While vacationing in Ft. Lauderdale I was approached by three different strangers who felt it necessary to share with me that there is a study out stating that beards are full of bacteria, can spread disease and are therefore unhealthy. All were men and all were clean shaven. I politely listened to all of them, shrugged my shoulders and let them know I would not be shaving.
I did go a little further with the third one who stated that’s why he had just shaved his off. He didn’t go away but seemed to want to debate it as if he wanted me to agree and shave mine off. He explained that beards filter the air and hold bacteria close to the skin and act as breeding grounds spreading disease. I finally got rid of him when I commented that he had a full head of hair that was filtering all the bacteria floating out of my beard and holding it close to his head, suggesting it might breed on his scalp and infect him.
I had noticed a couple of news bites on the internet before these encounters, so was aware that there is a beard scare out there. So after three people felt it so necessary to approach a stranger, me, about this public threat I decided to investigate. Turns out that germ phobia is quite a way to get ratings for a local TV news station.
The current fear of beards apparently comes from a local TV station’s urgent report that a local “scientist” had taken samples from “several” bearded men and found bacteria. I put the “scientist” in quotes because he apparently did not take samples from the facial skin of any clean shaven men to use as a control group.
Germs, bacteria, fungus, viruses and the like are found everywhere. On our skin, inside of our bodies, in our mouths as well as on every surface we touch and in the air we breathe. Our pets have germs, our food has germs as well as the water we drink. In fact the majority of our bodies are microbes that are not actually us. Most microbes are not only harmless but beneficial.
So yes beards have germs. So does every inch of us. One should practice good hygiene and bathe daily, wash the beard in a good shampoo, clean the beard after eating and after sex.
As for the germophobes? There is a reason his name is Fearsome. So keep your unwarranted phobia to yourself and may I suggest you cross the street when you see us coming.
Beard on brothers! You might just scare off a germophobe today! WooHoo!