So, No Beard Day is upon us.

Never heard of it? Neither had I until a few weeks ago.

As a beard blogger, you won’t be surprised to hear that I won’t be participating! Only recently I wrote about how growing facial hair has affected my life.

In a way, it’s surprising such a day exists. The statistics show that beard growth is still on the rise. In mid-2011, 37% of men had some form of facial hair – by late 2016 this had risen to 42%.

To those considering whether to participate – STOP! In this blog post, I look at some key reasons why you should keep your beard.

And no, I’m not talking about my opinion. I could say things like ‘they look manly’ or ‘they look awesome,’ but you would have heard that a million times before.

Instead, I’m going to convince you by providing cold, hard facts.

Protection from UV rays

No, I’m not kidding! Beards really can protect you from the dangerous rays from the sun.

Australian scientists have found that facial hair blocks 95% of the harmful UV rays from the sun, which in turn protects you against skin cancer.

Their experiments involved dressing up mannequins. Some with little hair, some with no hair and some with a proper beard.

They were all placed in the sun during afternoon hours when the sun was high in the sky. It was observed that facial hair was the least affected.

Help fight asthma

Most of us know someone with asthma.

It’s a common condition in the UK, with 5.4 million people currently receiving treatment, including 4.3 million adults (which equates to 1 in 12).

Fortunately, beards can help with the symptoms. According to experts, a beard serves as a filter for the lungs, stopping triggers such as dust or smoke from getting into your respiratory system and preventing an asthma flare-up.

There is one caveat however. Growing a goatee or designer stubble won’t cut it. You have to grow a beard of epic proportions. The bigger the beard, the more likely it will keep the dust and smoke out.

Be more hygienic and bacteria resistant

It’s a common myth that beards are unhygienic.

This all stems from the fact that food can sometimes get caught in it. The presumption is bearded men just leave it in there to fester away, which in turn creates a breeding ground for bacteria.

However, research has thrown this into doubt. It found that clean-shaven men were more likely to harbour infection-causing bacteria resistant to antibiotics when compared to bearded men.

It is thought the reason for this is the cuts in the skin caused by, you guessed it, shaving!

So even by participating in No Beard Day, you’re putting yourself at risk of infection. Who knew?!

Have a better sex life

This got your attention, right? I thought I would save the best until last!

From my personal experience, (without being too big headed,) I do feel more attractive with a beard than without one.

Studies appear to back up this view. According to psychologists at Northumbria University, “women rated men with stubble as tough, mature, aggressive, dominant and masculine – and as the best romantic partners, either for a fling or a long-term relationship.”

This is hardly surprising when you consider some of the famous faces that have grown beards over the years.

Prince Harry is a famous example. Not only was the build-up to his wedding dominated by it, but his beard has also even made headlines over the past few days because someone decided to stroke it.

After all, this is probably why he won the prize for having the sexiest beard in the world last year.