Many parts of Australia have now made it mandatory and a must to wear masks when out in public, while the other parts of the country are recommending face coverings be worn when out in public by anyone anyway. This poses a bit of an issue for us bearded folk, so how do we get around it and cover our faces?
Depending on the shape and length of your beard finding a mask may be a bit tricky as what works for your medium length beard is not going to work for wizard Gandalf a few suburbs over. While it has been recommended by health officials that any form of face covering is fine and will help protect you and minimise the spread of airborne diseases far better than nothing will, dudes with beards wearing standard disposable face masks just look wrong with all that hair sticking out the side and beneath the mask. Now let’s be honest, wearing a face mask to cover your beard is never going to improve your look but surely there are better options out there.
First, let us specify some beard lengths, to keep it easy we will specify the medium to short category and then everything above medium will be considered a long beard. A medium-short beard is any beard length that is 4 cm’s or less. This is measured by how the beard sits naturally, as beard hair is curly if you were to pull the hair in the longest part straight and then measure it would be far longer and you would get an incorrect reading. It is measured from the length of the skin to how far the beard sits naturally in the longest part (usually from the chin down). Anything longer than 4 cms will be considered long.
The Medium Beard and Below:
The best option here is a larger than usual fitted style face mask. Out of all the face mask options around the simple fitted mask with elastic hoops for the ears is the most comfortable design to wear for longer periods. As the mask is also fitted it fits your face a bit more naturally and isn’t as suffocating as some other options. Making sure it is extra large with more room at the bottom is key and going to help cover your beard. We recommend and have been using the “Beard Mask” as it is built specifically for beards of a medium length and below. It has a longer drop-down ensuring your beard is tucked away and covered. Another important feature here is it is designed with 3 layers of soft cotton ensuring that even as the Australian summer hits it won’t be too hot to wear on your face for long periods.
Large Beards and Above:
This is where it gets a bit tricky as covering a large beard with a fitted face mask just isn’t possible. No matter how you try you are always going to have your beard sticking out down below the mask a significant way. There are a few solutions though which we find will help you keep your beard and face covered. A bandanna style face mask or neck gaiter is a great option for ensuring your beard is fully covered. If your beard is super long it will still come out of the bandana style covering, that’s ok as you can make sure the neck gaiter goes under your shirt and any excess beard is covered below your shirt. Like in the picture below.
It’s important to note that none of these masks are medically specific face masks and can only help reduce your exposure to solid airborne particles. However, the good news is it has been recommended that for the general public washable and reusable face masks are a great option and will help contain and reduce the spread of airborne diseases. When used in conjunction with social distancing and regular hand washing all three play key roles in stopping the spread of airborne diseases in the community.