Recently, Swiss scientists conducted a study that has many men scratching their faces and reaching for the beard shampoo. Brace yourself, they found that men's beards have more bacteria than dog fur.
Over at a clinic in Switzerland, researchers took samples from the beards of 18 men from the ages of 18 to 76 and the necks of 30 dogs from various breeds and ages.
They set out to study whether dogs pass men diseases from fur to beard if they use the same MRI scanner. Yet, they actually found it was the men who had the better breeding ground for germs.
In fact, all of the men in the study came up with high counts of bacteria in their beards. Meanwhile, only 23 of the 30 dogs had high counts in their fur, while the rest had medium or low results.
"The beards of men harbor significantly more microbes than the neck fur of dogs and these microbes were significantly more pathogenic to humans," the conclusion of the study reads.
Moreover, they found disease-causing bacteria on seven of the 18 men's beards. Even worse, these men were carrying pathogens that cause urinary tract and staph infections.
Only four dogs showed human-harming bacteria present, including pathogens for mucous and intestinal infections.
Why are beards so dirty?Think about it, in a lot of ways your beard is the first line of defense for your face.
Working on a construction site? No worries, your beard will catch the dirt and debris before it enters your mouth. Eating a messy lunch? Your beard is busy racking up leftovers for later. In a lot of ways, your beard offers useful protection to your skin and, in that messy example, your new clothes.
However, with all those irritants and adding sweat and shedding skin to the mix, your beard becomes the ultimate broiler for bacteria.
Even though it can get kind of gross sometimes, you don't have to reach for the beard scissors and trimmer to part with your facial hair just yet. Keep reading to find out how you can keep your beard clean.
How to keep your beard clean
Beards still hold a special place on your face. To keep the bacteria away, you just need to invest a little extra time into a maintenance routine. Luckily it doesn't have to be super difficult. With a little help from a beard shampoo and a boar bristle brush, bacteria will be forced to find a home on someone else's face.
1. Regularly wash your facial hair with beard shampoo.First things first, you'll need to invest in a beard shampoo.
Look for ingredients like dragon's blood and green tea, which will fight off acne and irritation without stripping your hair of its useful natural oils.
Various factors affect how often you should wash your beard.
While washing too much can cause unwanted dryness, issues like working a dirty job may require some extra cleansing.
In addition, your hair and skin types determine how often you should be washing your beard. If you have oily skin and hair or a dirtier job, try washing your beard every one to two days.
If you have dry skin and hair or curly hair, your beard will need to be cleaned every two to four days. Finding the perfect balance just requires a little trial and error to see what works best for your beard.
2. Use a boar bristle brush or comb to dislodge irritants.
The other trick to keeping your beard clean is brushing out the bad stuff.
Boar bristle brushes work best because they redistribute the oils on your beard while removing the dirt, promoting healthy hair growth.
They also reduce frizz and help detangle burlier beards.
However, you don't want to overly brush your beard. Doing so more than once a day can damage it.
If you need to get rid of some crumbs or need an extra styling agent during the day, reach for your comb instead, which you can use three to five times a day damage-free.