You’ve patiently waited for months, and now you’re the proud owner of an epic beard. The real challenge begins now; you have to take care of that beard, protecting it from the harsh environment.
The weather elements can be your beards worst enemies. The long lustrous hair you patiently watched slowly grow into a thick masculine mane can easily be damaged by extremes of temperature, humidity or dryness.
Damaged beard hair is brittle and breaks easily, creating uneven patches. Stressed facial hair will be hard to groom and look ragged. If the damage becomes bad enough, you may have to trim that hard-won length and start over again.
You need to establish a beard protection protocol to prevent your beard from becoming ragged and uneven.
What Does Rain Water Do To Beard Hair?
Rainwater is a soft water; it has no minerals dissolved in it, it also has a neutral PH balance. What does this mean for your beard?
Soft water can make your beard feel greasy and weighed down. A greasy feeling beard will get washed more often with harsh soaps that will strip the natural oils out of the hair. Lose those natural oils, and you’ll have a frizzy, brittle feeling beard that will look unappealing.
A dripping wet beard is being stripped of its natural oils just by the natural process of water running along the hair shaft creating a rough, brittle texture.
Getting your beard soaked in the rain will also make your facial hair susceptible to damage from accidental pulling or tugging. When hair is damp or wet, it is at its weakest.
Why is Hair Weaker When Wet?
Water breaks down the natural hydrogen bonds in the hair that link the keratin chains that comprise the internal structure of each hair.
This phenomenon explains why wet hair can be easily restyled in different ways when it’s wet, while dry hair is hard to reshape into another style. These broken hydrogen bonds reform when the hair dries, and the hair regains its former resiliency.
When your beard has been soaked in the rain, the individual hair strands are at their weakest. The hair can be easily ripped or torn when toweling, removing tangles, and brushing.
5 Ways To Protect Your Beard From Rain (Including The Weird Ones)
During the summer months, a simple umbrella will protect your facial hair from the potentially damaging effects of rainwater. Since warm temperatures can create unpredictable weather, it’s a good idea to keep a sturdy portable umbrella with you whenever you go out.
Sometimes going out in the rain is unavoidable. Consider getting a rain coat with an oversized hood that closes snugly up to your chin. Keep one in your car in case you have to walk through a downpour from wherever you’re parked. Be prepared, and the rain will never touch your beard.
Wide Brim Hats
Here is a stylish beard protection solution. Wide-brimmed hats will keep the rain off your face, protecting your mane from the oil stripping, hair weakening weather.
For those lucky men who have chest sweeping facial hair a practical and quick remedy for inclement weather is to bag the beard. Keep an appropriately sized plastic bag on your person and as soon as the rain begins to fall place your beard safely inside it.
Secure the bag with a hair band or piece of ribbon and keep your beard safe from the storm. For another way to use plastic to protect your beard, attach strings to the corners of a plastic bag or sheet and wear it like a long face-mask if you need to travel dry bearded through an unexpected rainfall.
Come the fall; you’ll deal with the cold October and November rains. This weather is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the beard saving benefit of the classic snorkel jacket. The snorkel jacket will zip snugly over your entire lower face. Your beard will be cozy, dry, and warm.
If a snorkel jacket isn’t appropriate or fashionable for you, try using a wet weather scarf. Keep it fashionably draped around your collar until the calls it into action. As soon as you feel those first drops wrap that beard up until you can come in from the weather.
My Beard Got Soaked!
What do you do if your beard is soaked in the rain in spite of your best efforts? Use the following techniques to fix it.
First; don’t brush or comb a wet beard.
Your next instinct is to dry your beard, which is correct. Remember that hair is at its weakest when wet. A vigorous toweling will break hairs. Toweling will strip oils from the beard making it brittle.
Once your beard is no longer dripping wet, but merely damp you can use a hair dryer set on the coldest setting to dry the hair further.
Don’t Brush Yet
As tempting as it may be, do not brush your beard once it’s dried. First use high-quality beard oil, gently massaged into your facial hair. Beard oil will restore the hair’s flexibility and allow for smooth brushing and detangle without the risk of hair breakage.
Photos from: Akatiev Andrey © 123RF.com, Vladimirs Poplavskis © 123RF.com and hootie2710 © 123RF.com.