Bearded men respond to study suggesting beards 'dirtier than dogs'

Beards

Monday, April 15, 2019

A new study suggests that beards carry more germs than dogs' fur.

Researchers in Switzerland took swabs from the beards of 18 men and compared the samples to swabs taken from the necks of 30 dogs of varying breeds.

Every beard tested was found to contain high microbial counts, with just 23 out of 30 dogs also having a high count. The remaining canines had only moderate levels of bacteria in their fur.

talkRADIO asked men with beards what they thought of the research, and whether the findings would affect their facial hair habits.

 

Luke Beardsworth, 27, Editor of Lancs Live, Preston 

Local news editor Luke says he hasn't had a fully clean shave "since 2014".

What made you want a beard?

I wish I could tell you it is because they're cool. They are, but the truth is you can get away with being careless with a beard a lot more than you can if you try to maintain a clean-shaven face.

Do the results of the study affect your attitude towards having a beard?

Does it not essentially boil down to hygiene? Give it a wash and use some products on it and it will likely be fine.

Do you think the results will put others off having beards, or dating people with beards?

I hope not, obviously. I think that would be a little dramatic on everyone's part.

What is your beard care regime?

Clean it in the shower or bath. Use a moisturiser. Trim it regularly, even if you're growing it.

 

Toby Gilles, 34, Sports journalist, London

Sports journalist Toby grew a full beard in the last three years. He claims it was "such a success" that his dad followed suit and grew one too.

What made you want a beard?

I got to the stage where I couldn't be bothered trimming it so frequently. Oddly, if you total the time I now spend grooming it on a daily basis, it probably adds up to considerably more than the five minutes I used to spend on it once a week.

I've kept it for different reasons. Firstly it's hiding a multitude of sins (or should that be chins?) underneath. Itt feels nice and people comment on it all the time. Although there are a lot of bearded men around now, it's still different enough that people notice it. I get a lot of compliments from both women and other men.

Do the results of the study affect your attitude towards having a beard?

Absolutely not, I'm not buying it. At least not when it comes to myself. I wash and condition my beard every single day at least once, and sometimes twice. I don't know any dog owners that do that.

Do you think the results will put others off having beards, or dating people with beards?

You can tell if people are hygienic or not. I bet more people don't wash their hands after using public toilets than don't look after their beards. Anyone who has had a beard for more than a day will be well aware that sometimes your dinner falls in it and you just deal with that as and when it happens.

What is your beard care regime?

In the shower, wet it thoroughly, wash it with moisturising shampoo and wash that off. Cover it in conditioner and leave for as long as I have before I need to go to work. Wash off, dry with towel and shape with specific beard brush. Then, rub in beard balm (or oil if that's what I have). 

Every month or so I go and have a full on half-hour pampering session, including hot towels, shaping the beard, and clean-shaving the neck and cheeks. I also get a neck, shoulder and arm massage. Worth having a beard for alone.

 

Jason Seddon, 47, Web developer, Manchester

Web developer Jason has had a beard for 25 years. 

What made you want a beard?

Laziness, shaving is annoying.

Do the results of the study affect your attitude towards having a beard?

Not at all. If my beard was going to kill me, it would have done so by now.

Do you think the results will put others off having beards, or dating people with beards?

Probably not. The positive aspects of beardiness (increased wisdom and mightiness) far outweigh hygiene concerns.

What is your beard care regime?

Nothing specific. Wash as often as face and/or hair is washed.

 

Ryan Thrussell, 26, Producer, London

Ryan says he "discovered" his beard whilst he was at university at the age of 19.

What made you want a beard?

I seemed to be the only person in my friendship group to be able to grow a beard and it stayed due to positive feedback. 

Do the results of the study affect your attitude towards having a beard?

Not really. I just need to manage the bacteria better and clean it regularly. The beard stays for now!  

Do you think the results will put others off having beards, or dating people with beards?

It depends how many people read this article or the study. It's personal choice at the end of the day but it's good to have a variety of opinions on important matters such as this. 

What is your beard care regime?

Conditioning as regularly as possible with the occasional comb and a splash of beard oil.

 

Ollie Cook, 23, Account manager, London

Ollie says he has had a beard since the age of 17 at "various lengths".

What made you want a beard?

I put on a lot of weight and I wanted to hide my double chin. I grew fond of it after that.

Do the results of the study affect your attitude towards having a beard?

It doesn't, because it has not made me unwell yet. If anything, it could be strengthening my immune system. My beard is making me stronger.

Do you think the results will put others off having beards, or dating people with beards?

It most probably will. No one wants to get too close to dangerous bacteria, that's why we invented Domestos. It's a worrying future for single, bearded men.

What is your beard care regime?

When it was longer than it is now I washed it with special beard shampoo and conditioner. After that, I rub in a beard oil (cedarwood scented). I let that bad boy dry and I am ready for the day.