Can a Beard Make You Look Younger? (Plus Style and Grooming Tips)

If you are on a quest to find the fountain of youth, you’re not going to find it in a beard. However, that doesn’t mean you need to shave it off once you hit a certain age. Beards can look good at any number.

A beard can’t make you look younger but it may be able to hide some signs of aging. However, the aging effect of the beard itself often offsets the years regained by hiding over signs of aging. Research shows that beards add as much as ten years to someone’s look, and gray beards tend to age you further. Some beard styles age you more than others.

Keep reading to learn more about how beards affect your appearance and which styles are the best for enhancing your youthful glow.

How can facial hair make you look younger?

Remember when you were in high school and you longed for facial hair? Why? Well, to look older of course. Facial hair was a sign that you had hit manhood. As you age, the reverse can often be true.

While facial hair can’t make you look younger, it can hide some of the signs of aging. Turkey necks, sagging jowls, and double chins can be minimized or hidden by a beard. 

Research shows that facial hair ages you. A study in the journal of Behavioral Psychology tested this premise by showing both men and women pictures of men with beards and pictures after they had shaved. Both sexes perceived the bearded men to be significantly older than their shaven counterparts.

With age comes noticeable gravity issues like turkey necks and saggy jowls. Weight gain is another aging issue that can result in a double chin. Beards have the ability to hide or minimize these aging issues if styled correctly.

How much older do beards make you look?

If beards make you look older, how many years are we talking about? Two? Twenty? It depends.

On average, beards add three to ten years to your look. That beard style affects the perceived increase in age.

A hair transplant clinic in Britain surveyed 300 people to see how beards altered age perceptions. They showed them pictures of celebrities clean-shaven and bearded. The panelists were then asked how old they looked in each picture. These ages were then compared to their actual ages. 

Some celebs looked even younger than their actual age when clean-shaven. Light stubble aged men by at least 3 years while heavy, bushy, graying beards upped the perceived age by ten. 

Brad Pitt was the only celebrity that was judged younger than his actual age in both categories. Yes, he’s a freak of nature.

Will I look younger if I shave my beard?

Facial hair is coarse and wiry, which is the polar opposite of soft, supple baby skin. Our minds are wired to associate facial hair with age and fresh skin with youth.

Depending on your age, you will probably look younger if you shave your beard because smooth, soft skin is considered youthful. 

Men’s skin tends to be thicker than women’s, so many men wrinkle more slowly. Theories suggest that frequent shaving might contribute to the difference in wrinkle rates because of exfoliation. While skin exfoliation is good, there isn’t solid evidence that shaving prevents wrinkles.

What are the best styles for men to look younger?

If you aren’t ready to part with your whiskers, no problem. Certain beard styles can show off your maturity without adding a ton of birthdays to your look.

Stubble beards, goatees, and boxed beards make men look younger than long, bushy beards. If you already have a long, full beard, just the act of making it significantly shorter can erase some years. 

Overall, shorter, trendier, and more closely maintained beards are more associated with youth while fuller, bushier beards can make a man look older.

Stubble

Remember that celebrity beard poll?

Stubble beards only aged the men by three years. Heavy stubble is also the preferred style by women and requires minimal upkeep.

Goatee

The goatee is a universal beard style.

You can let it grow longer to hide a turkey neck or double chin or keep it short. You can match it with various mustache styles, which flatters most face shapes.

Boxed beard

The boxed beard is another ageless style for the older gent. It can be trimmed high or low, left thick or not.

It adds just the right amount of scruff without being overpowering.

Fun fact: The ancient Turks celebrated the long beards that came with age. They were symbols of great wisdom and dominance. Upon imprisonment, their enemies’ beards were shaven off to show who was in control.

Does a beard improve appearance?

Facial hair is close to magical. It can be grown out, trimmed, and styled to cover or enhance all kinds of features or imperfections.

A beard can improve your appearance by hiding imperfections and balancing out your facial shape. Facial hair can also give additional protection from the sun’s damaging rays preventing premature aging.

Need to sharpen a round face? Disguise a pointy chin? A beard can work wonders to alter your face shape.

Depending on the thickness and coverage of your beard, it could block the sun’s rays. It won’t offer complete protection, but you could be more protected than non-bearded men.

Worried shaving your beard might leave you with a bizarre tan line?

If you look good, you feel confident. A well-coiffed beard on an older guy oozes sophistication, maturity, and style.