Do I have to shave my beard to use a respirator?

Can I have a beard and use a respirator?

Yes - Kind of
  • Is the respirator a hood type mask?
  • Does the respirator not require a face seal?
  • Does your beard fit inside the seal area?

You can have a beard and get effective respirator filtration when using a SAPR or PAPR system with a hood type enclosure that does not depend on a face type seal.

The problem with beards, stubble and respirators

Most face mask type respirators require a seal between the mask and your face. If your beard or stubble prevent this seal from being complete, you will have difficulty getting an effective fit with your respirator. Fit testing can help determine if your stubble or beard is an issue.

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