Over-washing – fact or fiction?

Whilst men’s grooming is often elusive in specificity, this year has called us all to be more vigilant and aware of our hygiene practices. Hair, though? Not quite… it’s all about beard health today. Over time the pros and cons of growing a beard have flip flopped; they collect crumbs, they prevent moisture loss, they’re sweaty, they make you look older etc; although it’s never quite shook the majority of men one way or the other, they make their own minds up and that’s that.

That doesn’t stop some men from under-washing their facial hair, unfortunately. It’s generally accepted that every two to three days, you need more than water! A proper shampooing pour barbe is required to clean away excess oils, dirt, grime, crumbs, and any other mysteries you’ve got hiding in there. Too often, however, and you run the risk of over-washing your hairs and drying them out, stripping them and your skin of essential oils.

That changed this year. Well, to an extent. With an infographic shared by the CDC in America explained which facial hair styles were okay for use with a specific type of mask that required a seal to work effectively, and some medical professionals, or those working with at risk individuals, were forced to shave their beloved beards for the greater good. Unfortunately often with this kind of information, misinformation spread and people were wondering if their handlebar moustache or full beard put them more at risk of contracting coronavirus. I read somewhere people were convinced that it actually acted as your first line of defence, with droplets being intercepted before they could reach your airways. To be honest, I don’t think it’s either something to sing or cry about. So long as you aren’t required to wear a specific mask, or can’t use a shield instead, then you should be just as at risk as the rest of us!

What I will say, is that you may want to consider washing your facial hair more often, even potentially daily, to keep yourself protected. It’s true that your beard traps bacteria, and it’s more important than ever not to give them a place to stay. If you’re a little too close to people regularly, working in a sweaty environment, especially under a mask, a daily cleanse can keep danger at bay. Just remember to use an oil or balm on your hair afterwards so as to not dry out! And stay safe!