In many parts of Australia, men with beards abound. Aside from the fact that sporadic lockdowns and stay-at-home orders make it easier to do away with shaving, some people see it as an extra barrier while a virus is running rampant. However, masking up might be a little more complicated for people with thick beards.
Since the mask needs to go over the chin, a full beard might keep the mask from covering your orifices properly. The shape of your face and length of your beard can also interfere with your ability to wear a mask. For example, any beard longer than 4 cm can push those disposable masks outward.
Even beards under that length end up looking awkward. More often than not, people with beards need to push and manipulate their hairs into awkward positions. It is not uncommon for bearded men to have hair sticking out of their masks at weird angles. This can make anyone look like some weird animal or creature from science fiction.
However, do not fret and put those clippers down. You do not have to shave your beard to keep safe against the pandemic. Read on to learn how you can wear a mask even if you have a beard.
Short- to medium-length beards
Disposable facemasks are made to fit as many people as possible, but they don’t account for beards. Luckily, masks are generally inexpensive. You can try a few to find which one fits your face and beard without breaking the bank.
For people with short- to medium-length beards, your best option is an extra-large fitted mask with elastic hoops. The elastic hoops can hold the mask in place and flatten your beard the right amount. Some people may experience some discomfort in their ears, but this can be solved by the loops together with a string. Make sure the string tightens the mask the appropriate amount.
If your facial is positively Radagastian, a fitted mask won’t work. The weight of the hair will cause the mask to move forward in the bottom, reducing the mask’s effectiveness. Your beard will stick out in the bottom no matter what mask you try.
Your best bet is to wear a bandana-type mask. A bandana keeps the bottom part open, letting your beard hang free. It also provides enough cloth and enough length to protect the gaps a smaller mask might get from your Sarumanian beard. Just make sure you use a neck gaiter so that the mask can go under your shirt to keep airborne pathogens out.
If you worry about the filtration capacities using a bandana instead of an N95 or surgical mask, you can try to sew a pocket or patch into the bandana that can allow you to slip a surgical mask into it.
You don’t have to shave your beard to keep safe in this pandemic. You just have to wear the right masks, whether this is a fitted mask with elastic loops or a bandana secured with a neck gaiter. After all, growing a beard is no easy task; it would be a shame to sacrifice it if you don’t have to.
If you need beard care products to protect your precious beard, check out our selection at Jericho Australia. We have everything you need to keep your beard healthy and happy.