Beards are everywhere these days.
Perhaps it’s a by-product of loaded’s offices being located in the heart of central London, but the sheer number of men sporting some (apparently) trendiy-looking facial hair is going through the roof.
It gets worse too; sometimes these beards are accompanied by the dreaded sight of a man-bun in what’s fast becoming the worst combination since someone introduced pineapple to a ham pizza.
People are, of course, free to grow whatever beard or facial hair they choose. We just wish they wouldn’t be quite so showy about the whole thing, with their trimming and the beard oils and their constant, incessant, stroking of the whole sorry mess.
Then again, growing a beard may actually be good for you. Or at least that’s what one scientist, apparently tasked with identifying some benefit to all that unedifying facial hair claims.
According to a study published by the University of Southern Queensland, beards aren’t just fashionable bits of facial fluff – they are also good for you.
Apparently, beards are great at protecting against things like cancer, with the aforementioned beard capable of protecting the face from 90 to 95 per cent of harmful UV rays.
“While beards will never be as sun-safe as sunscreen, they certainly are a factor in blocking UV rays,” said Professor Parisi, who lead the study explained.
The study also showed that beards help people who suffer asthma, as all that harmful dust and grit ends up getting stuck in their fuzzy face, rather than getting in their lungs.
Beards also contain moisture. Gross, dank moisture which, nevertheless, protects against windburn. The very fact you don’t shave your beard off also means you get fewer ingrown hairs and other bacterial infections.
These conclusions were reached after tests were conducted using bearded and non-bearded mannequins to determine the amount of radiation absorbed by each.
So are beards the new must-have facial hair accessory for anyone wanting to live life to the fullest? Maybe not. The study did show that poorly maintained beards can increase the spread of infection and can make eating certain things a challenge.
Also, surely these results merely indicate that facial cover of any kind is likely to result in this kinds of benefits? Like wearing a ski mask or something? Maybe not.
So yeah, if you were looking for an excuse to grow a beard, now you have it.