Beards look fancy for those who take good care of them. For those who do not take good care of it, it may tend to look terrible for being unkempt.
A recent study by a news reporter from the New Mexico TV station KOAT-TV, found out that germs found in a beard are as much,(or even worse) than those found in the toilet. Gross? I felt the same way too after reading it. Apparently those with clean-shaven faces are less likely to transmit germs than those with beards. Can you believe it? Yeah, neither I can. The study has touched on a part of the body that we barely give a note to.
Now before you start saying that’s impossible or looking at people with beards differently, let’s look on how bacteria thrive. It only requires a large surface that is warm and not so clean. The beard in some circumstances may offer such a place enabling the bacteria to thrive. If you leave your beard unkempt (in this context not as cleaned as required), then you may have a lot of germs to play hide and seek with.
If you have a beard then you need to know the following facts about your beard’s hygiene:
1. Just Like Any Other Hair, The Beard Also Needs To Be Washed
The same way your hair becomes dirty so does the beard. The beard is especially worse since it attracts dirt and also can pick some germs as you go by your daily activities. As you eat, some particles may fall in the beard and stay there for a while. Within no time, you have lots of bacteria in there. Ensure to wash it daily with some beard wash (they are there in the stores) to minimize chances of germs harbouring in it.
2. There Exists Beard Oil
Yes, there is so stop applying those lotions. Once you have washed the beard, dry it with a clean towel then apply some beard oil. This will help in keeping the skin moisturized preventing it from being all itchy and dry. It also ensures the hair follicles are well taken care of, and they grow in a healthy manner. Did I mention that you will smell fresh and cool too? There is nothing like a man who has time to take care of even the smallest of things often neglected. He is taken to have attention to details which is what most ladies crave for in a man.
3. The Beard Can Contain the Same Germs as the Toilets (if neglected)
Put the guns down, bearded men. I don’t mean all beards, just those few that have been long forgotten by their owners. Let’s look at it from a hygiene perspective. You love your beard, that one we all agree; otherwise why would you have it. In a day, you visit the toilet a few times. For those who haven’t made the habit of washing their hands after this visit, a routine, your hands come out with some of the germs from the toilet. Then, just like any other bearded man, you touch you beard once in a while.
The beard receives the germs or bacteria, and then multiplies it. Why then will we not compare the two perfectly? A thing to note is that this rarely happens. In this era, at least most people have clean washrooms with all the necessary hygienic measures put in place, so the chances of transfer of germs happen in minimal situations. However to totally reduce the chances completely, ensure to wash your hands with a disinfectant after visiting the washrooms.
4. Beard Hygiene And Overall Hygiene Are Interrelated
If your beard is unclean, then your entire body is at risk. This is because all the germs on our faces in some way or the other, find their way into our mouths. The structure of the face is such that the beard is so close to the mouth. That being the case it should be noted that it so easy for germs in the beard to find their way into the mouth. Another case is that these germs may fall in our food as we eat.
Hygiene-related illnesses start attacking you, and you wonder why. Now you know one of the possible causes.
5. Trimming The Beard Ensures It Grows In A Healthy Manner
In every few weeks, you need to trim the beard. It will grow evenly and in a more hygienic manner. The same way your barber cuts your hair, ask him to trim the beard. If you can keep it short, the better as the number of germs it may harbor decreases drastically. Either way, trim it as you desire.
6. Beard May Lead To Facial Infections
The cuticles on the beard may tend to trap microscopic things. Sadly most of these things are germs and bacteria. Since it’s on the face, it transfers those germs to the face, and before you can say marshmallows, you have an outbreak of something you can’t tell exactly what it is.
According to Carol Walker, a consultant trichologist from the Birmingham Center, if someone has a cold, or a runny nose, it can trickle down and be trapped in the beard. The result is a recurrence of the flu or transmission of the bacteria. Handling it with utmost hygiene is a sure way to keep this from happening.
7. A Beard Is Not Harmful, How You Maintain It Determines That
The beard is there to serve its purpose. However, if it’s handled in an unhygienic manner, it may bring you lots of healthy risks.
The study by the TV news network in New Mexico has been questioned as it only showed that enteric bacteria, usually found living in intestines, was found in the beard of some men. This should not be equated to mean that the beard is as dirty as the toilet, says Professor Hugh Pennington, an emeritus professor of bacteriology at the University of Aberdeen. This is because this is the same bacteria found on your skin and should not be problematic. The only thing that the study proved was that beards can spread germs and bacteria. To be on the safe side, in this case, ensure you clean the beard thoroughly every day.
The study by KOAT-TV station in New Mexico should be taken as an eye opener, on the importance of taking care of beards, not encouraging people to view it in a gross manner. By all means have a beard if you can. It makes you look adorable and respectable at the same time (for most people I have seen).
Don’t cut it, unless of course you have felt like taking care of it is quite a burden. Taking care of a beard is quite easy as it only requires about 10 minutes of your time in a day. In no way will this routine inconvenience you. Have it trimmed and washed with a disinfectant once in a while. As the ladies go for their adored salon/spa visits, you can also take this chance and visit your barber.