If you’re thinking about keeping your beard through the summer, you’re bound to have heard the classic question from Jim at the annual neighbourhood BBQ: ‘Does your beard not make you hot in the summer?’.
It’s the age-old concern of most blokes when thinking of keeping or growing out your facial hair in the hot weather.
Your friendly team of barbering professionals here at Dear Barber HQ are here to blow that myth away.
We won’t lie to you, maintaining a healthy beard through heat, humidity, salt water and BBQ sauce isn't easy, but with a few tips and tricks in your armoury, your beard can make a real splash this summer!
First let’s just check off the list of reasons why having a well-kept beard through June, July and August is a good idea:
Why Grow Out a Beard in Summer?
1. It actually keeps you cool!
Contrary to most people's common understanding, having a beard can actually keep you cool in the summer.
Whilst it is true that a beard keeps you warm in the cold winter months it is a misconception that the beard acts like a woolly jumper to keep you cosy, rather it acts as a wind break to prevent cold air and wind directly impacting your skin.
Flip that on its head for when the air turns hot, and you'll realise that your facial hair actually acts as a carrier for sweat and moisture close to your face that can give off a chilling sensation when the beard catches a breeze!
So, scratch that off your list of concerns, but just remember you'll need to keep things clean to stop that moisturized beard from turning nasty!
2. It provides sun protection
Don't just take our word for it. It’s actually been proven by scientists. Beard-wearing and beard-loving ones we presume, but scientists, nonetheless.
According to a study in Radiation Protection Dosimetry, beards can protect skin from 60 to 95 percent of UV radiation (UB rays in particular), depending on the thickness and angle of the hair compared to the sun.
Whilst we still recommend applying sun protection to the whole face and to cover and patchy areas of the beard, that's one less summer worry, and mum will be so pleased you are taking your sun protection so seriously!!
3. What's more, you'll be a man my son!
Many guys will take the easy out, follow the sheep and ditch the beard in the summer for a "cleaner" look. We say if a beard's worth having then put the effort in and make it work for you.
With a little time, effort, care and attention you could be the only guy at the pool rocking a handsome beard this summer!
How To Pull It Off
With that in mind, remember we didn't say this was going to be easy. But let's face it, is there anything worth having that is?
Fear not! Team Dear Barber are here with a few helpful hints to send you on your way to summer beard heaven...
1. Sweet Sweat
Think of your facial hair as a summertime squeegee for your face. Where clean shaven guys get a stream of sweat into their mouths, the bearded gent's hair mops up all that moisture. With that benefit comes a downside, if left for too long that moisture can lead to skin irritation, ingrown hairs and pimples, not to mention the smell. Here's a three-step plan to nip that in the bud:
- Brush it out
Invest in a good, stiff beard brush (Dear Barber Beard Brush coming soon) and remember to brush down your beard 3-4 times a day as a minimum to exfoliate the sweat and the dead skin underneath your beard.
- Keep it clean
As the temperature rises, you'll need to shower and wash your beard more frequently. Constant washing can lead to your beard and skin drying out so make sure to keep your bathroom well stocked with good quality beard-specific shampoo and conditioner to help keep your hair nutrient-rich.
- Oil it up
A beard oil is an excellent product for a summer beard. Naturally lighter than most beard balms, a good quality, natural beard oil will keep your beard well hydrated without any added weight and a Beard Oil with a nice scent can go a long way to turning your beard into an attraction for the senses!
2. Hitting the Water
If things start heating up, then there's only one sure-fire way to cool down...get to the water!
Whether it’s the local swimming baths, submerged at the hotel poolside bar or a natural lake or river at the end of a long mountain hike, all that swimming can take its toll on your beard and skin.
Whilst some forms of water are better than others for your beard, chlorinated pool water is perhaps the biggest threat. Chlorine pulls away your skins natural oil -sebum- leaving your beard dehydrated, brittle and susceptible to damage.
But don't sit out on all the fun because of your beard. Here's how to take swimming with a beard to Michael Phelps-levels:
Once you've finished in the water give your beard a thorough rinse with clean tap/shower water.
Work in some beard-specific shampoo to remove any chlorine build-up in your beard and then rinse again.
Follow up with a good amount of a nutrient-rich beard balm and work that through with a comb
Leave to dry naturally, preferably out of direct sunlight.
3. Food, Glorious Food!
Summer or no summer, sometimes eating and drinking with a beard can be tricky!
Hot soups, glasses of wine, catching the head of a pint on your moustache...you know the score.
It’s just that in the summer all those foods seem a little bit stickier, runnier...trickier! We're talking ice cream, barbeque ribs, burgers, tacos, corn on the cob, hot dogs, watermelons and the rest.
Our solution...just embrace it. Keep a napkin to hand, if you have young kids then a wet wipe supply will always be following you, so make use when you can, and always carry a pocket comb with you (we love this folding, convenient, classy option from our friends over at Kent Brushes) to ensure those leftovers head to the floor and don't stick around in your beard for the goodbye kisses! Failing that check out our earlier blog post with useful tips on how to eat BBQ with a beard!
4. Trim It To Win It
There's no shame in opting for a shorter beard length when the days get hotter and longer. If anything, summer is a great time to mix things up and try a new style.
Anything from a full week's growth to a good 1–2-inch short beard is just perfect to keep things looking sharp and clean whilst still maintaining your facial hair. All of the useful tips and hints above still apply, just in moderation now.
Here at DB we love a well-kept short beard, maybe even opting for a beardstache (a full length moustache with up to 1 weeks’ worth of beard growth) to rock that Miami Vice look whilst testing out a Stach!
School's Out For Summer!
With things gradually starting to open up in a post-lockdown era now is the time to emerge from an 18-month hibernation and enjoy the good times of socialising, connection, and having fun in the sun! Do it in style with a well-groomed summer beard!