Does having facial hair make men more handsome and appealing? Well, according to findings published in the journal Biology Letters, men and women who looked at pictures of men sporting light stubble, heavy stubble and a full beard saw these men as being more good-looking compared with those who were clean shaven, CBS News reports.

For the online study, straight men, women and bisexual women volunteered to look at photos of men with a five-, 10- and 30-day growth of facial hair. Researchers placed participants in one of three groups: those who looked at only clean-shaven men, those who saw just men with full beards and those who looked at men who had all three levels of facial hair in addition to those who had hairless faces.

Next, scientists asked the volunteers to look at faces with or without facial hair and score them for physical appeal. Findings showed that the volunteers in all three groups rated men with light or heavily stubbled faces as more attractive than those who were clean shaven. In addition, men who had full beards were considered more attractive than men with heavy stubble on their faces.

What’s more, scientists found that volunteers who looked at only clean-shaven men showed a marked preference for men with facial hair as compared with those who saw only bearded men.

In general, according to researchers, the findings suggested that people seemed to prefer beards most when men with hair on their faces weren’t a common sight.

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