From Warding Off Pollen To Slowing the Aging
Process: Beards Are Good for You
be forgiven for thinking a beard was de rigueur at the Baftas.
From Ben Affleck
and George Clooney to Hugh Jackman, Sam Mendes and Joaquin Phoenix,
it seemed every celebrity male has joined the beard brigade.
The look that
was first spotted on hipster twentysomethings has been taken on
by their dads generation.
wont 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 mens 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
mens facial hair...
AGAINST THE SUN
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.
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
used dosimetric techniques, which measure the amount of rays or
radiation absorbed in a given time.
showed the beards appeared to offer 90 to 95 per cent protection
against the sun, depending on length of hair.
offers good protection against the sun, says Dr Nick Lowe, a leading
why women have much less sun damage if their hair covers the back
of their necks and the sides of their faces.
also a question of the thickness of hair, he says. Its
similar to an SPF factor the higher the hair density and
thickness, the higher the SPF.
see the classic example of this when I work in southern California.
bearded surfer will have more sun damage and pre-cancers on their
heads than they will on the top of their faces.
is that coarse, curly beard hair breaks up the suns rays,
says Iain Sallis, a consultant trichologist.
travels in straight lines, but when it hits curly hair the light
waves refract, or break up, so they hardly ever reach the skin underneath.
It also depends
on how long the beard has been growing.
can also occur when it reflects off surfaces below the face
such as pale sand or water so hair growth on mens faces
will add to the protection under the chin and neck.
Lowe recommends men with facial hair use a thin sun lotion or spray
that isnt too greasy over the hair because a lot of beards
are not very dense.
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