Hairy Decisions: Appropriate Facial Hair for Work … you are not Santa Claus!

Filed in Uncategorized by on November 28, 2016

image001         What worked for the Rt. Hon Sir Mackenzie Bowell (ranked as Canada’s greatest bearded Prime Minister – he was number 5) may not work for you. Here is an interesting article entitled 6 CANADIAN PRIME MINISTERS RANKED FOR BEARD, MOUSTACHE OR SIDEBURN QUALITY. The thing is, beards and corporate life are a tricky combo. You don’t want cling-ons from lunch tagging along to a meeting. And you don’t want to look like you just fell off a Grey Coach tour bus.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that, once you start traipsing through the corridors of power, you have to bid your whiskers goodbye. But you do have to treat a beard just as you would an unruly puppy: It needs attentive care. “Facial hair and the skin underneath should be kept neat, clean, and conditioned,” says Eric Malka, cofounder of The Art of Shaving, a shaving-products company. “You need to select a shape that suits you and know how to properly groom and maintain it.”

Here are some quick guidelines to help you decide what kind of facial hair—if any—will suit you on the job.

Do you work at the City of Brampton? No point tempting fate… they have already let 50 managers go this year… so it’s probably time to reconsider that soul patch( that’s a small tuft of facial hair directly below a man’s lower lip). “Follow the same rules as for anything you do,” says Floyd the Barber, owner of Floyd’s Barber Shop in Markham Ontario. “Look for guidance from coworkers. Take a look around the office.” At the most conservative offices, it isn’t a question of finding an appropriate look: Any beard at all is probably a lousy idea.

You may think you can style your beard all by your lonesome. Your face, your beard, right? Think again: It’s next to impossible for a man to judge the quality of his own whiskers. “If you have a wife or girlfriend, she’s gonna have an opinion,” says Floyd. Trust your significant other on this, and forget what your buds think.

Don’t treat your facial hair like a topiary garden: It shouldn’t look like you’re making a statement. “Stay away from edgy facial hair,” says Floyd. “Just make sure it’s well-kept and trimmed. You don’t want it going down the neck or up the cheeks.” Even trimming has its limits: The stubble-all-over look that’s worked for Wolf Blitzer all these years probably isn’t right for you. Why? You’re not Wolf Blitzer.

There’s always the sad possibility that you might have to give up your beard altogether—at least initially. Floyd thinks it’s best to go without until you’ve established yourself professionally. “You want to look like you’re a team player,” he says. “A beard could look out of place, like you’ve grown one in seventh grade.” Take the example of Willie Nelson: When he was hacking away as a songwriter in the Nashville system, he was clean-shaven. It was only after he became a star in his own right that Willie adopted his familiar whiskers.

Famous moments in beard history

These men are renowned for their cultural contributions, but their facial hair is just as memorable.

The father of evolution is said to have had ten illegitimate children; surely the beard didn’t hurt his game.

image011ZZ TOP
Legend has it that Gillette once offered these rockers $1 million each to shave their beards. They declined.

This fearsome pitcher has 336 strikeouts to date. Sure, his fastball has something to do with it—but so do his jet-black whiskers.

An active Prohibitionist, he formed Welch’s Grape Juice as an alternative to unholy
vino. It’s likely that his white beard turned a shade of purple when he indulged.

He needs something to keep him warm in the North Pole.

Bruce Malcolm

About the Author ()

Bruce's background includes 30+ years of human resource management experience covering all aspects of HR administration with a clear specialty in team building and recruiting. He created and developed the concept of “Ethical Head-Hunting™”. Bruce began his recruiting career in 1971 with Prudential Assurance.

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