No one wants to find a hair on a dinner plate. Chefs, food processors, and surgeons are the three primary groups who have to worry about stray facial hairs, which is why beard snoods are becoming a legal issue.
A Beard Net is a facial hair covering made of coarse fabric like mesh to protect a work environment from loose hair. These beard covers aka beard snoods have become required gear for working in food service (like kitchens), food processing plants and medical spaces.
So is it legally required to cover your long beard? Chefs recently got in trouble for being pictured in The Washington Post without beard nets. What are these flimsy beard hair nets made of? We share all the details below.
How Do Beard Hair Nets Work?
Just like a hair net, beard nets or beard caps cover up your facial hair, protecting your entire jawline with elastic coarse mesh that's secured around your ears.
They’re typically made from nylon netting or lightweight breathable cotton. However, these provide more coverage to fully protect against hairs falling out and guests running to customer service with hairy complaints.
Some masks cover both mustache and beard or just wrap around your chin.
Beard snoods are worn by restaurant workers, chefs, surgical staff, doctors and list keeps growing. Lightweight in structure, high-quality bead caps are latex-free and industrial-grade.
What Types of Beard Caps are Available?
We looked at several beard hair nets and found the best ones are highly rated for lightweight materials, comfortable fit, and affordable cost.
Buy a Quality Beard Net
The worst beard nets have painful elastic that puts too much pressure on ears or hairnets that have too large holes. Others break easily and don’t last longer than a single wear.
To find a great beard snood, look for lightweight, latex-free beard caps that have an invisible hair net.
beard net AKA
Known by many names. These protective beard coverings have become increasingly necessary due to the popularity of big, bushy beards.
- beard cover
- beard snood
- beard cap
- beard protector
Beard net styles
With COVID-19, many people already had to wear masks at work, but now it’s a question of whether it’s hygienic to leave beards uncovered around food and medically sensitive areas.
Are Beard Snoods Required?
Each state has its own laws regarding hair nets, but there are currently no laws that ban beards restaurants or require beard hair nets. However, some restaurant chains require beard hair nets for kitchen cleanliness.
State and Local Codes
Hairnet requirements are listed under state and local food codes. In some areas, beard nets are legally required no matter if you have a short Van Dyke beard or a pencil mustache, such as in Washington D.C.
However, many restaurant employees said they know hairnets are required, but they’re hardly ever worn, particularly in high-end restaurants.
It’s best to check your local food codes and talk to your restaurant manager about beard nets if you’re worried about your beard.
Why Wear a Beard Cover?
One of the problems with restaurant kitchens is cleanliness. It’s something that all restaurants are judged on.
With the legal requirement for long-haired employees and hair nets, many restaurants have banned ponytails, so it makes sense that beard hair nets would also be required.
Hairnets prevent loose strands from falling into food and onto plates, but trichologists say beards can be really un-hygienic. For one, facial hair has more skin infections and contains more germs than regular hair.
Another is staphylococcus, which lives in hair follicles and may be present in 25% of people, even when they have no symptoms.
Still, some chefs still don’t wear beard hairnets and they’re not required in all restaurants. Disposable beard covers may be worn by those working around uncovered food before it’s cooked though.
Where to Find Beard Nets
Beard hair nets are sold online and in stores everywhere. Depending on the brand and materials, beard caps cost between $10 and $50, but prices can drop lower if you buy in bulk.
Beard caps and snoods are also sold in bulk at Wal-Mart including 100 beard caps for $10 or $15. Most drugstores sell hairnets as well for less than $10, including CVS, which sells a stretch hair net for $5.99.
Should You Wear a Beard Cap?
For those who work as chefs, food processors, and surgeons, covering beard hair is extremely important to the health and safety of others. Beard protectors are worn to fully cover the jawline, chin, mustache, and sideburns in some cases.
If a stray hair contaminates your workspace and it could endanger somebody else, then you should wear a beard snood.
While face masks have been required due to the COVID-19 pandemic, beard snoods have been around for many years and may still be necessary if your beard is too big for a regular face mask. In other cases, you should check with your employer to see if these beard coverings are necessary.