“Facial hair can block up to 95% of UV rays from the sun” Says Shane O’Shaughnessy, Master Barber & founder of The Dandy Gent
Now we’ve had a small taste of the great British heat wave, barbers at The Dandy Gent in Derby, are finding that discussions around ‘the summer shave’ are becoming increasingly common in the chair. So much so, that they’ve decided it’s time to explode a little myth publicly for all proudly bearded brethren and their loved ones.
Beards do not make you hot. In fact, in complete contrast to popular belief, a beard will help keep you cool in the heat – and we’re not just talking style.
Hair on the face is not a quirk of nature, it’s a design feature – designed to protect the skin. There is a misconception that it warms the face, but it doesn’t. It shields the face – and there’s a big difference.
“Beards shield the face from heat and cold – the latter giving rise to the myth of the beard as a heat generator.” Explains Shane O’Shaughnessy, Master Barber and founder of The Dandy Gent barbershops and manufactory in Derby.
“The beard doesn’t generate heat, it merely shields your face from the elements. Imagine the beard as a group of bushes in an otherwise open parkland. The bushes are a good place to huddle in the cold, yes – but also a place to seek cool shelter in the blazing sun.”
“Many men do come in reluctantly suggesting a beard removal in summer – but we are always happy to advise that there really is no benefit in terms of coping with the heat. In fact for many, the beard has a cooling effect.” Concluded Shane.
Scientists in Australia* have shown that a beard – or any facial hair – can block up to 95% of UV rays from the sun, helping to prevent skin cancer. A study by Alfio Parisi, professor of radiation physics in Queensland, found that facial hair has an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of anywhere from 2 to 21 depending on the thickness of growth and angle of the sun.
Shane does recommend a monthly re-shape as part of every man’s regular grooming regime, but it appears the ‘snow beard’ and summer shave are fast becoming a thing of the past.
For more information on The Dandy Gent, its two Derby barbershops and range of Derby-made traditional grooming products, visit www.thedandygent.co.uk
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