Is Facial Hair Performance Enhancing?

- New study from Wahl® and STATS suggests it is—on the baseball diamond -

Jul 12, 2013, 12:42 ET from Wahl

STERLING, Ill., July 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Guys wear facial hair for many reasons: style, confidence, intimidation... and now, according to a new study conducted by STATS and commissioned by men's grooming leader Wahl, guys have an even more compelling reason to get their beard on—performance. 



Just in time for the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby, the light-hearted study, which delves into facial hair's impact on professional baseball, suggests that Wahl's outrageous theory may actually work. Highlights of this study will be released in a series of infographics over the next week.

"Facial hair has long been considered a confidence booster for guys sporting it," said Steve Yde, director of marketing for Wahl. "What better way to find out just how far facial hair can take you than to investigate its impact on professional sports, and on one of its biggest stages."

Facial hair dominates in All-Star competition
Analysis of players with and without facial hair over the past decade suggests facial hair is the big winner.  During All-Star play, scruff-sporting players have a .287 batting average, .338 on-base percentage and .441 slugging percentage compared to clean-shaven players who are .226, .272 and 382, respectively.

Additionally, the last six All-Star Game MVPs have all had facial hair, including last year's winner Melky Cabrera who homered in the fourth inning en route to earning the title. Meanwhile, clean-shaven players have gone four years and 152 at-bats without a single home run.

Facial hair has made its mark on All-Star pitching, as well. Over the past six seasons, pitchers with facial hair have earned more selections to the All-Star Game than those without, 98 to 78. Pitchers with facial hair have promptly backed up their selections by posting a lower ERA (3.43 versus 3.96) and more strikeouts (7.82 versus 6.56).

Scruff reigns supreme at Home Run Derby
Despite being outnumbered by their clean-shaven counterparts over the past decade, Home Run Derby participants with facial hair have had more success. They've produced the majority of the champions (60 percent), finalists (55 percent) and semifinalists (58 percent) while averaging two more home runs per contest. In fact, the Derby's top three performers all sported facial hair.

In the past 10 years, only four Home Run Derby participants have gone without a single home run in the competition—all were clean-shaven. Furthermore, players who competed multiple times in the Derby, both with and without facial hair, had a combined average of 17.6 homers with facial hair and 10.9 without.

For more information on Wahl and its study on the awesomeness of facial hair, visit  Or, follow Wahl on Facebook and Twitter.

STATS is the world's leading sports technology, data and content company. The company passionately abides by a mission to revolutionize the way sports contests are viewed, understood and enjoyed. For more information, visit

About Wahl
Wahl Clipper Corporation, based in Sterling, Ill., is a worldwide leader in the manufacturing of products for the professional beauty and barber salon trade, consumer personal care and animal grooming. For more information, visit