Beard Transplant is Guided by Evolution
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 Brooks University 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.
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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”.
The bright colours of male guppies vary by this force – which is driven by females’ changing preferences.
Scientists at the University of New South Wales decided to test this hypothesis for men’s facial hair – recruiting volunteers on their Facebook site, The Sex Lab.