that young girls are extremely seduced by bearded men. More than eight French women aged under 25 out of 10 (81%) think men are sexier with a beard.
According to Ifop analysts, “if clean-shaven faces remain the standard among a narrow majority of Frenchmen, more hairy faces are unquestionably trendier right now, in particular among young men massively encouraged to wear the beard by women their own age.” The beard has seduced a large share of the male population by going much beyond “bobo” and other “hipster” borders through a social imitation process.
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