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Science Finds Men With Beards Are Not Only Hotter But Healthier

Science Finds Men With Beards Are Not Only Hotter But Healthier

Men’s grooming has changed in the last few years.

Long gone are the days of men with hairless bodies and short haircuts. The current age is the time of the beard and the man bun. It seems that the hairier a man is, the more attractive he is today. But, is there a biological reason that some of us find men with beards so good looking?

Recent studies have suggested that beards are not just hot. A great beard can also help a man stay healthy. In terms of biology, healthier mates are often more attractive as well.

One of the biggest reasons that beards can help a man remain healthier for longer is because it protects his face from the sun. The sun, although the source of life, can cause different types of cancer for those who spend too much time in it. A study from 2011 showed that beards offer a unique kind of UV protection. This is perfect on days when someone forgets to put on sunscreen.

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According to the 2011 report, facial hair reduces the exposure ratios of the face to one-third compared to areas of the face that do not have any hair. Having a beard provides natural protection against skin cancer. Although skin cancer is not as common as other types of cancer, it can often be caught too late and require drastic medical intervention to save the life of the patient.

The beard does more than just protect men from skin cancer. Facial hair can also slow down the aging process for a man’s face.

This works two ways. The barrier that protects the skin from cancer also helps to prevent sun damage, including lines and spots. Plus, facial hair helps the skin to retain moisture. By protecting his face from the wind, a man’s beard helps ensure that the moisture does not leave the skin.

The hair follicles on a man’s face also help keep the skin moisturized. These follicles produce oil that aims to protect the hair. When the oil is released, it also helps grow thicker skin. This thicker skin helps to prevent the damage caused by aging.

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A good beard can also help protect men from the dreaded flu. This is because a beard also helps keep men warmer during the cold months. All the extra hair works as insulation around the face and neck. Helping to keep the whole head warm can help protect the immune system from being shattered by the cold. In turn, this helps men ward off the flu and stay healthy all year round.

The extra layer of insulation provided by a beard is essential in cold areas. A study by Yale demonstrated that certain cold viruses actually thrive in cooler temperatures. The virus is also able to replicate faster when it lives in the cold air. As a result, a cold virus would rather live in the nose than in the lungs, where the body temperature is more heavily regulated. When combined with the fact that cells in cold areas struggle to fight off viruses as effectively as warmer areas, the beard seems like a great idea for keeping out the cold.

Although few realize it, shaving can cause skin infections. Since having a beard requires a man to ditch his razor, there are other benefits to having a beard.

There is some evidence that forgoing the razor can help protect men from certain infections. Issues like folliculitis and pseudofolliculitis barbae are exacerbated by shaving.

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Folliculitis is a common condition. It happens when the hair follicles are infected by bacteria or fungi and then become inflamed. This condition often results in itchy skin that becomes inflamed and red. Severe infections can also result in pain as well as well as blisters that break open. Some infections become so bad that medications like antibiotics are needed to get rid of the infection.

A beard is actually a great health tool for men who suffer from asthma and allergies. Coarse facial hair is a great filter for keeping out hazards and allergens like dust, pollen, and mold.

But not just any beard will help prevent allergies — a moustache is key for this. Moustaches are what protects these allergens from travelling up into the nasal passageway. This works because pollen is sticky and is likely to be trapped by a beard or moustache if it is near a person’s nostrils.

Moustaches can even trap dust. However, this may not be a good thing — few men want a dusty moustache. Also, if the beard is moved, the dust can very easily move right up into the airways. But there is a way to remedy this issue — all a man needs to do is grow a bigger moustache.

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People are naturally attracted to mates who are healthy. Since beards have so many health benefits for the men who grow them, it’s no wonder that so many people find them so attractive.

Featured photo credit: Blondinrikard Fröberg via flickr.com

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Last Updated on June 20, 2019

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

Conclusion

While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

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Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

Reference

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