Culture 2 min read

New Study: Men's Beards Might be Dirtier Than Your Dog



According to a new study, bearded men may carry more harmful microbes than dogs’ fur coats.

While it started a decade ago, during the global financial crisis, beards growing has now become a widespread trend. Data shows that 37 percent of British men had some form of facial hair in mid-2011. Five years later, the number had risen to 42 percent.

However, researchers at the Hirslanden Clinic near Zurich, Switzerland suggest that growing beards may not be a healthy practice.

How the Researchers Accidentally Discovered Microbes in Beards

The researchers wanted to determine if humans could contract dog-borne diseases from MRI scanners that were meant for dogs. But first, they had to test the participants for bacteria and viruses.

So, the researchers collected swab samples from the neck of 30 dogs and the beards of 18 men. That was when they made an interesting discovery.

While all the human male participants had high microbial counts on their facial hair, the researchers noticed that only 23 of the 30 dogs had a similar count.

While not all microbes are dangerous, some can cause serious harm to human health. The facial hair of seven of the men tested positive for the harmful microbes.

In a statement to the press, Andreas Gutzeit of the Hirslanden Clinic said:

“The researchers found a significantly higher bacterial load in specimens taken from the men’s beards compared with the dogs’ fur.”

Based on the findings, the researchers concluded that dogs’ fur is cleaner when compared with men’s beard.

Before You Shave Your Beards Off

Like most scientific studies, this research has a generalization issue.

A sample size of 18 men with facial hair can barely count as a representative of the entire bearded population. For all we know, the participants just had poor hygiene.

Speaking to Daily Caller, the founder of Beard Liberation Front, Keith Flett said:

“I don’t believe that beards in themselves are unhygienic. I think it’s possible to find all sorts of unpleasant things if you took swabs from people’s hair and hands and then tested them. ”

Whatever the case may be, you may want to consider making your beards inhabitable to microbes. It’s not that complex, just keep it clean and groomed.

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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