Whether you treasure or detest summer, the hottest season of the year is here and, unlike the infamous winter of Game of Thrones, we know exactly when it’s going to hit. For most, summer means shedding insulating clothing, lathering up with sunscreen, and enjoying the sunshine, but for many, the months of June, July and August can lead to a whole number of complications. Beardsmen, of course, are no different.
Most commonly grown by guys preparing for the chillier months, having a beard during the summer is a whole different beast and requires a different mindset than that of winter. No longer are you simply growing a beard to keep your face warm and without that obvious reason, beardsmen end up having to explain their facial hair of choice to an even greater extent than usual. In order to prepare you for summer’s arrival, let’s look at some of the realities of growing a summertime beard.
1. Beard Sweats
Everyone sweats more during the summer and it’s basically impossible to avoid. By combining hotter temperatures with an increased likelihood to be staying active, sweat is bound to be omnipresent during the summertime, but having a beard takes it to a whole other level. Our heads are the sources of a huge amount of the heat escaping from our bodies, which is why growing your hair or beard out during the winter is advisable. However, once it heats up outside, your head becomes one of the major storage spaces for body heat trying to escape, which is blocked by your beard, thereby not allowing for your body to cool down as easily.
Essentially, you have two choices: lose the beard for the summer or simply accept the fact that you’re going to be sweating even more than usual until Labor Day. Yes, you might go through a few more t-shirts than normal this year, but which is more important: your clothes or your integrity? Every beardsman must decide for himself, but a lot of the fellas that do end up shaving their beards quickly realize that they’re just as sweaty as before, regardless of the better facial ventilation. Respect the sweat, guys.
2. Increased Beard Shedding
Along with a greater amount of sweat comes skin irritation and eventual scratching of your beard. Sweat can irritate skin, which causes you to scratch it, further irritating the skin, and causing the cycle to start all over again. What does all of this lead to? Beard shedding.
You might find your beard thinning out in select areas over the course of the summer, but don’t worry, it’ll all grow back in time. Of course, we’d love to simply recommend that you don’t scratch your beard when it gets irritated, but you’re only human and sometimes we all have trouble looking at the big picture vs. looking at immediate satisfaction. All we can suggest is that you try to scratch in moderation and, if not, the shedding will most likely go unnoticed. Just do your best to resist.
3. Beard Debris
Let’s get this out of the way right now: we’ve all, at some point or another, spotted an unidentified object caught in our beards. From food to grass to toothpaste, every beardsmen has been called out at some point for having something lodged in his beard. Unfortunately for us, your chances of that happening only go up during the summertime.
Combining more time spent outside with an increased consumption of barbecue and summertime finger foods means that your beard is going to become a target for all sorts of things, including sticks, sand, seashells, leaves, grass, barbecue sauce, macaroni, beer, and ice cream just to name a few. Our advice, find a friend who isn’t out to make you look like a clown in front of a crowd and ask them to spot for you. Of course, you can always find a mirror as well, but if beards aren’t helping bring friends together as beard spotters, what are they really good for?
4. A Case of Wet Beard
One of summer’s truest gifts is the heat’s insistence that you spend as much time as possible swimming, wading, and floating in and around bodies of water. The simple joy of hopping into a pool or lake or diving over waves in the ocean cannot be matched, but if there’s any part of you that’s going to take a beating from all the splash-time fun, it’s your beard.
Now by no means is water the real culprit here, water is the bringer of life and, besides, nothing is more fun than ringing out your beard after a nice afternoon dip. Instead, it’s the effect that the water can have on your skin (and therefore your beard). Increased time spent in the water, especially of the chlorinated variety, dries out your skin at a much quicker pace than normal, especially the skin on your face. This then leads to your beard getting dried out and causing everything from increased scratching to irritated skin to shedding. The simple fix? Keep your beard lubricated and make sure to treat it with beard wash and beard oil regularly if you’re spending a lot of time in the water. Trust us, you want your beard to look as great as the water feels.
5. Questions About Your Beard
If you’ve had a beard for any amount of time then you’re most likely aware that people seem to always have questions about your facial hair. Is it hot? Is it itchy? What are you hiding under there? Of course, once summer rolls around, the number of beard-related questions getting sent your way is only going to increase.
During the fall and winter, when less experienced beardsmen traditionally tend to experiment with facial hair, most onlookers simply accept an increase in beards as something deemed appropriate by nature, like birds migrating or your favorite NFL team collapsing during the lead up to the playoffs. However, once it’s summertime, all bets are off and everyone assumes that you must be crazy to go through the hottest part of the year with added insulation on your face. Sure, having a summertime beard isn’t for everyone, but we promise you: we’d rather sweat it out than abandon what makes each of us unique because just like summertime, the beardsman life is truly when the living is easy.