Are you wondering what percentage of men sport facial hair today? Or curious about the most popular beard styles and grooming trends? This in-depth guide has you covered with a comprehensive look at global beard statistics and trends in 2023.
An Explosion in Worldwide Beard Popularity
Roughly 44% of men worldwide now have some form of beard or substantial facial hair according to market research firm Allied Market Research. Their global survey found this number has jumped sharply compared to just 29% of men with beards in 2017.
Regionally, the popularity of beards varies but the growth trend is consistent. For example, in the United States, market research firm Statista found 33% of American men reported having beards in 2017. By comparison, a larger study by YouGov in the United Kingdom pegged British men with facial hair at 42% in 2016.
So why is facial hair exploding in popularity among men worldwide? According to research from multiple sources, key reasons include:
- Desire for a bold, masculine look
- Wanting to appear more mature and confident
- Following the latest stylistic trends
- Expressing personality or creativity
- Disguising or covering perceived facial flaws
But exactly how common are beards globally today? And which styles are trending in 2023? Keep reading for more insights.
Top Beard Statistics and Trends
Full Beards Are the Most Popular Style
When it comes to choosing a beard style, full beards reign supreme. According to Allied Market Research, roughly 44% of bearded men now wear full beards globally. This outpaces all other styles. Men cite desires to look masculine, mature and confident as top reasons for choosing full beards.
Younger Men Are Most Likely to Grow Facial Hair
Breaking down beard popularity by age reveals an interesting trend – younger men lead the pack when it comes to facial hair growth.
25% of men aged 18-29 use beard care products like oil or shampoo daily according to Statista. This number drops among older demographics. Only 5% of men over 60 use beard products daily.
Younger millennials and Gen Z men see beards as trendy and stylish. As they age, the habit sticks for many.
United States: 33% of Men Always Have Beards
Analyzing by country, the United States has also seen a sharp upturn in men with facial hair over the past decade.
According to Statista, 33% of American men reported having beards in 2017. 27% said they sometimes grew beards while 40% remained clean shaven.
By age, beard popularity in America peaks among young adults:
- 25% of US males aged 18-29 use beard products daily
- 21% of US males aged 30-59 use such products daily
So about 1 in 4 American men under 30 make beard care part of their daily routine.
United Kingdom: 42% of British Men Had Facial Hair in 2016
Zooming in on the United Kingdom, British men are significantly more bearded than their American counterparts.
According to 2016 research by YouGov, 42% of British men sported some form of facial hair – which includes full beards and mustaches.
Breaking this down further:
- 18% of British men had full beards or mustaches
- 17% had stubbly facial hair
- Just 2% had solely mustaches
The proportion of British men sporting facial hair has risen steadily compared to 2011 when 37% had some form of beard. Ongoing stylistic trends account for this growth.
Beard Popularity Varies by Ethnicity
While beards are popular worldwide, growth rates and styles vary across ethnic backgrounds according to research.
For example, men of Arab descent have a strong predisposition for thick, fast-growing facial hair. Genetic factors enable full beards in as little as 4 weeks for some.
By contrast, East Asian ethnicities like Chinese and Japanese men have slower beard growth rates and less density. Full beards may take 3-4 months compared to just 8 weeks for those of Arab descent.
These ethnic differences lead to variation in global beard lengths and popularity. But the trend lines point upward across all demographics.
Psychology of Beard Appeal: Perceived Attractiveness and Confidence
Now that we‘ve seen data on beard popularity, let‘s explore why facial hair holds such strong appeal for men worldwide.
Beards Enhance Perceived Masculinity and Dominance
Research has identified a strong psychological link between beards, masculinity and social dominance.
Studies by behavioral scientists like Dr. Cyril Grueter show men with heavy stubble or full beards are perceived as more dominant and masculine than clean-shaven men.
Some key findings:
- Men with heavy stubble ranked most aggressive and dominant
- Full beards ranked second most dominant
- Light stubble was least dominant/aggressive
These perceptions stem from deep associations of beards with maturity and masculinity across cultures.
