Men’s facial hair looks as cool in summer as it does the rest of the year — but from what I’ve heard, it doesn’t always feel that way. Sun, salt, heat, and sweat make caring for your furry face an even bigger priority when weather turns balmy — and that, men, means putting some extra effort into your grooming habits, starting now. The good news is that there’s been an absolute explosion of beard products to make your job easier and more fun than ever before.
Scotch Porter, based in New Jersey, offers a full line of beard products, and creator Calvin Quallis stresses trying a little bit of everything to keep your facial hair feeling fresh. But, he adds, don’t overdo it with the cleansing, as counterintuitive as that might feel on the sweatiest days.
“Don’t overwash with shampoo, which robs your beard of essential oils created by the skin,” Quallis tells Yahoo Beauty. “If it’s hot and you’re sweating and wash your beard daily, it will look dry and frizzy.” Instead, he suggests, try going the way many women do when it comes to the hair on their heads — condition it. “I conditioner-wash mine at least four to five times a week [with a formula that has] a botanical infusion of chamomile and burdock root, which softens the skin underneath as well.”
Shielding beards from UV rays is just important as it is for your skin, he adds. “Too much sun exposure during the very warm months dries out the beard,” Quallis notes. “You need to protect it in the sun by using a deep conditioner or moisturizer containing sesame oil and shea butter, which has natural UV-filtering effects. Then use an anti-humectant silicone sealant or smoothing beard serum to prevent frizz.” (And products aside, he urges, “Drink lots of water.” Your whiskers will thank you.)
Eric Bandholz, founder of the Washington-based Beardbrand, also stresses the use of a beard wash and softener — and the use of sun protection.
“Remember that first of all, your beard is actually protecting the skin underneath from harmful UV rays, but believe it or not, your beard is also taking a beating under the sun,” he tells Yahoo Beauty. “There are actually sunscreens for your hair, and we highly recommend picking yourself up some this summer.”
Bandholz’s pro tip is this cooling action: “Grab yourself a spray bottle and fill it with water,” he says. “Give your beard a few sprays from time to time, and as a breeze passes through, it will essentially act like an air conditioner for your face, and the moisture will feel cool against your skin.”
And now some details on several of the most soothing, luxurious beard products around, all tried out — and every one beloved — by my longtime-bearded buddy Gustavo Motta, a bear of a DJ in New York City:
Motta tried oils from Smoky Mountain Beard Company ($17 for 2 oz.), Zeus ($26 for 1 oz.), and BG Brooklyn ($29 for 1 oz.), all of which were big hits and worked best when applied with a tiny beard brush. “They all have masculine scents — my favorite of which is the BG Brooklyn-Williamsburg Classic beard oil with hemp oil and rosemary.”
Next up were balms from Smoky Mountain Beard Company ($19 for 2 oz.), BG Brooklyn ($26 for 2 oz.), and Scotch Porter ($20 for 3 oz.). “The balms are also fantastic,” Motta says. “They leave the beard soft and moisturized for a long time and were perfect postshower. My favorite for scent goes to the citrusy Smoky Mountain Beard Company.”
Motta test-drove Beardbrand Blank Slate Softener ($22 for 8 oz.) and Scotch Porter Wash ($20 for 8 oz.). “The beard wash from Scotch Porter is perfect for a quick shower,” he says, “and leaves the beard smooth and silky. And the Beardbrand softener adds even more moisture. Both are fragrance-free, which is a plus, since everything else has a scent.”
Motta tried a beard serums from Scotch Porter ($20 for 1 oz.). “It’s great — like a gel for the beard and with wonderfully warm woody scent that leaves the beard smooth and shining,” he says.
Finally, we’ll leave you with some hot-weather hope for the furriest among us: “A bigger, longer beard might help you beat the heat,” Bandholz notes. “Your neck has major arteries and veins running through it that regulate body temperature. A longer beard actually blocks a lot of the sun from hitting your neck, thereby helping to keep you cooler.” Who knew?