Bristlr has one admirable goal: "Connecting those with beards to those who want to stroke beards."
When you spot an attractive man, do you think to yourself: He would be much better looking if he grew a beard? When you watch The Notebook, do you find yourself looking forward to the part where Ryan Gosling completely lets himself go and sprouts a full face rug? Do the brothers on Duck Dynasty hold a certain kind of appeal for you? If you've answered yes to any of these questions, the new dating app Bristlr will probably make you pretty happy.
Bristlr has one simple, admirable goal: "Connecting those with beards to those who want to stroke beards."
I know. You're probably wondering, could it really be that simple?
The answer: Yes, and no.
The Good: Let's start with the obvious—Bristlr is the first app to attempt to tap this niche, and if you're really jonesing to get your face close to a full, bushy beard, this is the only app out there that will let you search specifically for that feature.
The app has users with beards of every kind: Red beards, long beards, biker beards, Zach Galifianakis-esque beards—even guys with very slight stubble. To pick from the beard buffet that Bristlr provides, you "like" users by pressing the heart underneath their profile. If they like you too, the two of you will be able to message each other. You can select the location range that you want to search—as close as 20 km (around 12 miles), and as far away as 1000 km (around 600 miles) if you're willing to go the distance for just the right beard.
The Bad: You're forewarned when you download the app that not all the kinks have been worked out, and that couldn't be more true. The app freezes pretty much every time you try to use it—which can be tragic if you've just spent 20 minutes scrolling through profiles and finally landed on a beard you're interested in, only to have it torn away from you in an instant.
The app also doesn't distinguish between gay and straight users, so you may find yourself clicking on a promising beard only to find that he's also looking to land himself a handsome bearded boyfriend.
Speaking of, the bearded users on here are conflicted about whether or not this is a hookup app, or if this is a place to start a relationship by way of facial hair. I mostly received kosher messages from the people who messaged me, but I did have a few kinky beard propositions thrown at me during my time on here. I mean, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't curious about what it would feel like to have a man with a huge beard go down on me...but using this app for that feels kind of cheap.
Since most eligible bearded bachelors have yet to discover this app (get on board boys!) you end up seeing the same beards over and over again unless you expand your radius...which would mean traveling a bit to actually be able to stroke said beard. But for the sake of beard enthusiasts and the bearded, I hope this starts to catch on.
The Ugly: OK, so it's not necessarily ugly, but one thing I realized from using this app is the potential con of meeting up based on just one commonality: the love of beards. While I get that that's technically the goal, the love of beards does not a relationship make. I met up with someone from the app (and his beard) who was nice enough. But after we'd talked about pretty much everything that involves growing and maintaining a beard (I'm now an expert at beard conditioning, FYI) we quickly realized that we didn't really have anything else to talk about. So if you're in it to find your long-term bearded bae, maybe ask him a few things that aren't beard-related before you commit to meeting up.
Overall, if you love beards and can deal with the app glitches, do yourself a favor and sign up for Bristlr. Happy hunting! I wish you the best of beards.