Your beard may have looked glorious all winter long, but it’s going to need some extra help this summer. Blazing sun and sticky humidity levels can leave once-luxurious whiskers in desperate need of next-level maintenance. So, what to do when the heat’s killing your look?
Let’s get the biggest question out of the way first: Will having a beard make you feel hotter in an already hot season? Not necessarily, said film and TV makeup artist Kerrin Jackson. “Really, your beard is actually keeping you cooler,” she said. “Your sweat is able to evaporate easily through beard hairs, so, in essence, it’s really your very own natural facial cooling system.” Emily Clark, senior barber at Fellow Barber in New York, agreed: “Don’t think of it like wearing a woolen sweater on your face, but more like a shield.”
Read on for more advice from styling and beauty experts.
How (and how often) to wash your beard
First, there’s the issue of washing. “People will wash their hair and face, yet so often they neglect their beard,” Clark said. “You don’t need to scrub it clean, but ensure that you’re working through a gentle cleansing product, like a co-wash that contains both shampoo and conditioner. That will leave the beard super soft, clean and not greasy.”
While some stylists recommend using the same shampoo for everything, Jackson has another idea. “Your beard hair and the hair on your head are two different beasts, and need to be treated as such. Using your regular hair shampoo on your beard will strip it of its precious natural oils. Instead, I suggest looking for a good-quality beard-specific wash. Avoid buying anything with parabens or other powerful chemicals, since they’re just too damaging.”
Jackson suggested washing your beard once or twice a week. “Anything more is overdoing it, and can result in your beard hair appearing dry and lifeless.”
Buy yourself a brush and a bottle
You’ll also want to brush your beard on the regular, too. “A natural boar bristle brush will work wonders for your beard,” Jackson said. “It can also help to gently exfoliate the skin underneath, stimulate circulation and increase the production of the natural oils that will help it live its best life.” Hair artist Leonardo Rocco suggested: “Brush in the direction of the hair as it grows, which will help prevent ingrown hairs from developing.”
In addition to treating yourself to a beard brush, you may want to buy yourself a beard-designated spray bottle. “If you’re swimming in the ocean or in a chemically treated swimming pool, give your beard a rinse in fresh water afterwards to rid it of any excess sea salt or drying chemicals,” Jackson said.
“Or you can try a spritz from a water bottle, which can also be super refreshing for your face,” she suggested. “My favorite tip is to add a few drops of pure peppermint oil to a spray bottle. Not only does this feel sensational, but the peppermint also is believed to promote and stimulate new hair growth. Just keep the peppermint to a few drops, and remember that it always needs to be diluted, or it could cause skin burns or other damage.”
Develop a pre-bedtime beard routine
“Your hair, skin, body and facial hair all require extra hydrating throughout the summer months,” Jackson said. “A good idea is to hydrate your beard in the evening, after you’ve showered and are ready for bed. That way, your beard moisturizer has time to go to work while you sleep.”
Don’t skimp on hydrating treatments, like beard oil, just because it’s hot outside, the experts said. “Because the hair on the face is typically dry, it’s going to need plenty of moisture to keep it soft,” Clark said. “Soft beard are all the more kissable, and if your beard is long, it’ll be easier to manage and tangle free if you use beard oil.”
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“I really love this versatile product,” Clark said. “It’s a blend of natural and organic oils, which work well on both hair and skin. The skin underneath a beard often gets neglected and can be itchy, so this helps. Hair is most absorbent when wet, so apply the product when you’ve just gotten out of the shower.”