I Have A Beard & Moustache…Can I Still Scuba Dive?
To answer the question, YES you can still scuba dive, but oh the joys of diving with facial hair…
Beards and moustaches have become a trend among many men, especially during November when many take on the challenge of “Movember”.
As a bearded man myself, I understand the struggle of leaking masks because of facial hair. I thought, shall I trim it back, or do I shave it off…but why should I?! There are many ways people with facial hair like myself can prevent water from finding its way into scuba masks.
This article is for my fellow bearded brothers out there, who have a love for scuba diving and enjoy “rocking” a beard or moustache!
We even have a couple of helpful videos for you. Thanks to my buddies at Gili Divers for recording them for me
Can I Still Scuba Dive With a Beard/Moustache?
Simple answer, yes you can! Scuba diving with facial hair is perfectly okay, but you may feel slight discomfort if you do not maintain it and have to deal with water leaking every 5-minutes. Without proper care, your dive can quickly become uncomfortable, even unenjoyable – and no one wants that!
But do not fear, there are solutions out there to help overcome such issues, which is what we will be talking about in today’s article.
Issues Often Found Scuba Diving With Facial Hair
- Water leaking into your mask.
- Illfitting mask seal.
- Saltwater damage to beard hair.
There are a few issues that can happen if you do not take good care of your facial hair, both pre and post-dive.
Taking care of your beard/moustache is something you should be familiar with anyway, but with diving, it does require a little more TLC. First, let’s discuss some issues that are common among scuba divers with facial hair!
The main issue almost all scuba divers with a beard or moustache will experience is water leaking into the mask. Do you remember doing the “mask removal & replace” skill in your Open Water course?
When you put your mask back on, you had to ensure all your head hair was out of the way – and why did you do that?
Well, that is because water can trickle down your hair follicles into your mask and before you know it, you have a mask full of saltwater. Your beard and/or moustache does the same thing. If you do not maintain it before the dive, don’t be surprised if you look down to see water in your field of vision.
Another issue some bearded scuba divers have found is that your mask will likely not fit properly due to your beautiful, yet hairy bush. But don’t grab the clippers or razor yet, we will get onto how we can save those luscious locks of yours later on in this article!
One that probably didn’t spring to mind, is that saltwater can actually damage your facial hair, much like any hair exposed to salt.
Exposure to saltwater can cause major frizz and even irritate the skin under or around it, especially if you forgot to put on sunscreen before heading out and are suffering from sunburn.
One issue that may not worry many scuba divers is the after-look. Scuba diving (especially in crazy currents) can cause your bushy beard to become “windswept” and wild-looking.
Like I said, maybe the “rugged” look is what you are going for, but in my own experience, good luck with getting a comb through it after an action-packed weekend of diving!
Tips For Bearded & Moustache Scuba Divers
The easiest way to prevent any issues is to simply shave it all off, but if you are a Wolverine at heart, then here are a few tips to help make your diving experience more comfortable and save the heartache!
(Personally, I’ll never shave mine off…the guy underneath looks weird!)
Pre & During the Dive
- Firstly, start off on the right foot – buy a high-quality diving mask with a soft silicone skirt and good strap.
- Always ensure the mask strap is tight enough, but not too tight you will have a mask line on your face for the whole day!
- As I said, the easiest tip and one we fear the most would be to shave your beard/moustache off – not a popular one, but it does resolve the issue…
- Next would be to thin it out a little, while still keeping that hard work that went into growing – some people are not gifted and spend many years growing a masterpiece!
- If you wish to keep your moustache, you can shave just under your nose where your mask seal will sit to prevent the water from seeping in.
- Use an all-natural mask seal such as beeswax (Burt’s Bees Lip Balm is my favourite, it also is great for wind-chapped lips on the boat!).
- You can use Vaseline, but over time this will eat away at your mask skirt, costing you more money in the long run (that said, I use vaseline and it works brilliantly).
- Other products you can use are: moustache sealer or wax hair products that you may already have at home.
- If your beard is long, use a hairband to tie it out the way – there is nothing worse than your beard floating in front of your face. Imagine if you missed that awesome creature(s) because you didn’t have a hairband handy!
- If your beard is really wild, you can use a diving hood to get it under control. Not only do they keep everything intact, but they also keep your head nice and warm!
- Another purchase that may be attractive to scuba divers, is to opt for a full-face scuba mask. These are popular with both technical and recreational divers because they fit pretty much anyone, even people that are beardless.
Post/After the Dive
- Always wash your facial hair with freshwater (preferably warm) to rinse the saltwater out.
- After drying it, you need to rehydrate it – a good quality beard oil will do the trick!
- Just like your head hair (if you have any) you will want to comb your beard/moustache to comb any tangles and knots out.
NOTE: Remember, as scuba divers, we are ocean ambassadors. This means we respect and continue to protect the fragile marine ecosystem.
Always ensure any products are reef-safe and contain no nasty chemicals that can leach into the environment – always opt for a 100% natural product!
Can I Also Snorkel With a Beard/Moustache?
Yes, snorkelling is the same as scuba diving – that you will be perfectly fine.
However, you will have similar issues with the mask, as you do with scuba diving, so you can follow the same tips listed above.
Don’t Forget Your Dive Insurance!
Before you go out on any dive trip or holiday, it is essential to make sure you have insurance that covers you if something goes wrong. Check out our dive insurance article for more information.
Or go straight to these dive insurance company websites:
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So to wrap up, yes you can scuba dive with a beard or moustache, you just need to give your facial hair a little extra care than you normally would.
If you are proud of your facial hair (just like me), there is no reason why you need to shave it off, it would also be a very sad day if you did…but if in doubt then shave it off.
We would love to hear any other tips from any facially haired guys out there – you can reach us on Twitter or Facebook & if you liked this article, go ahead and give us a follow or like while you’re at it!
We hope to see you again soon, happy bubbles!
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