Surprising things you probably didn't know about beards

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Whether you’re a razor-dodger yourself or a pogonophile (a person who loves beards), you’ll agree, a lustrous covering of facial hair is pretty impressive.

Here are some weird and wonderful facts about beards.

1. A beard could increase your social status


Traditionally, beards have been associated with manliness, and there’s research to back that up. A study from the journal Behavioural Ecology asked people from two different cultures to assess bearded and clean-shaven faces with the results showing that bearded men were judged by both men and women to have higher social status. They were also thought to be older and more aggressive, but no more attractive.

2. The world’s longest beard was over five metres


The man credited with the longest beard in history is Norwegian-born Hans Langseth, who died in North Dakota in 1927. When he died, Mr Langseth had a beard that measured a staggering 5.33 metres (that’s 17 feet six inches) but he didn’t take his record-breaking rope of hair – the product of 60 years of growth – to the grave with him. His dying wish was that the beard be preserved for posterity and it’s now stored by the Smithsonian.

3. Beards and baldness could be correlated

Ever wondered why some men are able to grow thick beards but they’re lacking in hair up top? According to one study, which looked at the number of sweat glands on bearded men’s heads, male baldness may be “a thermoregulatory compensation for the growth of a beard in adults”.

4. Some people have a beard phobia


Derived from the Greek word ‘pogon’ (meaning beard), pogonophobia means a fear or dislike of beards, and is thought to arise when someone has a negative or traumatic experience related to a person with facial hair. In 2013, Jeremy Paxman accused the BBC of pogonophobia after he was criticised for presenting Newsnight with a beard.

5. The Rock wore a beard made of testicle hair


For his role in the movie Hercules, Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock wore a fake beard made from yak hair, or more specifically yak testicle hair. Comprised of half-inch strips, the coarse dark brown beard had to be meticulously applied piece by piece, meaning that along with his wig fitting and make-up, Mr Johnson spent three-and-half hours each day being transformed into the hirsute hero.

6. Disney used to ban beards
While Walt Disney famously sported a moustache and six of the seven dwarves had long white beards, male staff at Disney theme parks were forbidden from displaying facial hair for 60 years, until the ban was lifted in 2012. Now ‘cast members’ (as public-facing employees are called) are allowed beards as long as they are short and neat.

7. Beards grow fastest in summer
While winter might be the logical time to grow out a ‘face sweater’ to guard against icy weather, during the colder months beard growth is slowest. Why? Studies have suggested testosterone levels are elevated in summer, meaning hair grows faster.

Do you have a beard? Do you like beards or prefer clean shaven faces?

– With PA

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Total Comments: 10
  1. 5

    Have had a full beard since the age of 16, that’s just over 50 years now.

    I just can’t fathom how anyone can willingly choose to surgically remove a feature of their body each morning, only to have it reappear a couple of hours later.

    It reminds me of the definition of stupidity – to repeat the same action over and over with the hope of a achieving a different result.

    IMHO a clean shaven face both looks and feels horrible
    And before the smart ar..s start with the wise-cracks, my standard reply is that “at least I have the decency to try to cover my face”

  2. 0

    Do not want to offend you…but beards are not healthy especially in these Covid times….they harbour germs and can spread the virus.

    • 2

      Sophie, what utter garbage!!!!!
      It is only hair, and is much easier to keep clean than head hair.

      If you really believe what you say, then I assume you shave your head, eyebrows, arms and the backs of your hands each morning to stay healthy

  3. 0

    Scientists discovered men with beards have more germs in their hairs than dogs carry in their fur. A viral 2019 study published in European Radiology showed that men’s beards contain more germs than dog fur.

    The results revealed that all of the bearded men had high amounts of microbial counts. Only 23 of the 30 dogs had high counts, and the remainder had moderate levels. Seven men even had harbour microbes that posed a threat to their health.
    Beards have been known to carry infectious bacteria like staphylococcus and enterococcus, which can make you sick if they enter the bloodstream through a cut or other opening.

    “On the basis of these findings, dogs can be considered as clean compared with bearded men,” Dr. Andreas Gutzeit, of Switzerland’s Hirslanden Clinic.

    • 0

      Sophie, where do you find this crap?

      Your Dr. Andreas Gutzeit, of Switzerland’s Hirslanden Clinic, is a bloody radiologist, NOT a scientist, and therefore would know as much about infectious microbes/bacteria as a truck driver would know about driving a Formula 1 race car.

      Anyway, are you aware that the vast majority of microbes/bacteria are essential to healthy living. Most of those in a dog’s fur are there to rid the fur of pests and dead skin etc, thus performing a self-cleaning effect.
      If a man’s beard was left unwashed in it’s natural state, I have no doubt that eventually a similar state would be achieved, as happens with all other primates in nature. (I, however, am not about to test this theory. My beard gets washed even more often than the rest of my face.)

      Male humans have naturally had beards for hundreds-of-thousands of years.
      I believe you are probably ignorant of the fact that the fashion of clean-shaven men only became popular in the 1920s. Before then, being clean shaven was considered an act of rebellion.

      So Sophie, try thinking for yourself a little bit before challenging the laws of nature!!!
      And I suggest you steer clear of that “viral 2019 study” or you may catch it. It might be even worse than the COVID19 virus, LOL.

  4. 0

    My father always told me to NEVER trust a person who wears a beard, because he most likely always has something to hide. I am 76 years old, & I have always followed that advice. It works for me.

    • 0

      No need for rudeness Hawkeye. If you feel free to hand out statements like this… “ a clean shaven face both looks and feels horrible” (Hawkeye) …then you have to man up and take rebuttals on the chin, that is, if you can find your chin under your mane, lol.
      Men wear beards for various reasons…some just like the look… others do so to hide perhaps a harelip, some because of bad teeth, others because they lack confidence and believe hiding behind facial hair gives them some protection.

      Facial hair is coarser than other hair, so traps dirt and germs more easily..Some experts warn that beards are nothing more than a ‘bacterial sponge’, riddled with thousands of bacteria – and a perfect way to pass on germs.

      Hair around nostrils and mouth is well-placed to harbour bacteria…people have a habit of over-handling their beards, meaning they can spread bacteria to their mouths. Dairy products can get stuck in beards and become rancid. A runny nose can trickle down and mucus trapped in beards, so can food and drink. Kissing your partner (if you have one) can pass on bacteria.

    • 0

      Anzac, I gave similar advice to my kids, except it was “NEVER trust a person who wears a tie to make a living”
      Works for me, and for my kids (both of which have beards, as does my father, my two brothers, and my sister’s husband).

  5. 1

    Sophie, it seems that you are now denying me my right to hold an opinion (IMHO a clean shaven face both looks and feels horrible)
    I give up on you, and will not bother reading any more of your strange opinions about a subject on which you have ZERO experience.



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