Anyone who has a beard knows that the beard is the ultimate flavor savor. During a meal, food inexplicably finds its way into your beard. Unless you have a well-meaning dinner-mate with you who points it out, you may walk around with food in your beard all day without realizing it.
This, of course, may not be an issue for some. For a hermit living atop a pillar meditating on scripture with only the birds for company, a bit of food in the beard is the least of his concerns. But for the rest of us who have gentlemanly social duties to attend to, it’s best to leave our meals in our tummies and not our beards.
Historically, men have gone to great lengths to keep food out of their beards. Beard and mustache champions will keep binder clips on hand when they eat out, so they can clip aside their mustaches when eating. In fact, British potter Harvey Adams invented a cup in the 1860s equipped with a mustache guard to keep tea from getting in the mustache. These cups were all the rage in the late 19th century and beyond.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
A Crumby Beard
Croissants are the bane of the bearded man’s existence. Tragically, I absolutely love them, and so I am plagued by crumbs in the beard. One’s instinct is to simply take a comb and comb them out. However, this doesn’t work very well, as the comb’s teeth penetrate the beard and push crumbs, which normally just rest on top of the beard, deep into the beard. This will cause you to spend many agonizing minutes in front of a mirror sifting through your bristly man mane picking out crumbs.
Instead, I have a secret for you–use a horsehair brush.
Horsehair brushes are usually used to buff a shine into patent leather shoes, or to clean off residue from waxing shoes. They are also excellent for sweeping off dirt and leaves and so forth from your coat–a habit you should get into at least once a week.
I have a separate horsehair brush just for my beard. The bristles are soft enough to not pierce my beard, but firm enough to whisk away any crumbs and food particles.
I love the horsehair brush so much that I have 3 of them–one for home, one in the car, and one at work. You never know when you’re going to grab a snack and have a crumbly mess to clean up.
I prefer the Ralyn brand of horsehair brush, because it is guaranteed to be made from actual horsehair, and is manufactured in Israel. There are lots of cheap knock-off horsehair brushes made from man-made fibers, or from cheaper animal hairs. You want the genuine article. There is nothing quite like the texture of fine horse hair.