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The brr ‘s of winter’s embrace are quickly receding, the sun is slowly peaking and the birds will soon be singing. Ugly sweaters, cozy hearths and marshmallow topped hot cocoa are quickly going to be replaced by breezy t’s, late-night bonfires and frothy foam topped brews. If you are like me, you are more than ready for the frost to depart but what about that glorious beard of yours? It’s only natural to be tempted into clearing your face foliage in anticipation of the coming warmth. But, whether you have a close-cropped chin curtain, medium mouth brow, or voluptuous Viking veil, don’t let summer sabotage all that wondrous winter work. Some preparation, education and a little effort are all you need to get through the dog days of summer with your beard intact.
“A beard helps me stay warm in the winter so it’s going to be too hot in the summer! I don’t want it to be sweaty and nasty… yada-yada-yada….” This is a common and completely understandable misconception, even if it is COMPLETELY false. A beard helps insulate your face against the winds of winter not the frosty bite of it. It does very little to hold or repel temperature, it’s main advantage in winter is that it acts more like a built-in scarf than built-in fiberglass. The sweat that may accumulate in your tuft on a warm day will actually help to cool your skin. Men with beards, myself included, find that beards are quite comfortable even on the muggiest of days.
“My beard is going to dry out and itch. I’ll just start over in November, again… yada- yada-yada….” The main culprit behind that “dry out and itch” is too much shampooing. Yes, shampooing can actually damage your hair! Shampoos are made to remove any and all oils. Some oils, however, are essential (pun intended) for maintaining healthy skin and hair. So how do you maintain a clean beard AND keep it from drying out and itching? DON’T shampoo your beard… much. Use a natural face and beard wash that contains goat’s milk instead. Goat milk has nearly the same PH balance as your skin and is filled with naturally occurring moisturizers and vitamins. DO use beard care products in your daily grooming routine that contain Shea Butter, Almond Oil and Castor Oil. These natural oils combine to create the perfect combination of fatty acids, vitamins and minerals to maintain, protect and repair your glorious whiskers.
“Well wait! What are the advantages of a year round beard?” Glad you asked…
That beautiful facial ornamentation you have isn’t just a great look. It’s also a great sentry against harmful Ultra Violet Radiation (UV). Researchers have found that beards can offer anywhere from a 2 to 21 sun protection factor (SPF), the average sunscreen offers roughly a 30 SPF. That equates to an extra 50 – 95% UV protection. Basically a beard helps keep your skin shaded, protected and happy, just the way we like it.
Don’t act coy. We continue to grow our face trophies because we like the way they look and feel. Have you ever shaved your beard off after a long grow? If not ask around, postpartum-beard-disorder is real and traumatizing. Don’t start your post-winter fun off with regret. Save yourself from phantom beard pains and look your gloriously hairy best all year round. Plus, who wants to go through that mid-November itch again? Don’t let lazy, misinformed rationalizations keep you from looking your bearded best. You CAN have your cake and eat it too! (Random Tangent of the Day: Why have cake if you can’t eat it? What’s the point? Who thought of that, really?)