Can Scuba Divers Have Beards and Facial Hair?

Scuba diving is a lot of fun; there is so much to behold below the water surface of the ocean. Aquatic life, plant life, coral, rock formations, you name it. If it’s underwater, you might just catch a glimpse on your next scuba adventure. Now, there are a lot of men in the world who look great with facial hair. And why shouldn’t they? Nothing says manly like a full beard or the right facial hair. Knowing myself, if I was going to go on a scuba dive, I would not want to lose my man scruff. 

Can scuba divers have beards and facial hair? Yes, you can dive with a beard or other facial hair. But it is imperative that you take the proper care of it before and after you go on your dive. Issues such as water leaking in, discomfort, burning sensations on the skin and affecting the facial hair growth can arise if the necessary steps are not taken.

So, let’s look at some of the factors that play into this situation. There are a number of issues that can arise if the proper care isn’t taken during your dive. And this is especially true pre-dive. The reason being that if your facial hair isn’t cared for properly, causing issues with your diving mask, there can be some problems that may arise. But not to worry, we will give you the proper guidance so you can have a great dive while keeping your facial hair.

Why do I Need Proper Facial Hair Care Before Diving?

Without the proper care, there will be discomfort and potential leakage that can let water in. So, if you don’t properly take care of your beard before putting on your mask, you could have a totally miserable dive due to the discomfort. Or even worse, you can have water leaking into your mask, causing even more of a problem. And we want to avoid problems, right?

If you are not able to close your mask properly due to your facial hair, that will end up letting the water in. Water getting into the mask is no good. It will cause irritation and discomfort that will not only last for the duration of the dive. If you have sensitive skin, especially, you will end up with a rash that may or may not be easy to get rid of. So, make sure the mask closes properly!

Also, if saltwater gets into the mask and soaks your facial hair without it being completely submerged, your facial hair will end up drying out from the salt and becoming a frizzy mess. Then you may end up having to shave your awesome beard in the end anyway. We do not want you to have to do that; it’s a sad day. It all boils down to making sure the mask is sealed properly before you head below the surface.

There is also a concern of your skin drying out around the area of your facial hair without a proper mask application. When this happens, the salt water and sun can quickly cause burning irritation to the skin. The skin can become overly sensitive, leaving you with a feeling of helplessness if it starts to feel like it’s burning. Pointed beards can also damage the scuba mask, so be careful when putting it on if that’s the facial hair style you wear.

Why do I Need Proper Facial Hair Care After Diving?

You may cause the growth of your beard to grow in so messed up you have to shave it in the end anyway. This type of occurrence is kind of a curveball; it can happen to any guy. So, put a scuba mask on that beard at your own risk. Ultimately, safety is the number one concern. But as long as everyone is safe and secure, that’s what will matter in the end. Even if you mess up your beard growth.

It is important to take some additional steps after your dive is over to ensure that nothing will happen to that meticulously grown facial hair. If you were to do nothing after heading deep into the saltwater ocean, your facial hair would have the reaction we mentioned before. It will dry out, become a frizzed-up mess, and then become an absolute chore to get it back to normal. And you may end up pulling out that razor. We do not want you to have to do that. 

In order to properly care for your facial hair after a scuba dive, first and foremost, wash it with warm, fresh water. This will get all of the leftover salt out of your beard so that you can prepare it for the proper product you can apply to protect it. 

There are tons of different products out there on the marketplace in the realm of proper beard oils. So, choose wisely. You will want a product that is going to condition that beard just right while giving it that proper luster when you want to show it off. But being that you’re a scuba diver who may head into the ocean regularly, be sure to pick an all-natural option. Considering you may happen to have applied your beard oil before a dive, we want to ensure we’re also protecting the environment at the same time. Two birds, one stone.

Are There Any Tips Available?

We definitely have a few tips that we would love to share with you before your next scuba dive. After all, we want to provide you with all the information you need to have a great dive and keep that beard looking great. Follow these tips for success, and you’re sure to have a great experience.

Shave the Area Just Under the Nose

If you can finagle this properly, it will help a ton in getting your mask to seal properly. If there is a lot of facial hair present there, this can be an especially helpful tip. If you need to use a thin razor to shave off just the right amount, we recommend it. Your facial hair will thank you in the end.

Using a Fat Substance

This tip can work well. And what we mean by “fat substance” is something like a body grease or petroleum or lip balm. Use the substance to cover the area that is your facial hair, and it will serve to protect it from the elements. One downside is that it will leave a terrible aftertaste in your mouth. But it also will not allow you to change masks in the event of a situation that requires removing it underwater. Once the mask comes off, the coating is gone. So, this one works great but has a couple points of potential apprehension.

Use a Full Face Mask

Using a full face mask is a great option in that it will provide a better seal to your face, thus preventing any water from getting in. A full mask can create additional buoyancy, depending on the model. But it does create an excellent seal, which will definitely protect that facial hair.

The Extreme Solution Conclusion

There is one other option available, but it is the one we fear most, of course. In some situations, you may just have to shave it. That all depends on how devoted of a scuba diver you are. Which do you love more? Your beard or your scuba? That decision is ultimately up to you.


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Tim Conner, M.D.

Tim Conner, M.D. started boating in 1974. He has been involved in recreational boating continuously since then. Dr. Conner has been active in boating and watersports safety education for decades. He rode his first jet ski in 1997, and rejoined the personal watercraft arena in 2012 with a Sea-Doo GTX 155, followed by 2 supercharged SeaDoos. Scuba certification came in 1988, and he and the family have traveled the world snorkeling and scuba diving for decades. The family has recently taken up paddle boarding. Click the photo for a lot more.

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