The Bearded Businessman: Keeping It Natural But Neat

As recently as ten years ago, facial hair was largely considered a faux pas for men in the business world. Even the New York Yankees organization has a strict no-facial-hair policy, but things are changing elsewhere. As a younger generation takes the reins, beards in the boardroom are becoming a more common sight. The trick to becoming a successful bearded businessman, though, is restraint.


Unless you're working for a tech startup with a very laid-back corporate culture, you'll need to practice some restraint when it comes to cultivating your beard. The full fisherman beard may not translate well to board meetings, but that doesn't mean you have to be completely clean shaven.
As a general rule, medium length is typically as far as you should go, and you'll need to be invested in proper grooming. The target is a well-kept, maintained beard, not wild and unchecked growth. This is where products like beard oil or beard balm are important, since they aid in styling and help to prevent flyaway hairs while moisturizing both your beard and the skin beneath it.


The quickest way to make what would be a clean, tidy beard look sloppy is to neglect the neckline and upper cheeks. Hair growth here for many men can be patchy, giving a scruffy look to otherwise well-kept facial hair. Make sure you're taking the time each day to trim or shave these areas, keeping them trim and professional looking.
Another aspect of growing a beard often overlooked is the transition period. It usually takes four to six weeks to grow a proper beard, and during that time, you may look a little less than tidy and businesslike. Ideally, you'll start growing your beard over a vacation or holiday, so you're able to come back to work as a classy, bearded businessman, rather than looking like you lost your razor for weeks until it's fully grown.
Shooting for a professional look as a bearded businessman isn't impossible, but it does require some forethought. Investing in your appearance is always a wise career move, and if your appearance includes facial hair, be ready to dedicate some time and effort to keeping it under control. Overall, you want a beard to complement your face, rather than serve as a distraction when you're trying to climb the corporate ladder.