Most of you may know that according to research, women find bearded men more attractive. But do you know why some women aren’t down for hairy faces? New research has claimed that the major reason why some women find it unattractive is that they think it is unhygienic and a potential home for germs and parasites. 
So, a question arises, is it true that beards harbor germs? If yes, then what problems are faced by men in this regard, and how we can enhance our beard hygiene. Let’s dig deep into it.
Do Beards Harbor Germs?
It is a well-known fact that human skin hosts a plethora of germs, most of which are harmless to human health. But do beards contain germs too? It is an age-old question, and much work has been done in this regard.
In 2015, in Albuquerque, a TV news crew swabbed the facial hair of a handful of men and got them tested by microbiologists to see how dirty the men’s beards were. John Golobic, a microbiologist, claimed on the news channel that some of the men’s beards had bacteria that were commonly found on the toilet seats and fecal matter. 
Similarly, a study was published in the European Radiology Journal in 2019. Although the main aim of the study was to assess whether it was hygienic to test both dogs and humans in the same MRI scanner, or not, when the samples taken from the men beards and dog fur were tested, astonishing results were obtained.
It was found that all the 18 men understudy had high counts of microbes in their beards, and 7 of them were containing bacteria that were hazardous for human health. On the other hand, only 23 out of 30 dog breeds had high microbial counts in their fur. These results compelled the researchers to say that the human beard contains more bacteria than dog fur. 
Already thinking about cutting your beard? That’s not the solution. Growing a beard is not a health hazard at all rather it is more hygienic to have beards than being clean-shaved.
In 2014, a research was published in the Journal of Hospital Infection. This large study was conducted in a hospital setting where the bacterial colonization on the faces of 408 male healthcare workers was compared among those with and without beards. It was found that bacterial counts were comparable in both the groups; however, those with beards had relatively less prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria than the clean-shaved men. 
Although you may not be a healthcare worker, this study suggests that your facial hair generally contains as many germs as the skin of clean-shaved people.
So, where do these germs come from? Experts say that germs get there just like they get into any other part of our body, i.e. through our hands and the air.
Common Beard Problems Faced By Men Due To Poor Beard Hygiene
Here are a few common problems usually encountered by bearded men due to poor beard hygiene;
An itchy beard is probably the commonest complaint of men with facial hair. Some men develop it due to the accumulation of dirt, dust, and oil when they do not wash their beards regularly. Others experience it due to a lack of brushing. The pointy ends of the tangled and curved hair poke the skin and make it feel itchy.
Most people, however, face this problem due to the paucity of proper hydration. The skin underneath our beards is covered and hardly comes in direct contact with water or moisture. When no moisturizing agents are being applied to the facial hair, the underlying skin becomes dry, hard, and itchy. It exacerbates especially in scorching summers and cold winter seasons when the conditions are dry outside.
Another cause is the germs that build up due to poor beard hygiene and lead to itchy conditions like seborrheic dermatitis, folliculitis, tinea barbae, etc.
In short, there is a long list of factors responsible for itchy beards; however, the root cause is poor beard care and hygiene.
Another problem often encountered by bearded men is that their facial hair becomes dry and starts giving a hard and rough texture. The main factors that contribute to this dryness include dust, humidity, and temperature.
Unless you wash your hair with shampoos and conditioners on regular basis, use moisturizing oils, and take proper care of your beard hygiene, your facial hair will start getting dry and give a coarse appearance.
Dandruff (Seborrheic Dermatitis)
People usually think that dandruff is a condition that only affects the scalps or head region. However, you can also develop the same scaling and itchiness of dandruff in your beards as well.
Although stress and dry weather contribute to it, the main causative agent of dandruff is yeast (fungi) that are found everywhere. When you don’t clean your beard regularly, the yeast grows and causes seborrheic dermatitis. The skin becomes itchy and produces white flakes that fall off when you rub your facial hair.
While growing facial hair protects your skin from various pollutants and exposure to harmful sunrays, untidy and dirty hair also makes your skin prone to develop acne. The beard hair traps oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria which then clog the skin pores and cause acne.
Staphylococcus aureus is the most common bacteria found in beard and skin. Under unhygienic conditions, the bacteria thrive, infect the hair follicles, and cause inflammation (folliculitis).
The inflamed follicles usually give a swollen, red appearance, and are tender and painful to touch. Sometimes, they turn into blisters and discharge pus. All of this happens when you do not take proper care of your beard.
Patchy or Sparse Hair Growth
Hairs need certain essential oils, vitamins, amino acids, and other nutrients for their optimum growth. When they do not get their required nourishment, they begin to thin out, and their growth becomes restricted at certain places giving a patchy beard appearance.
Uneven hair growth is a major concern among men, and it keeps you from achieving the perfect beard shape. This issue can be easily addressed if you take proper care of your facial hair and use beard oils, balms, and other beard-care products.
Tips To Enhance Beard Hygiene
Following tips are recommended by the board-certified dermatologists and experts of AAD (American Academy of Dermatology).  This will help you to enhance your beard hygiene and grow a healthy-looking beard.
Stop Touching the Beard
If you have a habit of touching or stroking your beard, stop it. Your hands contain germs and dirt that spread to your face when you touch your beard. This in turn can cause many skin problems.
