Firstly, some background;
1. I have a beard. A reasonably sized one.
2. I am always hot – and often sweaty (sorry everyone).
3. It is roughly 31C (88F) here in Bali.
Ok, now we’ve got those nuggets out of the way, we can continue. We were walking into the centre of Ubud at about 2pm, when a guy stops on his motorbike and asks me how I can cope in this heat with that beard? I kind of look at him weirdly and shrug. Because, I actually don’t know how I am coping in this heat with this beard.
Usually by now, Lucy would have received a written request for an air-con room due to my inability to sleep properly in this “unbearable heat”. To be fair, we made it three months last time without the need for air-con and finally cracked in Calcutta (hottest place ever by the way).
Anyway, this guy got me thinking about how to care for a beard in the heat, so here are some of my hints and tips for caring for your beard
The most important thing – moisture is key!
Much like any hair, dry means itchy. For a long time I resisted Lucy’s persuasions that I should use a conditioning product on my beard, meaning that it effectively became iron-wool on my face. In fact, it would have been quite effective at washing dishes. Now, I am the one whistling a different tune. I use Aussie’s 3-Minute Miracle conditioner (because Lucy brought it with her), but previously I have used Lush’s hair masks (a freebie), and my standard conditioner (Boot’s own Coconut and Almond). Basically, the key is to keep as much of the moisture in as you can. I tend to shampoo my beard everyday out here, but back at home it’s at least twice a week (it obviously gets washed when I wash my face).
Once all that conditioning is done, I use a Boot’s skin oil. My brother got me some great beard balm from The Brighton Beard Company for Christmas which I was using before we left, but I didn’t want to test it in warm temperatures as I was worried it would melt and not be as effective. Make sure you rub that bad boy into the beard and the skin. Try to get it onto as much of the skin as possible, as that will be the most effective way to stop the itching.
TOP TIP! The question I get most often about my beard is “Is it not itchy?” No, it’s not. Once you get through an initial itchy stage (which for me lasts maybe a week after I clean shave), it should not itch. If your beard is itchy, it is most likely that the skin below your beard is dry. You could be allergic to something, but most likely it is because your skin is dry. Moisturise that bad boy.
I personally don’t trim my beard, two main reasons for this. Firstly, I lost the connector for my trimmer that allows me to change the grade, meaning that now the only options are very short, or very-very short! Secondly, I wanted to grow my beard and see what happened.
I do trim around my mouth, often with scissors if the hair starts getting annoying, but this affects the mo growth, which as we all know is essential for that one month of the year that everyone deliberately looks weird in order to raise money and awareness for mens health and prostate and testicular cancer.
Also, isn’t it weird that during Movember, everyone else seems to grow their moustache quicker than you? What’s that about?
Most people will enquire as to the existence of a “beard comb”, working on the assumption that because I have a beard, I must own an entirely different set of apparatus in order to ensure it’s survival. Sadly, there is no such thing for me. I actually use a device that all girls should own – the fabled Tangle Teezer. Ingeniously invented by a guy who got sick of hurting his daughter’s scalps when he brushed their hair, it is quite incredible. It will get out almost all the knots you could imagine with minimal, if any, pain. It is incredible, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. I obviously do not own my own. Instead I steal Lucy’s when she’s not looking.
Let’s be honest, everyone looks in wonder at Salvador Dali’s mo. It was quite the specimen. I have only recently started curling mine at the end (I actually didn’t realise how long the hair had got there), but I don’t make any effort to keep it in shape. I will do when we get back to the UK, and many moustache waxes are available on the market. Chances are I’ll chose one from Lush or Brighton Beard Company.
So that’s about it. Basically just moisturise and condition. Could have started with that and saved you the last five minutes. But what’s the fun in that?