11 Disturbing Beard Facts You Need to Face

Ever since the dawn of the hipster, the beard has cycled back through as a popular optional appendage, which we celebrate with weird sporting events. But there are plenty of disturbing beard facts you’ll want to know that might make you change your mind about avoiding your razor. Some are interesting. Some are thought-provoking. Some are downright horrifying. Let’s take a look.

beard facts, disturbing beard facts
1. Having a beard protects your face from pollution, thus giving you healthy skin and reducing aging. At the same time, there are studies linking the growth of beards with balding on top of the head. Having hair on both the face and scalp causes extra heat, which leaves more readily through the scalp, causing hair loss to compensate for your face.

beard facts, disturbing beard facts
2. If you had a beard during the time of Peter the Great, you had to pay for it. The noblemen who kept their beards had to pay for a medallion, essentially a beard license, 100 rubles per year, which back then was the equivalent of two American dollars. The medallions were inscribed with the words: “The beard is a useless burden.”

beard facts, disturbing beard facts
3. Abe Lincoln grew out his beard in the late 1860s because an 11-year-old girl told him his face was too thin. It’s a good thing he appreciated honesty.

beard facts, disturbing beard facts
4. Beards have becoming a bacteria breeding ground for parasites such as bed bugs and fleas. Host to dirt and grease, an unkempt beard is said to have more germs than a toilet seat. Even a washed beard has the potential to spread bacterial infections.

beard facts, disturbing beard facts
5. The longest recorded beard belonged to Shamsher Singh of India in 1997 at approximately six feet in length. The longest female beard: 11 inches (in the year 2000). Which is more terrifying?

beard facts, disturbing beard facts
6. According to herbalists, growing out your beard helps prevent throat and lung diseases and respiratory illness. Well how about that? Score one for beards!

beard facts, disturbing beard facts
7. It has been estimated that if you begin shaving regularly at the age of 15 and continue to do so until you’re 70, you will have wasted approximately 139 days shaving, which is about four and a half months of your life.

beard facts, disturbing beard facts
8. Research links the length of beard hair with wisdom, saying the longer the beard, the wiser the man (Socrates, Aurelius, Shakespeare). However, disposable razorblades are down more than 20 percent (beginning in late 2013) and we’ve still yet to recover that missing Malaysian Airlines flight. What gives?!

beard facts, disturbing beard facts
9. Beards are linked to appearing older in age but also a higher expected social status (to no one’s surprise). Yet, a majority of women prefer a clean shaven man (or one with just stubble) to a bearded one. Keep that in mind for your Tinder profile.

beard facts, disturbing beard facts
10. Turkish men are feeling pressured to shave their beards to avoid being associated with ISIS.

beard facts, disturbing beard facts
11. “Pogonophobia” is a legitimate term referring to a persistent fear of beards, resulting in symptoms similar to that of a panic attack.

More: What Your Dumb Facial Hair Says About You