Study Shows Bearded Men Look Angrier Than Clean-Shaven Ones
To beard, or not to beard - that is the question. Adding to the argument for the latter camp, a study has shown that men who don a hairy face extension look angrier than those with clean-shaven chins.
At least those who find it a struggle to grow facial hair have another reason to add to the pile - along with the fact that there's a load of poo in them and you're at risk of looking like a total douchebag.
In the latest beard-related revelation, an Australian research team looked into the effect of a bushier chin on men when it comes to communicating their emotions and masculinity.
What they found is that bearded men look angrier when angry and jollier when jolly. In other words, facial hair accentuates how the person is feeling at the time.
The findings were reached after the scientists - led by Dr Belinda Craig from the University of New England in Australia - asked 700 people to rate the intensity of a man's emotions on a range of faces, including some who were bearded and some who were not.
Published in the Psychological Science, the report suggests that this is because a beard changes the structure of a person's face.
Dr Craig told The Times: "Beards emphasise the jaw... leading to faster recognition of anger."
Although this doesn't quite explain why those who were surveyed described the happy bearded men as looking jollier than their clean-shaven counterparts.
David Dade, honorary president of the British Beard Club, stepped in to claim that the reason being is that hairy-faced men appear more 'reliable' and 'trustworthy' to most people.
He said: "Many people [accept] that a bearded man seems kinder and more amenable and maybe more reliable and trustworthy.
"This may be because a bearded man appears comfortable with himself."
The findings certainly seem to support another recent beardy study in which men with facial hair were not only found to be healthier, but also appear more youthful too.
Dr Adam Friedmann, a Harley Street dermatologist, said: "Sun exposure is the primary cause of photo-ageing and skin damage so it makes sense that if your face is covered by a heavy beard, it may well protect your skin from the signs of ageing.
"This means fewer wrinkles and a reduction in age spots (liver spots) commonly found on the face."
Don't worry though, because apparently a full head of hair will do the trick too. If you're bald in every sense of the word, then perhaps it's worth investing in some factor 50 suncream as the summer months are approaching - just to be on the safe side.