5 Ways Your Bad Grooming Habits Are Ruining Your Life

It’s one of the oldest idioms in the book: If you want to play the part, you have to look the part. Never has a saying been more true when it comes to grooming decisions. If you’re strolling into that sales meeting or first date looking like a wookiee’s mouth-breathing, six-toed cousin, expect to give an impression that screams “I have no self-respect and don’t care about myself” instead of the ninja warrior you know you are deep down inside.

Fall is peak season for beard foliage around the globe. But sometimes men get lazy, letting a well-manicured scruff cultivate into a hirsute, Grizzly Adams nightmare. And what a lot of men don’t think about is consequences of that neglect.

Here are a few ways your bad grooming habits are ruining your life, from festering disease to screwing up your dating game.

“Some beards are as dirty as toilets.”

That statement alone should haunt your nightmares and cause you to instantly run out to the nearest drugstore for a razor. Last year a microbiologist analyzed swab samples from a handful of bearded men in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Most beards contained healthy levels of normal bacteria. However, the microbiologist also discovered an alarming number of beards that were “just as dirty as toilets”, swarming with bacteria usually associated with fecal matter.

The takeaway: Good luck with a second date after giving her pink eye on the first one.

It can hold your career back.

Real-talk: Society has made tremendous strides in destigmatizing facial hair since the 1960s. But let’s not kid ourselves: There’s still plenty of prejudice around facial hair in conservative industries like banking and law, where the culture rewards the suit-wearing and clean-shaven.

More than half (59%) of Americans — including 69% of Millennials — think that whether a man has facial hair is a major factor in forming a first impression of him, according to Schick Hydro® Razors & Edge ® Shave Gel*. That’s a big deal when it comes to landing a job. The interview process for a job is all about a portraying a sense of maturity, confidence, expertise, and authority. It’s the one place where a candidate for a job should abide by the rule “the perception is the reality.”

If they were equally qualified for the job, 70% of Americans are more likely to hire a man without facial hair than one with it, according to a new survey by Schick Hydro® Razors & Edge ® Shave Gel*. In some fields, like, say, being a longshoreman, looking like the sea captain on a box of fish sticks is going to help you land that job. In other organizations, those shaggy whiskers project a sense of apathy and slothfulness, no matter how perfect your resume is. No one is going to hire or promote an employee who looks like they don’t care about their own well-being.

Also, in the same Schick Hydro® Razors & Edge ® Shave Gel survey*, 67% of Americans feel that clean-shaven guy is more likely to have a larger bank account than a man with facial hair. If you have an interview or review on the calendar and hate the idea of parting ways with that luscious facial fuzz, remember: Like a phoenix out of the ashes, it grows back.

If you’re single, it’s ruining your dating game on dating apps.

All about those first impressions again. Back in 1991, a study determined that clean-shaven men were considered more favorable, more attractive, and more sociable by women. Almost 25 years later, a similar study of men with beards on dating apps determined pretty much the exact same thing. According to that same survey* by Schick Hydro® Razors & Edge ® Shave Gel on dating apps, nearly 1 in 3 Americans (31%) feel wild facial hair would be a bigger turnoff than an ex in a dating profile picture. Two-thirds (66%) of Americans, including 75% of Millennials, think a man who regularly shaves his facial hair is more likely to have better bodily grooming habits elsewhere. According to the study, clean-shaven men get more right-swipes from females than bearded Bros. When the same guys shaved and updated their profile pics on the app, they ended up with more matches.

Just like in sports, the scoreboard of matches on dating apps don’t lie.

If you’re single, it’s ruining your dating game IRL.

Many studies have proven time over time that a man with an unkempt five o’clock shadow sends a signal of security to women, not “hey, I’m single and ready to mingle!” Think long-term relationships, not short flings. The most recent one comes straight from the pages of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, which analyzed the opinions of over 8,500 women on male facial attractiveness:

8,520 participants were used for analyses, with each randomly assigned to one of three conditions where they rated faces for either sexual attractiveness for a short-term sexual relationship, attractiveness for a long-term sexual relationship or sexual attractiveness without stipulating the length of the relationship.

Participants then rated a total of 16 faces. One face was drawn at random, without replacement, from each of the 16 male models. Thus, the amount of facial hair (clean-shaven, light stubble, heavy stubble or full beard) and the degree of masculinity were randomly measured.

Our findings suggest that beardedness may be attractive when judging long-term relationships as a signal of intrasexual formidability and the potential to provide direct benefits to females. More generally, our results hint at a divergence of signaling function, which may result in a subtle trade-off in women’s preferences, for two highly sexually dimorphic androgen-dependent facial traits.

TLDR: That beard isn’t helping you get out of the friend zone.

It brings out your ugliest traits (in the eyes of other people), according to science.

Two of the more alarming discoveries about perception and beards happened in 2015, when two different studies found an unsettling correlation between extremely undesirable personality traits.

A survey of 500 men discovered that men with facial hair tend to be more sexist than those without facial hair. Another study of 2000 found that “47 percent of men with a beard had cheated on their partner, compared to 20 percent clean-shaven men” and “45 percent of men with facial hair regularly got into fights compared to 29 percent of those with no beard.”

As if that’s not ugly enough, an Arizona State University study revealed that men with beards are perceived as more aggressive and intimidating than their unshaven counterparts, even when making the exact same facial expressions.

Don’t be that guy, Bros. Keep it clean with a Schick Hydro® Razors & Edge ® Shave Gel.

BroBible has partnered with Schick Hydro® Razors & Edge ® Shave Gel.

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*Wakefield survey on behalf of Schick Hydro® Razors & Edge ® Shave Gel (Spring 2016) — An Omnibus online survey conducted with US adults aged 18+.