New study suggests beards evolved to protect people from being punched in the face

New study suggests beards evolved to protect people from being punched in the face

The results are in and facial hair just might be more beneficial for the human male than we first thought. A new study has indicated that beards might serve an actual purpose – that is other than providing the perfect breeding ground for germs and bacteria.

Scientists have found that having a beard provides some protection from being punched in the face.


Beards are said to potentially protect the human jaw from the impact of blunt force. Good news for our Gardening Australia friend Costa.

Scientists have studied for almost a decade in the area of human fighting after it was first claimed and trialled that human hands have evolved to be used as a personal weapon. It was then further investigated to prove that the human face has naturally developed to withstand blunt force – to some extent.

But recent news has shown that a beard just may provide some further protection if hit in the face, or at least the bristles may cause a fist to slide, redirecting the impact of the punch. Yeah, we thought that second one seemed like a bit of a stretch as well.

To perform the study, scientists went as far as redesigning a human skull with fibre epoxy composite and creating a beard using untrimmed sheepskin. The trials found that fur-covered samples absorbed 37 percent more energy than those that were hairless. Further, the hair-covered skulls only broke 45 percent of the time, whilst the others broke almost all of the time.

“We found that fully furred samples were capable of absorbing more energy than plucked and sheared samples,” the researchers described.

You can read the full report here if you’re looking for something to fill in the time while in isolation.

If anything, this could explain why animals such as lions have thick manes and fur covering their heads and necks. But there were quite a few disparities in the trials, so maybe hang on to those razors a little while longer.