Men, Your Beards Are Not Dirty, Don’t Shave them

Beard toast

Popping up all over the internet this week was a story about how dirty beards are. Well, it’s all nonsense…

According to multiple news sites, beards can contain more faeces than a toilet. Here are a few of the headlines:

“Some beards contain more poo than a toilet shocking study reveals” – the Mirror

“Shock new research reveals some beards contain more poo than a toilet” –

“Some beards are so full of poo they are as dirty as toilets” –

Guardian journalist Nick Evershed was curious about this super-sketchy sounding “discovery”, and decided to look a little further into the reported investigation and the actual results.

“As far as I can tell there was no proper study, no team of microbiologists and no poo in beards. The origin of the story appears to be this segment from a TV news network in New Mexico, which involved a reporter swabbing a “handful” of men’s beards and then sending the swabs to a microbiologist in a lab to culture any microbes present.

“The reporter then interviewed the microbiologist, John Golobic, who identified a few of the bacteria present as ‘enterics’, that is they are bacteria that normally live in the intestines.”

“And that’s all. Somehow, from this story other media organisations have managed to get faeces in beards.

“While it is true that human faeces are partially composed of gut bacteria, it’s not accurate to describe those bacteria on their own as faeces.”

Evershed goes on to point out that this is not a study published in a reputable scientific journal, and even if it was, there wouldn’t necessarily be any cause for concern.

“So in summary: there is more crap in these stories about poo in beards than there is in beards. So chaps, you can all relax.”



  1. James

    May 5, 2015 at 17:35

    I say a bunch of articles saying this stuff but surely it only comes down to one thing: your beard is only as dirty as you allow it to be.

    I had quite a hefty beard towards the end of last year and I was very aware of keeping it trimmed, brushed and clean every day. So if you allow it to be dirty it will be. It’s actually quite a mission having a beard, it’s not simply just something you grow. If you don’t take care of it, it will look mangey and gross.

    • Jeremy Proome

      May 8, 2015 at 13:49

      Totally. It’s like saying “head hair is dirty”. Of course it is if you don’t wash it. Beards need to be looked after too.

  2. jhb_boet

    May 6, 2015 at 18:07

    A man has to grow a beard at least once in his life before he can call himself a man. Simple as that.

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