Men with beards 'dirtier than dogs'

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor

Beards are a growing trend among British men, with 42% now sporting some form of facial hair.

Despite face fuzz proving more attractive to the opposite sex than clean-shaven looks, it would seem the popular look falls short in the hygiene stakes.

A new study has found beards carry a ‘significantly higher’ amount of bacteria compared to a dog’s fur.

Men's beards were found to have more bacteria than dogs' necks. [Photo: Getty]

As part of the research, conducted by the Hirslanden Clinic in Switzerland and uncovered by the Mail on Sunday, scientists took swabs from the beards of 18 male subjects and the necks of 30 dogs of different breeds.

READ MORE: Beard lights are a new trend

When the results were compared, all of the beards were found to have a high microbial count – compared to only 23 out of 30 of the dog swabs.

What’s more, seven subjects’ beards harboured bacteria that was harmful to human health.

“The researchers found a significantly higher bacterial load in specimens taken from the men's beards compared with the dogs' fur,” said study author Professor Andreas Gutzeit.

“On the basis of these findings, dogs can be considered as clean compared with bearded men,” added Gutzeit.

READ MORE: Here’s why some men can’t grow a beard

It’s yet to be seen how many beard lovers – male and female alike – change their minds after reading the results of this study. However, last week Kit Harington fans called it an “utter travesty” after he shaved off his trademark fuzz.

The ‘Game of Thrones’ actor, who plays Jon Snow in the hit series, left fans across the globe devastated after shaving his now-famous beard off.

One described Harington’s new look as “offensive”. Another social media user wrote, “Kit Harington’s attractiveness really is reliant on that beard, huh?”