As a scuba diving instructor, I get asked this question all the time can you scuba dive with a beard? The answer is yes, you can scuba dive with facial hair. But your experience will vary depending on how long and thick it is, as well as what kind of diving you plan to do.
How Facial Hair Affects Scuba Diving
The short answer to this question is yes, you can scuba dive with a beard. But there are some caveats that you should consider before taking the plunge.
- Facial Hair Affects Your Mask Seal
Alopecia, or hair loss, is common among divers because of the pressure changes at depth. If you have lost some of your facial hair due to alopecia or otherwise, there is an increased chance that your mask seal will be compromised and leak air into your eyes while diving. This can lead to eye irritation and even corneal abrasions which could require professional treatment if left untreated.
- Facial Hair Affects Your Regulator
If you have facial hair on or around your mouth area when using a regulator, it could interfere with its function as well (and potentially cause injury). During descent and ascent phases of a dive when changing density levels are at their greatest extent in water—known as “decompression”—you need both hands free for monitoring air supply levels so that any potential problems can be addressed before they worsen. If one hand is busy holding onto something else (like a beard), then it won’t be available to adjust settings on the regulator if needed—which could lead to hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) symptoms such as nausea and headaches if left untreated quickly enough before reaching surface level again!
The Challenges of Bearded Scuba Divers
The main challenge for bearded scuba divers is that facial hair can get in the way of your mask, regulator, snorkel and dive computer.
But there’s a solution: the beard band.
How to Dive with a Beard
If you’re serious about diving, you’ll want to consider shaving your beard. The first option is the easiest: just shave it off. You can get a shave at a barber or go at it yourself, but either way be sure not to leave any stubble behind; every hair counts when it comes to preventing irritation in the water.
A more practical (and cost-effective) approach is using a face mask with an integrated snorkel—these typically have adjustable straps that fit over your head and around the back of your neck, so they won’t slip off during dives. A full-face mask will also keep out water from leaking into your eyes through gaps between the mask and nose bridge, which might otherwise happen if there’s too much facial hair for standard masks or goggles alone. Simply taping down any stray hairs on top of these accessories should help prevent problems with fogging up as well; remember not to use anything sticky like duct tape since it could damage plastic parts!
Alternatives to Shaving Your Beard
If you’re a bearded scuba diver and want to stay that way, there are a few options. One is to use a full-face scuba diving mask that seals around your face. This will help keep water and debris out of your beard. Another option is to use a snorkel, which allows you to breathe through your nose but doesn’t seal completely around the face like some standard masks do.
Another option is specialized equipment such as dry suits or wet suits specifically designed for scuba diving with beards—but these are often prohibitively expensive and might not fit into every diver’s budget!
You can dive with a beard but it’s not easy
Divers with beards, especially long beards, are a rare breed. The most common question for them is “can you dive with that?” The answer is yes, but it’s important to understand the risks that come with diving with a beard.
Beard hair traps moisture and oil in its follicle, which leads to an increase in bacteria growth if not properly cared for. When you’re underwater and not able to wash your face, this can lead to breakouts on your face or under your chin where it can become irritated and painful!
- Your mask may get foggy from your breath passing through the hairs of your beard when exhaling into it (less likely if you have shorter stubble)
- You will need to keep up with trimming it every few days so there aren’t large sections of hair floating around inside of your regulator when diving (this could cause airflow issues).
Conclusion: Can You Scuba Dive with a Beard?
The bottom line is that if you’ve got a beard and want to dive with it, you can. It just might take some effort, patience and ingenuity on your part. We hope our tips will help you find the right balance between style and safety—but if they don’t work for you, there are always other options to explore!