Beards & COVID - Should You Shave?
With COVID-19 still infecting people worldwide, you may be wondering whether it's time to shave your beard to protect yourself. After all, other people are doing it, so shouldn't you?
Should You Shave Your Beard?
The Center for Disease Control released a guideline recently that included very specific information on what to do about beard. They said that since some beard don't allow for an N95 face mask to fit snugly against the face, they should get trimmed until there is a tight seal.
So that settles it, you should shave your beard, right? Not exactly!
You see, these guidelines were meant for medical professionals wearing N95 masks, not everyday people.
Beards have gotten the short end of the stick throughout modern history, especially when there was an infectious disease. Even the humble milkman was required to shave his beard in the early 20th century, with the belief that doing so would prevent them from transmitting something to others.
There's been a great deal of misinformation floating around, especially these days, saying how beards are just homes for nasty bacteria and viruses. However, studies have found the opposite is true! In fact, clean-shaven faces are more likely to have pathogens than their bearded brethren. This shouldn't be too surprising, given that every time you shave, you are traumatizing your face with micro-cuts all over the place. These cuts are more likely to grab onto germs than beards.
Shaving does not benefit the average person on a daily basis. It's unnecessary to wear an N95 mask either, which is the type of mask meant for medical professionals to wear during COVID. It is also difficult to find right now anyhow. A simple surgical mask or even bandana work well enough.
This novel coronavirus isn't completely understood yet, although people everywhere are being extra cautious so that they minimize their risk of being spreaders of it. It's essential to know how masks work, though. If you aren't infected, all they will do is prevent you from touching your face. Also, wearing any mask besides the N95 kind poses no issues for men with beards. This means you can keep your glorious beard, pandemic or not, and still wear a protective face mask.
Protect Your Health and Your Beard
Beards grow back, so it's completely understandable if you want to err on the side of extreme caution and shave your beard during COVID-19. It would be like the opposite of No Shave November, and once it's over, you can feel safe to let it grow out again.
If you decided to keep your bread through these unusual times, you could give it some TLC and help it fit better with masks. Using some natural and plant-based beard oils and balms is a great way to take care of your beard and help keep it tamed enough to use in tandem with a face mask.
Should you shave your beard because of coronavirus? No, you can keep it, but take care of it so you can still wear a face mask when you need to.