(NEW YORK TIMES) — In the past few years, a number of predictions have declared the end of the beard. “Sorry guys, beards are over,” said the website Mashable. “Beards Aren’t Cool Anymore,” said Vice.

But beards are still here — at the Oscars, parading down catwalks and on regular guys. Could it be that beards are more than a fashion statement?

Science suggests that facial hair — from scruffy day-old stubble to full Grizzly Adams — is imbued with social messages, and can play a significant role in a man’s love life.

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