scary beard manAccording to many sources beard growth is at its peak and there’s still no sign of the trend declining. As in the Victorian age, the beard could be here to stay a while longer.

Back then it was seen as a sign of masculinity and health, with many surgeons prescribing it as a kind of filter to ward off harmful bacteria. In these enlightened times most beard wearers would accept it’s just a fashion statement but it’s on that shows no signs of abating.

Perhaps unsurprisingly then there’s been an upsurge in the requirement for beard transplants with many clinic carrying out multiple procedures every week for baby faced men who have patchy or no facial growth at all.

The procedure is similar to a hair transplant, although cheaper and with a much higher and faster success rate. Healthy hair is migrated from the head to the face and the patient can expect to be shaving the area within a couple of months.

Keep it Clean

So once you’ve got the luxurious new beard that you’ve dreamed of, how do you go about keeping it clean? We’re not talking about trimming here- your barber can advise you on that. No we’re talking hygiene.

Well the good news is that common sense and following basic standards of cleanliness is probably enough. If you give your beard a good shampoo and use soap and water to wash, then you probably don’t need to do much more.

What the Researchers Found

Although there was study in 2014 where researchers swabbed a number of beards and reported that there was “a degree of uncleanliness that would be somewhat disturbing”, all the subsequent research has suggested the opposite is true.

One study which appeared in the Journal of Hospital Infection, where 408 male hospital workers were swabbed, reported that clean shaven-men were three times more likely to carry dangerous bacteria on their faces that the bearded contingent.

The same study also found that clean-shaven workers were also 10% more likely to carry MRSA, a dangerous antibiotic resistant bacteria.

It may just be that the Victorians had it right and that the beard is the natural way to keep the harmful bacteria at bay as long as you follow the basic rules of hygiene.

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By Ian Watson

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