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Settle Down: Beards Aren’t Full of Sh*t Like Everyone is Claiming

Ok, so you've probably heard by now that beards are apparently magnets for feces. But before you sacrifice two years' worth of work or dump your boyfriend unless he shaves immediately, there's some actual science that suggests this is all a major exaggeration

Everyone‘s saying men’s beards are nests of human sh*t. They’re such pockets of grime, in fact, that decently reputable publications have even gone as far as to liken them to toilets.

The allegations stem from this TV segment from New Mexico, a hot bed for anti-hipster propaganda:

Except there’s one problem: no science actually backs this claims beyond randomly selecting a couple of dudes, combing their beards, and concluding they contain the same amount of shit is as anywhere else, really.

The lone microbiologist to whom the basis of these findings is credited identified some of the bacteria within the analyzed beards as “enterics,” which are found in our intestines. 

You know where else this gut flora lives? Our skin. Our clothes. And certainly the smartphones attached to our hip every time we go to the bathroom. 

So while men with facial hair do tend to shed more bacteria – something backed by an actual study – it would be quite the stretch to single out beards as pools of poop.

Title image courtesy of GQ

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