Are standard non-medical face masks messing up your luxurious COVID beard?
Fret not, my hirsute friend — One of Ontario's foremost facial hair care experts has invented something specifically to solve your "beard pain," as he calls it: The Beard Tarp.
It's essentially a long, fancy face mask designed to prevent the beard equivalent of hat head.
"There is nothing more annoying than spending time on your beard, putting on a small mask for 5 minutes and then having a bunched up beard with dents and creases in it," says Sven Hansen, who founded the beard care company Always Bearded in Barrie, Ontario, six years ago.
"Our line of beard products has always set out to solve what I coin as 'Beard Pains' - ultimately things men run into when growing their beard such as itchy beard, beard dandruff (also known as 'bearddruff'), messy and uncontrollable beard, etc.," Hansen explained to blogTO.
"When the pandemic hit, men started cutting their beards down to fit into small masks, or would just put a small surgical mask over their mouth and their would be hair hanging out exposed."
He saw an opportunity to create something that would protect a person's entire beard while also maintaining their meticulously-groomed style.
And thus, the Beard Tarp was born.
Made from 100 per cent cotton with three layers of protection, a hydroknit filter, an adjustable toggle system and a removable aluminum nose bridge, the tarp comes in two beard sizes: regular and large.
The product retails for $25 CAD and you can only buy it on the Canadian grooming company's website right now — but they're having trouble keeping it in stock.
"I literally cannot keep up with the demand," said Hansen to blogTO. "Usually, we ship within one day, and we have had to bring in extra staff to fulfil orders."
The entrepreneur says his company, which only launched the Beard Tarp last week, is currently "in talks with a large fulfilment centre to take over our order fulfilment as we cannot keep up."
There's clearly demand out there for masks that take big beards into consideration, as evidenced by the rush on Hansen's tarps.
"I've been waiting for this product for a while. I'm convinced that it will take a month of brushing to get this kink out of my beard," wrote one customer on alwaysbearded.com.
"Three days of this product and I already feel better, look better, and don't get nervous about mask time."
Good timing, too: Per Premier Doug Ford's orders on Friday, everyone in Ontario must now wear non-medical face coverings when visiting indoor public spaces. Outdoor use is optional, but recommended when you can't maintain a distance of six feet from people you don't live with.
by Lauren O'Neil via blogTO