Region 8 News Investigates: What's in his beard?

Region 8 News Investigates: What's in his beard?

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - When it comes to facial hair guys have choices. Those whiskers are bristling with fashion decisions.

From stubble to muttonchops there are as many options for our cheeks as the space a few inches higher.

A man with a beard carries maturity, virility and power. Manly stuff. And that's not all it carries.

A recent article in USA Today made a claim that all that facial hair is filthy even possibly containing the same microbes as fecal matter.

Ever the skeptics, we decided to do our own tests.

With A-State as our backdrop. We dropped in with swabs in hand and started taking samples from the beards of five different men.

Then, it was off to the lab. But would a trip to the lab make us come within a hair of losing our appetite?

Dr. David Gilmore, an associate professor of environmental biology at A-State took our swabs, rubbed them into a culture and cooked them up for 24 hours at a temperature roughly equal to human skin.

When the samples came out of the petri dishes showed some serious growth.

Pretty much every culture we took showed something living in those beards

Even the staph Dr. Gilmore found is nothing to worry about. He says it's just a small part of the over than three pounds of bacteria we humans carry around with us every day of our lives.

But the big question raised in the article from USA Today was about fecal matter.  Did our test find any?

"Not a trace. Not a single one," said Dr. Gilmore.

He added, "I guess people around here are just clean".

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