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Are beards dirty? how to keep your beard clean.

Are Beards Dirty? | Here’s How To Keep Your Beard Clean

You may have heard the common idea that “beards are dirtier than dogs” or that “beards are dirtier than toilet seats” etc. So, what’s the truth behind these claims? And are people with beards at more of a risk for sickness/disease than those that are clean shaven? Do you have a dirty beard? Let’s talk about whether or not beards are dirty and, if so, how you can keep yours squeaky clean!

First, we’ll have to debunk some myths about beards. Take a tally of how many of these you’ve heard considering they’ve all become famous beard myths due to their virality on the internet.

Are Beards Dirtier than Dogs and Toilet Seats?

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The two largest myths about beard cleanliness is that beards are inherently dirtier than dogs and/or toilet seats. The truth is, your beard is only as clean as you keep it, and most men in the modern day and age have beards that are no more or less dirty than the chins of their clean-shaven brothers. Put simply, a dirty beard only exists if you let it.

But how did these myths come about in the first place?

Well, A study was performed by a news station in which men’s beards were swabbed and analyzed for different strains of bacteria. What the analysts found was that the beards contained what is called “enteric” bacteria (bacteria that is also found in fecal matter).

As you can imagine, the results of these studies blew up and went viral on the internet, birthing a new urban legend about “dirty” beards, but these studies were largely taken out of context.

The study found that beards contained enteric bacteria, however, there was no testing done on those with clean-shaven faces. More than likely, the commonality of enteric bacteria would be found on those with or without beards as well. Especially considering how dirty our cell-phones have been found to be compared to our faces. This same enteric bacteria can be found on a litany of surfaces that you touch day-to-day.

Consider how much bacteria is in your body right now. In fact, trillions of bacteria live both on and inside our bodies and help us do important things like break down foods. We literally could not survive without them.

Overall, there is no evidence to suggest that bearded men are “dirtier” than their clean-shaven brethren. And despite the fact that enteric bacteria has been found in beards (and likely would have been found on the chins of non-bearded men as well) that also does not mean that those men are predisposed to sickness.

So, no, don’t shave your beard due to the bacteria that it may have because that bacteria would likely be there anyways.

How To Keep Your Beard Clean

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Despite the fact that enteric bacteria may exist in a “dirty” beard, you may not want it to, and that’s understandable. So, what’s the best way to keep your beard clean and in tip-top shape? Here’s what we suggest:

1. Shampoo and Condition Your Beard Often

Your beard should be cleaned just like your hair should be cleaned, but you won’t hear anyone claim their hair is dirtier than a dog or a toilet! We recommend shampooing and conditioning your beard at least 3 times a week. Be careful not to overdo it though, cleaning too much can actually dry out the skin on your face and cause more issues than there were before.

We also recommend washing your beard with a dedicated beard wash instead of a shampoo. Beard washes tend to be better for the sensitive areas of skin that your beard covers as opposed to the skin on your scalp. This helps keep your skin and beard healthy in tandem with each other.

Use a dedicated beard conditioner like beard oil and beard balm as well. Regular hair conditioner is great and all, but doesn’t last long enough out of the shower, which is why your hair usually feels frizzy and dry afterwards. Some high-quality beard oil and/or beard balm acts as a leave-in conditioner that helps hydrate and style beard hair for longer.

2. Trim Your Beard Regularly

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Trimming your beard regularly helps keep split ends and tangles at bay. This not only helps keep your beard looking and feeling clean, but also makes it easier to wash with beard wash and conditioner without annoying tangles getting in the way.

3. Manage Your Healthy Habits

Most of the bacteria on our bodies is transferred by our hands. Make sure you consistently keep your living spaces clean and consider occasionally taking an alcohol wipe to your phone as well, as our phones are one of the dirtiest everyday items that we tend to touch and put near our faces.

All in all, our beards likely aren’t any more or less dirty than the faces of our clean-shaven brothers, and certainly aren’t predisposed to make you sick. However, our beards do require routine maintenance and cleaning just like our hair does to keep clean and tidy.

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