Beard Trend Is ‘Guided By Evolution’
The ebb and flow of men’s beard fashions may be guided by Darwinian selection, according to a new study.
The more beards there are, the less attractive they become – giving clean-shaven men a competitive advantage, say scientists in Sydney, Australia.
This might be why we’ve hit ‘peak beard’”
Prof Rob BrooksUniversity of New South Wales
When “peak beard” frequency is reached, the pendulum swings back toward lesser-bristled chins – a trend we may be witnessing now, the scientists say.
Their study has been published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.
In the experiment, women and men were asked to rate different faces with “four standard levels of beardedness”.
Both beards and clean-shaven faces became more appealing when they were rare.
The pattern mirrors an evolutionary phenomenon – “negative frequency-dependent sexual selection”, or to put it more simply “an advantage to rare traits”.