Winter can wreak havoc on hair and especially on your beard. For some, wearing a hat and adding a bit of extra moisture to the hair on your head is all the maintenance they need for the long winter months, for those with a beard however, you may need to take a few extra steps.
The first thing to keep in mind while tending your beard during the winter is that the air is much drier than during the summer. This means that your beard is going to feel a bit crispier so to speak and should be taken extra care of. Try pampering yourself with a hair mask for your beard to give back some of the much needed moisture that the dry winter air is stealing. Try something that is fat based and that is going to give back much needed moisture this winter, odds are your typical conditioner is not going to cut it.
Letting your beard grow out during the winter is smart for a few different reasons, for starters, more insulation for your face. Your beard hair is going to naturally thicken over the winter months as a primal response to the colder temperatures. When our entire bodies were covered with hair it would naturally thicken and thin with the temperature changes. The best thing to do for your beard is to go with this natural growing cycle. If you can, allow your beard to grow a bit longer while still keeping it groomed or going for the shape and style that you normally wear, just a bit longer.
Cleaning is something you should also keep in mind. Since the weather is a bit drier you are probably not going to need to shampoo as often as you did during the summer when your beard was a makeshift napkin for all the barbeque food. For the winter, try washing less often and if you still have to shampoo often, make sure to use a gentle, sulfate free, and natural if possible, shampoo that is either designed for beards or that is designed to be gentle and less harsh than other products.
The last thing to keep in mind is that your beard is likely going to be a bit more difficult to maintain length, shape, and general style wise during the winter. Static in the air due to the lack of moisture may make a few hairs go a bit haywire here and there and you are probably going to be wrestling with your beard as you put on heavy coats, sweaters, and scarves. A good rule of thumb is to keep some beard wax handy so that you can tame your beard no matter where you are or what you are doing. A small tin is all you need and it can be tucked into your pocket or bag so that you can touch up here and there.
The real issue with winter is that it is going to be tough on hair no matter if it is on your head or your face. With proper maintenance you can have a luxurious beard even when it is negative ten degrees out if you know how to take care of it.