Beards are a sexy asset. However, it’s a different story once you go snorkeling and diving. Your long and lush chin hair will be all over the place, which will make snorkeling a less enjoyable experience. But fret not! As a fellow beardsman, I will share my tips when it comes to snorkeling with a beard. It will also keep your beard healthy since saltwater can be pretty harsh.
Long-time bearded guys know that swimming and snorkeling with long facial hair are tricky. Underwater, your beard turns into a hairy jellyfish that goes in different directions. Instead of enjoying the underwater sceneries, you’ll end up spending time holding and getting your beard out of the way.
Why beards can be a problem when snorkeling
Many will tell you that a beard isn’t a good idea if you’re going to snorkel often. A very long and thick beard can get in the way of the snorkel mask. Also, the mustache that extends from the beard will make it difficult for you to seal the mask, thus endless leaks.
Most of the time, the problem occurs on the mustache, especially when it’s too thick. You’d have to pop up your head multiple times to get the water out since your facial hair makes it hard to seal the mask. This will kill the fun for many snorkelers.
Aside from that, beards are added hassle since you need to rinse them every time. It can also snag on snorkeling and diving equipment, which is a big bummer.
Tips when snorkeling with a beard and mustache
While snorkeling with a beard or mustache isn’t easy, there’s a workaround that you can try. This is what I do whenever I’m snorkeling or scuba diving. Take note that these may or may not work depending on how thick and long your beard is.
✔️Consider giving it a trim
For men with intensely bushy beards, a trim is very necessary. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with hair all over your face, which will make it difficult to look around. Keeping it short will make it easier for you to seal the snorkel mask.
Other bearded guys just shave it all off and restart the growth after their vacation. If you plan to do a lot of snorkeling and diving, it might be best to get rid of the stache for now.
If you don’t want to get rid of the entire length, just shave the mustache right under your nose. This way, it won’t mess with the seal of your snorkel mask.
In case the idea of shaving or trimming is out of the window, tying your long beard is a convenient solution. This will prevent it from scattering while you’re snorkeling. However, this won’t erase the fact that it’s still difficult to seal the mask on a thick mustache.
A Dumbledore beard isn’t a good idea if you’re planning to snorkel. There’s a good reason why the ladies tie their hair before snorkeling or swimming. It’s the same if you have an extremely long chin mane.
✔️Look for the right snorkel mask
When you have a beard, it’s very crucial to find the right snorkel mask. The excess facial hair will require a mask with a silicone skirt. This gives a better seal since the skirt creates a suction motion that prevents water from getting in.
I always prefer half-masks as it only covers the eyes, nostrils, and upper section of the lips. As long as I trim my mustache, leaks are not a problem.
You may need to try a few snorkel masks to find the right one. I suggest renting masks a few times, so you’ll know what type suits your beard before you buy one.
For me, the Hollis M1 Frameless Dive and Snorkel Mask works well. It has a dry top snorkel feature that prevents leaks. As long as I tighten it well, I won’t worry about water getting inside, even if I have a lush stache.
This is also equipped with a large purge and exhaust valve at the bottom area. However, you’d have to purchase the snorkel tube separately.
✔️Consider using silicone grease
If you just can’t seal the mask due to your mustache and beard, you can use a small amount of silicone grease under your nose. This will press the mustache and make a seal between the mask.
Now, the big question here is this: is silicone grease safe for my stache? It depends on how your skin will react to it. In my experience, a small amount will not trigger irritations. However, those with very reactive skin may have a different experience.
You can also try a mustache wax, which you can buy for a small price. I got the one from Trident, which looks like a chapstick tube that can easily fit in your gear bag.
✔️Practice on a pool
If this is your first time snorkeling with a beard, I suggest that you practice it in the pool. This will let you know if your mask seals well and how your beard will behave underwater. It will also let you experiment with various solutions so you’ll be ready for your vacation.
How to care for your beard after snorkeling
Beards have similarities with our scalp hair. It can get really frizzy and unruly after a long snorkeling trip. This is due to the drying effect of saltwater and other outdoor elements. To ensure that your beard will not get damaged, you must do this after snorkeling:
- Wash it with clean water. I always carry a bottle of tap water whenever I’m about to snorkel. Once I get back to the boat or shore, I wash my face with bottled water. This is to remove the salts and other stuff that got stuck on my beard.
- Apply beard oil first. Before you splash on the water, make sure that you apply beard oil first. This will lock in moisture on your beard and prevent it from being ‘pube-like’ after snorkeling. Also, you should apply the beard oil at least 20 minutes before you go to the water. You should re-apply the beard oil after snorkeling after rinsing it.
- Soak the beard. Before you snorkel, I suggest that you wet your facial hair first. It’s said to reduce the minerals that may get into your beard once you go into the water.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are full-face masks a good idea for bearded snorkelers?
A: For those with beards, a full face mask might be a good idea. You no longer have to worry about water leaks along with your mustache since it covers the entire face. However, full-face snorkeling masks have a tighter fit, and it’s not easy to remove during emergencies. With that, you should proceed with caution. Also, you should remember that these masks are banned in Maui, Hawaii.
Q: Does snorkeling make the beard fall off?
A: Snorkeling itself won’t cause your beard to fall off out of the blue. Most of the time, the reason is a health problem or an irritant that got into your beard. You can contract the same irritant when swimming and soaking in the water. If you notice that your beard is thinning after a snorkeling trip, I suggest that you go to a dermatologist to find out the real cause.
Q: Can you snorkel with facial hair?
A: Yes, you can still snorkel with facial hair on. Just consider trimming it to a manageable length to prevent the hair from interfering with your mask. You can also use a mask sealer wax or grease if your mustache is making it hard to seal the mask. Knowing what works for you well is the key here, as beards come in different shapes and lengths.
Q: Will beard oils kill marine life?
A: If your beard oil is made of natural ingredients, it’s not likely to kill marine life. Also, you will only use a small amount at a time, which is microscopic compared to the water in the sea. But if you’re worried, you can always check the ingredients and conduct some research.
Q: Is sea salt spray good for beards?
A: Yes, you can actually use sea salt spray on your beard if you want to make it more manageable during your beach vacation. However, make sure that the spray is suitable for your skin type to prevent irritations. You should also know that sea salts are dehydrating, and it can make your beard dry if used too much.
Snorkeling with a beard is a tricky task. Still, there are some hacks you can do so you’ll enjoy your next vacation. The right mask, mask sealer, and good trim should let you enjoy snorkeling life before.
Most of all, don’t forget to care for your facial hair after snorkeling. Wash it well and apply hydrating oil because saltwater can make your beard dry.
Have you tried snorkeling with a beard? How did it go? Share your experience with us!