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    Are beards professional?  What is a professional beard length?  Most men wonder this exact question when they reach for their razors in the morning. 

     I mean, do I really have to shave again? The common thinking in the past has always been that a professional appearance is one with a clean, shaved looked. That is, that all facial hair has been removed in the morning.  This allows for a fresh, clean look throughout the day. 

    But times have certainly changed and the question of whether or not beards are professional has come a long way. Take this post for example which discusses famous CEO’s with beards, something practically unheard of a mere two-decades ago.

    I will admit, growing up I watched both my father, my uncles, and my grandfather’s shave every morning. It was part of their daily routine and even now in their later years, they continue with this habit. 

    Man with beard standing up buttoning up suit with blue tie

    Times Are Changing

    Beards were generally presumed to mark a sense of laziness and entitlement and were not meant to be a part of a professional setting. They were generally associated with people who were unemployed and not looking for a job. Additionally, having a beard was thought of as being too lazy to prepare oneself in the morning for the workday.

    However, styles have definitely evolved in recent years, in my opinion, for the better. No longer are beards seen as lazy, but rather as the mark of a man, a natural occurrence that if maintained properly should not be an issue. The key point though, is that a beard should be maintained.  Beards are now generally accepted in corporate life, but the rule of thumb is maintenance and ensuring that your beard is not unruly. 

    An unruly beard sends a poor message to your colleagues.  It indicates that you do not care about your appearance.  That you are too lazy to clean yourself up in the morning.  And that you are too preoccupied to maintain proper hygiene.

    The question concerning length and appropriate corporate beard length is another one that comes up in routine conversation. In my own experience, beard length should not be a concern, so long as it is properly maintained. As the beard grows in length, you will need to invest in additional and more specialized grooming kits, creams, and oils to maintain a fresh, clean look.

    I highly recommend the following link which discusses different beard lengths and how to maintain them. Though we may not be picture-perfect, you should always try to maintain your beard to a reasonable standard.

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