Beards and Psychology

What does our beard reveal about us? What messages does it send to the outside world? Are they mere clichés, or is there any truth to these statements? Let’s find out in the following article.


Let’s start with the observations made by Dr Allan Peterkin, professor of psychology at the University of Toronto and author, a few years ago, of a study on the relationship between beards and personalities. According to Dr Peterkin:


  • A full beard is typical of mature men and is often associated with academic and religious environments. Although it was originally an old-fashioned style, it’s now also popular among younger crowds thanks to the explosion of hipster culture.
  • A pointed goatee is favoured by men who are anchored to the past (more precisely to the Nineties, when it was very popular).
  • A moustache is typical of self-confident and slightly self-important men who are unafraid of being judged by others.
  • A short beard is characteristic of men who are precise and meticulous, since it requires much care to be kept at the right length.
  • A horseshoe beard is typical of rough, rebellious men who love to be daring. It’s no coincidence that this style has always been a favourite of motorcyclists.


The research published by Dr Barnaby Dixson and Dr Paul Vasey in the online journal ‘The Journal Behavioral Ecology’ is equally interesting.

According to this study, which was carried out in 2012, men with beards are perceived as being more mature and of a higher social status than those without beards, especially by women.


Furthermore, how does our face change as our beard grows? And what impression do we make on women? Dr Dixson attempted to provide answers to these questions as well by showing a sample of women a series of photographs depicting the same men with beards at different stages of growth. The test showed that:


  • The longer the beard, the greater the masculinity.
  • Depending on the length of their facial hair, men appear more or less friendly.
  • Bearded men look healthier than clean-shaven men.


Do you agree with these findings? While you’re thinking about it, take a look at these videos on the difference between men with and without beards… how differently are they perceived by others? ;)

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