This is a not so far from the truth for all beards imo. Not so much hepa filter but akin to what you mentioned of eyelashes as waveguide. Keeping my beard has been a fine internal debate for me , on the one hand it modulates the Uv Ray’s from welding into a less damaging form (see UV skin damage in bearded vs unbearded men) on the other hand I can’t wear a respirator. As for mining imo the beard wouldn’t provide the protection the thread is speaking of, what we would probably see long term in a underground pop with consistent dust particulates would be intensely thick nose hair . Based on the UV ray protection scheme I might propose dwarves were actually exposed to intense UV Ray’s from the inner earths sun
agree with the pragmatic criticisms, while also being mindful that the body would attempt to solve the problem, even through we may cut-back the hair from really solving it.
Also unmentioned is the consideration that underground/mine living could have included instruction about how to arrange / fixture one’s beard ‘when at work’ to cover the mouth and nose. not unlike the beard-covid-mask joke
i think there’s a waveguide ‘dimension’ to the beard, too. Like the idea that eyelashes hair are a waveguide / sensor. c.f. the Native American’s that assert you lose your sensitivity to the nature, when you cut your hair.
§Terrain of Worlds
i think the earth has several forms of ‘inner sun’. The core is the main one. The core pulses through strata, and ore/mineral veins. In varying degrees of octave and resonance, these pulses move with the ‘core of the worlds’: the sun and channels to the center of the universe, and spacetime / VE / HF.
In the sense that the top-of-head hair senses the surface world, the beard hair may sense the inner world. Remember that the elves are reputed to have no beards, and bearded elves are considered to be impurely mixed with other races
This aligns with the northern-culture stories of the various realms, and the bridge/branch connections between them. ‘Mining deep into the earth’ may have not kept one ‘within the earth realm’. Naturally aligns with hollow-earth mythos.
The beard-as-waveguide also aligns with a hint that Tolkien gave to the activity of the dwarves, in the work in the earth. I have mentioned this before. The work inside the earth was to cultivate the gems and veins, not to harvest them grossly as the profane toil of men. The design of the work (IMO) amplified the structure of energy within the heart of the mountain, the layers (kingdoms?) of the earth, and the core of the world (as it links with other worlds). This made the veins of gems to grow, and ores to support the life of beings.
hall, dome after dome, stair beyond stair; and still the winding paths lead on into the mountains’ heart. Caves! The Caverns of Helm’s Deep! Happy was the chance that drove me there! It makes me weep to leave them.’
‘Then I will wish you this fortune for your comfort, Gimli,’ said the Elf, ‘that you may come safe from war and return to see them again. But do not tell all your kindred! There seems little left for them to do, from your account. Maybe the men of this land are wise to say little: one family of busy dwarves with hammer and chisel might mar more than they made.’
‘No, you do not understand,’ said Gimli. ‘No dwarf could be unmoved by such loveliness. None of Durin’s race would mine those caves for stones or ore, not if diamonds and gold could be got there. Do you cut down groves of blossoming trees in the springtime for firewood? We would tend these glades of flowering stone, not quarry them. With cautious skill, tap by tap - a small chip of rock and no more, perhaps, in a whole anxious day - so we could work, and as the years went by, we should open up new ways, and display far chambers that are still dark, glimpsed only as a void beyond fissures in the rock. And lights, Legolas! We should make lights, such lamps as once shone in Khazad-diim; and when we wished we would drive away the night that has lain there since the hills were made; and when we desired rest, we would let the night return.’
‘You move me, Gimli,’ said Legolas. ‘I have never heard you speak like this before. Almost you make me regret that I have not seen these caves. Come! Let us make this bargain - if we both return safe out of the perils that await us, we will journey for a while together. You shall visit Fangorn with me, and then I will come with you to see Helm’s Deep.’
‘That would not be the way of return that I should choose,’ said Gimli. ‘But I will endure Fangorn, if I have your promise to come back to the caves and share their wonder with me.’
‘You have my promise,’ said Legolas. ‘But alas! Now we must leave behind both cave and wood for a while. See! We are coming to the end of the trees. How far is it to Isengard, Gandalf?’ ‘Strange are the ways of Men, Legolas! Here they have one of the marvels of the Northern World, and what do they say of it? Caves, they say! Caves! Holes to fly to in time of war, to store fodder in! My good Legolas, do you know that the caverns of Helm’s Deep are vast and beautiful? There would be an endless pilgrimage of Dwarves, merely to gaze at them, if such things were known to be. Aye indeed, they would pay pure gold for a brief glance!’
‘And I would give gold to be excused,’ said Legolas; ‘and double to be let out, if I strayed in!”
‘You have not seen, so I forgive your jest,’ said Gimli. ‘But you speak like a fool. Do you think those halls are fair, where your King dwells under the hill in Mirkwood, and Dwarves helped in their making long ago? They are but hovels compared with the caverns I have seen here: immeasurable halls, filled with an everlasting music of water that tinkles into pools, as fair as Kheled-zaram in the starlight.
‘And, Legolas, when the torches are kindled and men walk on the sandy floors under the echoing domes, ah! then, Legolas, gems and crystals and veins of precious ore glint in the polished walls; and the light glows through folded marbles, shell-like, translucent as the living hands of Queen Galadriel. There are columns of white and saffron and dawn-rose, Legolas, fluted and twisted into dreamlike forms; they spring up from many-coloured floors to meet the glistening pendants of the roof: wings, ropes, curtains fine as frozen clouds; spears, banners, pinnacles of suspended palaces! Still lakes mirror them: a glimmering world looks up from dark pools covered with clear glass; cities, such as the mind of Durin could scarce have imagined in his sleep, stretch on through avenues and pillared courts, on into the dark recesses where no light can come. And plink! a silver drop falls, and the round wrinkles in the glass make all the towers bend and waver like weeds and corals in a grotto of the sea. Then evening comes: they fade and twinkle out; the torches pass on into another chamber and another dream. There is chamber after chamber, Legolas; hall opening out of http://tolkienmedievalandmodern.blogspot.com/2017/05/elves-and-dwarves-and-jewels-and-trees.html
§Vision of New Stone
§A Language of the Shibboleth