A Man’s Facial Fuzz could reduce Skin Cancer Risk

Man with Grey BeardIt’s not only the moustache, but facial hair in general that has been shown to diminish the risk of contracting skin cancers. So is this really good news for bearded men and the occasional whiskery woman out there?

Hair Reduces Skin’s Exposure to the Sun by up to One Third

Researchers from Australia used *dosimetric techniques to verify whether or not our facial hair was useful in protecting against the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The findings were quite notable according, to Alfio Parisi and his colleagues.

What they discovered was that facial hair actually reduced the skin’s exposure to the sun’s rays by up to one-third on average.

As you might have already guessed, the more hair and the thicker the growth, the higher the protection. Another factor is also the person’s angle to the sun at any given time. The good news is that it’s not only facial hair but the hair on our heads that can also go some way towards protecting us from the sun’s harmful rays.

Strangely though, longer ‘head’ hair, that is hair with an average of 109.5 millimeters, or 4.3 inches in length, was not as efficient at protecting us against ultraviolet rays as short hair, that being 49.1 mm, or 1.9 inches in length. This is according to a 2009 study on head hair that was published in Photochemistry and Photobiology.

That’s it, I’m going Hairy!

Before you try to sprout out like the Wolfman of Howlywood, think on. As hairy as you might be, or might want to be, these findings do not suggest that bushy beings should become complacent and fall back on the conventional protection used to protect from the Sun’s rays.

Yes, there is evidence of sun protection from facial and head hair, but hair as a self-defence can be unpredictable and minimal at best. In actual fact, these new findings are in contradiction with another study (by the same Australian researchers), back in 2008, where they reported hair gives little sun protection.

Slip on a Shirt, Slop on the Sunscreen, Slap on a Hat

So it seems Slip-Slop-Slap is still the best defence for Aussies concerned about overexposure to our brightest star, thus making reports like this something best treated as informative and educational only, and not as a suggested replacement for practical protection.

* The measuring of a dose of radiation emitted by a radioactive source.

An abstract of this study  can be found at Oxford Journals

About Andy Aitch

Musician, writer, netentrepreneur and founder of 50ish.org, the site created for uniting middle-aged men the world over.

Motto: a man is not old until his dreams become his regrets

Follow Andy and site updates on facebook and twitter | Google+ Profile

Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Tool

Subscribe to 50ish Free Site Updates

News from Australia

Blood Pressure Guide

Blood Pressure Guide PDF Blood Pressure Guide - Kindle Read the 50ish Blood Pressure Guide Please Share this Post

Comments are closed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this. For more on cookies, you can view our Privacy Policy (link at the bottom left of page).