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Beards Are Sunnah & Good For You (New Study)

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Many women won’t want to put up with a scratchy-faced partner.

But think twice before you tell your man to reach for a razor,
because beards and moustaches might be beneficial for men’s health.

This is still, it has to be said, an emerging field of thinking — but
here, with tongue half in bearded cheek, we reveal the health upside of
men’s facial hair…


A fuzzy face offers significant protection against sun damage and skin cancer,
according to a recent study from the University of Southern Queensland
published in the journal Radiation Protection Dosimetry.

The researchers found that the parts of the face covered by beards
and moustaches on average had a third less exposure to harmful UV rays
compared with hair-free areas.

The study was conducted in the Outback sun with mannequins and
stick-on beards (1.5in and 3.5 in long), with a clean-shaven mannequin
used as a comparison.

The researchers used dosimetric techniques, which measure the amount of rays or radiation absorbed in a given time.

Their results showed the beards appeared to offer 90 to 95 per cent protection against the sun, depending on length of hair.

Generally hair offers good protection against the sun, says Dr Nick Lowe, a leading London-based dermatologist.

That’s why women have much less sun damage if their hair covers the back of their necks and the sides of their faces.

‘It’s also a question of the thickness of hair,’ he says. ‘It’s similar to an SPF factor — the higher the hair density and thickness, the higher the SPF.

‘I frequently see the classic example of this when I work in southern California.

‘A balding, bearded surfer will have more sun damage and pre-cancers on their heads than they will on the top of their faces.’

Another theory is that coarse, curly beard hair breaks up the sun’s rays, says Iain Sallis, a consultant trichologist.

‘Light travels in straight lines, but when it hits curly hair the
light waves refract, or break up, so they hardly ever reach the skin

It also depends on how long the beard has been growing.

Sun damage can also occur when it reflects off surfaces below the
face — such as pale sand or water — so hair growth on men’s faces will
add to the protection under the chin and neck.

However, Dr Lowe recommends men with facial hair use a thin sun
lotion or spray that isn’t too greasy over the hair because a lot of
beards are not very dense.


article-2280717-17AAD3C7000005DC-162_233Men whose asthma is triggered by pollen and dust could find facial hair helps reduce their asthma symptoms

Men whose asthma is triggered by pollen and dust could find facial
hair —– or more specifically, a big moustache —– helps reduce their
asthma symptoms.

Moustaches that reach the nasal area may stop allergens going up the
nose and being inhaled by the lungs, says Carol Walker, hair medical
expert and owner of Birmingham Trichology Centre.

Dr Rob Hicks, a London-based GP, thinks it’s only pollen — which is
sticky — that might be trapped this way, preventing it getting into the

‘Dust particles are microscopic,’ he says.

Even if moustaches did trap dust, then a downside, according to Dr
Hicks, is that it can build up and it just takes one wipe or knock
before it goes into the nose.

‘In theory, a moustache could stop things that trigger asthma
entering the airways, but it would have to be a big one,’ says Dr Felix
Chua, a consultant respiratory physician at the London Clinic, Harley


Over time, facial hair can help keep the skin young and in a good condition.

The hair stops water leaving the skin — keeping it moisturised — by
protecting it from the wind, which dries the skin and disturbs the
protective skin barrier, says Dr Lowe.

‘Also, if you put a moisturiser on then it will stay put under a
beard or moustache much better than on an exposed or shaven skin where
it can be more easily rubbed off.’

The simple presence of hair follicles on the face also helps, as do
the sebaceous glands in the skin that coat the hair in protective oils.

Anywhere hair follicles and oil glands are present — including the
chin, lower face and sides of the — makes the skin thicker (and men have
more hair follicles in this area than women do).

‘Thicker skin is more resistant to damage, even if the man doesn’t
have a beard, compared with women, whose skin tends to be thinner and
have fewer hair follicles,’ says Dr Lowe.


Thick beards that have grown under the chin and neck will raise the
temperature of the neck and may help battle colds, says Carol Walker.

‘Hair is an insulator that keeps you warm. Long, full beards that
trap the cold air and raise the temperature of the neck are going to be
an added bonus when you’re under the weather,’ says Carol.

‘When you have a sore throat, the body builds up temperature to kill the virus.

‘It has to run its course, but the warmer you keep yourself and the more fluids you drink equip you to fight it better.

‘Hair around the chin and neck adds another layer of protection.’

Facial hair can act as a physical barrier to cold temperature, says Dr Chua.

‘A higher body temperature can help a cough, though you need to look at the underlying causes to treat it, too.

‘I’ve had patients who have said that if they wrap up by using
something like a scarf their cough gets a bit better. It’s possible that
a beard could also do this.’


Not shaving means no more nasty rashes. Shaving is usually the main
cause of bacterial infections in the beard area, says Dr Martin Wade,
consultant dermatologist at the London Skin and Hair Clinic.

‘It can lead to razor rash, ingrown hairs and conditions such as
folliculitis (infection of the hair follicles that causes spots), so men
would benefit from growing a beard,’ he says.

‘Men need to wash and trim their beards and moustaches regularly and
make sure debris from food isn’t left around,’ adds Carol Walker.


More on the sunnah of growing beard:


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It's too bad I cannot grow a beard yet, although I plan on growing one as soon as I can.


But thanks for some of this extra information as to why I should.

Edited by TheAmerican
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