You’d think, during these colder months, that a great big beard would be a godsend. A permanent, fluffy face-warmer, it’s surely like an all-natural snood or scarf – something to keep your cheeks and chin toasty when the mercury plummets? Well, you’re half right. Although those of us wearing whiskers this winter will inevitably enjoy a little more protection from the elements than those of us not, battling the frost with your facial hair comes with a whole host of problems, too.
From wild, scratchy hairs, to dry and flaky skin beneath your beard line, it is more important than ever in these cold months to look after your facial hair and ensure it stays healthy, soft and looking fresh until spring rolls around. Here’s how to put the pep back into your beard…
Keep trimming - regardless of how cold you get
We know how easy it can be to just let your beard grow in winter. With ever millimetre more of growth, the warmer your face will become, and the further away those cold winds will feel. But that comfort will come at a cost. There’s a fine line between bushy and overgrown, so make sure that this winter you don’t let the scales tip to the wrong side of fluffy. Style still comes first, and that means you need to tame those whiskers.
We’d recommend investing in a beard comb, to keep and straggling hairs in order and to maintain an overall neat look. Also, learn how to trim in an even and thought-out beard line to edge your facial hair – as this will curb the dreaded neck beard and keep you looking sharp. Finally, don’t let the length get out of hand. Trim daily to keep everything under control and use common sense to determine the optimum length for you.
Don’t forget about your face, moisturise it
The cold can be pervasive – which means that even if you can’t see your face beneath your beard, it is still facing the brunt of the frosty mornings. As such, it will be drying out and becoming rougher and more flaky with every passing day. Absolve this with simple moisturiser. It may seem illogical and against every grooming instinct you have, but by applying moisturiser through your beard you will achieve full coverage, and protect every inch of your face – bearded or not.
This way, when you decide to trim down your beard even further for the warmer spring and summer months, you won’t be confronted with a rough and rashed face underneath, scarred and marred by a winter of facial discontent and mistreatment. So invest in a good, exfoliating moisturiser and don’t stop daubing when you hit those hairs.
Moisturise your beard too, come to think of it
It’s not just your skin that needs moisturising throughout these brisk and fresh winter months. Your beard, the first line of facial defence, also deserves its fair share of protection. And this is where beard oil comes in. Some scoff at beard oil, the tiny little bottles of product that are often laughed off as affectations and over-the-top, but it’s actually a product that deserves its place in your bathroom cabinet.
Best applied after a shower, and once your beard and any skin moisturiser has dried, a couple of drops of beard oil combed through your beard will keep it both neat, tidy and protected from the cold. Containing fatty acids, micro elements and minerals, most beard oils restore the health of both skin and beard, and soothe any scratches or itches that may come when frosty winds dry out your facial hair.
Cool down on the hot water
There’s nothing better on a cold winter morning than a hot, hot shower – right? Well, maybe for the soul, but certainly not for your beard. A boiling shower will strip your beard – not to mention skin – of its natural oils, which help bolster and strengthen your facial hair. Remove these, especially in colder weather, and you’ll end up with dry skin and a brittle beard. So cool down on the hot water, as you’re sacrificing a day of comfort for a few steamy minutes in the morning.
And, while we’re on the subject of showering, don’t go overboard with the shampoo during winter. Just like that hot water we’ve just told you to dial down on, shampoo tends to strip any protective oils from your hairs, and leave it feeling dry and scratchy. Instead, if you’re keen to keep it clean, try a reliable, organic conditioner that will perform the same function as a shampoo while still leaving your beard with a certain softness that’ll keep you comfy in the cold this winter.
Struggling with a patchy beard? Learn here how to fill in those blanks and keep yourself warm this winter