Shaveducking: Is He Hot, Or Is It Just His Beard?

When it comes to dating, having a preference is totally normal. This is especially true in the world of online dating, where you must make a decision based solely on a few profile pics and a witty, one-line bio. Singles tend to develop niche criteria for weeding out potential matches. While personal red flags vary from gym mirror selfies to photos holding a fish they just caught, many women agree that they will immediately swipe right on a man with a beard.

From rugged stubble to full-length bushy beards, facial hair is considered to be one of the most attractive facial traits, scientifically speaking. But shaveducking, the newest phrase sweeping the internet, takes the love of beards one step further. According to Your Tango, "Shaveducking is that nagging feeling that you might just be hot for a guy's facial hair, rather than his face." If you find yourself falling in love over and over with beautifully bearded men, only to get the ick once he shaves, you two may be favoring the facial hair over the man. Luckily, there are ways to overcome your habitual shaveducking and identify men that you will find attractive no matter what they have on their faces.

Studies suggest women find bearded men more attractive

Shaveducking might be preventing you from finding long-lasting love, but you aren't totally in the wrong for putting facial hair at the top of your list of traits for the "ideal man." A study by the University of Queensland showed over 900 women images of men with various traits, including those who were clean-shaven and those who had full beards. The researchers concluded that men with strong features and beards were considered the most attractive by a majority of women surveyed. They found it was common for those women to perceive men with more "masculine" features as desirable. The attractiveness level of a bearded man is also based on how well-kept his facial hair appears. Another study by the Evolution & Ecology Research Centre concluded heavy stubble was the ideal facial hair for most women. Patchy, short stubble as well as long, overgrown beards were more associated with a lack of hygiene.

Interestingly, researchers also found a link between women who preferred beards and their own personality traits. Per Psychology Today, "Women's preferences for beardedness also increased with women's self-reported moral disgust, which may also reflect associations between beardedness and political conservatism and traditional views regarding masculinity in heterosexual relationships." In a way, women who prefer men with beards may be more "traditional" thinking, while those who prefer a clean-shaven man might be more likely to adapt to new trends and ideas.

Are you attracted to the beard or the man underneath?

Women are not the only ones at fault for the shaveducking trend — many men "hide" their softer features behind a thick bush of facial hair. While we can all agree that there is beauty in everyone, there is something a little bit tricky about discovering what a man truly looks like after months of dating, and unfortunately, you may no longer be attracted to them the way you once were. In order to avoid this potential jump scare, try asking for clean-shaven pictures when you first start dating — after all, there's no harm in a playful "Let me see that baby face!" comment. You might be surprised to find that you enjoy seeing his dimples when he smiles or the freckles he claims to hate but you find totally charming. When you look past the appealing aesthetic of a beard, you may begin to appreciate the subtle details in a person's facial features. Now that's love!

If facial hair matters to the point where you would break up with a man for shaving, there are definitely some deeper-rooted issues that go beyond "having a type." Just like men who can't stand a certain color of hair or when a woman decides to let her body hair grow as nature intended, letting these small details be a make-or-break factor while dating is a pretty superficial red flag.