For many guys, myself included, winter and beard growing are synonymous with each other. Every spring, I shave my beard once it gets too hot, and every winter, I grow it back as the cold weather starts. I know many of our customers follow the same seasonal habits.
But did you know that winter is the most challenging time of year to grow a beard? Think about it: Cold, dry wind that’s hard on your hair, your breath causing icicles to form on your whiskers. Not great for hair that can be hard and brittle at the best of times. So should you give up on having a winter beard altogether? Absolutely not! I’m here to give you my best advice for maintaining your beard in the frostier months so you can get to embracing your inner Viking.
Johnny has a happy beard year-round. Be like Johnny!
First off, let’s talk prevention. That cold, dry air will suck the moisture out of your hair so let’s do what we can to reduce our own impact on our beard. We’ve said it a million times, don’t use shampoo on your beard. It strips out any oils and leaves it fried. We always preach beard wash as a much gentler alternative, but your choice of wash and frequency of use also makes a big difference.
Refrain from washing your beard daily; 2-3 times a week is typically tons. All beard washing will leave your beard a bit dry, but some are formulated to dry as little as possible. Tremendous PH balanced beard wash is my personal favourite; it foams up beautifully and leaves my whiskers feeling great. Like Grandpa and Mammoth Beard Co. also make some top-notch bar soaps that clean your beard without drying!
Even if you wash with precisely the right product at the precise time, the winds of winter will still find a way to dry you out. I’ve found the best cure is doubling up on products to bring your beard as much hydration as possible. My go-to is a beard and face cream, but I’ll add a beard conditioner in the shower beforehand. Any combination of oil and cream should work, but the more deeply hydrating, the better.
Beard conditioners soften and strengthen your hair. They also stop beard itch!
Tremendous Beard Conditioner is an in-shower product that gets deep into your hair to nourish it. Follow it up with a beard cream or heavier oil such as Mammoth’s Argan-based oils for supreme moisture! I’ve even had luck tripling up when it’s really dry out. Most importantly, allow the product some time to soak in before heading outside, ESPECIALLY if you’re going for a walk. If your beard ices up then defrosts, it’ll rinse out all of your lovely product.
Now that our beard’s nicely hydrated, we want to keep it that way! This is where the magic of beard balms comes in. Most folks think beard balms are designed to style the hair, and while some are, most are crafted to lock in moisture. The beeswax in the formulas seals up your hair, making it much tougher for moisture to get in or out.
This means if you haven’t oiled your beard, it can actually keep your hair from getting properly hydrated. But if you’ve thoroughly soaked your hair as in the last step, it’ll lock that precious moisture in and keep your hair protected against the elements. I suggest matching your beard balm with your preferred oil to keep things simple.
Matching your oil and balm keeps your beard extra hydrated and smelling fantastic!
Like I said earlier, your beard can ice up from condensation on long winter walks. While beardcicles make for great selfies, they’re a pain. The thaw that follows will pull out some of the product that’s in your beard and deflate any moustache wax you’ve carefully applied.
I’ve been using a beard mask for coverage, and they work great! They’re also made in Calgary, AB. If you’re out in more severe weather, a balaclava from an outdoor store will do the trick nicely.
While following the last four tips will keep your beard MUCH happier in the winter, sh*t happens. When it does, it helps to be prepared! When I leave the house, especially in the winter, I always have a comb and a travel-size tin of moustache wax. Many of your favourite products come in containers small enough to keep in a jacket pocket, and you’ll thank yourself that you had them with you. You probably don’t need a travel beard wash and oil (unless you have a gym bag), but something to help tidy up your look after a long trudge in the snow will be your saving grace.
You'll thank yourself for having a comb and travel size wax handy at all times.
I hope these tips helped you get more confident with your winter beard care. If you ever need more advice on maintaining your mane, check out the other articles I’ve written, chat with us online, or visit us in person! Happy winter bearding.