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Women really ARE hard-wired to love beards

They are a popular facial accessory for hipsters and lumberjacks alike, but it seems having a beard really does make you more attractive.

New research suggests that women are hard-wired to love men with beards, as well as faces with masculine features.

The study found that even when women were shown gruesome photos of facial lice and injuries they still picked out bearded men as the most attractive.

Previous research has found facial hair is 'riddled with bacteria' which may spread germs and trigger infections.

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New research suggests that women are hard-wired to love men with beards, such as actor George Clooney (pictured), as well as faces with masculine features

David Beckham is known for his facial hair, but could it be the secret to his sex-appeal?

New research suggests that women are hard-wired to love men with beards, as well as faces with masculine features. George Clooney (left) and David Beckham (right) are two celebrities known for their facial hair

BEARD GERMS

Experts have previously warned beards are 'bacterial sponges' riddled with thousands of microbes, and a perfect way to pass on germs.

Carol Walker, from the Birmingham Trichology Centre, previously said having facial hair can lead to frequent skin infections.

Beards harbour more germs because facial hair is courser than other hair, so traps dirt and germs more easily, she said.

She told MailOnline at the time: 'Beard hair; it’s courser. It has the shape of a bayonet, a round, convexed bottom and then comes up the side to a point.

‘It becomes curly and smooth, it tends to have more bends and kinks which trap dirt.

‘The cuticles on the hair – which are like layers of tiles on a roof - trap the germs and grease. Hair around nostrils and mouth is well-placed to harbour bacteria. 

Researchers at the the University of Queensland, Australia, thought that facial hair might reduce male attractiveness in some circumstances.

They argued that beards are a possible breeding ground for bacteria disease-carrying parasites, which could switch some women off.

The scientists tried to 'disgust' a group of 688 women by showing them images of burrowing ticks, body lice, and open infected cuts.

But the women still rated bearded men as 'more attractive' than their clean-shaven counterparts.

The researchers wrote in their paper: 'We primed

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