From their popularity in Hollywood to their rapid rise amongst hipsters, beards are just about everywhere. As a result, men around the world are putting their razors on the shelf in favor of a more rugged, natural look.
Unfortunately, switching up your style is easier said than done for those of us looking to grow a beard in the professional world. Whether our bosses simply won’t allow it or we simply can’t endure the struggle of “the awkward phase” of facial hair, beards and the office environment don’t always mix. On one hand, society expects us to be clean-cut professionals; meanwhile, we don’t necessarily want to conform to being another clean-shaved face in the crowd.
Thankfully, there’s a middle ground between mountain man and businessman.
The key to becoming a bearded professional is choosing a sleek style and properly maintaining your beard by keeping it neat and trimmed. If you’re looking to grow a beard and keep you day job, consider one of the following facial hair styles.
The Stubble Look
The stubble look is the ideal option for those of us who perhaps have patchy facial hair or simply don’t have the time to commit to a full beard. By keeping your facial hair below ¼ of an inch, you ride the line between being clean-cut having the five o’clock shadow of a Hollywood A-Lister.
Achieving the stubble look is rather straightforward with a beard trimmer. Simply set your trimmer to a lower setting (ideally between 1/8th and 3/8 of an inch) and shave the entire length of your beard until it’s even. The stubble look is incredibly easy to maintain, granted you trim on a regular basis.
The Professional Look
The best time to grow a beard is often considered to be the fall or winter, specifically during vacations and holidays. During this time, you can let your beard grow while free from the judgment of bosses or co-workers. However, what happens when you return to the office?
The professional look, also known as “the business beard,” represents the balance between “professionalism” and “rugged.” Such beards have significant growth, often between ¼ and ½ of an inch, kept in check with a beard trimmer; however, those with business beards must also…
- Keep their cheek-line clean
- Regularly trim their mustache
- Avoid the “neck-beard” by trimming their neck-line
While this look does require the most maintenance, a versatile beard trimmer can do the trick for most men.
The Goatee and Mustache
Maintaining a goatee requires a similar approach to that of the professional look; however, the cheeks and neck are kept clean-shaven. The goatee is a popular option for those looking for a bold look with minimal maintenance. There’s plenty of room for experimentation with a goatee, allowing you to play with the smaller details of the beard such at the sideburns and soul-patch.
Some variations of the goatee shave off the mustache; however, you could also take the opposite approach and shave everything except the mustache. Perhaps the boldest look of all, styles such as “the chevron” and the handlebar mustache are making a comeback; however, not all men can rock the look.
If you’re looking to grow facial hair but remain nervous about what your boss might say, consider a style that will help maintain your professional vibe. Don’t be afraid to experiment and figure out what style works best for you: remember, it’ll always grow back.