Hair-raising dilemma for men: To beard or not to beard?

March 8, 2012 at 11:42 AM ET

Does Donny look better with a beard or without one?

Which is better for guys: Admiration from women, or respect from other men? That’s the decision staring them in the face from their bathroom mirrors each morning in light of recent research.

Scientists in New Zealand and Canada showed 200 women pictures of 19 fully bearded men, then showed them what the same men looked like clean-shaven. The women found the men more attractive sans whiskers.

Men shown the same pictures said that the bearded men looked older and angrier – but men and women alike thought bearded men came across as having higher social status and more worthy of respect from other men.

The facial hair-raising dilemma came up during this morning’s segment with TODAY’s Professionals: Star Jones, Donny Deutsch and Dr. Nancy Snyderman. 

“Oh, no!” Donny exclaimed when a photo of him wearing a beard appeared. “Would you buy a used ad from this man?” View the clip below:

The topic evoked a rare consensus from the frequently contentious trio: All three agreed that men look better clean-shaven. It fell to Dr. Nancy to deliver the coup de grace: “If you have a guy with a beard, look for a chin that doesn’t exist.”

But what about you? Do you think men look better with beards or without? Vote, and share your thoughts in the comments!