Keeping Cool with a Beard
If you're in the southern hemisphere you'll know that summer is almost upon us & the weather will gradually begin to warm up (and some of us can’t wait!). There will, however, likely still be at least one or two colder / wetter weather snaps before it really kicks in, and some guys who grew a beard in the winter to help keep warm might wonder if it’s time to trim the hedge. This begs the question, is a beard too hot in the hot weather?
It goes without saying that a beard will keep you warmer in winter. But you might be somewhat surprised to learn that a beard may not actually be that bad when the weather turns hot. How so you ask.
For starters, a beard helps to block harmful UV rays from the sun. It’s like an inbuilt barrier - and the thicker the beard, the better protection it offers. There is no cheaper or easier sunburn (and skin cancer, aging, etc) preventative measure than wearing a beard.
A beard can be considered as a form of insulation. We insulate our homes so that they are warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Typically this is due to the air-trapping properties of the insulation material – and in many ways, a beard works for your face in the same way. When you head outside from your air-conditioned comfort for the first time that hot hair has to penetrate through your beard (aka the face insulator) before it can heat up your face. Having said that, if you've got a really long thick beard, it may act somewhat like a blanket, making it harder to cool down once you do heat up. It's a balance.
Additionally, when you are feeling warm in hot weather, splashing cold water on you face (or going for a swim) will cool you down whether or not you have a beard; beards hold water & moisture for longer – so you'll actually feel the cooling effects for significantly longer than do your clean shaven brothers as there is more water to evaporate from your head, cooling you in the process. This also applies to natural sweating – which is the body’s way of cooling down fast.
Tips for keeping cool in hot weather with a beard:
- Keep your beard trimmed a little shorter than you might do in winter. This will allow better air flow and you’ll be able to feel cool breezes on your face when they arise.
- Be sure to wash your beard every day, keeping it clean and fresh. Remember to use a beard shampoo for optimal results.
- Keep the hair on the top of your head shorter. The top of the head is where most heat is lost from the body – so a thick head of longer hair is akin to wearing a beanie in summer. This will make you feel much hotter than even the longest beard.
- A beard oil or beard balm can make you feel crisp, clean and fresh – which can be very cooling. Choose a product that is refreshing and even citrus-based for summer, while woodier aromatics are better for winter warming effects.
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