How to Maintain Your Beard While TravellingBy Jack Shaw (Guest Post) | Last updated 30th October 2023
Big and luscious beards make heads turn no matter where you go. If you’ve ever tried to grow a beard like Mr. T. or Abraham Lincoln, you know growing this majestic facial hair doesn’t happen overnight. Getting to your preferred size and look is an achievement, but you have to know how to maintain it, even when you’re not home.
Once in a while, you’ll find yourself travelling, whether for work, family or leisure. The holiday could be a simple day trip or a month-long mountain retreat. Either way, you’ll need to prepare yourself and your beard for the journey.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything you should know about travelling with a beard and what you’ll need to maintain it for any occasion.
Consider Where You’re Travelling
The first thing you’ll need to consider is where you’re travelling. The climate and weather significantly affect your beard, the hair on your head and the skin all over your body. Watch out for these conditions on your travels.
Going to the beach is an incredible way to let loose. You can run up and down the sand in a red swimsuit and become the first bearded member of “Baywatch.” However, the warm weather and bottomless piña coladas bring humidity that can become a liability for your beard.
When you’re in humid climates, your beard can quickly become uncomfortable. Your beard contains disulfide and hydrogen bonds. High humidity causes you to sweat, and the beads running down your face break the hydrogen bonds and make your beard swell and look frizzy.
Staying away from the beach? You might encounter dry conditions. For example, if you’re planning an Antarctic expedition, humidity levels reach 0.03% at the South Pole — so be prepared with plenty of moisturisers.
Dry conditions are suboptimal for beards. The lack of moisture in the air can quickly dry out your beard, too. Unfortunately, the dry weather worsens your beard dandruff and makes the hair feel weak and brittle.
If your beard feels itchy, aridity will only exacerbate the feeling and have you scratching all day.
The sun is what we hope for on our travels. Rain and other precipitation can quickly be a downer, but sunny skies bring optimism and symbolise the joy of vacation. However, the sun can worsen your days if it shines too brightly.
The primary concern with too much sunshine is ultraviolet (UV) rays. When they hit your skin, UV rays can cause damage if you’re not wearing sunscreen. They can also harm your beard’s health. While your beard partially protects your skin from UV rays, the sun can hurt your cuticles and cause discolouration and brittleness.
Cold weather may feel like your time to shine. The crisp winter air of December and January is the perfect time to let your beard grow with minimal trimming. Sure, it’s cold and windy. But your beard protects your face from the bitter cold weather and helps you enjoy it.
Unfortunately, cold weather often means dry conditions. Your beard, which usually feels soft from the natural oils, will suddenly become itchy. At worst, you’ll have to endure battles with split ends. The easiest way to deal with them is to cut your losses and attack them with scissors.
What’s the Occasion?
In addition to expected weather conditions for beard maintenance on your travels, you’ll also need to consider the occasion. The reason you’re travelling will significantly affect how you should maintain your appearance.
Travelling for work requires a high degree of formality. You’ll need to ensure your beard is in tip-top shape, whether at a conference, business dinner, trade show or board meeting. Some men choose to shave their beards for the most formal events, but a good beard can still look professional.
Typically, the only workplaces that discourage beards are the military and industrial settings due to safety concerns.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This beholder says that all beards are handsome, and you should be proud of yours. You’ll still want to keep your beard looking clean with a few tips. Bring a trimmer to get every crevice looking sharp. You’ll also need to wash the beard often and ensure it looks well-kept.
Holidays with family are occasions to look forward to yearly. Easter, Christmas and Mother’s Day are all terrific reasons to visit your family and celebrate the day. If you travel to see family, you’ll want to keep the beard acceptable — especially if you see in-laws. Their standards may be a bit picky, but at least they can’t fire you from the family.
When you see family, you’ll want to keep a moderate level of surveillance on your beard. While you can relax a little because it’s a more casual setting, you’ll still want to bring the basic beard maintenance supplies, like your trimmer and beard oil.
Family gatherings often mean loads of pictures, so ensure your mane looks suitable for Facebook.
Another common reason to travel is vacation. You could be going alone, with family, your significant other or your buddies. Regardless, it’s time to really let it all hang out and have fun.
