Weather changes a lot of things about our daily lives, from the clothes we wear to the speed we drive to the kind of booze we drink (a lot more rum in the summer for me, whiskey in the winter, and tequila never). You might not think about it, but your beard care routine might need to change up a little bit in the winter, too. Here's a few seasonal tips for you to keep in mind during the latest snowpocalypse, and all snowpocali to come.
Bluster Sucks Your Moisture Faster
In winter, we tend to see a lot of wind. And it's usually the dry kind. Summer breezes can be cool, but usually carry more humidity. Winter winds are just nature blowing on your face as hard as possible. That's going to dry out your beard a lot faster than usual.
To combat this extra dryness, there are a few things you might try. You can apply more beard oil than usual, but an even better idea is going to be to just carry your oil bottle around with you and apply it more often. Chances are you only apply once a day, and probably in the morning. Consider taking your bottle with you and adding a bit when you feel dried out. Just pay attention to when you start to feel dry - the onset of a little itchiness is always a strong sign that you're drying out - and apply more then. It might be two or three more times a day, especially if you're working outside. Don't overdo it; just apply a few more drops if you start to feel dry.
Beard Balm Is Your Best Friend
Our beard balm is good for conditioning your beard as well as providing some hold to keep your mane tame. You might not realize that it has another, equally important function, though, that is especially useful in winter.
Because of the presence of shea butter (and partly because of the beeswax), beard balm acts as a sort of protective seal for your your beard and face. These ingredients help lock in moisture. That's one of the main reasons you see shea butter used in lip balms and lotions. So when the winter wind is trying to blow the moisture off your face, make sure you're balmed up and you won't have as many problems.
You might even consider applying a thicker layer of balm than usual. The prescribed thumbnail amount will do it most of the time, but consider adding as much as double that amount to really shield against the bluster.
Your Balm and Wax Might Freeze
Bathrooms aren't really known for being the warmest room in the house. When I wake up at 3am in the winter months and need a piss, I often debate the pros and cons of just letting my bladder pull an Elsa in the bed rather than braving the icy tiles of the bathroom floor. Since chances are your bathroom counter is where your balm and wax live, you might wake up to find them harder than usual some days. I have this problem a lot more with the wax than with the balm, which is a function of the increased presence of beeswax in the mustache wax. Beeswax basically gets rock solid at room temperature though the more it's diluted, the less this is a problem. In the beard balm, beeswax accounts for about 25% of the makeup of the product, where it's closer to 50% with the mustache wax. So your mustache wax is likely to get a lot harder in the cold than the balm.
Obviously, the way to fix this problem is to warm the containers up. But you don't want to go overboard and get them too hot; the ingredients in our balms and waxes are natural, and mostly unrefined, pure, raw stuff, and too much heat can start cooking the nutrients out. So don't go putting it on the stove or anything. A candle warmer can be a good idea, but even that might overdo it, as it heats only the bottom, and the surface can still be cold while the bottom is melted.
The best method I have found is to get a bowl of hot water that is just a little less deep than your container is high, and set the container down in it. Let it sit for a minute, pour out the cooled water and replaced it with fresh hot water, and put the tin back in there. After 3-5 minutes, your balm/wax should be softened up significantly, and ready for use. If you're living in a cave in the tundra, give it a few more minutes.
Another tip? Keep them on your person during the day. You might carry your mustache wax around with you anyway. I know I do. And by keeping it in your pocket, and thus close to your body, you are keeping those tins warm all the time. Even walking around in 20 degree weather, with my mustache wax in my shirt pocket it stays warm enough that it's almost semi-melted, ready for use at any time.
Don't Worry About Scarves
Something cool about beards? They're actually pretty warm. Among other reasons, scientists think this might be one reason that our species kept this particular patch of fur when we were evolving so many others away. I normally style my beard toward the center, keeping it about as wide as my head (as seen in my beard balm video). But during the winter, I will comb it all down so that it essentially forms a protective shield over my neck. Doing so keeps some of the chill out - as much as most scarves would, anyhow.
Also, if you wear a scarf over your beard, you're probably just going to look weird. Don't do that.