June 17, 2021 5 min read
Summer is finally here, and I couldn’t be happier! Hot weather means I get to bust out my collection of floral shirts, enjoy drinks on the patio, and work on my tan. It also means my beard is sweaty, itchy, and usually gets shaved off. But what if I didn’t have to shave in the summer? What if I could keep my glorious face scruff all summer long?
I personally think beards and floral shirts are a perfect match, so I struck out to identify the issues plaguing my beard this time of year and develop a solution. Here are my findings:
Okay, duh, but it’s important to identify the issue at hand. Your beard insulates your face, which makes you sweaty, your beard gets dirty, dirty beards are itchy and acne-prone… no thank you. So how do we fix this? We start from the beard care fundamentals.
I prefer Tremendous PH Balanced Beard for its fresh scent and huge lather!
It goes without saying, washing your beard is important. You need to get all of the built-up dirt, oil and sweat out from under it. But what do you wash with, and how often? In the summer, showering and washing more often is essential. With frequent washing also comes a greater risk of dryness, so it’s important to find balance. While washing every day can be excessive, make sure to wash after physical activity or long periods outside. The longer dirt and sweat build up, the more it’ll irritate your skin.
To avoid drying your beard, stick to products specially formulated for it. Shampoo can dry your face, so try a non-drying beard wash. I’m a huge fan of Tremendous PH Balanced Beard Wash. Not only is it non-drying, but it also froths up with a minty-fresh scent that makes you feel so fresh and clean after a long weekend of camping. Hoxton Beard & Body soap is another great choice and perfect to take camping or on backpacking trips. You can use it all over your body, so you’ll only need one product!
In summer, light oils offer hydration without bothering your skin.
Nobody loves a good beard oil or balm more than me, but overdoing it with oils in the summer can leave your beard feeling gross. During hot and humid months, try switching up your products with some lighter alternatives. I use Tremendous Beard Conditioner in the shower to keep my whiskers soft, and it leaves no oil behind, so it’s perfect for hot days. If you need a little extra softening, try a small amount of their leave-in conditioner; it absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave you feeling oily!
If you’re a fan of the oils, there are a ton of fast-absorbing and lighter alternatives to your go-to lubricant. Mammoth Beard Co. makes all of their oils in two bases: Argan for heavier, longer beards and dry weather, and Hazelnut and Hemp which absorbs quickly and doesn’t linger. I also find Like Grandpa to be fairly light, and Bartigan & Stark is my #1 choice for hot weather as the fractionated coconut oil base is easily absorbed by your hair and skin.
Beard brushes keep things tidy, and they feel great!
I blame my Scottish ancestors for my wiry beard, and I’ve learned to keep it tamed in bone-dry Albertan winter weather, but with warm, humid weather comes a whole new problem: beard frizz! If you have a curly beard, this problem is multiplied tenfold.
Fortunately, there’s an easy solution: boar’s hair. Not only do boar hair brushes remove static and frizz from your hair, but they also re-align your hair’s follicles, taming it on a microscopic level. While brushing your beard is always an essential part of good beard care, I find stiffer bristles are required to tackle the specific challenges presented by a summer beard. During the winter, my Kent of Inglewood Brush does an excellent job of handling my beard without irritating my skin, but my summer beard benefits from the much more aggressive Kent of England MC4 brush. These super-stiff bristles are awesome for brushing your (head) hair and taming long, thick hair, but they also excel at flattening down an especially poofy beard, so your face doesn’t look like an untamed hedge.
I’ve lately taken to cycling quite a bit, and I don’t find my beard brush fits especially well in my emergency pack. That’s where the Hoxton Beard Comb comes in! When I hop off my two-wheeled steed, and my facial hair is a disorganized mess, nothing styles it (and my hair) up better than a little wooden comb. Helmet hair, begone!
Don't fear the clipper - you can always grow it back!
This is a touchy subject. If you take offence to mentions of shearing, skip this section. Okay, just us now? Cool. If your beard is getting too hot, you don’t need to shave it. Just make it shorter! Less hair means less heat, means less sweating, means less gross beard problems.
Your local barber can do a great job, but don’t be afraid to have a go yourself. It seems intimidating, but I trimmed my beard all winter long with no problems! The trick is to set up a beard bib, so you don’t make a mess, give your beard a good brushing, and start slow. Identify the bushy spots and chip away, checking the shape from several angles regularly. Don’t be afraid to step away for a bit, give it a day, and take a little more off tomorrow.
As for gear, you’ll want a decent pair of clippers and some quality scissors. Clippers are great at removing bulk but don’t offer a ton of accuracy, while scissors are excellent for fine detailing but not so much for removing large quantities of hair. If you want to clean up your edges, check out my article & video on detailing the sides of your beard.
The Kent of Inglewood Guide to Beard Care offers all sorts of handy tips for maintaining your beard. Grab one in-store or request it with your next order!
Lastly, you may find your regular styling products don’t handle the heat so well. Softer waxes soften and melt, so it might be time to try something stiffer. Personally, I find Uncle Norman’s to be a great all-season moustache wax, but you may need to add a little more during the summer.
Your regular beard balm definitely won’t cut it on sunny days, so consider switching to Mammoth Strong Hold Beard Balm or even trying a very mild moustache wax like Bartigan & Stark to keep things under control. If all else fails, get yourself a Kuschelbar Beard Straightener. This thing is an absolute beast, taming and softening your beard in a matter of minutes. I use it on my beard, moustache, and hair. They’re built to last, so if you’re serious about your beard, they’re a worthwhile investment.
I hope these tips give you hope in the fight against summertime beard woes. Having a beard is a wonderful thing, but with great facial hair comes great responsibility. Take a little time to experiment, and you’ll be able to build a routine you can be proud of. Happy bearding!