Stop right there. This is the wrong question.
Sure, you can probably dig through the scientific literature and find some research papers that say that an XYZ facial hair pattern appeals to some women under ABC conditions.
But the real reason you are contemplating this question is not because you are wondering in some academic, abstract sense if women like men with beards or not. You are doubting yourself: should you grow a beard or shave it off, if you have one? You want to know how other people (specifically attractive women) will react to your decision.
But what if this perspective itself is actually the problem?
To enhance your attractiveness to others, stop worrying about their preferences, and embrace who you are. Start from within.
“DETERMINE YOUR OWN AESTHETIC, AND THEM COMMIT 100% WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART (ARMED WITH THE BEST POSSIBLE GROOMING TOOLS & PRODUCTS) TO LOOKING GREAT WITHIN THAT AESTHETIC.”
Who are you? What is your aesthetic? What do you believe in? What sparks your passion? Answering these questions will ultimately inform how you should manage your facial hair (or lack thereof). Cultivate your inner confidence.
One reason we are passionate about the “Ship to Shore” life is that we embrace the adventure that is life. It is a timeless quest. And there are ultimately very few rules, aesthetic or otherwise, that govern it.
Determine your own aesthetic, and then commit 100% with all of your heart (armed with the best possible grooming tools and products) to looking great within that aesthetic.
Also, do not be afraid to experiment. If you hypothesize that you will look more attractive with a beard, even though you have never grown one before, go for it. See what you look like. Pay attention to how people react.
Do not be so hung up on what other people think looks cool (or not)… unless everyone tells you that your mustache makes you look like a poor man’s Charlie Chaplin, in which case, reconsider all that “to thine own self be true” business we just discussed.
There are hundreds of ways to be attractive, and you can choose and mold your aesthetic to be attractive to others. The key is to harness your inner confidence and let your inner compass guide you. Resist “going with the flow.” Be your own man, and that decisiveness will make you irresistible.
Do You Smell like Lilac and Rose Petals Because You Keep Using Your Wife’s Grooming Products?
Most men are fundamentally lazy, and that is fine. In fact, seen from a certain perspective, laziness might even be a virtue.
You do not see lions running on treadmills or setting their alarm clocks for 5am. Lions lounge around and snooze most of the day… until, of course, they spot an antelope, and then it is game on.
That said, as much as we do not celebrate the virtues of laziness nearly as much as we probably should, there comes a point when being lazy gets to be a bit much and leads to ridiculous situations.
To wit: the fact that you still use your wife or girlfriend’s moisturizers, lotions and products, even though they leave you smelling like a French brothel, is a bridge too far. It is too lazy.
It is not that using her products is emasculating (although it kind of is) or that these scents drown out your masculine pheromones (although they kind of do). It is that, as a man, you owe it to yourself to respect your masculinity, in the Robert Bly sense.
Get your own products. Groom yourself like a man.
We are not saying you cannot walk around smelling like a princess if that is your bag. We are saying that, all things being equal, why not embrace an aesthetic and a self-care regime that is not borrowed but rather authentic?
Committing to the Ship to Shore lifestyle and ethic does take some effort. But it is a commitment that is worth it. Being masculine in the modern era does not mean rejecting self-care; in fact, doing so and embracing the “whatever” spirit characterized brilliantly in Amy Schumer’s sketch, “Say Fine to the Shirt” just makes you apathetic. A cipher.
Caring about how you look, on the other hand — what products you use, how your aesthetic defines you — gets to the heart of what masculinity is really all about.
Can you imagine a great man like Teddy Roosevelt using his wife’s conditioner? No way. Nor can you imagine him using nothing at all and allowing himself to go unkempt. He invested energy into his grooming process, because he believed in dignifying himself – he accepted that he was worth the effort.
All we are asking you to do is the same basic thing: accept that you are worthy of the effort, and dignify yourself with some legit grooming products!