Facial Hair Boosts Self-Confidence for 75% of Men
In addition to public perception, beards boost confidence among men themselves:
- 75% of bearded men feel more confident overall according to multiple surveys
- 25% say a lack of facial hair makes them feel less masculine and self-assured
Interestingly, a New York Post survey found men ranked their happiness with their own beards a 6 out of 10 on average. Grooming challenges like patchy growth accounted for imperfect scores.
But the data shows men feel notably more confident with facial hair overall.
Beards Are Seen as More Attractive Than Clean Shaven
Along with enhancing perceived masculinity and confidence, beards also increase attractiveness – sparking so-called "beard craze" trends.
According to a survey by beauty insights firm Heggold, the most attractive beard style was short stubble:
- 24% of respondents ranked short stubble as most attractive
- 38% ranked it as 2nd most attractive overall
These preferences for short beards likely stem from perceptions of maturity, confidence, and care for appearance.
So while personal taste varies, well-groomed beards statistically win out vs. clean shaven in attractiveness surveys. This fuels the passion for beard growth globally.
Most Popular Beard Styles Ranked
Now that we‘ve explored the psychology behind beard appeal, let‘s analyze the most popular facial hair styles men choose globally.
1. Full Beard
The full beard reigns supreme as the most popular style worldwide. As we‘ve seen in surveys, roughly 44% of bearded men opt for full beards.
- Seen as masculine, dominant and high status
- Covers largest facial area
- Allows shaping around the neck and cheeks
- Needs regular grooming and shaping
- Can appear unruly if not well-trimmed
- Not suitable for sparse or patchy facial hair
2. Stubble Beard
Ranking second in worldwide popularity is the stubbly beard look. This requires keeping growth short at 3-5mm.
- Low maintenance compared to full beards
- Creates appearance of maturity and ruggedness
- Stylish/trendy among younger demographics
- Needs frequent trimming to maintain length
- Can be itchy as hair regrows
3. Anchor Beard
Combining mustache and chin hair, the anchor beard comes third in global popularity.
- Classic masculine shape
- Less grooming than full beard
- Defines jawline
- Relatively high maintenance
- Patchy growth can spoil appearance
Beard Grooming Tips from the Experts
To keep facial hair looking its best, proper grooming and care is essential. Here are tips from beard care experts on maintenance best practices:
- Shampoo regularly – using beard shampoo 2-3 times per week keeps hair clean and skin healthy.
- Apply beard oil – oils like argan or jojoba nourish hair and reduce itchiness.
- Use boar-bristle brush – brushing distributes oils evenly and boosts shine.
- Trim strays – snip stray hairs with small beard scissors for a neat shape.
- Moisturize skin – hydrating creams prevent dryness and flaking beneath your beard.
With proper products and techniques, you can maximize the health, shine and attractiveness of your beard.
The Future of Beard Trends
Given the explosion in global beard popularity over the past decade, what lies ahead in the future? Industry analysts have some predictions:
- "Peak beard" is still a ways off – surveys indicate continued growth potential in most demographics
- Diversity in styles – stylistic experimentation beyond full beards
- Ongoing product innovation – demand for beard oils, gels and supplements
- Shifting attitudes – while beards are mainstream, some backlash is emerging
While predicting future trends is difficult, data suggests beards won‘t be going anywhere soon. But continued innovation in styles and grooming approaches will be ongoing trends.
Beards have seen a worldwide renaissance over the past decade as men embrace the bold, masculine look facial hair provides. Surveys now peg the global percentage of bearded men at 44% on average – up sharply from 29% just 5 years ago.
Full beards lead the most popular styles, but options like stubble and anchor beards also have a strong following. And proper grooming is enabling men to keep beards looking tidy and professional.
While a small minority still harbor fear or dislike of beards, the broader trends suggest the bearded revolution still has room to grow across the globe.