Kissing a beard may be like kissing a toilet

Kissing a beard may be like kissing a toilet

Beards can be dirtier than toilets, according to a laboratory analysis initiated by a TV station in Albuquerque, N.M.

Several of the test results from the men who allowed their beards to be swabbed found fecal matter in the facial hair. The beards also contained a lot of normal bacteria.

“A certain number of non-harmful bacteria will always be on our hair and skin, but when we touch unclean surfaces and then touch our hair – whether that’s the hair on our heads or a beard – or touch our skin, we can transfer other bacteria easily,” says Cari Coomer, manager of epidemiology and infection control at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill. “My guess is that the men who had fecal bacteria on their beards transferred it there from their own hands.”

A common sense approach to hygiene is in order.

“Washing your beard and your hands on a regular basis is the best way to prevent the transfer of bacteria,” says Coomer.

According to a study published in the medical journal Anaesthesia in 2000, bearded men wearing surgical masks had more bacteria below their lips, especially if they moved their masks around, compared to clean-shaven men.

“To reduce the risks of contamination of the sterile field when face masks are worn, females and bearded males should avoid wiggling the face mask,” study authors noted. Bearded males may also consider removing their beards.

Related Posts



  1. I strongly suspect that at least some of that undesirable bacteria in facial hair is from another source and practice that propriety precludes directly explaining. Good (perhaps even aggressive) hygiene is, nevertheless, the solution.

  2. I strongly believe that if a man’s beard smells like toilet, he’s dead wrong for not being an overall clean person. For 9 years I have had a beard that won’t stop and it’s pass my heart. I have a habit of shampooing and conditioning it EVERYTIME I take a shower. At the end of the day, toilet scent IS NOT an option. Oh! The same applies after xxx. Visit the site to get some great hygiene options. Bless and Love!

  3. A man should be able to smell that. Even worst is he has to eat. Thank goodness that after 9 years of letting it flow down pass my heart, that I shampoo and condition it everytime I hit the shower. Please take a moment of your time to observe some of Bluephireman’s Beard hygiene items.

About the Author

Lisa Parro
Lisa Parro

Lisa Parro, health enews contributor, is manager of content strategy for Advocate Aurora Health. A former journalist, Lisa has been in health care public relations since 2008 and has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. She and her family live in Chicago’s western suburbs.