Beards have pervaded popular culture in every sense. Everyone, from CrossFit fanatics to A-list celebrities, has embraced the look. Though beards were once considered a sign of rebellion, they’ve now become the norm. But does this relaxed attitude toward beards extend to your office? Will you violate the dress code if you show up with anything more than a 5 o’clock shadow?
The short answer? Yes, you can wear a beard to work.
Millions of men, from low on the totem pole all the way to the C-suite, are rocking beards in business meetings. In fact, a 2016 article from Inc. suggests men with beards are seen as more dominant, experienced, and confident than their clean-shaven counterparts. In the professional world, the question isn’t if you can wear a beard. It’s all about how.
There are a few guidelines to follow:
-Keep your beard well-kempt. This means trimming your neckline, moisturizing with beard oil every morning, and washing it once a week. If you show up to a meeting with crumbs or dandruff hanging from your chin, you won’t be taken seriously. Wearing a beard in a professional setting makes grooming even more important.
-Watch your length. If you suit up for work, keep your beard short or medium-length. Even in a relaxed atmosphere, a full Gandalf is a little too free-spirited.
-Gauge the culture. Ultimately, you know your company and your office. If everyone else is buttoned up and conservative, a beard may not be the best bet.
As work culture continues to shift and modernize, beards have become acceptable. It’s all about adapting that beard to your environment so you don’t attract the wrong kind of attention.