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Are Beards Professional? Work Beards 101

Are Beards Professional? Work Beards 101

In today's workplace, attitudes toward facial hair have undergone a remarkable transformation. No longer seen as unprofessional or unkempt, beards are now widely accepted and even celebrated.

Man with beard holding eye glasses and smiling

In this article, we’ll delve into the changing landscape of facial hair in professional settings and explore how it has become increasingly acceptable. From grooming and maintenance to navigating the nuances of different work environments, we'll get you up to speed on how to wear a beard professionally.

What’s Led to Shifts in the Workplace Regarding Facial Hair?

Man with stubble in blue suit

Facial hair has experienced a remarkable resurgence in workplaces across America and Canada, largely driven by social media and changing cultural norms. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok have become virtual showcases for bearded men, inspiring others to rock their own facial hair. This newfound acceptance has influenced companies to adopt more flexible dress codes, giving employees the freedom to express their personal style — even through their facial hair choices.

Startups, in particular, have been at the forefront of this cultural shift, considering how much they value individuality and diversity. By saying heck no to the outdated notion that a clean-shaven face equates to professionalism, startups are reshaping workplace conventions. They embrace the unique and innovative, encouraging employees to be authentic and express themselves through their personal grooming choices.

Believe it or not, LinkedIn, the professional networking platform, also played a role in normalizing facial hair. The platform has become a hub for professionals to display their personal brand. Increasingly, business leaders and entrepreneurs proudly display their beards in their headshots on LinkedIn, challenging the traditional expectations of being clean-shaven men. This visibility of bearded professionals on LinkedIn has contributed to redefining the standards of professional appearance and made it clear that a well-groomed beard can be a powerful symbol of confidence and authority.

Lucky for you all, this shift in perception isn’t exclusive to startups and creative industries. There’s even a growing acceptance of facial hair in traditional corporate environments and job interviews. Companies are recognizing the importance of letting employees express their personalities and meet the demands of a diverse workforce. As long as the beard is well-groomed and clean, many workplaces will let you have at it.

This trend isn’t limited to American workplaces, either. In Canada, bearded men are also widely accepted in the professional sphere. Companies worldwide are recognizing that a well-groomed beard doesn’t diminish someone's ability to do their job effectively. Many Canadian professionals, including executives, entrepreneurs, and even public figures, confidently sport well-kept beards, meaning that you probably have some room when it comes to your facial hair.

Tips for Wearing a Beard Professionally

Man in suit smiling sideways

If you’re wearing a beard professionally, you’ll need to focus on grooming and upkeep. Regular grooming makes sure that your facial hair looks well-maintained and makes a solid first impression — not to mention that it’s just a better, healthier look. Here are some essential tips for wearing a beard in a professional setting:

Regularly Wash and Moisturize To Prevent Dandruff

Wash your beard with a specialized beard shampoo or mild cleanser to keep it clean. Seriously, just face wash isn’t going to cut it, especially if you’re rocking a longer beard. After washing, apply moisturizing beard oil to prevent dryness and flakiness, which can lead to dandruff — aka the dreaded beardruff.

Use Conditioner and Beard Oil for a Healthy Appearance

Incorporate a solid beard conditioner and beard oil into your grooming routine. These products nourish and moisturize the facial hair, making it soft and manageable. Make this step part of your daily beard routine, and you’ll be well on your way to a beard that’s not getting you any HR complaints. 

Follow Proper Hygiene Practices

Good personal hygiene is essential for a professional appearance — and yes, that’s true whether or not you have a beard. Regularly wash your beard, brushing it to remove any food particles or debris (Please don’t be that guy). Keep the surrounding skin clean and moisturized to promote beard growth and prevent irritation.

Use Scented Products Sparingly

While a little aftershave or cologne keeps you fresh as a daisy, use scented products sparingly. Strong or overpowering fragrances may be distracting or uncomfortable for co-workers or clients, which is a big no-no. Instead, opt for lightly scented or unscented beard products to maintain a professional and considerate image.

Adhere to Company Dress Codes and Industry-Specific Regulations

Different companies and industries have specific regulations regarding appearance, including facial hair. Familiarize yourself with your company's dress code policy and consider any industry-specific guidelines when deciding on your beard style. 

