Last Updated on April 17, 2021 by Dan
Best Tips for a Beard or Mustache when Diving
Diving with a mustache can be tricky, we give you the tips to get a good seal, before resorting to a full-face snorkel mask.
A snorkel mask is the most important piece of equipment you need before venturing into the world of snorkeling. The fit of the snorkel mask needs to be correct, else an incorrect fit can lead to water leaking, or it can be painful if the mask is too tight. The quality of the mask also matters as a good quality mask will be durable and long lasting.
To prevent water leakage, the snorkel mask must fit right. The snorkeling mask fits over the nose of the snorkeler and makes an air-tight seal under the nose, around the forehead, and on the sides of the face.
If the mask is too long or wide, the seal will not be formed, and if the mask is too small, it might have to be stretched to fit on the face, causing pain and discomfort.
A mustache or a beard can upset this fit and prevent a good seal from being formed by the mask on the face.
Some of the ways to prevent leakages when the snorkeler has a mustache
1. Shave the area just underneath the nose
This would work for a snorkeler who has a thick mustache and a wide upper lip. Hence shaving the area right underneath the nose will not compromise how the snorkeler would like to look, and the mask can form a nice seal underneath the nose and the sides of the face. If that is not the case, try trimming the mustache area below the nostrils and the lip area, in order to create a bare area on which the mask may seal.
2. Use a sealing agent
This is a silicone based sealing grease that comes in a tube. Apply it on the portions of the mask that come in contact with the mustache. This will seal the mask securely and strongly with the mustache.
The right amount of grease to be added can be figured out with a few tries. The idea is that a layer of wax and mask have a better chance of sealing than the hair and mask. This can reduce leaking, but might not prevent it altogether.
Avoid using petroleum jelly like Vaseline as a sealing agent. You may have heard people talking about this. Petroleum products might reduce the shelf life of the mask, by interacting with the silicone of the skirt and causing it to deteriorate. You need a food grade, hypoallergenic silicones that are safe to use on silicone mask skirts. When applied to the moustache they will help you create a better sealing surface for the mask skirt.
3. Try thinning out the mustache
A thinner mustache with a sealing agent can prevent water leakage, because you might not get a proper seal with a very bushy mustache.
4. Go old school
Buy traditional snorkeling equipment, which is a pair of goggles and a snorkel. A snorkel is a tube that has a mouthpiece that connects to the mouth and the free end surfaces above the water.
This equipment is straightforward and works perfectly well for snorkeling with or without a mustache, with a thin or thick mustache, or with a beard.
However, the traditional snorkel comes with a host of disadvantages:
- The snorkel tube in the mouth is uncomfortable. It causes a lot of discomfort in the jaw and breathing through the mouth is counterintuitive.
- A large wave over the snorkel’s free end can cause water to enter into the mouth and can cause gagging.
- The nose clip that prevents breathing through the nose under water is uncomfortable.
5. Remove the mustache altogether
Many divers shave off their mustache before going on a snorkel vacation.
6. Buy a full face snorkel mask
Full face snorkel masks remove the disadvantages stated above because the mask covers the entire face and not below the nose. The mask forms an air tight seal around the sides of the face preventing water from entering in.
Hence a mustache or a beard does not cause any problems and it is sealed within the mask. It is important to learn and research adequately before buying a good quality full face snorkel mask. Some of the items to be considered are:
- Quality of material used in the skirting of the mask – The skirting keeps the water out. Hence, it is important that the skirting of the mask is made of good quality material.
- The straps need to fit the mask comfortably. A loose fit can cause leakage while an increasingly tight fit can cause the mask to be stretched and deteriorate over time.
For tips to trim and style your beard see the Best Beard Trimmers blog