Austin Facial Hair Club weighs in on study that found fecal matter in beards

A hair-raising study has come out regarding the cleanliness of facial hair. A New Mexico TV station swabbed the beards of several men and found they were as dirty as a toilet.

The members of the Austin Facial Hair Club are beard experts.

"Shampoo, condition it, use a boar bristle brush to brush it out," said Dave Quinlan.

"My upper lip hasn't seen the light of day in 30 years," said Jeff Raye.

Member Jackie Ellison is the reigning British national champion for handlebar mustache.

"It's cool. My grandmother thinks it's cool," Ellison said.

It's true--ladies have a thing for beards.

But what a TV station in Albuquerque discovered may make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

A reporter swabbed a few bearded men and a lab tested the samples. They found bacteria comparable to what is on toilets or in feces.

Stylist Kristen Baker tames the messiest of facial hair at Bird's Barbershop on South Congress.

"I found anything from feathers from their pillow to stickier things. I'm like where were you last night? 6th Street? You get to a point where you're so used to it, you're like comb that right out," Baker said.

When men come in with less than perfect hygiene, she makes sure to counsel them.

"You've got to treat your beard like you treat your hair. It's literally another part of your face. Shampoo it, condition it, comb it daily. I make them able to get dates. That's what I do," Baker said.

The Austin facial hair club members doubt the validity of the study and with only a handful of samples--who wouldn't?

"Nothing really to take to heart. That kind of bacteria is everywhere." said Quinlan.

"Just like anything else you've got to keep yourself clean," said Ellison.

Although these men take great pride in their facial grooming, they admit things can get messy.

"I have found some snack food when I'm watching TV," said Raye.

And when that happens they are sure to clean it up one way or another.

"Depends on how hungry I am," said Quinlan.

"On occasion. That means yes. I mean, it's mine," said Raye.