Is “beard bacteria” a real threat?

A group of microbiologists in New Mexico have apparently found that some men have unclean beards. News flash folks: Not everyone is clean in the first place, and beards have nothing to do with it.

With the growing presence of beards in everyday life, along with comb-over undercuts, there has been an overwhelming outcry against men who decide not to shave. Are there men out there growing beards to be trendy? Sadly yes. Are all bearded men hipsters? Definitely not.

Now, thanks to the bacteria study from New Mexico, social media sites are filled to the breaking point with cries that bearded men are unclean and should shave rather than risk their health and continue going unshaven. The study, or articles mentioning it, states that some of the bacteria found on bearded men’s faces is akin to the type found on fecal matter.

In an article found on, microbiologist John Golobic described the level of uncleanliness of such men as “surprising.”

“I’m usually not surprised,” Golobic said. “And I was surprised by this.”
According to Golobic, in order to maintain a bacteria free beard, men should refrain from playing with their facial hair and keep their hands clean at all times.
The sad truth is this: Not everyone is clean in the first place. Hygiene comes in various levels. What is clean to one person may be considered filthy to another. Are there men, and women, out there in the world who don’t believe in extensive personal hygiene? Most definitely. Chances are you’ve seen them, or smelled them, while riding public transportation or waiting in line at the super market or some such place. Does this mean that non-bearded men could have fecal bacteria on them without knowing it? Most likely.

So, with all of this being said, leave bearded men alone. Bacteria is a constant issue. It is almost impossible to move around during day to day business without making contact with some form of bacteria. Accept it and move on.