As much as girls hate to admit it, we can be a little superficial at times. (Shocker, right?) But the truth is, when we first meet a guy, his look is everything. And one thing is for sure: A close shave and a spray across his chest don’t always cut it. And a full-blown werewolf beard doesn’t, either. If you want female attention, aim for the best of both worlds: clean-cut but a little rough around the edges. That could mean the perfect stubble. Or even feigning a dark mood. (Seriously!) Here, the surefire ways to draw us in without saying a word.
Don’t take the “lumbersexual” thing too far
Big, bushy beards may seem like a thing in hipster ’hoods, but trust us: For the umpteenth time, we ladies prefer stubble—not Santa. A study published in Evolution and Human Behavior showed that women find heavy stubble—and, as you may have heard, a clean-shaven face or even a light shadow—more attractive than a full-on beard. “Stubble says testosterone; it’s manly,” says Christie Hartman, Ph.D., author of Changing Your Game: A Man’s Guide to Success with Women.
Get a canine sidekick
According to a survey by Dogs Trust, a U.K. charity, owning a dog makes you more attractive. Another poll, by the mobile app Kloof, even found that specific breeds can up your hotness factor, reporting that women prefer German shepherds, golden retrievers, and Labrador retrievers—in that order. “Having a dog says a man takes care of a living thing, which is sexy,” Hartman says. “Shepherds are also masculine—cops use them as service dogs. Goldens and Labs aren’t as masculine, but they say ‘family friendly,’ and women dig that.”
Hang with a pack
Psychologists at the University of California, San Diego, recently found there’s a “cheerleader effect” when it comes to attraction: When you’re with a group of friends, women find you hotter. “Our visual system forms an ‘average representation,’ and averaged faces tend to be perceived as very attractive—probably because unattractive idiosyncrasies offset each other,” says study author and Ph.D. candidate Drew Walker. “For example, if one man’s nose is crooked to the left and his friend’s is crooked to the right, their average nose would be perfectly straight.” In short, when it all evens out—you score.
Let a bad mood fly
Researchers at the University of British Columbia found that women deem men with proud, moody, and even ashamed expressions more sexually attractive than those who sport a smile. While more studies are needed to determine exactly why, researchers suggest it’s related to evolution, with dominant males displaying certain strong characteristics. “Smiling doesn’t come off as masculine,” notes Hartman. “Though remember: This study relates to appearing happy, not actually being happy.” So no need to take it too far—nasty doesn’t work well, either.
DON’T follow her lead with selfies
It can make you look douchey—and reduce online dating messages by 8%, a survey by Zoosk, an online dating service, found. Full-body photos, on the other hand (clothed, and shot by someone else), can boost your connections by 203%. If going selfie-free seems like a double standard, well, it is. “Women can get away with selfies simply because men are more willing to tolerate them and men are more easily drawn in by a photo,” Hartman says.
DO say “creative” in your online dating profile
Zoosk studied the habits of 4,000 users and found that when guys used the words “creative” and “ambitious” in their dating profiles, incoming messages went up 33%. It seems obvious that career drive can turn a lady on, but according to Hartman, creativity is hot right now because it makes you look like you can impart global impact.