- Publish Date
- Monday, 27 November 2017, 1:39PM
They are a popular facial accessory for hipsters and lumberjacks alike, but it seems having a beard really does make you more attractive.
New research suggests that women are hard-wired to love men with beards, as well as faces with masculine features.
The study found that even when women were shown gruesome photos of facial lice and injuries they still picked out bearded men as the most attractive.
Previous research has found facial hair is 'riddled with bacteria' which may spread germs and trigger infections.
Researchers at the the University of Queensland, Australia, thought that facial hair might reduce male attractiveness in some circumstances.
They argued that beards are a possible breeding ground for bacteria disease-carrying parasites, which could switch some women off.
The scientists tried to 'disgust' a group of 688 women by showing them images of burrowing ticks, body lice, and open infected cuts.
But the women still rated bearded men as 'more attractive' than their clean-shaven counterparts.
The research focussed on women aged between 18 and 44 from the UK, America, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
Participants were found to be both more attracted to bearded men and to men with more masculine features.
The researchers wrote: 'There were significant main effects of facial hair and facial masculinity on attractiveness ratings.
'Beards received higher ratings of attractiveness than clean-shaven faces and high masculinity received higher ratings of attractiveness than low masculinity.'
Previous research from the Queensland team has suggested that women find beards more attractive because they enhance a man's masculinity.
This provides a signal to women that suggests they are more fertile and better adapted to survive.
Researchers thought that women would find men with beards less attractive after looking at infections and body lice, but found the images made no difference.
This article was first published on dailymail.co.uk and is republished here with permission.