Your primary focus on the holiday should be to enjoy the experience. Pay attention to the weather and allocate some time toward beard maintenance, but sitting in front of the mirror is unnecessary.
How Are You Travelling?
Your travels could take you by automobile, plane, train, boat or another vessel. The type of transportation you choose is critical to what you can bring on your trip. International travel often entails strict requirements, so read security guidelines before you leave to save time and hassle at the airport or cruise departure.
Take Heathrow Airport as an example. The guidelines here allow liquids in containers of 100ml or less, so account for that rule when packing your beard oil, beard shampoo and other necessities.
Another item to be vigilant of is your razors. Electric razors won’t see any restrictions, but Heathrow won’t permit you to bring a straight razor in your carry-on luggage. Disposable razors are allowed because you can’t remove the head.
Leave your razor blades at home because the airport won’t permit them. The last thing you want is to get stuck at the airport while sunsets in paradise await you.
How Do You Make Time for Beard Maintenance?
When travelling, your focus should be on how many shrimp cocktails you can down with your mates or how to nail the hour-long presentation the next day. As the days pass, you may forget to include beard maintenance as part of your routine. Try to stay vigilant and make it a priority.
Make time in your itinerary for personal care, even if it means waking up earlier than you’d like. Take 30 minutes in the morning to treat your beard well — I bet you’ll be glad you did. A well-groomed beard goes a long way with everybody you meet, whether for business or leisure.
Tending to your beard is the most direct way to care for it. Though, you can help your majestic mane by drinking lots of water and moisturising it.
What Should You Use for Beard Maintenance on the Road?
Now it’s time for the good stuff — the goodies you’ll need to keep you going while travelling. These four products are the essentials for beard maintenance on the road.
Let’s start with what’s arguably the most important part of beard maintenance — your beard oil. This product does to your beard what conditioner does to the top of your head. Additionally, it moisturises the skin underneath your mountain-man hair, so it’ll be silky smooth.
Beard oil also keeps your beard looking full and robust. The difference between well-kept and unkept beards is tremendous, so get a bottle of beard oil.
The beard oil you select comes down to personal preference with scents. I like beard oils with cedarwood scents because they smell like the outdoors with a hint of citrus. Alternatively, you could spring for peppermint, unscented or numerous other smells.
Ask your significant other which one they prefer, considering they’ll be smelling you the whole trip.
Your beard comb is another essential item to remember on your trip. I can’t tell you how often I forget my beard comb at home. It throws me off the whole time I’m away, so I pick one up from a store or deal with it for the remainder of the trip.
Can you get away without one? Yes, you can — however, I don’t recommend it. A beard comb is personal for every man. You’ll select one and use it for years until it breaks. The comb you pick depends on your beard. A long, bushy beard needs a wide-tooth comb because they’re gentler. Shorter beards only need narrow combs.
You might arrive at your hotel and see a complimentary bottle of shampoo there. That’s not going to cut it for your beard. You need specialised beard shampoo to keep your mane looking exquisite.
If you put healthy ingredients in your food, you should do the same for your beard. Typical shampoos take oil out of your facial hair, whereas beard shampoo keeps your beard hydrated. Beard shampoo typically contains only natural ingredients like avocado oil, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, shea butter and coconut oil. A silky-smooth beard needs a bar of beard shampoo.
We’ve been talking about beards the entire time, so let’s not forget about the prised moustache. Maybe you strive to look like Ron Swanson, Burt Reynolds or Tom Selleck.
If so, moustache wax is essential for styling. The ambitious blokes looking for handlebars should apply wax to train their moustaches. Also, consider how long you’ll be away from a bathroom with your grooming kit. Moustache wax helps keep the hairs above your mouth and remain comfortable all day.
Get a batch of moustache wax with the same scents as your beard oil and shampoo as a nice complementary piece.
Looking Fresh and Handsome on Holiday
When you travel, beard care is essential for keeping your charming good looks. Be aware of the climate you’re headed to and how it’ll affect your beard. Maintain your beard based on the occasion, such as a work conference or a beach vacation. Then pack a grooming kit with the essentials like beard oil and shampoo.
How do you keep your beard looking sharp while away from home?
Jack Shaw is a writer, editor and grooming enthusiast. His explorations of men's health, fitness and fashion can all be found on Modded, a men's lifestyle publication on which he serves as the senior writer.