Having an impressive, luxurious beard might make you feel like a strong, confident man, but surprisingly, it can also have some significant drawbacks – especially when it comes to meal time. Eating can be a real challenge when you have a facial accessory that is longer than your fork. Food, crumbs, sauce and grease can all get stuck in the hairs of your beard, which can be a complete nuisance. Fortunately, the beard dilemma is fixable – it just requires some clever tips and tactics to keep your face clean and food-free throughout meals.
The most important thing when it comes to tackling your beard conundrum is to be prepared for meal times. Ensure you have a curved-tip or wide-toothed comb to gently remove crumbs or sauce from your whiskers. It can also help to keep paper napkins close at hand in case of any sudden messes or spills. You should also use your knife to guide food closer to your mouth, minimising the risk of crumbs scattering down your beard.
When dining out, you may run the risk of garnering more attention than you bargained for. The key to avoiding such attention, is maintaining a neat and tidy beard all the time – this means regular combing and brushing. This practice makes it easier to spot and sift through any food particles invasively lodged in your bristles.
As tempting as it might be to dig into a steaming hot meal right away, it is better to let your food cool down before you start eating. Warm food brings grease and sauce to the surface, making them easily trapped in your beard. Of course, it goes without saying that you should never use a knife as a fork – this not only increases the chances of splatters and crumbs, but it is also downright bad table manners.
When it comes to drinks, you should always opt for straws and covered beverages. This prevents any kind of spills from staining your beard, not to mention any embarrassing moments when you’re out socialising. Never try to sip food off a spoon either – this not only looks utterly ridiculous, but it is also very messy.
As you’re eating, make sure you focus and enjoy your meal. Don’t forget to keep a napkin on your lap while dining – that way, any stragglers can easily be disposed of. Make sure to properly eject any leftover pieces of food stuck in your bristles into the napkin. Eating in a very conscious manner will help you truly appreciate your meal and save you the horror of finding a piece of parsley stuck beneath your lip at the end of the evening.
Keeping your Beard Clean
It goes without saying that keeping your beard clean is an absolute must when it comes to eating. Wash your beard regularly with some specially formulated beard shampoo, and thoroughly condition it afterwards to make sure it’s soft and supple. Whenever you’re about to sit down to a meal, make sure your beard is looking pristine and well-groomed.
You should also consider using some beard oil to stiffen and protect your bristles, as well as keeping them nourished and healthy. Not only will this keep your beard looking fresh and clean, but it will also make it easier to remove food from its hairs. Never forget, if you take the time to groom your beard properly, you can extend the life of the product, while shrinking the chance of food particles clinging to its whiskers.
Dealing with Stragglers
Forgetting to check your beard for excess food particles before you take a sip can be a nuisance. To make sure no hidden surprises bite your lower lip while you’re drinking something, use your fingers to search around the border of your beard and make sure your mouth is free of any food. Be conscious of your activities as you eat and make sure to unclog any bristles before you grab a drink – this will save you from any unnecessary accidents.
It is also important to keep your mouth shut when eating, as this prevents much-dreaded salivating. That being said, meals should always be savoured and enjoyed without worry or haste – that way, you can appreciate the taste of your food without any random disturbances.
Mastication is a great way to reduce the chances of food (and potential mess) in your beard – the only problem is that you might not be too sure on how to properly chew your food. A good rule of thumb is to chew your food thoroughly at least 30 times before you actually swallow it. This will help the food break down into smaller bits, making it easier to bring it closer to your lips. Additionally, it will give you more control over any crumbs that may appear, making it easier to remove them from your bristles.
It can also help to chew towards either side of your mouth so that crumbs or leftovers fall to the side. This will reduce the chances of lost food travelling down your beard – and it can also prevent embarrassing moments when eating in public.
Another clever trick to prevent your beard from getting cluttered with bits of food is to slow down while eating. Avoid rushing your meals and take the time to cherish its taste – this way, you will be able to easily detect any food traitors in your beard and remove them with ease. Additionally, if you notice that a particular food is getting your beard particularly messy (such as pizza), try a different approach – switch to chopsticks.
Because chopsticks can pick up morsels of food in a much more accurate manner, you won’t have to worry about food splatters. This will make it easier to keep your beard from completely clogging up after every bite. Alternatively, you can always opt for a fork and spoon combo – this provides a higher degree of control and can be used for a variety of different food dishes.
Solving any Messes
In the event that you find yourself in an inevitable mess of sauce, on the face or clothing alike, simply take a damp cloth and gently dab it onto the spot where sauce is present. Rubbing the spot can also help to minimise the chances of it staining – just make sure to be gentle so you don’t dry out your skin. Doing this will remove the sauce and restore your whiskers to their former glory.
It is also important to stay vigilant and be aware of any saucy surprises that may have been left behind in the beard. Unfortunately, not all food-fights can be won, so it’s important to have a nice stock of facial grooming supplies and a wet cloth at the ready when required. With a comb, some beard oil and a bit of effort and consistency, you can keep your beard suitably groomed for all meal types.
Avoiding Food Drowning
Finally, one of the most formidable hazards of having a big beard is the fear of food drowning. If you’ve ever wondered how chopped potatoes, grains and the like can travel from their plate to the base of your beard without ever passing through your mouth – the explanation is simple: chin bath. This might sound like a funny term, but it’s an unwanted problem that commonly occurs with deep-set facial hair.
Chin bath occurs when your mouth doesn’t fully close over your beard when you eat. As a result, excess food, juice and sauce end up pooling in the hairs of your beard, resulting in the dreaded “chow down”. To avoid turning your beard into a soup bowl, make sure to properly close your mouth. This will reduce the chance of any food swimming in your facial hair.
Straw Drinking Techniques
Straws can provide a convenient way to drink without having to worry about our facial hair. One technique involves placing the straw just above your beard, and rapidly slurping your drink to ensure that it’s drawn up into the straw thanks to the suction effect. If done properly, this can minimise any chances of sauce or crumbs travelling in between your whiskers.
Another tactic involves placing the straw directly between your beard hairs. This can quickly and easily draw liquid up into the straw without too much effort or potential mess. Of course, some extra care must be used when employing this method, as it can often result in sudden spillages when done wrong.
Maintaining a beautiful beard while eating isn’t a Herculean task – it simply takes a bit of patience. If you follow the tips above, it will be much easier to eat confidently and enjoy meals without having to worry about getting food stuck in your facial hair. Combine all of the above with some practice and you will soon have the tools you need to enjoy any meal regardless of its contents. Just remember to focus, use the right tools and be conscious of your eating habits whenever you’re tackling your next dinner plate.