While winter might bring you delights like building snowmen, singing carols and drinking cocoa by the fire, your beard hates winter. And winter hates your beard, too, which is why keeping your facial hair looking and feeling good in the cold is such a hassle. So give your beard (and the face attached to it) a holiday present by following these tips.
The reason winter and your beard don’t get along is because of the humidity in the air — or rather, the lack of it. “The skin is a lot drier during the winter months, which is going to cause irritation,” says Amanda Hughes of the L.A.-based men’s salon Dr. Beard. “So, the skin on your face will feel a lot itchier and a lot drier and your beard is going to feel a lot more coarse and wiry. Your hair could potentially fall out more, just because of [the cold weather].”
All of that sucks, obviously, but there are solutions, and it all starts in the shower. As much as you might love your water to be so hot it nearly boils you, it also strips away the skin’s natural oil and the moisture inside, leaving your skin drier as a result. Make it a warm shower, or better yet, as low as you can tolerate (which has other benefits). You might also want to think about shampooing your beard less; shampoo cleans the hair, but that means it also cleans it of the oil your face naturally produces to keep the follicles lubricated. Again, the goal here is to keep your beard as moist as possible.
This is why you should apply a moisturizer, whether it’s a conditioner in the shower, or beard oil shortly after you exit the shower. And if you choose to do both, that will only improve the results. That’s another reason to shampoo it less — otherwise you’ll just be removing everything you’ve worked so hard to apply.
After that, comb out your beard and mustache to make sure your various products reach the entirety of your facial hair, and you’re good to go… unless you’re planning on going somewhere. That cold, dry air is going to attack your beard the minute you step outside, so tell winter to go screw itself by keeping the lower half of your face under wraps with a scarf or, for the time being, a well-fitted mask that traps your beard safely inside.
“I mean, you just can’t go a whole winter without putting anything in your beard,” sums up Hughes. Besides, doesn’t your beard deserve a holiday gift, too?