Why beards are simply the best
IPSWICH'S most famous beardie - Paul Tully - says it's no surprise a study has revealed beards are good for men's health.
Professor Alfio Parisi of the University of Southern Queensland has found beards block up to 95% of harmful UV rays, slowing the ageing process and reducing the risk of skin cancer.
He discovered facial hair can have a UV protection factor of 21, not far below the 30 for most sunscreen.
"I've been saying that for 45 years," Cr Tully said when told of the latest beard research.
The root of his beard-growing, though, had less noble origins for the then fresh-faced 17-year-old.
"I never got used to shaving. I had so many nicks and cuts I looked like Norman Gunston," he joked.
He kept the beard, he said, because it made him look distinguished.
"I'd encourage everyone to grow a beard; it saves time in the morning, it saves water and there's no better feeling than your wife running her fingers through your beard," he said.
"Over the years I've been down to a moustache and up to a full beard and now I've got a moustache and goatee. If you look at photos of aldermen from the '20s and '30s they all had moustaches.
"It was really only when the cut-throat razor was replaced by the safety razor that people stopped growing facial hair - because blokes were cutting their throats with the old razors."
The study - dosimetric investigation of the solar erythemal UV radiation protection provided by beards and moustaches - was conducted at USQ in Toowoomba.
Researchers put mannequin heads in the sun - some with full beards, some with partial facial hair and some bare-faced - and measured the UV exposure to each.