My bearded brothers, you might be wondering if you can fit all that masculine facial hair into a full face snorkel mask? We know most don't want to miss out on the underwater fun, but at the same time, you most definitely don't want to have to shave off your bride and joy! heaven forbid! That is why when you purchase a full face snorkel you need to ensure you have checked off a few things first as there is no simple yes or no answer to wearing a full face snorkel with a beard.
When you use a traditional or full face snorkel mask you need to ensure that the seal between your face and mask is properly watertight! The seal is what stops ocean water leaking into your full face snorkel mask and is overall an extremely important piece of any snorkel. If your seal isn't watertight enough you will find water leaking into the googles or mask, making the experience nearly impossible to enjoy without having to remove the water.
If you do have a beard it can sometimes interfere with the seal and allow water to leak in. Your little hairs on your chain seep into the silicon mask lining and cause little holes and spaces to occur, this is where seawater leaks from. This can be dangers, especially in a full face mask as it's even more difficult to remove water than from traditional snorkel mask's.
In saying that we don't want to discourage people with beards from using a full face snorkel! We have multiple solutions to ensure you can still snorkel, remember not everyone has the same circumstance and not every beard is the same. If you are aware of the following you can snorkel in comfort without the threat of any issues occurring.
Size & Shape Matters
As we mentioned above, the size and shape of your facial hair, in this specific case beard do matter. If you have a moustache or goatee then you will not experience any issues in a full face snorkel mask! For those with stuble or a lite beard then some vaseline on the seal will work wonders in keeping it watertight.
Now, for those with large beards (we are talking like wizard level), you will either have to trim the beard back or abandon the idea of using a full face snorkel. Unfortunately, our team here at Reef Mask cant find a viable solution and wouldn't recommend using a face mask.
How can I snorkel with a beard?
Like we mentioned if you have a moustached or some lite stuble then you can easily use a full face snorkel mask without any worry. We do however have some tips to ensure longterm your Reef Mask stays nice and tight!
Here are simple tricks and tips to keep your full face mask seal for the longterm.
- Trim it back
Need to stress this, NOT shave it off, TRIM it back. If you cut back your beard you are definitely helping to persevere the seal on your face mask. The thicker your facial hair (think dumbledor beard) the more likely you will have long term seal damage, so snip, snip fellas.
- Grease it up
If you have a thick mo or beard then using specific beard greases can help the seal on your face mask have longevity. Try greasing both your beard and the mask slightly to create a less frictionless surface. We know it can be a little tricky to remove the grease from your beard afterwards, but just give it a wash with soap and warm water, you will find 5 minutes in the shower will do the trick.
- Shave facial hair under your nostrils
Okay, fellas, we don't want you to shave it all off so don't stress out too much, but by shaving directly under your nostrils you are giving the seal across your nose the best possible chance of staying watertight longterm. We also recommend giving the mo a slight trim, doesn't have to be drastic
- Use silicon base full face snorkels
Silicon-based seals are by far the most superior seals that a full face snorkel mask can have! Why you may ask? Its simple, the silicon is much more flexible, even in hot or cold temperatures, compared to its PVC counterpart. PVC is also known to harden and stiffen when it cools down, meaning if you add facial hair to that mix you are most likely going to have issues.
- Be brave and shave
So this is our final recommendation, it may not be the most popular among my bearded brethren but hey its the most efficient. Just be brave and shave it all off! If you are planning a holiday revolved around the bach and snorkelling we recommend shaving off your beard, remember fellas it will always grow back (not like the hair on your head). Some may feel uneasy about this but we promise the amount of fun snorkelling in a full face mask strongly outweighs it.
What's the final answer?
When it comes to using a full face snorkel the final verdict is beards are overall not a good idea. They can damage and disturbed the seal of the mask, often get in the way of the visual experience and longterm lead to leaking of water into the mask. Not only does this ruin the experience but can also be dangerous to the user.
With all that being said please keep in mind the answer isn't the black or white! Depending on the size and thickness of your beard you can use the above tips to have a safe and pleasant full face snorkelling experience.
If you are unsure about your beard and if it's a good fit with our Reef mask simply send in a photo to our support email and one of our team members will be able to give you some feedback, be warned we might tell you to shave it all off, well, at least fo the summer season.
John - Manager at Reef Mask
Passionate about the ocean & its beauty, John has been a passionate Snorkeler for over 10 years. Educating people on snorkelling techniques and equipment.