I recently had the opportunity to work with the SyFy Channel on a great TV show – Z Nation. For this project, I had two roles, a zombie and a survivalist sniper, both included makeup, gels, alcohol sealers, and other products added to my beard.
I learned the hard way how to keep my beard healthy while in costume and then how to safely remove the products with minimal damage. The tricks can be applied for Halloween, beard contests, or any other event that includes putting products and makeup in your beard.
Tip 1: Conditioners
Apply a healthy amount of conditioner in the shower, a leave-in conditioner after towel drying and leave-in immediately before applying makeup and/or styling products into your beard. This saturates your hair with conditioner instead of the chemicals from the makeup. Leaving a small amount of traditional conditioner in my beard worked quite well when I didn’t have a proper leave-in available. Note: Don't leave rinse-out conditioner on the skin under your beard as this may cause skin irritation.
Tip 2: Oil Up
Apply two generous palms of beard oil to your beard when you want to remove the makeup and styling products. I found that applying oil, letting it sit for 15-20 minutes, and then showering using a high-quality beard shampoo worked like a charm for removing caked in or hardened makeup. Depending on what's in your beard, you may need to add more oil, use a beard comb/brush, or have a longer wait time before showering to get your beard completely clean.
Tip 3: Go Natural
Try to use the most minimal or all-natural makeup and styling products that you can find/afford. The fewer chemicals in your makeup and styling products, the fewer chemicals that can be absorbed into your beard. Although this will increase the cost of your costume, you will save time and money in the long run by needing less beard recovery products.
Take care of your majestic beard and your beard will take care of you.
Cory A. Gall, PhD
About our guest beard blogger:
Dr. Cory Gall is a research scientist at Washington State University and at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. He has degrees from Oakland University, Old Dominion University, and Washington State University. Additionally, Cory was a research fellow at the CDC in the Malaria Entomology branch. His specialization is using ecology and molecular biology to study vector-borne diseases and infectious disease ecology. Specifically, Cory is interested in finding eco-friendly biological control methods to fight tick-borne diseases that cause human and animal diseases. Outside of the laboratory, he enjoys traveling, wildlife photography, roasting coffee, and being an advocate for beards in the professional workplace.
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