Be Very Afraid!

A bearded Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

Now the annual cancer research fund-raising fuzz-fest Movember has ended, women around the country will be breathing a collective sigh of relief.

The men in their lives will be clean-shaven. Or perhaps not … it seems there’s reason to be very afraid.

Beard Loyalty

A new survey conducted on behalf of Nivea For Men shows that beard loyalty is rife among Australian males, with one in five willing to risk their relationship or job for the sake of their facial hair.

The Shave It or Save It Report, conducted by Lonergan Research*, found that beard lovers would refuse to part with their pride and glory even to try pick up a girl (46 percent), if asked by their boss (41percent), for a promotion (40 percent), for their own wedding (34 percent) or if asked by their partner (32 percent).

Although facial hair is generally considered acceptable in the workplace, there are certain professions where Australians believe it is not appropriate, including chefs (48 percent), police (37 percent) and bankers (31 percent) as compared to designers (13 percent) and sportsmen (15 percent).

Now in its second year, the Shave It Or Save It campaign is designed to raise vital funds for the Black Dog Institute, a world leader in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder.

David “The Wolfman” Williams

The initiative asks the public to vote via www.shaveitorsaveit.com.au whether certain guys, like rugby league player David “The Wolfman” Williams (above, the face of this year’s campaign) should ‘shave’ or ‘save’ their beards for the cause. Every hirsute bloke (or their partners or friends) can participate in the challenge by uploading their own photos.

Although many women argue he looks way better without it, Wolfman says his beard is his “companion”: `I would say she only improves my look of manliness.’

The reality, however – along with 54 percent of men interviewed for the survey – seems to be more a case of laziness.

`Truth be told I just always hated shaving,’ says Wolfman. `I’m pretty sure I am allergic to razors.

`The reaction I get from women – especially my mother – is mainly disgust. The fact that I’m single may just indicate what the general female population think of my hairy chin.

`I’ve had plent of pressure from Mother Wolf to shave off my beard but all of her tactics have failed over the years. I’m pretty sure she’s given up, poor thing.’

Will the Wolfman ever shave it off?

`When I am strapped down and under heavy sedation – OR for a good cause such as Nivea For Men’s Save It or Shave It.’

In other findings:

  • The most popular bearded celebs are Hugh Jackman (20 percent), George Clooney (19 percent), Russell Crowe (12 percent) and David Beckham (8 percent).
  • More than two thirds of Australian women find the clean-shaven look sexier (68 percent) and 74 percent would prefer to lock lips with a clean-shaven man.
  • 52 percent of Aussie women would be put off a date by an overgrown beard.
  • 40 percent of Australian men in full time employment and 42 percent of those earning over $100K see it as necessary to shave weekdays while letting their facial hair grow on the weekend.
  • Raising money for charity topped the list of reasons Australian men would shave off their facial hair (76 percent).
  • Of Australian women surveyed, Simon Baker’s neat beard was top of the list to see on their man (42 percent), closely followed by David Beckham’s designer stubble (31 percent) and George Clooney’s salt and pepper style (22 percent).

* The Nivea For Men Shave It or Save It Report was conducted online by Lonergan Research from October 9-11, 2012, surveying 1035 people 18 and over throughout Australia.