Psychology of Styling 02: The Full Beard


What does your facial hair really say about you? We ask the experts to reveal the secret messages that beards send out

Your beard is a secret code that’s being unconsciously read by everyone who sees you. Unlock its mystery and master it for your benefit.

For men, growing and styling a full beard is a big deal. Aside from the envious wisecracks from compadres, and the arched brows of parents as your rebellious fuzz blooms into being, you get the feeling that you’re really saying something.

But what, exactly, is that?

Well, it’s not just that you like to keep your cheeks warm. In fact, others see men with full beards as being dominant, courageous, and non-conformist. In other words, you’re as cool as can be.

These were the exact findings from a landmark psychological study by Robert J Pellegrini back in 1972, and they still hold true today. The experiment, dubbed ‘To Beard or Not to Beard’, took eight young guys with full beards, and photographed each of them as they were progressively shorn.

Each guy ended up with a selection of shots of themselves wearing full beards, a goatee, a mustache, and finally, clean shaven. When men and women volunteers were asked to rate the personality of each photo, they all rated the beardiest guys as being the strongest in certain traits.

Rebellious. Uncompromising. The guy in charge. That’s what your full beard tells people, without the need for words. You’re a tough guy, after all. Who needs to talk?