Looking After Your Beard in Cold Weather
When the winter months draw in, it’s time to look at new ways to care for your facial fuzz, keeping it hydrated and sleek so you can face the cold in style.
Cold weather can mean a bunch of awesome things, from log fires and nights in, to cosy pub lunches and brisk woodlands walks. Having a great looking beard can also have huge benefits, like keeping your face warm and protecting it from wind burn and other weather-related nastiness. Having said that, it’s also a pretty rough time for your beard as it’ll be facing a range of issues that could leave it feeling brittle and dry.
Washing Your Beard
Giving your beard a proper wash is a good shout whatever time of year it is, but you need to do things a bit differently in winter. Firstly, lay off the shampoo a bit. You might use a beard shampoo a few times a week, but in autumn and winter you should cut this down to 1-2 times a week. This is because the low humidity outside will leave your beard brittle, and if you use beard shampoo too often you will be doubling down on the dehydration.
Choose a beard shampoo that doesn’t have a foaming agent, also known as sulfates, because they are thought to add to that dehydration and end up irritating the skin if you’re not careful. Similarly, beard shampoos with silicone can leave a build up which seals the hair from the conditioning power of any other products you might want to use.
Speaking of conditioner, yes you should use it and use it well. Our 2-in-1 beard shampoo and conditioner has a bunch of beard-loving ingredients that will help you hydrate. If you use a beard conditioner on its own (like a beard oil or balm) keep conditioning up to 4-5 times a week even if you slow down on the shampoo. If you feel it becoming a little over-hydrated (i.e. oily) you know you can dial down the conditioning product.
The last and most important part of washing your beard well in winter is all about temperature. It might be tempting to set your shower to the lava setting when it’s cold outside, but this will only make the quality of your beard worse. Very hot water strips your beard hair of all its natural oils which are less easily replenished in the cold. Be brave, stick to lukewarm or cold water when you wash your beard.
Expand Your Collection
Shampoo and conditioner may not be enough for your beard when the cold weather sets in. To give yourself the best chance against wind, rain, snow and all that other stuff, you should think about using a beard oil or balm – or both!
It’s a good idea to use a beard oil straight from the shower as it acts as yet another conditioning agent. Think of it like watering a plant; the thirstier it is, the more moisture it’ll soak up. Beard oil is the perfect partner for a dry beard as long as you don’t ‘overwater’. Drop the desired amount into your palm and massage into your beard, making sure to distribute it evenly (use a comb to ensure it goes from root to tip). Not only are beard oils designed to hydrate from within, they will also make it look healthier. Our Original Beard Oil, for example, contains aloe vera, camelina oil, and green tea, which are all chock full of goodness.
Also, we use a unique blend of 8 essential oils that help your beard smell better – which is good because it’s right under your nose. You might think that beard oil may make your beard greasy as the word “oil” suggests, but it absorbs quickly as it’s designed specifically for the thick and wiry hair that you find in a beard.
Next up on the list is beard balm. The difference between oil and balm is consistency. Beard balms are thicker and usually “creamier” so it can be a case of personal preference. A balm can also help to shape your beard and stop it having a life of its own in harsh winds. Our Original Beard Balm is another quick-absorbing product that doesn’t add any heaviness to your face, leaving it smooth, sleek, and stylish.
It’s not just products that help you keep your beard in top shape, the right tools go a long way too. A good beard comb is a handy piece of equipment for your arsenal. We recommend using a wooden one as plastic combs can increase static and turn a sleek beard into pure frizz very quickly.
Setting Foot Outside
With your beard prepped and hydrated before you leave the house, the next challenge is keeping it that way. During spring and summer, there is an ambient heat that lets water evaporate and linger in the air creating what we call humidity. Autumn and winter months are less humid, meaning less moisture in the air and less hydration for our skin and hair.
When your skin is too dry, it can start to flake which neither feels nor looks nice. Where your beard hair is concerned, if it’s brittle and weak, it can lead to split ends which makes a frizzy beard look even bushier . This is why defence is the best offense.
Even your own breath can linger and freeze in your beard in freezing temperatures and this can again lead to dryness. Cover your beard with a scarf when you go out for extra protection from the elements. Or make like Aguero and get yourself a winter snood.
So, what about rain? It’s better for your beard than ice and snow, right? Well, not exactly. As your beard hair is made from keratin, which will be weaker when it’s wet, it means that if you get caught in a rain shower you will need to dry off as soon as possible. Umbrellas and hooded jackets are your friends, so make sure you’ve got one to hand when wet weather has been forecast. If you get caught out, make sure to pat you beard dry with a towel as soon as you get home. We know it might sound stupid to get rid of the water in your beard when moisture is such an important element to a perfect winter beard, but keeping it strong is the key.
Stay Away from the #IceBeard
A trend that seems to hit photo-centric social media platforms when winter comes is the Ice Beard. Yes we know it looks cool to have frozen spikes showing your inherent outdoor manliness come winter time, but it’s not great for your beard at all. In fact, it’s one of the most dehydrating things you can do to it.
Frozen condensation on your beard dries out your whiskers and leaves them prone to extreme dryness and therefore breakage. If you want to do it for the Gram, you should try your best to get rid of it as soon as you get indoors and repair the damage with your daily beard care routine.
If, on the other hand, you are often outdoors in freezing temperatures because of your job or hobbies, you might end up with an ice beard without even trying. As we mentioned above, a thick scarf around your face should be enough to stop the condensation from freezing, giving you a winter beard that looks and feels great.