3 Ideas For Wearing A Mask With A Beard

Everyday life all over the world has been turned upside down.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced a new way of living for people everywhere. One of the more visible adjustments: The call for everyone to wear masks in public places to help prevent COVID-19 virus from spreading.

The Center for Disease Control recommends wearing masks in public when you’re with people you don’t live with - especially when it’s difficult to keep 6 feet away from others. The idea is two-fold: Masks might prevent infected people from spreading the virus, and the wearer from being exposed to it. 

If worn properly, masks can be one of the biggest forces in preventing the spread of the virus. That becomes a challenge if the wearer has facial hair, though.

  1. Ensure a snug fit

For all forms of masks, a tight fit to your face is essential to effectively protect yourself and others. That means no gaps, on your cheeks, across your nose, and on your chin, jaw, and upper lip.
The CDC released a graphic that outlines just about every form of facial hair imaginable. The chart shows a green checkmark or red x, depending on how effective a mask would be with that style of facial hair. Although debate still rages on, it appears that a clean-shaven face is likely the easiest way to ensure a fit for men.

Bottom line: If your facial hair can be contained in your mask - without causing gaps - a mask can be an effective way of protecting yourself and others.

  1. Don’t touch your beard!

One advantage mask wearers get indirectly: Less face-touching.
Beard wearers, though, often touch their beards more often than their bare-faced counterparts. Avoid touching parts of your beard when you’re wearing a mask in public. If it’s exposed, it’s subject to collecting germs and viruses just as your mask does.
In normal times, this is no problem. And if you’re proud of your beard, you definitely want to show it some love. During a global pandemic, however, things are different. Just as you shouldn’t touch the outside of your mask or any part of your face - bearded or not - it’s good practice right now to leave the beard appreciation to times you’re not masked - especially after you’ve de-masked, and washed your face and hands.

  1. Shave it

We know - for many men, facial hair is part of their personality. Whether it’s a soul patch, mutton chops, goatee, or even classic handlebars, the beard often becomes man’s best friend. But for the sake of the greatest fit in your mask, it might be time to clip your way to a new look. For now.
The CDC isn’t recommending men shave in all instances, however. Medical personnel, or others wearing specially-made PPE (personal protective equipment) need that tight seal to their face because of their conditions and work. Other cloth or paper masks don’t require the seal, but do work more effectively if gaps are eliminated. Frequently washing your beard can help as a hygienic measure for fighting coronavirus, too.

You don’t even have to go full-on beardless for this. You can:
    • Shave a goatee into a soul patch
    • Trim mutton chops down to side whiskers
    • Reduce a full beard to a zappa-style look
    • Cut that extended goatee into a walrus-style moustache

The questions we must face

With varying advice on keeping a beard while the world must mask-up, it comes down to a personal decision. 

For some, facial hair is a means of expressing personality. For others, there is religious significance. And for a rare few - players on the New York Yankees baseball club - facial hair is forbidden. 

No single method is 100% for preventing COVID-19 contraction or spread. However, diligent use of a mask in public, plus hand-washing and other measures - such as not touching your face and discarding disposable masks with as little contact with the outside of it as possible - can go a long way to that end.

Get your masks today

It’s uncertain how long the pandemic will last. Mask wearing will remain a part of human life for the foreseeable future. Now, you can buy high-quality, disposable masks from a manufacturer right here in the U.S.: United Sewing Automation. Manufactured in Mt. Airy, N.C., USA masks are 3-ply for added protection. Save when you buy masks in bulk, too. Check out your options today.



Sources: Center for Disease Control

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