Out of fashion for decades, society has come to love beards again. Championed by hipsters of the Millennial Generation and pushed into the zeitgeist by programs such as “No-Shave November,” beards are back in a big way. Even better, a pair of scientific studies show stubble and ‘staches can increase a man’s overall health.
The first study, published in Evolution and Human Behavior, suggests men with facial hair are more attractive than their baby-cheeked counterparts. The researchers showed 351 women and 177 heterosexual men pictures of men with various beards. The subjects were then asked to rate the pictured men for attractiveness, manliness, perceived health and perceived parenting ability.
Overwhelmingly, women rated men with 10-day stubble as the most attractive. It would seem attracting the fairer sex, scientifically, is a mere 10 days away.
Another study published in the Radiation Protection Dosimetry Journal and conducted by the University of Southern Queensland (Australia) claims beards block as much as 95 percent of the sun’s UV radiation. The experiment parked half-bearded mannequins in the cruel Australian desert. After exposure, researchers measured the total UV exposure on bearded and non-bearded skin. If the findings hold, this reduction in UV exposure can slow the appearance of ageing and greatly reduce risk factors for skin cancer.
In addition to UV blocking skills, beards are also act as makeshift air filters around the mouth. Beards are said to trap allergens and keep bacteria and viruses from entering the body. This makes bearded men less prone to asthma attacks, the common cold and various other airborne illnesses.
If all that wasn’t enough, beards also help to keep skin moisturized, further slowing the aging process. In concert, this means great news for No-Shave November. Not only are participants raising cancer awareness, but they’re making themselves more attractive and increasing their overall health at the same time.