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July 09, 2020 3 min read

To summer beard or not to summer beard?

It’s time for the big decision of the year – to shave, or not to shave? Summer beard or summer shave?

Typically quite a few men grow a beard for the colder winter months and then shave off that beard when it comes to the warmer months. If asked why, they would say that a summer beard is too hot and uncomfortable.

But actually that generally isn’t the case, and I’m here to tell you why and give some tips on how to sport that awesome beard through the summer months!

Growing a beard through the cold, wet and windy months makes a lot of sense. It is a really effective way of protecting your skin from dryness and damage from the cold wind and rain! Alongside the fact that beards and scruff just look damn good what isn’t there to love about sporting a winter beard? But conversely this protection and insulation in the winter makes most people think that a summer beard will lead to an insulated and hot and sweaty face. A bit like wearing a sweater in the summer heat.

“But, actually this isn’t the case and there are a number of reasons why…”

In reality a beard doesn’t actually provide much insulation. In other words it doesn’t tend to trap warmth against your skin. The reason it is keeping your more comfortable and warm in the winter is the fact that it is breaking up that cold wind and keeping the cold rain out – it isn’t actually adding any warmth or trapping any warmth. It’s acting more like a wind break and an umbrella for your face all rolled into one – neither of those things warm you up – they just stop you getting wet and cold! GQ also discussed this a few years back…

“It’s acting more like a wind break and an umbrella for your face…”

In fact a lot of men report that a summer beard can actually keep you cooler. (As odd as this sounds it actually makes sense – just bear with me while I explain!) From personal experience I can also agree with this – I was delighted a few years back when I went on my first hot holiday with a summer beard. It just seemed to keep my face cooler – and I definitely didn’t get a sunburnt chin either!!

So why can a beard keep the face cooler? It’s all to do with moisture getting trapped next to the skin and acting as an air conditioner. Any moisture or sweat caught up next to the skin will cool the air slightly and therefore keep things a little cooler than outside the beard. HOWEVER, this does need to be treated carefully as the Business Insider also mention. Your summer beard and skin need to be treated well – keep it clean and washed even more regularly in the summer – any sweat or moisture which sits there for too long will eventually cause soreness and isn’t good for the skin.

“Your summer beard and skin need to be treated well…”

And if keeping you cooler isn’t enough of an incentive to grow out a beard this summer then also considers the sun protection factors! A beard will block between 50-95% of UV rays (according to Australian Scientists – and the Ozzies KNOW sun!) for obvious reasons this is a good, good thing! Read a bit about there study here…

So during the hot weather a really solid summer beard care routine is extra important! And as always Beardsmith has you covered with the best of beard care products. Beard Soaps and Shampoo’s to keep the skin and hair healthy and clean. Beard Oil to keep it soft and manageable and Styling Wax to add an extra bit of strength and protection to the beard.

So, I’ve convinced you to grow or keep your summer beard! What else do you need to know? How should you wear it to stay looking fashionable and suave….this article by Men’s Journal goes into a bit of depth about how to style for the summer. But to simplify, just try to keep it tidy – wild and rugged beards are a bit more wintery – trim the wild edges slightly and keep the higher cheeks and neck clear of random hairs. Sharper edges tend to look a little tidier and more purposefully fashionable!

“…to simplify, just try to keep it tidy…”

But having said that – the wilder the beard the more sun protection and air conditioning properties it will give!!!!

Take care and I hope you all have a great bearded (or unbearded if I haven’t convinced you!) summer…..if the sun ever returns here to rainy Ireland!

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