If you’re a proud owner of a beard, mustache, or both, you may be wondering if you can enjoy the underwater world through snorkeling without compromising your facial hair.
The good news is that snorkeling with facial hair is possible, and this comprehensive guide will provide you with tips and tricks to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. So, let’s dive in and explore how you can snorkel with a beard or mustache while maintaining a proper seal on your mask.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Challenges of Snorkeling with Facial Hair
- 2 Choosing the Right Mask for Your Facial Hair
- 3 How to Choose the Best Mask for Your Facial Hair?
- 4 Creating a Proper Seal: Tips and Tricks
- 5 Best Snorkel Masks for Beards and Mustaches
- 6 Alternative Solutions for Snorkeling with Facial Hair
- 7 Caring for Your Facial Hair While Snorkeling
- 8 Conclusion
The Challenges of Snorkeling with Facial Hair
The primary issue with snorkeling or scuba diving with a beard or mustache is the potential for water leakage into the mask. A proper mask seal is crucial to prevent water from entering and ruining your snorkeling experience.
While mustaches are generally manageable, thick beards can interfere with the seal between your mask and your face, leading to water seeping inside your mask. But worry not, you can still enjoy snorkeling without sacrificing your majestic beard.
Choosing the Right Mask for Your Facial Hair
The first step to successfully snorkel with facial hair is selecting the appropriate mask. There are two main types of masks to consider:
Full-Face Snorkel Masks Can Better Protect Your Moustache
Full-face snorkel masks are the ideal solution for going snorkeling or scuba diving with a beard. These masks encompass your entire face, from your forehead to your chin, and allow you to breathe through both your nose and mouth.
These masks can be a better option for those with a mustache and moderate beard, as the seal typically goes around the outside of your face, keeping your mustache dry and secure and usually there’s enough to tuck your beard inside.
But full-face masks may not be the ideal option for those of you rocking a full-fledged Viking mane that extends beyond your chin. Bushy beards can be difficult to tuck inside the confined space of your snorkel mask.
Simply put, the longer your beard, the more difficult it is to tuck the bush within your mask.
Traditional Snorkel Masks Work Just Fine
Traditional snorkel masks cover only your eyes and nose, leaving your mouth exposed for breathing through the snorkel. These masks can work well for those with a beard or mustache, as long as the facial hair doesn’t interfere too much with the mask’s seal.
Since there’s no protective seal, the saltwater will damage your beard and cause rough split ends in the long term. So if you are planning to dive or snorkel frequently it would be wise to invest in a full-face snorkel mask.
How to Choose the Best Mask for Your Facial Hair?
To determine the best mask for your facial hair, consider the following factors:
- Mask Fit: Ensure that the mask accommodates your face well and comfortably and forms a tight seal. Try out the mask in an open pool to examine the seal.
- Silicone Skirts Are Better Sealants: Opt for a mask with a silicone skirt, preferably a double silicone one, as silicone provides better flexibility and sealing properties than PVC skirts. Silicone remains pliable in varying temperatures, whereas PVC can stiffen or harden, losing its sealing ability in colder water.
- Purge Valve Can Be Useful: Choose a mask with a purge valve, which allows you to easily expel any water that might enter the mask. This feature is particularly useful for those with facial hair, as it provides an additional layer of protection against water leakage.
Creating a Proper Seal: Tips and Tricks
Once you have selected the right mask for your facial hair, you need to ensure a proper seal to prevent water leakage. Here are some tips and tricks to create a secure seal while snorkeling with a beard or mustache:
- Trim Your Facial Hair: Thinning out or trimming your facial hair can improve the mask seal. For those with a mustache, consider shaving the area just below your nostrils to create a small patch of bare skin for better sealing. For bearded individuals, trimming the top edges of the beard on the sides of your face can help create a tighter seal.
- Use a Food-Grade Silicone or Grease: Apply a food-grade silicone or specialized grease to the mask’s seal where it contacts your facial hair. This creates a better sealing surface and prevents water from entering the mask. Avoid using petroleum-based products like Vaseline, as these can damage the mask’s silicone skirt.
- Test the Mask Seal: Before entering the water, perform a “sniff test” by placing the mask on your face without the strap and inhaling through your nose. If the mask stays in place without any air leaks, you have a proper seal. If not, adjust the mask or consider using one of the tips above to improve the seal.
Best Snorkel Masks for Beards and Mustaches
There are several snorkel masks on the market that cater to individuals with facial hair. Here are my top picks:
Premium Choice: TUSA M-32 Imprex 3D Hyperdry
Easily my personal favorite. The TUSA M-32 Imprex 3D Hyperdry offers a wide field of view, lightweight construction, and a silicone skirt for a proper seal. The purge valve helps expel any water that might enter the mask, making it a great option for those with facial hair.
Budget Option: PROMATE Side-View Edgeless Mask
For those on a budget, the PROMATE Side-View Edgeless Mask is an affordable choice that still provides a good seal for those with facial hair. While it may not have all the advanced features of more expensive masks, it is a capable option for occasional snorkeling trips.
Alternative Solutions for Snorkeling with Facial Hair
If, despite your best efforts, you still struggle to achieve a proper seal with a snorkel mask, there are alternative solutions for snorkeling with facial hair:
- Don’t Forget to Pack Swim Goggles and A Nose Clip: Using swim goggles and a nose clip can provide a seal around your eyes without interfering with your facial hair. This option limits your ability to dive deeper, as the pressure difference cannot be equalized in swim goggles.
- Use a Dive Hood: A dive hood can cover your full beard and prevent your facial hair from interfering with the mask seal. This option is best suited for those with a full beard who struggle to find a comfortable and secure seal with a snorkel mask.
Caring for Your Facial Hair While Snorkeling
To keep your facial hair looking and feeling its best during your snorkeling adventures, consider the following tips:
- Rinse with Fresh Water: After snorkeling, rinse your facial hair thoroughly with fresh water to remove any salt, sand, or debris that may have accumulated.
- Apply Beard Oil or Conditioner: Use a beard oil or conditioner to keep your facial hair moisturized and healthy after exposure to saltwater and sun.
- Comb or Brush Your Facial Hair: Gently comb or brush your facial hair to remove any tangles and maintain a well-groomed appearance.
Snorkeling with a beard or mustache is absolutely possible, and with the right mask, techniques, and care, you can enjoy a comfortable and enjoyable underwater experience. By understanding the challenges and solutions outlined in this guide, you can confidently snorkel with your facial hair and explore the wonders of the underwater world.