The Science of Attractiveness: Does More Hair Make a Man Hotter?
When it comes to finding a partner, natural selection and evolution of humans share many similarities with the animal kingdom. The ultimate goal for advancing the species is if a reproductive choice will benefit the collective gene pool and ensure the future survival of the species. Whether humans realize it or not, they are looking for the same positive characteristics as other animal species.
Each animal has various physical considerations when looking for a mate. Birds, for example, are known to look at things like tail length, ornateness of feathers, and color profiles. Similarly, humans subconsciously evaluate traits like height, smell, hair, and other factors that indicate positive natural selection. While these things seem similar, humans have evolved to the point where they also allow for preference as opposed to making mating decisions based solely on instinct. Because of this, beauty and attractiveness is largely in the eye of the beholder. Not everyone in the world views the same traits as classically attractive, but what does attraction really mean?
What Does Attraction Really Mean and How Has It Evolved Over Time?
The phenomenon of attractiveness is subjective, what might be attractive to one person might not be to another. Humans have different wants and desires and this plays heavily in the appeal of a partner. Fundamentally, the fascination one human has towards another is based on sensory inputs. Facial symmetry, hair growth, hygiene and body language impact how our brains evaluate another human. All five senses contribute to what we commonly call attraction.
Physical attractiveness has changed significantly throughout history, impacted by economics and how media portrays beauty. During the Italian Renaissance, a full-figured woman with a rounded stomach and full hips was viewed as more attractive than a slender woman because this was an indication of wealth. Fast-forward to the golden age of Hollywood when Marilyn Monroe was considered the epitome of beauty. Her hourglass figure with a narrow waist was envied and her facial features while soft and symmetrical were sharply accented with make-up.
While these examples focus on the beauty in regards to women, men have endured various periods of ‘attractiveness’ as well. In the late 1800’s, men with wide waists were considered more attractive, because it suggested you had money to buy ample food. In the 1960’s, a leaner body type was viewed as more attractive as advertising permeated into the popular media. Today, we tend to associate skinniness with attractiveness, which is amplified heavily by media and television portraying incredibly skinny models and a barrage of diet trends at every flip of the channel.
Behavioral factors play a role in attractiveness as they represent a more evolved brain and include traits such as sensitivity, humor, kindness and empathy. These emotional attributes can be learned through life experiences, something that sets humans apart from their animal counterparts.
As you can see, the definition of “attractive” changes over time. What is attractive to people today may not be viewed as attractive in the future.
How Does Hair Play into Attractiveness in Men?
A full head of hair versus a bald head is a common topic when considering the attractiveness of a man. While attractiveness is subjective, a study performed in 2015 suggested that men with thicker hair on their head are generally seen as more successful and approachable relative to their balding counterparts.
Researchers at John Hopkins University asked 122 people (both men and women) to rate 13 pairs of images, including before and after photos of men who had undergone hair transplants. The participants were asked to give a score for perceived traits, including youthfulness, attractiveness, successfulness and approachability. Their results indicated that the men who had received hair transplants were perceived to be a few years younger-looking when compared to the before pictures. They were also viewed as being significantly more attractive, successful, and approachable than they were before the surgery.
Facial Hair and Chest Hair
The scalp isn’t the only place hair grows. Over the past few years, full beards have become more prevalent, a trend that has not been seen since the early 1900s. While there are many different styles of beards, a study by the Official Journal of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society looked facial hair and its impact on attractiveness in men.
When it comes to facial hair, the heavy stubble look was voted the most attractive from a woman’s perspective. The full beard also made men appear healthier and had a direct correlation to how masculine a man was perceived by the women in the study. Men dubbed both the heavy stubble and full beard as being equally attractive. On the other end of the spectrum, men who are mostly clean-shaven or lightly stubbled were rated as the less attractive to both women and men questioned in this study.
When it comes to chest and body hair, Men’s Fitness conducted a survey of 105 women to determine how they felt about body hair on men. 73% of the women said that they prefer a man with some body hair while 27% would prefer a man with little to no body hair. However, there is a catch. Of the women who said that they like a man with a little chest hair, most did specify that they prefer the hair in moderation. So similarly to beards, it seems that women would prefer a man with some chest hair, but not a lush forest.
So what’s the final verdict?
While the definition of physical attractiveness is subjective and varies from person to person, studies have shown that men with more hair on their heads and on their body do appear more attractive to women. However, there are plenty of bald men out there who are considered just as attractive. Take ‘The Rock’ for example, just named People magazine Sexiest Man Alive 2016. Confidence, personality, hygiene and the way you carry yourself can make you appear just as attractive as the guy with the full head of hair.
If you’re still self-conscious about your appearance and considering hair transplant surgery, the Limmer Hair Transplant Center can ensure that you receive the best possible treatment. We can help bring out that self-confidence that comes from having a better head of hair.
Please contact us today to set up a consultation to find out if hair transplants are right for you!