Whether you're participating in No Shave November or just want to grow a beard for winter, there are a few things you can do to make the transition from baby-faced to rugged smoother and more enjoyable.
Growing a beard is one of the easiest things a man can do. However, doing so in a way that won't get you sent to the principal's, I mean, HR office is another matter.
The process of growing out your facial hair can either make you look like you've been on a week-long drinking binge and barely managed to drag yourself into work, or like a stately gentleman.
The photos above show my current beard success and my previous beard fail. The guy on the left looks like he's up to something, while the guy on the right looks like someone you could trust with your finances.
DON'T be the guy on the left.
Now, how is it that one man gets reprimanded for skipping a shave or two while another guy in the same office is rocking a week or a month's worth of growth? Simple. The man with facial hair follows the four guidelines below.
1. Grow it out over a long weekend or vacation
Starting a few days before you leave will help you get ahead of the game a little. When you return to work after three or more days, you'll have something that resembles a beard and not just a lack of grooming.
Essentially, you'll have skipped showing your face at the office during the awkward scruffy stage.
2. Trim the neck and cheek line
I failed to do this the first time I grew a beard and as a result, it looked like I was being lazy rather than intentionally growing my facial hair.
I thought about shaving the whole thing off every single time I looked in the mirror.
This time around, I cleaned up the neck and cheek lines after a week and continue to do so every two days. As a result, no one has confused me for a homeless Santa.
Just make sure you're conservative with how much you take off – you don't want to butcher it and have to start all over again.
3. Don't forget about the hair up top
Another mistake I've made in the past. When your beard and hair are getting long at the same time, it looks like you're neglecting your appearance or secretly wishing it was the 1970s.
When your beard gets long and you keep up on your barber visits, the beard growth looks like a well-considered addition to your appearance.
4. Keep your outfits and grooming sharp
Especially in corporate America where facial hair is generally frowned upon. Keep HR off your trail by maintaining an impeccable appearance.
Maybe you've heard the phrase “the better you dress, the worse you can behave” in reference to parties and social events. Well, the same holds true for grooming. The better you dress, the more hair you can have on your face.
* IMPORTANT NOTE: If after a week or so you find you're only rocking extremely patchy or wispy hair, you may need to abandon the campaign.
While it doesn't need to be perfect, you still need to determine that you can actually grow something resembling a beard. Mother Nature can be cruel and not all men have the ability to grow full, fairly even facial hair.
If that's your situation, take heart. You can still stand out in a crowd by owning a smooth shave throughout the holiday season (if you need assistance RE: smooth shave, see here).
All the best,