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Science & Technology

Can your beard cause your brain to overheat ?

By T.K. Randall
March 13, 2016 · Comment icon 13 comments



Beards come in all different shapes and sizes. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Ayleen Gaspar
The beard has been scientifically proven to help keep your face warm, but is it too good at its job ?
A staple form of facial insulation, the humble beard has long helped protect the male of the species from the biting cold and recent studies have shown that facial hair can even have other benefits too such as protecting the skin from sun damage and keeping pollen away from the mouth and nose.

Back in 2012 a study in China even concluded that the area of the face covered by a beard is on average one degree warmer than the cheeks and other exposed areas of the face.

Having a beard therefore might sound ideal, but could there be an unforeseen drawback ?
According to physiologist Michel Cabanac, there exists a genuine danger ( albeit a small one ) that the beard's insulating properties can actually cause the brain to overheat.

To combat this, he argues, the body has developed the phenomenon of male pattern baldness to help maintain thermal equilibrium between the insulating properties of the hair and beard.

He calls the idea "thermoregula≠tory compensation" and while his studies over the last ten years have indicated that men with full beards are more likely to have receding hairlines, this rather unorthodox hypothesis is not exactly conclusive.

One thing is certain however - those who do sport a full beard needn't worry about it causing their brain to overheat as the chances of that actually happening are likely to be infinitesimally small.

Source: Popular Science | Comments (13)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by Esoteric Toad 7 years ago
If it does indeed cause overheating in the brain that might explain many of the terrible beards that are out there. (I have a beard and long hair incidentally ).
Comment icon #5 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 7 years ago
Full beard, full head of hair, no overheating.
Comment icon #6 Posted by schizoid78 7 years ago
Completely true, which is why I cut mine time after time. D
Comment icon #7 Posted by TheGreatBeliever 7 years ago
Would like to have one but can't. I can only get a goatee..
Comment icon #8 Posted by Captain Dumbass 7 years ago
And all the filth such a beard collects due the day time... and night time. Before i eat i wash my hands... does the hipsters wash their beard before they slide food through the bush?
Comment icon #9 Posted by Hawkin 7 years ago
So if women are incapable of growing facial hair, does these mean they're more cold weather tolerant? LOL
Comment icon #10 Posted by Astra. 7 years ago
So if women are incapable of growing facial hair, does these mean they're more cold weather tolerant? LOL Yeah - but some women are capable of growing facial hair.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Astra. 7 years ago
And all the filth such a beard collects due the day time... and night time. Before i eat i wash my hands... does the hipsters wash their beard before they slide food through the bush? There is nothing more repulsive - let alone unhygienic - than seeing a guy sport a beard and there are crumbs and small chunks of food left in it. It's like they save these morsels of leftover food for snacks later.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Hawkin 7 years ago
Yeah - but some women are capable of growing facial hair. Which one's you.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Astra. 7 years ago
Which one's you. LMAO


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