Working Out with a Beard
For guys, working out is a time to restore focus and order into our lives. We pump iron with the intent to rebuild our body image. But that same self care effort dedicated to our bodies is required of us with facial hair, in particular bearded men; but many clients seem to easily forget this when they’re focused on breaking a sweat. Exercise is a great way to tackle issues like oily skin by flushing out toxins; but let’s make sure we set ourselves up for the complete win, when it comes to beard and facial skin.
Your beard and the skin around it is a sensitive area. If proper care isn’t given, it can lead to ingrown hairs, breakage, and facial odor. Below we’ve listed some helpful tips for a quick routine that will ensure your beard survives your workouts.
Step 1: Pre-Workout Rinse
Like a splash of water on the face in the morning, the beard could use the same wake up just before your workout. Warm water hydrates the hair and opens up the pores and is a defense wall for incoming sweat resulting from the impending workout. The additional, warm moisture from the water also helps the hair strand maintain its natural direction and healthy growth from its follicles.
Step 2: Comb Out
By the end of a workout, the hair strands have been exposed to various temperatures that can allow it to curl up, break, or become susceptible to split ends. After a rinse, a quick comb out of the beard hairs is necessary to expand and fall in its natural direction. Be sure to comb in the given direction of the hair strands. I’ve also found that separating the thick hair strands out before a workout controls sweat direction (allowing sweat to fall downward onto the ground). The more you comb out the hair the easier it’ll be for the beard wash to reach the root during your post workout shower and wash.
Step 3: Beard Wash
After a full hour of dumbbell lifts and ab work, your beard is packed with brittleness, possible closed pores, and irritated sweat glands. To combat that and restore your beard back to its natural pH, beard wash is critical. Unlike hair shampoo, beard wash is packed with fewer surfactants (surfactants are a gateway to skin and beard irritation). Refrain from using shampoos on your beard because the chemical properties can be too harsh and ultimately harmful for sensitive areas like facial hair. Beard washes from companies like Scotch Porter are packed with the proper nutrients and are chemically balanced to fight against sweat and the additional dirt and grime you pick up while pumping iron.
Step 4: Restore moisture with Beard Conditioner
Once the wash has done its cleansing job, chances are the natural oils on the hair strands have been removed. Conditioning your beard will restore full moisture back into your hair follicles leading to healthy growth. It will also serve as a defense leading into your next workout and the heat and sweat you’ll experience. The conditioner should be applied directly onto the hair strands to effectively do its job.
Master Barber Tip: To maintain healthy and steady growth that can withstand your next workout, equip yourself with some cordless trimmers and restore the shape to your beard by giving yourself a quick trim. After one last rinse (using cool water), you'll be ready for the rest of your day.