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What Women Really Think About Mustaches, Beards & Other Types Of Facial Hair

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man with beard and mustache

Now that Movember is back, it's time to re-open the discussion about mustaches, facial hair, their place in society, including the world of women, attraction and dating.

Let's face it — mustaches are having a moment like never before, but do women like mustaches... or are they creepy?

In particular, a mustache without a beard is a difficult look to pull off for many men, so I've wondered to myself before about other women's feelings on the matter.

Are mustaches creepy? Only OK in November when it's for a good cause? What about other kinds of facial hair?

Are beards attractive?

Historically, facial hair has commonly flip-flopped in and out of favor.

At times, such as in Dynastic Egypt, facial hair was seen as animalistic and therefore low class, while at others, like in ancient Greece, "beards were seen as signs of virility, manhood and wisdom."

Many now think of beards and mustaches as an ultimate expression of masculinity, but the findings of a study published in 2021 show that "beard length ... was not related to testosterone levels or dominance; thus, no evidence was found to support the hypothesis that beards are honest (or dishonest) signals of the beard owners’ testosterone levels and dominance."

Another study conducted in 2012 found that while beards make men appear older, of higher class and more aggressive, they do not, in fact, make men more attractive to women.

RELATED: 5 Scientific Reasons Hairy Men Make Better Husbands

That said, there appears to be a great of conflicting data on the topic. A 2016 study of 8520 women found that "masculine faces are judged as more attractive for short-term relationships over less masculine faces, whereas beards are judged as more attractive than clean-shaven faces for long-term relationships."

Across the board, in several studies, women most preferred "intermediate levels of facial hair or ‘stubble."

Are mustaches attractive or creepy?

It might depend on the type of mustache you have.

There are all types of mustache styles, such as the good ol' handlebar mustache, the pencil mustache, and the horseshoe mustache.

Then, of course, the controversial "pornstache," also known as "the creepy mustache." This look grew in popularity in the '70s and, according to some, is making a comeback.

But while the popularity of this style with men may be huge, but, the results of a Buzzfeed quiz show that about half of the celebs were rated better-looking sans 'stache by readers.

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I also polled a group of women to find out their thoughts on mustaches, and here is what they had to say.

1. "I don’t care for Brad's [Pitt] mustache, but I do love those hipster 'staches that dudes with impeccable fashion sense sport. I think they're really hot and I'm totally down with the look." — Chelsea, 29

2. "Nope. They are makeout-killers and make everyone look like a creepy uncle." — Kate, 33

3. "I generally associate mustaches with the 70s and cheesy movies and Freddie Mercury. My husband and his friends like to wear mustaches from those old-school candy/toy vending machines when we go bowling."

4. "One time he got one that actually looked pretty snazzy, but I have yet to convince him to do it, even for charity purposes." — ill, 34

5. "It would remind me too much of my dad who, based on old photos from the 70s had a ‘stache that looked like it was straight out of an adult movie. It's totally creepy and not my scene." — Lynne. 31

6. "Why would a good-looking, 30-something guy spoil his sweet face and belie the kindness in his soft, hazel eyes with a thick, hairy specimen better suited to an old-school Soviet dictator? Hon, I know you're a little kinky but I truly hope the 'stache isn't part of some "I'll be Stalin to your helpless peasant" bedroom role-play scenario. (If it is ... wow, did I dodge a bullet!)" —Alex Alexander.

7. "If the face can handle the 'stache and look good, then go for it. I know some guys who look pretty good with a handlebar mustache. My husband, however, does not have a face that can do this. He can do a goatee thing, sometimes, but that's it. He's in a job right now where he can't have facial hair, and that's pretty much my favorite part of his job." — Colleen, 30

8. "It's a rare breed of man who can pull the ‘stache off without looking creepy. If you are one of those, do it. Be a special flower." — Autumn, 25

9. "I think it depends on the guy. Are we talking Pornstache from OITNB (creepy) or Ron Swanson (total stud muffin)? I think what makes the difference is how a mustachioed guy carries himself. It’s like a superpower: With a great mustache, comes great responsibility." — Alexandra, 24

10. "Meh. I prefer a clean face, but a mustache is probably the one thing I could go for as long as it's something maintained and regularly groomed." — Jen, 36

RELATED: 3 Scientific Reasons Hairy Men Attract The Hottest Women

Women generally agree that, if a man does have a mustache or other facial hair, it should be well-groomed and that the use of the multitude of men's facial hair oils, pomades, conditioners, etc., made a very good impression on women.

And there's some extra good news if you're doing the Movember thing.

In a study conducted by dating site Plenty of Fish, 63.7% of women said they consider a man to be more attractive if he partakes in Movember, because it shows how caring and charitable he is.

So while the data is a little all over the place, the best advice is probably to know your audience.

Know what kind of woman you're hoping to attract, what you're looking for, how wedded you are to trends, and never forget how sexy confidence looks, 'stache or no 'stache.

RELATED: Heavy Stubble Is The Sexiest Kind Of Facial Hair, Says Science

Amanda Chatel is a writer who divides her time between NYC and Paris. She is a regular contributor to Bustle and Glamour, with bylines at Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Livingly, Mic, The Bolde, Huffington Post and others.

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