Smooth vs. Scruffy: What's Hotter?

Sexy stars – George! Justin! Leo! – have been experimenting with facial hair, but is it a hot look? You decide! By Julia Wang

01 of 13

GEORGE CLOONEY

GEORGE CLOONEY
Bryan Bedder/getty;Henry Lamb/Photowire/BEImages

Clooney put in a hard day's work on the set of his upcoming drama Michael Clayton – and it shows (right). Fast-forward six months to September, and he looks the part of polished politician at a nonprofit dinner in New York (left).

02 of 13

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE
Steve Granitz/WireImage;Scott Sine / WENN

The singer/actor/fashion designer showed off his tough-guy appeal (right) while promoting his film Alpha Dog. But by the time he got back to the music in September, JT went smooth (left) for his album release party.

03 of 13

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

LEONARDO DICAPRIO
Kevin Mazur/WireImage;Debbie VanStory/iPhoto

He's famous for his boyish good looks (left, in New York), but at the Hollywood premiere of The Departed, the actor sported a more mature, goateed look (right).

04 of 13

DANE COOK

DANE COOK
Doug Meszler / WENN;Evan Agostini/getty

Cook kicked off the promotional tour for his film Employee of the Month looking every inch the smooth exec (left, in September), but just a few days later the funnyman was back on familiar turf – looking casual and scruffy at TRL (right).

05 of 13

ASHTON KUTCHER

ASHTON KUTCHER
Carlos Alvarez/getty;MARCOCCHI GIULIO/SIPA

You'd expect the mastermind behind Punk'd to keep us on our toes … and he does. The versatile former model shows off a light beard at an L.A. premiere (right, in September), but cleans up two weeks later (left) while promoting The Guardian in Spain.

06 of 13

VINCE VAUGHN

VINCE VAUGHN
Steve Levy/ABACA; Retna

Vaughn cleaned up for the Los Angeles premiere of the The Break-Up (left), but more often than not, the low-key bachelor (right, in June) wears a week's worth of shadow. Luckily, girlfriend Jennifer Aniston is fond of it: She once said of ex Brad Pitt's scruff, "I do like the beard. It's soft."

07 of 13

CLAY AIKEN

CLAY AIKEN
Jason Merritt/FilmMagic;MATT SAYLES/ap

The pop star wears his hair (facial and otherwise) a thousand different ways. He shocked Claymates during a performance on American Idol (left, in May), and by August had added a hint of scruff to his usual clean-cut look.

08 of 13

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY
Evan Agostini/Getty;Jen Lowery/Startraks;X17

Last year's Sexiest Man Alive has three-way appeal: smooth as silk, rugged (middle) and downright rough and tumble (right, in September). "I like a little bit of texture on my face," McConaughey has said.

09 of 13

NICK LACHEY

NICK LACHEY
Polk Imaging/FilmMagic; Andrew Marks/Retna

Lachey usually likes things smooth, but now the solo singer is all about change with a new rugged look (right), a new sound and a new love – Vanessa Minnillo, who was spotted in New York City recently giving Lachey's chin scruff a playful tickle.

10 of 13

BRAD PITT

BRAD PITT
STEWART COOK/REX; Mark Mainz/Getty

Different roles, different looks: Most memorably, Pitt grew a long beard in 2002 for one movie, went outlaw rough while filming the upcoming The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and, most recently, grew a trim blond goatee (right, in July) for another in India.

11 of 13

HEATH LEDGER

HEATH LEDGER
J.H. Saunders/Landov; Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The erstwhile heartthrob makes a point to avoid "blond bimbo roles." And he's gone out of his way not to look the part, always sporting a bit of hair on his youthful face. But lately, the Aussie actor's chin has sprouted into a full-blown grizzly beard (right, in July).

12 of 13

JAKE GYLLENHAAL

JAKE GYLLENHAAL
Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage; Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Gyllenhaal has taken to the rugged Brokeback Mountain look in real life. The onetime baby-faced actor is now sporting a full beard (right, in June) – just like his Malibu biking buddy Matthew McConaughey.

13 of 13

MATTHEW FOX

MATTHEW FOX
Brian Lowe/jpi; Clasos/jpi

Some Lost castaways needed help from a makeup artist to grow island stubble, but not Fox. ("I'm not so baby-faced. I feel like more of a man," he says.) Recently the show's good doctor has gotten used to a razor's edge – to play a clean-shaven Secret Service agent in Vantage Point (right, in July).

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