Bearded bros, you might be curious as to whether you can rock a full face snorkel mask with that luscious mane of yours. You don’t want to miss out on all the fun but you don’t want to sacrifice your hard-earned beard either, and we totally get that! Truth is, there’s a short answer and a long answer when it comes to beards and full face snorkel masks.
It’ll all depend on the size of your beard, the shape of your beard, the style of your beard! In this article we’ll look at:
Why beards and full face snorkel masks are sometimes incompatible
How you can best work around their incompatibility
Tips and tricks for our facial haired snorkellers out there!
Why beards and full face snorkel masks sometimes don’t mix
When you’re using a full face snorkel mask – or any snorkel mask, for that matter – you need to ensure that there’s a proper watertight seal between your face and the mask. This seal is what prevents water from leaking into your mask, and pretty much the whole point of wearing a snorkel mask. If it’s not doing its job, then the snorkel mask is basically useless!
Having a beard can sometimes get in the way of creating a proper seal. Those little hairs can creep in between the silicon lining and create little spaces where the water can seep in. This will not only ruin your snorkelling journey, but could also be dangerous if you can’t manage to fix the seal while out in open water.
That said, it doesn’t mean you have to ditch the full face snorkel just because you have a beard! There are ways around this, and it doesn’t always apply to everyone (or every beard). But you might need to get out the trimmers…
Shape and size matters
As we said before, the shape and size of your beard matters. Many people with a goatee or just a moustache will either not experience any issues, or be able to easily resolve them with a bit of vaseline to help with the sealing (we’ll include more tips and tricks below!)
If you’ve got quite a big large beard (think Hagrid from Harry Potter), you might have to give up on the idea of full face snorkelling. There’s just no way that the mask will be able to seal around your beard hairs. Unless you think you could tie it up into a little pony and stuff it in the mask somehow? We advise against that, however!
How to snorkel with a beard
If you’re just rocking a bit of stubble or a moustache, there’s still a chance you can enjoy the pleasures of a full face snorkel mask and get to keep your manly facial hair.
Here are some tips and tricks to help ensure that seal isn’t broken so you can enjoy snorkelling without having to lose the hair:
- Shave the bit under your nose
- Use a mask with a silicon seal over PVC
- Give it a good trim
- Use a grease
- Lose it just for a bit
We’re not telling you to shave all of it, so don’t worry! But shaving the area below your nostrils creates a little bare bit of skin where the mask can easily seal. You’ll get to keep your moustache (although it’ll be a bit shorter), and create a good seal at the same time.
Silicon provides a better seal than PVC as it remains flexible even when temperatures change. PVC is prone to stiffening or hardening, losing its flexibility and seal when water cools down. When you’ve already got something like facial hair compromising a seal, you’ll want to avoid PVC.
Again, no shaving, just a little trim! Thinning out your facial hair will definitely make an impact as to how well the mask will seal to your face. The thicker your beard or moustache, the harder it will be to create a seal. Thinning out their facial hair can be helpful to some men when snorkelling or diving.
Using a specially designed grease can help make it easier for you to seal your mask when sporting a beard or ‘stache. Mask Seal is one product that you can apply to your moustache to help create a better sealing surface. It can be a little tricky to get this stuff out of your facial hair afterwards, but warm water and soap (and patience!) should do the trick.
Ok, we’re just gonna say it… why not lose the beard for a bit?! If you’re off on a snorkelling holiday, it’s well worth the shave to enjoy lots and lots of wonderful snorkelling adventures with your full face mask. The hair will slowly grow back, and might even be fully grown by the time you get back. Think about it, tonnes of fun out in the ocean, with pristine panoramic views, safe in the comfort of your full face snorkel mask… it’s well worth the smooth cheeks we reckon.
So can I use a full face snorkel with a beard?
Full face snorkel mask or not, beards are just not a great idea when it comes to snorkelling. They get in the way of creating a proper watertight seal, leading to water leaking into your mask. This not only ruins the experience, but can also be dangerous.
That said, it all depends on the shape and size of your beard, and whether you’re willing to compromise a little for the sake of a damn good time. Things like trimming, using a greaser, and wearing a mask with a silicon seal can help to keep water out so you can rock your facial hair while also enjoying the joys of snorkelling.
You could also rock your beard during winter and shave it off during the summer months – it’s much cooler for you and then you can snorkel as much as you like with no worries!