Bearded Men Harbour Significantly More Microbes Than Dogs

A new study shows dogs are cleaner than some bearded humans.
Jessica Miley

Men with beards have higher microbial counts than dogs a new study reveals. Researchers from the Hirslanden Clinic near Zurich, Switzerland found that all the men tested in the study had more harmful than 23 out of 30 dogs tested also tested. The researchers were curious about the hygiene of evaluating humans and dogs in the same MRI scanner.


To check they compared the bacterial load in colony-forming units (CFU) of human-pathogenic microorganisms in specimens taken from 18 men with beards and 30 dogs. They also compared the microbial load count of the human and K9 shared MRI against a human exclusive machine.

Very high bacterial count

What they found surprised them. All the men tested had high levels of bacteria in their beards compared to only 23 out of the 30 dogs. Seven of the bearded ones recorded bacterial counts so high they were officially at risk of getting sick. Interestingly the shared scanner actually had lower levels of bacteria than the human only machine.

The study officially confirms that bearded men are grosser than dogs but bearded brothers are no happy with the study which was published in February but is only just now getting traction.

What's is critical to note is that the study only tested 18 men, and there was no mention of how hygienic these lads were or what kind of activities they had recently participated in.

Beards not always a trend

Beards and mustaches come and go with fashion and trends in some apps of the world while for others a beard hold religious or cultural importance.

No matter your reason for growing a bear, items that regular grooming is essential to not turn to stay healthy. Online beard advice columns range in suggestions from every day to just twice a week.

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While personal preference, this latest study definitely shows that being lax on your self-care could lead to nasty bugs being awfully close to your mouth. So whether it's once a week or everyday cleaning your beard is important.  

Use a mild soap and make sure you really work it through your beard not just give it a surface wipe down.  After washing dry your beard and if you suffer from abrasive or dry hair, beard experts suggest using light beard oil. 

The news that bearded men ‘ harbor significantly more microbes than dogs’ set Twitter alight with people from both sides of the arguments keen to express their opinion.

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