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Sorry, scruffies: Researchers fear we've reached 'peak beard'

IAN GAVAN/Getty Images

In what's likely tragic news to the people of Brooklyn and hipsters everywhere, researchers said that as facial hair becomes increasingly commonplace, the less people are likely to find it attractive. In other words, we're close to reaching "peak beard."

Researchers from the University of New South Wales in Australia polled 1,600 people — a mix of straight males and bisexual and heterosexual women — and discovered that clean-shaven men were more attractive to them after they saw a series of photos featuring scruffy men. However, the same process also worked in reverse, leading researchers to hypothesize that when a trend becomes mainstream, it becomes less attractive.

"It appears that beards gain an advantage when rare, but when they are in fashion and common, they are declared trendy and that attractiveness is over," said researcher Robert Brooks. With beards their peak popularity in popular culture, it might be time for a shave, he said. "The bigger the trend gets, the weaker the preference for beards and the tide will go out again."