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Beards contain fecal matter, making us question our love for facial hair

Ally Hirschlag is a producer/actor/writer who lives in Brooklyn, NY and buys way too many toys for her cats. She contributes to several publications, including Bustle, and The Nerve, and enjoys writing about all things woman. In her spar...

Add beards to the long list of things that contain fecal matter

There are so many things now that apparently have fecal matter in or on them, I've lost count. However, this one's particularly gross because it's on men's faces, and if you have a significant other with one, that means it's on your face too.

Update: Since publishing this article, the study has since been slightly debunked by Snopes.

If anyone is confused or disturbed by the lumbersexual trend — aka a metrosexual male who enjoys plaid shirts, boots and a slightly unkempt beard and/or mustache, this will send you over the edge. According to a new study in New Mexico, beards may in fact be more dirty than a toilet bowl. So we can add them to the list of things that tested poopier than our toilet scrubbers, like cell phones, carpet and toothbrushes.

More: Hospital elevator buttons are even dirtier than toilets

According to the microbiologists who conducted the study, fecal matter-infested beards could be putting beard-owners' health at risk. One microbiologist, John Golobic of Quest Diagnostics, found such disgusting levels of bacteria in some of the beards he swabbed for the study, he was shocked.

"I'm usually not surprised, and I was surprised by this," he told the New York Post. "There would be a degree of uncleanliness that would be somewhat disturbing." I personally don't blame him. That is one of the last places on which I'd like to find poop (not that I'd ever like to find poop, but you get what I'm saying). However, now I will finally have a legitimate reason to make my boyfriend shave his beard when it gets really out of control.

More: Does the toilet seat hover actually protect us from bacteria?

In case you feel like getting more grossed out, here's a little video on the subject starring an appropriately bearded fellow.

The good news is, poop's already on pretty much everything we touch, and it's not doing any serious damage, so we don't have too much to worry about with this discovery. The bad news is... the idea of poop on everything (especially faces) is really gross to think about. The only thing you can do is remember to wash your hands well after you touch some of the big, poop-covered culprits. Here's a list of the five worst ones.

  1. Office desks: On average, you're looking at 400 times the amount of bacteria in your toilet bowl. Probably time to complain to management.
  2. Laptop keyboards: Typing is 200 times as nasty as drinking out of a toilet.
  3. Restaurant menus: 100 times the amount of bacteria as a toilet seat, which doesn't surprise me in the slightest.
  4. Carpets: Ready for this? We're talking 4,000 times as dirty as your toilet. Think about that the next time your baby crawls across it (on second thought, don't).
  5. Cutting boards: Due to all the raw meat you're cutting on it, it's got close to 200 times the bacteria of your toilet. And if your cats sit on it all the time (like mine does) it's definitely got more than that.

More: 1 in 5 purses dirtier than toilet

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