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do women like a man with stubble
do women like a man with stubble

Do Women Prefer Men With Stubble?

August 18th, 2016

Five lovely women tell the truth about men with a five o’clock shadow

Stubble is sort of like the cilantro of men’s grooming topics. Some people love it and some people really, really hate it.

But what we think guys really want to know is: what do women prefer? Scruff or clean-shaven?

We surveyed five wonderful women on the topic.

Here’s what they said.

Jill Newman, Senior Style Editor at Robb Report

Without a doubt, a little facial hair – otherwise known as stubble – can represent a sexy, carefree spirit. It portrays a sort of understated confidence, and can denote a slightly rebellious spirit.

It works particularly well with men’s fashion now because the clothing style is more relaxed and not so buttoned-up. However, not everybody can carry if off. It should suit a guy’s personality.

For instance, it might not seem so natural on a polished-looking banker in a three-piece suit. It should also fit the occasion. If it’s a formal business environment or event, that calls for a clean shaven look and stubble isn’t acceptable.

Sarah Solomon, Social Media Journalist at

I’m personally a big fan of the five o’clock shadow. It’s roguish and got that “I woke up too late to shave but I still look damn good” vibe.

Unfortunately, it can easily wander into ill-fated territory after a few days, and then you just look like you’re having problems growing a beard. On that note, there is some quaint irony in stubble actually taking constant maintenance.

Robin West, Digital Strategy at He Spoke Style

I am a fan of a man with scruff. Always have been, always will be. I don’t know where it comes from either – maybe Dylan McKay had it during the summer episodes? For me, it has serious sex appeal and makes a man look, well, very manly. That said, as with everything, there are guidelines.

First, keep it maintained, especially if you are growing it a bit longer. Once it gets to more than a week or two, depending how much growth you have, the long random strays and curls can come off as laziness or uncleanliness.

The second is that, as a girl, it can be a bit awkward for a while. Actually, it can be terrible. You start dating a guy, it’s those first few dates and you have those great, long make out sessions. Awesome!

Then you go home/wake up the next morning and see you are totally red around your mouth like Ronald McDonald from all that scruff friction that your skin is NOT used to. Our skin gets used to it after the initial shock, but this happens. So be kind, or no more kisses.

Shai Chung, Founder of Drunk On Shoes

A five o’clock shadow is like rocking a crop top – it’s not for everyone and won’t work in all situations. But when it does work, it’s amazing.

I find that guys who have more rugged features and a structured jawline look the best with a little scruff. And, personally, I find it to be a very sexy look.

But just always, always, always remember that it’s all about grooming. Keeping the scruff clean and well-groomed is the difference between being that mysterious handsome stranger or that weird creepy dude.

Mrs. Sacawa, Brian’s Mom

Call me old fashioned, but I do not like stubble. Some may say it’s sexy, but not me. I like a clean-shaven guy.

What don’t I like about it?

Well, first, it’s scratchy. Stubble also makes me think, for whatever reason, that a guy is too lazy to shave. It can look messy and unclean depending on how the person is dressed. Also, on some guys it can grow unevenly and patchy which just doesn’t look good.

Again, I’ll take a clean-shaven guy all the time. (Except if the person with stubble happens to be my son! Though I like him better clean-shaven, which he knows…)

Now that you know what the women think. What do you think? Chime in below.

Featured image via Harper’s Bazaar

Brian Sacawa

Brian Sacawa is the Founder of He Spoke Style and one of the original men’s style influencers. Since 2013, his goal has remained the same: to provide men the advice and inspiration they need to dress well, develop their personal style, and gain more confidence. Brian’s interest and passion for men’s style and luxury watches has led to his writing for The Robb Report, The Rake, and Sotheby’s and he has been quoted on menswear in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,, Brides Magazine, and the Huffington Post. He lives in the woods north of Baltimore with his wife, Robin, kitties Nick and Nora, and German Shepherd/Collie mix Charlie.

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