Beard keeps you cool?

  1. I was watching a ball game and the pitcher had a full thick beard. I wondered why you would have a beard in the summer time because of how hot it would be. My cousin told me that it would keep you cooler. Any reason why I should believe this? It doesn't make sense to me.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Danger

    Danger 9,878
    Gold Member

    Like any insulation, it impedes the transfer of heat. If the surrounding air is above body temperature, the beard will keep you a bit cooler. It also traps sweat, and so contributes to evaporative coolling (and gives an opportunity for spit-balls).
     
  4. Galileo

    Galileo 1,999
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    Homework Helper

    This is one for Astronuc...
     
  5. brewnog

    brewnog 2,791
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    Danger has got some good points, but the ambient temperature over here has only ever exceeded body temperature (37 Celsius) a couple of times in my life. I've also had a fair beard a few times, and will say that they're much hotter, stickier and sweatier than being clean shaved. However, when it's drenched in sweat then the evaporative cooling effect (as Danger said) does seem to cool you down a lot better than wiping it off.

    I'll second Galileo's call for Astronuc, PF's resident beardman!
     
  6. HallsofIvy

    HallsofIvy 40,780
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    "Over here"? Here, it is 105 degrees outside right this minute!

    In any case, a beard also "shades" the skin and can keep you cooler if you are in the sun.
     
  7. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    :rofl:
    :rofl: :rofl:
    This is also my thought. The beard collects the sunlight, and heat is radiated/convected out, so the underlying skin does not get as hot as it would with direct contact to the sun. In my case, my beard covers a part of my chest.

    The insulation effect works the other way too. It keeps the heat from the beard getting to the underlying skin. If one is out in the sun with an uncovered head, the exposed hair can get quite hot. The beard is not as dense and I imagine convection carries away much of the heat.

    I have never put a thermocouple on my chin (at the base of the beard) so I haven't experimentally verified whether my chin is hotter or cooler than exposed skin. I guess I need to find an infrared pyrometer. I wonder if I can get an NSF grant. :biggrin:

    My personal experience is that my beard does not bother me even when the temperature is 100-105°F (37.8-40.6°C). :smile:

    The beard does keep my face and neck warm in winter, even in subzero temperatures. :biggrin:
     
  8. :rofl: True, nice explanation. here is my attempt.

    Your beard heats up because it absorbs the incoming light. Your beard gets 'hotter' then your body surface temperature. Now this yields a gradient in temperature between your body-surface and the beard (let us look at the part of your beard that covers your immense muscular chest) which is directly responsible for a flow of air that has a cooling effect. The nomades in the desert always dress in dark clothes for the very same reason.

    regards
    marlon
     
  9. brewnog

    brewnog 2,791
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    We're missing the basic fact that having a beard makes you cool!
     
  10. <<thinks all the guys are cool here, with or with out beards.

    Do chins sweat? I know necks do, but I can't say I've ever had a sweaty chin. Maybe a guy thing?
     
  11. brewnog

    brewnog 2,791
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    Gold Member

    Aww, thanks love!

    You'd be amazed. Chins sweat, noses sweat, fingers sweat, knees sweat. Ears sweat, shoulders sweat, bellies sweat, and so do my elbows. It's very attractive, honestly!
     
  12. Janus

    Janus 2,439
    Staff Emeritus
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    Because it looks so cool!
     
  13. A light colored beard is cooler than a dark colored one.

    In the tropics people wear white or light colored clothes because they reflect light instead of absorbing it like would be the case of dark colored clothes…
     
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