In what appears to be a direct attack on Houston Rockets star and reigning NBA MVP James Harden, a study is suggesting that men with beards actually have more germs in their facial hair than a dog has in its fur.
According to the BBC, researchers from the Hirslanden Clinic near Zurich, Switzerland, sought to find out whether scanning humans and dogs in the same MRI machine would be hygienic. And they conducted a test that compared the bacterial load in colony-forming units (CFU) of human pathogenic microorganisms in subjects taken from 18 bearded men and 30 furry dogs.
The team also compared the level of bacterial contamination of an MRI scanner used by both humans and dogs and scanners used by only humans.
All of the bearded men showed high microbial counts but only 23 of the 30 dogs did. Amazingly, seven of the men had so much beard bacteria, they were at risk of actually contracting a sickness.
PREVIOUSLY: How To Grow & Maintain The Perfect Beard
Also amazingly, the scanner used by both humans and dogs had fewer bacteria than the one used exclusively by humans. (What!?)
"The researchers found a significantly higher bacterial load in specimens taken from the men's beards compared with the dogs' fur," study author Professor Andreas Gutzeit says. "On the basis of these findings, dogs can be considered as clean, compared with bearded men."
The study was published in February but really took off this week. And, of course, bastions for bearded men have lept to the defense of the manly trend.
“I think it’s possible to find all sorts of unpleasant things if you took swabs from people’s hair and hands and then tested them,” Keith Flett, founder of the pro-hirsute Beard Liberation Front, told the Daily Mail. “I don’t believe that beards in themselves are unhygienic.
“There seems to be a constant stream of negative stories about beards that suggest it’s more about pogonophobia than anything else.”
In case you're wondering what pogonophobia is, it's an extreme dislike of beards. Yes, there is such a thing.
And to you bearded men out there, your dog will never let you live this down if he/she ever gets to know they might be cleaner than your facial hair.