Recently, we posted a stat claiming that 53% of women prefer kissing clean-shaven men. (“Sorry, guys with beards!” We trilled.) But, as was later pointed out to us on Twitter, that leaves 47% of women who do like beards for the roughly 30% of men who have them. Men with beards, the odds are back in your favor!
Of course, this doesn’t mean it’s okay to grow out your facial hair willy-nilly. Yes, lots of women like beards, but within reason. No one wants to date Mr. Twit.
The Times of London recently published “The 20 Beard Commandments,” some of which are frankly a little persnickety, but many of which actually make great guidelines for guys who don’t want to choose between having facial hair and a sex life.
1. Keep it neat, keep it short, keep it scrupulously trimmed and combed
And for God’s sake keep your food out of it. Either buy the correct grooming tools or make friends with a barber you trust. Women take having their hair cut very seriously. You should apply the same care to your beard. The right beard on the right man can add elegance and gravitas. Think Tom Ford. Then think of Captain Birdseye and vow never to let your beard get out of hand. A short, well-groomed beard can look modern and youthful. A long, straggly one will have the opposite effect and add ten years. Wizards can have long straggly beards. You are not a wizard.
Understood? You’re a handsome, virile man, not Albus Dumbledore.
2. Designer stubble is not a beard
It is stubble. The clue is in the name. Also, it grates our faces when you kiss us.
Ladies who love beards like that they’re soft. Stubble is just an irritant.
3.Remember: beards are made of hair
They need washing as much as the hair on your head. There are special beard shampoos and conditioners out there, but I imagine your regular ones will probably do just fine. Anyway, if you are now scoffing and saying, “What do you take me for? Real men don’t use conditioner,” then think again. You might not use it on your head, but believe me, you want to use it on your beard. Unless you genuinely don’t care whether you’re ever kissed again, in which case scratchy, bristly and unconditioned is fine.
Using conditioner on your beard is the difference between a significant other who tolerates your beard and a significant other who loves it.
4. Your beard and kissing
Speaking of kissing, no beard is worth more than your partner’s happiness. If you had it when you met, you have the moral high ground. If you grew it later, and he/she really, really hates it, shave it off, and without making a fuss. It’s simply good manners.
Ah, the golden rule of beard-having and dating: if you have a beard at the beginning of the relationship, you get to keep it forever and ever, if you so choose! (So if you want to always have the option, grow your beard out while you’re single, and experiment with clean-shavenness once you’ve locked someone down.) (No, that’s ridiculous, no one can force you to shave your facial hair. But they are allowed to complain about it.)
Read 16 more “beard commandments” over at The Times.