Wash your beard regularly
You should wash your beard every day with a gentle cleanser suitable for your skin. The best way of doing it is to;
- Massage your beard and skin with the cleanser, gently, using circular movements of your fingers.
- Use lukewarm water to thoroughly rinse your beard.
- Gently dry your face by patting it with a clean towel and leave some dampness on the skin.
Don’t Forget To Moisturize
Moisturizing the facial hair is essential to keep them soft. To get the optimum results, use a suitable moisturizer as per the following recommendations;
- Apply the moisturizer soon after washing your beard when your skin and facial hair are still damp.
- Make sure that you apply the moisturizer thoroughly to your beard and underneath your skin.
- Massage it well through the hair.
- Use the moisturizer sparingly on your beard, otherwise, it will build up and will give a greasy appearance.
Groom the Beard
Brushing and trimming are as much important as any other step. Combing your beard daily prevents knots and tangles and helps your beard to grow in the right direction. Similarly, trimming as per the need will allow you to achieve the right beard shape and style.
Choose Right Beard Care Products
Not all beard care products are suitable for everyone. Experts recommend using the following products according to your skin type;
- Moisturizer having at least SPF 30 (until your beard has passed the stubble phase)
- Gentle exfoliating scrub (if you are likely to develop ingrown hair)
- Beard Cleanser:
|Skin Type||Recommended Beard Cleanser|
|Normal Skin||Non-comedogenic cleanser|
|Oily and acne-prone skin||Non-comedogenic gel cleanser containing salicylic acid and glycolic acid|
|Dry Skin||Hydrating, fragrance-free cleanser|
|Sensitive Skin||Soap-free and Fragrance-free creamy facial cleanser|
- Beard Moisturizer:
|Skin Type||Recommended Moisturizer|
|Normal to Dry Skin||Beard Oil|
|Acne-prone Skin||Beard Conditioner|
|Sensitive Skin||Fragrance-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer|
Adopt Healthy Lifestyle and Dietary Habits
Your lifestyle and dietary habits also indirectly affect the growth and hygiene of your beard.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Stop smoking and alcohol consumption.
- Avoid caffeine.
- Eat a well-balanced diet enriched with vitamins, minerals, and all the essential nutrients.
- Add vitamin supplements to your diet as per your doctor’s recommendation – etc.
How FleeKingZ Beard Recovery Kit Enhances Your Beard Hygiene?
A very effective way to enhance your beard growth and hygiene, simultaneously, is the use of FleeKingZ beard care products.
The FleeKingZ Beard Recovery Kit contains a sanitizer, a beard roller, a comb, and an activator serum. Its correct use in the 4-step sequence (cleanse, stimulate, nourish, and style), helps you grow a healthy, hygienic, and best-looking beard. This beard recovery phase is the ideal transitioning phase between summer and winter, giving your beard and skin the necessary nutrients.
FleeKingZ Recovery Kit provides you with the following benefits;
Ensures Beard Hygiene
FleeKingZ cares about your beard hygiene. That’s why it has provided a FleeKingZ sanitizer in its kit. It is recommended to spray this sanitizer on the beard roller before and after every application.
The sanitizer contains propylene glycol that has been clinically proven to be a highly potent germicide.  It kills various microbes including bacteria, viruses, and fungi; thus, ensuring your beard hygiene.
Stimulates Hair Follicles
The FleeKingZ Beard Roller contains micro-needles on its head. When you roll it over your beard, it creates micro-injuries to the skin and stimulates the inactive hair follicles. This allows better absorption of the activator serum and produces a welcoming environment for hair growth.
Using beard roller before the application of activator serum 1 – 2 times per week resolves the problem of patchy hair growth.
The formulation of FleeKingZ Activator Serum is a unique blend of vitamins, amino acids, and natural oil extracts. Each of its nourishing ingredients plays a specific role in promoting the growth of facial hair;
- Biotin: It stimulates keratin production in hair and makes the hair stronger. Besides, it also increases the growth of hair follicles. 
- Turmeric Root Extract: It possesses anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties. It fights dandruff and also puts a check on thinning of hair. 
- Folic Acid: Like skin and red blood cells, folic acid is essential for the growth of healthy hair cells, and its deficiency has been reported in the premature graying of hair. 
- Other B-complex Vitamins: The activator serum contains all other B complex vitamins, including vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacinamide), B5 (Panthothenic acid), B6 (Pyridoxine), and B12 (Cyanocobalamin). They provide nourishment for better growth of hair.
- Amino Acids: Hair is primarily made up of proteins of chains composed of amino acids. The activator serum provides these essential amino acids for hair growth, i.e., thiamine, arginine, lysine, histidine, aspartic acid, threonine, glutamic acid, and serine.
- Yeast Polypeptides: They improve the health and strength of hair and prevent hair loss. 
The activator serum formulation also contains conditioning agents like butylene glycol that act as a humectant and render softness and smooth texture to your beard.
Grooming / Styling
The carbomer present in the activator serum forms a healthy, jelly-like film around the facial hair. It defines the curls, smoothens the cuticles and edges of the hair, and therefore, helps in styling the beard.
Moreover, you can further groom your beard with the aid of a comb provided in the FleeKingZ Beard Recovery Kit.
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