Matt James’s Beard Might Be a Clue as to How His Season Ends
The most shocking thing about the “Women Tell All” episode of The Bachelor that aired on March 1 wasn’t the fact that Victoria refused to actually apologize for her behavior on the show. No, it was actually that Matt James showed up to face his exes with some pretty intense facial hair. It was the beard that launched a thousand group chat text messages and some pretty funny tweets.
Not only was this a surprise to Bachelor Nation since Matt’s been clean-shaven all season, but according to my research (aka a deep dive of his Instagram), it looks like he’s had minimal stubble for basically his whole life. Like, why the sudden and drastic change? I mean, you can’t help but wonder if the beard holds some clues about how his season ends.
So to get some answers, I spoke with Lester Rivera, lead stylist at The Spot Barbershop® in Miami and Abra McField, hair psychologist and CEO/founder of Abra Kadabra Hair & Healing, to see if Matt’s new look is simply because he wanted to try something different, or if it’s a sign of something deeper (like, IDK, a new relationship status).
Matt’s beard could be a sign of a breakup
Yes, Matt’s beard could mean that he doesn’t end up picking either Michelle or Rachel, or it might mean that he does choose one of the women but they broke up after filming wrapped. There’s several reasons for this, but Rivera says he’s noticed that his clients are less likely to groom themselves post-breakup because they’re feeling down. “We’ve seen guys who usually come in every week, disappear for three or four weeks. And when we ask them where they’ve been, it’s typically because they’ve been having relationship problems and they’ve been dealing with a little wave of depression so they haven’t felt like taking care of themselves,” he says.
Rivera also mentions that when guys are dealing with the end of a relationship, especially if their former partner liked them to have a clean shave, they’ll explore new options or start doing the opposite of whatever their ex was into.
Plus, McField says you’re more likely to want to step into your own after a breakup. This can happen in a bunch of different ways, but it’s commonly expressed through our bodies. “Sometimes people cut their hair off, dye it a drastic color, get a tattoo or piercing, or in Matt’s case, grow out their hair,” she says. According to McField, this happens when someone realizes they’ve had no control for so long that they’re now desperate to claim power over their own freedom. (Translation: They want to be able to do whatever the hell they want.)
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The new beard might be linked to Matt’s childhood
McField also thinks that Matt’s new beard could be a visual symbol of his healing from past trauma. If you tuned in to last week’s episode, you know that Matt has a tense relationship with his father—due to infidelity, his mom left his dad when he was young, and according to Matt, his dad wasn’t there when he needed him the most. Matt also admitted that he has a fear of repeating his dad’s own mistakes when it comes to women.
“When it comes to relationships, women could view a heavy beard as a man more likely to settle down because he isn’t trying to impress anyone,” says McField. “A clean, low beard can be seen, more generally, as having much more sex appeal.” According to McField, this new beard could also signal that Matt’s truly ready to settle down. “He now stands in control and no longer wants to be the subject of his childhood trauma which has kept him from what his soul desires,” she adds.
Oh, also: Beards are in rn
Beards are definitely having a moment right now. It’s way easier to take care of a beard now than it was just a few years ago, says Rivera. “Now people are blow-drying their beards, dyeing them, moisturizing them, the whole nine yards.” A little pro tip from Rivera: Most beard oils are just regular hair oils with “masculine” packaging, so anyone can use them.
The final word
Now that The Bachelor season 25 comes to an end tonight (!!!), we’ll find out whether the beard was a sign of Matt’s current status or if he literally woke up one day and decided to throw out his razor. Regardless, based on the previews, it looks like it might actually be ~one of the most dramatic seasons ever~. All the fingers crossed for Matt (and his beard)!!