For example, if you work in the food service industry, you’ll likely need to adapt your beard length and shape to comply with industry guidelines while still expressing your personal style. If you’re a graphic designer, you may have more room to play with your beard style.

Consider Beard Length and Shape for Conservative or Creative Settings

In more conservative work environments, shorter beard styles are often preferred. This allows you to maintain a professional appearance while still embracing your facial hair. 

In creative or less formal settings, you may have more flexibility to experiment with different beard styles as long as they’re well-maintained.

What Are Some Appropriate Beard Styles for Work?

Bearded man in suit and sunglasses

When sporting a professional beard, you can choose from various styles that paint the portrait of a stylish, bearded man while still maintaining a polished, respectable appearance. Here are some examples of beard styles that are suitable for the workplace:

The Classic Full Beard

A full beard is a timeless choice that projects masculinity and professionalism. Well-groomed and properly shaped, the full beard demands attention and conveys a sense of authority. By keeping it neatly trimmed and ensuring the beard hairs are well-maintained, you can achieve a sophisticated look that’s widely accepted in the corporate world.

The Goatee

For those who prefer a more minimalist approach, a goatee is a versatile option. This style involves growing hair only on the chin while keeping the cheeks clean-shaven. One of the best parts about the goatee is that you can customize it to suit your preferences, with variations including the classic goatee, Van Dyke, or anchor beard.

The Short Beard

If you want a slightly shorter beard style, a short beard lets you showcase your facial hair while maintaining a professional edge. To maintain this style, keep your beard neatly trimmed, paying attention to the length and shaping for a clean and refined appearance. This versatile beard style works well across different industries —but be warned that it requires regular upkeep and trimming.

The Stubble

While not technically a full beard, a stubble beard can be a suitable option for a more relaxed work environment — as long as you keep the length uniform to avoid a scruffy appearance. Regular trimming and shaping are necessary to achieve a polished stubble look. This style adds a rugged charm to your overall appearance and is particularly popular in creative fields or industries that embrace a more casual dress code.

The Corporate Beard

This short, well-maintained beard involves precise trimming to achieve a clean and defined look. Still, it exudes professionalism and works well in formal work environments where long beard styles may be frowned upon. 

Whichever beard style you choose, you’ll need to keep it well-maintained. Regular trimming, shaping, moisturizing, and cleaning are key to achieving a look that works just as hard as you do in your workplace.

What Is the Impact of Professional and Well-Groomed Beards in the Workplace?

Here are some key ways in which a professional beard can make a positive impression.

Confidence and Self-Assurance

A well-groomed beard can boost your confidence and act as a symbol of self-care, attention to detail, and personal pride. Feeling confident about your appearance translates into improved performance and a positive attitude, which can contribute to a more productive work environment.

Breaking Stereotypes

Traditional stereotypes associated with facial hair, like a lack of professionalism or commitment, are increasingly being challenged. Professionals with well-groomed beards are showing that grooming and professionalism can go hand in hand. They prove that a beard can be a sign of maturity, responsibility, and dedication to both personal and professional growth.

Reflecting Openness to Diversity

The acceptance of professional beards reflects a broader trend toward embracing diversity in the workplace. By allowing different grooming choices, companies demonstrate their commitment to creating an inclusive environment where employees are valued for their unique qualities, including their appearance. This inclusivity helps cultivate a positive and harmonious work atmosphere.

Representing Changing Workplace Norms

The acceptance of professional beards represents the evolving norms in corporate cultures. Companies that embrace facial hair as part of their dress code recognize that professionalism isn’t solely defined by appearance but instead by qualities like skills, competencies, and work ethic.

As facial hair continues to gain popularity in the workplace, it is evident that the perception of professional grooming standards has shifted. By following the tips outlined in this article, such as proper grooming and understanding appropriate beard styles, you can confidently wear your beard in the corporate world. Groom, style, and wear your beard with pride (and help from The Beard Club), as it’s a symbol of unique self-expression in the modern professional landscape.


Science Says These 3 Things About Having a Beard at Work |

The 29 Best Beard Styles for Men to Flex Right Now | Mens Health

A Dermatologist’s Top Tips for a Healthy Beard | American Academy of Dermatology

Why Well-Groomed Men Are More Successful at Work | Forbes