The Facts Behind Beards and Warm Weather
Warmer months are fast approaching - it’s already breaking 90 degrees fahrenheit here in Austin, Texas. Today (March 20, 2018) is the first day of spring. Whether or not you still have snow outside your window, our calendars have marched on into the warmer months (if you’re still chilly out there, it’s only a matter of time!).
Spring and summer months are unfortunately considered the "dead" season for men’s grooming companies. This trend is rooted in the knowledge that having a beard can act as marginal insulation against the elements by keeping the skin underneath warmer. While your beard definitely increases the body temperature of the skin on your face, you don’t have to shave it off completely in order to find some relief.
To be clear – if you’re into shaving during the warmer months as a result of your own experiences or tastes – that’s totally fine! We’re merely aiming to re-educate those who assume facial hair is seasonal, rather than giving it a shot in warmer months.
Beards protect your skin from the elements all year around. Facial and body hair are evolutionary protective measures, after all. During the dry cold winter, beards help protect your skin from chapping after exposure to crisp winds and snow. During the sunny parts of the year, your beard acts as a shield for your skin to protect against the sun’s dangerous UV rays.
Some seasoned beardsmen also claim that facial hair actually helps keep them cool in the hot weather. To explain how that works, let’s talk about sweat: The function of sweat is to capture some of your body’s heat and cool it as it evaporates into the air. Depending on your own anatomy, more excess sweat could catch in your beard and dissipate some more of your body heat than a shaved face would. This would give the cooling effect to the face mentioned above.
Change in Weather = Change in Grooming
With that being said, grooming habits tend to change as temperatures rise and fall throughout the year. Counterintuitively, if you plan on keeping your epic growth through the upcoming warmer months, you just need to change up your grooming routine a bit.
Why, you ask? As the snow melts and weather grows to be tolerable, you’ll want to get outside as soon as possible. While this is awesome, the more time you spend outside, the dirtier your beard gets. This is especially true in the spring, when that fresh spring air tends to deliver both airborne dirt and pollen directly to your face.
If you like to partake in outdoor activities like hiking, biking, kayaking, hunting, fishing, etc. chances are you will sweat more than usual. While sweat is an amazing way to prevent your body from overheating, it’s also a reliable way to capture dirt, pollen, and dust in the environment. Without an amped up grooming routine, sweaty activities will lead to a grimier beard in no time.
To conclude, you can enjoy all there is to enjoy about the warmer months AND keep your silky, soft, luscious beard all at the same time.
How is This Possible?
First and foremost, stock up on plenty of beard wash and softener. This is vital and not enough beardsmen take their beard washing practice seriously. Less is more when it comes to washing your beard, but maybe you’ll want to up your washing routine from 2 or 3 times a week to 3 or 4 times a week instead (or more, depending on your beard).
If you don't wash it often enough and the beard begins to collect residue, it will start to feel weighed down and greasy. This will only make that slight level of insulated body heat in and around your beard more noticeable. A dirty beard will make it harder for your body to release heat effectively, and residue in an unwashed beard can cause skin inflammation that will further enhance the feeling of discomfort during spring and summer.
If you're exceptionally active, and need to wash your beard every day during spring and summer, try the "co-wash" method of using Beard Softener in place of a wash. It’s a less effective solution than washing your beard every single day, but our Softener has the right ingredients to help reduce the dirt in your beard without drying it out. This will be most effective if you still use the wash a couple times a week.
Next on the to-do list is switch up your beard oil to a light, warm-weather fragrance. This isn’t so much a grooming practice as a seasonal change, but it can make a huge difference in how you’re perceived by your coworkers, friends, and loved ones. People pay attention to fragrances, and pairing a new fragrance to match the new season will definitely pay off.
If you’re looking for a place to start, we recommend checking out Tea Tree Beard Oil or Four Vices Beard Oil. Tea Tree has that hint of cool peppermint that’ll keep you refreshed, while Four Vices invokes memories of the carnal pleasures of warm weather (cannabis, hops, coffee, and tobacco).
Another pro tip is to keep your beard well-groomed. Keeping the hairs on your face separated and detangled will promote airflow during warmer months. This will also make it easier to manage (and give it an all around better appearance). If you haven't done so already, check out our Beard Combs that that will glide through even the burliest of beards.
If you practice all of these tips and still feel discomfort from your beard during the warmer months, maybe it's time to take the beard a bit shorter. This doesn't mean getting flustered and taking a razor to your face, rather, do a little research on shorter beard styles that catch your interest. You can take your research to a trusted barber and have them trim and shape your beard to the perfect spring and summer style.
When you start getting an itch to shave, remember all the awkward phases you fought through to get where you are now. So let's all set down our razors, embrace the upcoming warm weather, and most importantly, keep on growing.
Author's Note: This topic was originally covered by Parker Malouf in April of 2017. It was updated with current research and rewritten by Wil Mouradian.