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Biologists characterize beards as a secondary sexual characteristic because they are unique to one sex, yet do not play a direct role in reproduction. Charles Darwin first suggested possible evolutionary explanation of beards in his work The Descent of Man , which hypothesized that the process of sexual selection may have led to beards.  Modern biologists have reaffirmed the role of sexual selection in the evolution of beards, concluding that there is evidence that a majority of females find men with beards more attractive than men without beards.   
Mesopotamian men of Semitic origin (Akkadians, Assyrians, Babylonians and Chaldeans) devoted great care to oiling and dressing their beards, using tongs and curling irons to create elaborate ringlets and tiered patterns. Unlike them, the non-Semitic Sumerian men tended to shave off their facial hair (which is especially notable, for example, in the numerous statues of Gudea , a ruler of Lagash , as opposed to the depiction of the roughly contemporaneous Semitic ruler of Akkad, Naram-Sin , on his victory stele).
The highest ranking Ancient Egyptians grew hair on their chins which was often dyed or hennaed (reddish brown) and sometimes plaited with interwoven gold thread. A metal false beard, or postiche , which was a sign of sovereignty, was worn by queens and kings. This was held in place by a ribbon tied over the head and attached to a gold chin strap, a fashion existing from about 3000 to 1580 BC.