What Your Girlfriend Actually Thinks of Your Beard

In 2015, Mashable published an article titled "Sorry guys, beards are over," declaring an end to the "hipster beard." While the article rankled readers with facial hair, no beard annihilation officially took place. Whether or not there was a dip in the popularity of facial hair on men, beards are seemingly experiencing a resurgence with sports players dominating the social media scene and an entire men's grooming industry replete with beard oils and shampoos to nurture it.

You may be feeling yourself with a face full of hair, but what about the person who has signed up to kiss your lips on the daily? Have you considered your significant other's opinion? The Journal of Evolutionary Biology published a thorough study of 8,520 women's reactions to men with beards for their long-term attractiveness. "Overall, the women said the sexiest men were those sporting heavy stubble, followed by short stubble. Men with full beards and clean-shaven men were rated the lowest on the overall sexiness scale," reported The New York Times. But when the test subjects were asked who they'd want to marry and make babies with, the guys with tons of facial hair got the highest votes.

We conducted a less scientific office survey, asking women if they had any specific thoughts or feelings about their significant other's beards. And boy, did they have things to say. 

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The Negative Reviewer

Name: Ariel Pietrobono

Age: 26

Occupation: Brand Strategy Manager

Beard Love Level: ? ?

Describe your man’s beard physically:

The shape of his beard is pretty great by most standards—pretty much all the same color and texture, with no patchy spots.

Describe how you feel about your partner’s beard:

I think when his beard is well-maintained and about a centimeter long, it looks really nice. However, he tends to neglect it when it grows and trims it only when it's gotten really out of hand, probably around every three months. By the end of that period, I am begging him to shave it off! I recently told him the importance of self-care and tending to his beard, so he bought himself a special beard soap to keep it clean and calm.

Anything you would change?: 

I just wish he would maintain it a little better. He has such a handsome face and I feel like the beard takes away from that. If it was consistently trimmed, I would have no issues.

Tips for how you’d prefer the beard to look or feel:

I prefer no beard at all, but it’s not up to me. I still love him, beard or not. 

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The Not in Love

Name: Sally Gregory

Age: 36

Occupation: Executive

Beard Love Level: ? ? ? 

Describe your man’s beard:

His beard is "guy in the mountain meets exhausted father." It shouldn’t be long but it is at the moment. It's full coverage, gray and brown. It belongs on the guitarist of a band that was cool, like, five years ago. 

Describe how you feel about your partner’s beard:

Right now, I'm not in love with it. It needs to be a little shorter. But normally, I think that not all people look better with beards, but my husband looks way better. He looks bad without a beard. 

Beard horror story

One month into dating, my then-boyfriend shaved his beard and he looked like a creepy man-child. No distinction between neck and chin. I threw a fit. He thought I was joking, but I definitely wasn't. He grew it back immediately, which fortunately didn't take too long as he has thick, dark hair. Also, once he went to the barber, a random place on the street, and he didn't give any direction for his shave. He walked out with this angular chinstrap beard and mustache. 

Tips for how you’d prefer the beard: 

You have to be somewhere in between too precious about your beard but also not caring at all. Put thought into it, but not too much thought. Know thyself. If you have the genetics, grow a beard, but if you don't, don't do it halfway with scraggly patches. I'm worried they're going out of vogue a little bit, but overall, I’m still all in with beards.

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The Amateur Barber

Name: Emily Matson

Age: 28

Occupation: Product Manager

Beard Love Level: ? ? ? ? 

Describe your man’s beard physically:

It grows really quickly. He shaves and three days later he already has more than a 5 o'clock shadow. His beard hair is pretty thick; he's a brunette, it mostly matches his hair color with a slight red tint. 


Describe how you feel about your partner’s beard:

I love it, I think he looks great with a beard!

Anything you would change?: 

I don't think so. When it gets long, he just shaves it off and starts clean. Since it grows so quickly, it's rare he is without facial hair—not that he doesn't look great with no facial hair, but I don't see his face completely bare very often. 

Beard horror story: 

This is actually incredibly embarrassing for me. He once trimmed his hair and beard and asked me to clean up the back. I'd never used clippers before and didn't realize there wasn't a guard on. I shaved a direct line halfway up the back of his head. It was one of the most embarrassing and stressful moments in our relationship for me. He had a big presentation the next day and was meeting my family for the first time the day after. Luckily, he was calmer than me and knew it was an honest mistake. He went to a barber the next day, where they were able to fix it up (after laughing at our story), so it wasn't noticeable. Thank god for fades.

Tips for how you’d prefer the beard to look or feel:

I think he looks good with a full beard. Sometimes it gets long enough where it starts to get a Castaway feel, but I still think it looks good on him.

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The Viking Fright

Name: Madison Russell

Age: 25

Occupation: Editorial

Beard Love Level: ? ? ? ?

Describe your man’s beard physically:

In a former life, my significant other was undoubtedly a Viking. His recent 23andMe test results prove this theory, but more so, the very large, very auburn beard spurting from the lower half of his face confirms it. Physically, his beard most resembles a semi-tame version of that one ginger wildling guy from Game of Thrones (I just Googled and his character's name is Tormund). It's a bit unruly, very full and quite majestic.

Beard horror story

Oh no! Yes, I definitely have a beard horror story. Once, I was home snuggled in bed. My significant other has a very demanding job so he's often home late. I was tucked into the corner of our bed, probably watching The Office, when a man I didn't know rounded the corner and tried to climb into bed with me. I started screaming bloody murder. I thought I was being attacked! Little did I know that my partner had shaved his beard off that morning and gotten dressed in an outfit I'd never seen before, turning him into an entirely different person. I legitimately cried for a solid five minutes in recovery. 

Tips for how you’d prefer the beard: 

Mostly, I'd just like him to trim and keep it tidier. When he's freshly had a haircut and shave at his favorite barber (shout-out to Nelson at Fellow Barber), it becomes somehow chic and fashionable instead of comparable to a fictional Game of Thrones character. 

But the biggest grievance of all… Men! Stop leaving your beard hair trimmings around the sink. No one appreciates that.

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