Snorkeling With a Beard and Mustache: The Dos and Don’ts

Last Updated: March 23, 2023

Are you eager to experience the beauty of the oceans and unravel the mysteries of this other part of the world? Snorkeling has got you covered. Unfortunately, it can be a little tricky if you have a beard, mustache, or both. Ah, the woes of facial hair!

Most people who have beards would rather avoid snorkeling altogether fearing their facial hair might make it difficult to breathe through the mouthpiece. But is this always the case? And if yes, is there a way around it?

In this guide, I will look at the problems that come with snorkeling with facial hair as well as tips on how you can make it easier to snorkel while having a beard or mustache.

Do You Have to Shave to Snorkel?

bearded man snorkeling

Snorkeling allows you to experience nature from a new perspective. However, some people aren’t comfortable snorkeling with a beard or mustache.

Many folks have heard that they need to shave before hitting the water; however, there are no rules regarding facial hair when it comes to snorkeling.

That said, if you’re planning to go underwater while rocking a beard or mustache, there are a few things you should know first.

Problems when Snorkeling with a Beard or Mustache

Here are some common problems that snorkelers with beards and mustaches face when they’re out in the water.

  1. The mouthpiece of your snorkel can easily get caught in your beard or mustache. This is why it’s recommended to shave before going on vacation, so you don’t have to deal with annoying problems like this one.
  2. It may be difficult for others around you to see your facial expressions when talking with them through the mouthpiece of your snorkel especially if they’re wearing goggles too. This means communication could become challenging.
  3. The mask can’t seal properly. When you put on a mask, your face should be completely flat against the inside of the glass and the seals. If there is any kind of protrusion from your face, like a beard or mustache, it could prevent the mask from sealing properly and leak air out through the sides.
  4. Breathing difficulties due to water getting into the mouth while diving headfirst can lead to drowning; this may also apply when diving with facial hair as the risk of water getting into your mouth is even greater.
  5. Beard hair is especially prone to tangles because of its wavy texture and tendency to float around freely in the water while you’re underwater. Once your hair gets tangled up, it becomes nearly impossible to untangle without assistance from someone else – holding up both ends of your beard, while you try to work through it by combing through from end-to-end as you would do with a head full of long hair.

Related: Difference Between Snorkel Mask, Dive Mask and Goggles

Tips on How to Snorkel with a Beard or Mustache

While snorkeling is fun, it’s not always easy to breathe through your mouth while wearing a snorkel mask.

If you have a beard or mustache, it may be more difficult to find a mask that fits properly. If your beard has grown longer than about one-half inch, it will probably interfere with the seal between the mask and your face.

Here are some tips for snorkeling with a beard or mustache:

1. Use Silicone to Create a Seal

You can use a silicone sealant or a wax to keep your facial hair from floating up into your mask. Just put some on your facial hair and then place the mask over it. The silicone will create a tight seal around your face so that none of your facial hair will get caught in the mask strap or cause problems while you’re snorkeling.

This is also helpful if you have any scars on your face that might be exposed when swimming underwater.

2. Find a Better Fitting Mask

Want to swim and snorkel with a beard or mustache? Then you need to find a mask that fits well. It should fit firmly but not be so tight that your face is squeezed and it causes pain or chafing. It is also important that the mask has an easy-to-use toggle and valve system.

You should also look for a mask that has a purge valve on the back of the head strap so that you can clear out any water that has entered your mask quickly without having to remove it completely.

3. Get a Full-Face Snorkel Mask

If you’re a bearded snorkeler, you might want to get a full-face snorkel mask. They’re more expensive than traditional masks, but they offer some huge benefits.

Related: Full Face vs. Traditional Snorkel Mask

The most important benefit is that they keep your face dry. With a traditional mask, water can enter through the bottom and sides of the mask and run down into your beard and mustache. This can be uncomfortable and even painful if you get salt water in your eyes or mouth.

Full-face masks eliminate this problem by providing an airtight seal around your entire head. They’ll still leak some air from around the nose and mouth area, but it’s much less than with a traditional mask.

4. Use Swimming Goggles with a Nose Clip

If you have a beard and mustache, it can be difficult to get a good seal on the mask. The best solution is to snorkel using googles with a nose clip. The clip holds your nose in place so that you can get a better seal on the goggles.

5. Trim the Top of Your Mustache

If your mustache is out of control, you might want to trim it back with scissors or clippers before going for a dip in the ocean. Otherwise, it could get tangled up in your snorkel gear and make things more difficult.

6. Shave it Off

If have a bearrd and you’re really set on snorkeling, then the best option is to just shave it all off. The snorkel will go over your face without any issues, and you’ll be able to enjoy your time in the water.

Shaving your face is not only quick and easy but it can also be done with very little preparation or effort. Just grab some shaving cream and a razor and get to work.

Related: Can You Scuba Dive With a Beard or Mustache?

Do Full-Face Snorkel Masks Work with Beards?

Full-face snorkel masks are designed to be worn with facial hair and often have flexible rubber gaskets that can conform to the contours of your face, including around your mustache and beard. So, yes, full face masks can work with beards. You just need to find one that fits right.

#1 Recommended Full-Face Snorkel Mask

GREATEVER Full Face Snorkel Mask with Latest Dry Top System


You might still want to try a dive hood so your facial hair doesn’t get in the way of a tight seal.

When all is said and done, one good thing with a full-face mask is that it gives you a wide field of view and also lets you breathe freely through your nose and mouth, which is a plus especially when you’ve got plenty of facial hair.

Best Snorkel Mask for Beards and Mustaches

If you’ve been considering snorkeling with a beard or mustache, you’re not alone. There are many people who want to enjoyit but don’t want to shave their beards off. Fortunately, there are snorkel masks that work well with facial hair. The key is to find one with a wide enough opening to fit over your face without getting stuck and without causing any leaks.

#1 Recommended Snorkel Mask

WACOOL Professional Snorkeling Set


Here’s what to consider when shopping for the best mask for bearded snorkelers:

  • A wide mouthpiece that fits comfortably in your mouth. You don’t want it to feel like there’s no room for you to breathe comfortably or talk while wearing the mask.
  • A silicone skirt that fits securely around your face, so it doesn’t leak while swimming underwater or while above water when waves are splashing against it.
  • An adjustable strap system that will keep the mask in place on your face even if it gets hit by waves while swimming or snorkeling in rough waters, such as those found at beaches near rocky shores or coral reefs.

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