The beard can be a bit of a grey area (quite literally) for wearing within an office environment. With people of varying ages and backgrounds coming together to work in a shared space, facial hair protocol is not always a clean cut subject.
In recent decades, office workers have become more liberated from the monotonous grey cubicle lifestyle that could be seen in every office, with companies such as Google, Innocent and countless others leading the charge for a relaxed and ‘fun’ work environment.
This means that what you wear to work and how you wear it can incorporate your own personal style, rather than conforming to traditional standards.
Naturally, there are some industries where a suit and tie, along with a clean shave, is a must, such as law and finance. But, many others are embracing a much more liberal approach to office style.
In this article, we take a look at some of the best facial hair lengths and styles that you can wear to the office:
If you’re against being clean-shaven and want something easy to maintain, then stubble is the perfect medium between the two. With this style, cheek and necklines are important as this is the difference between looking stylish and looking unkempt.
It’s worth noting that depending on how quickly your facial hair grows, this can require a few weekly trims, just to keep on top of any growth, but the overall level of maintenance is low as everything is the same length.
We’d also suggest investing on some good beard oil that can soften your hairs and moisturise the skin, leaving you feeling fresh and non-itchy. Beard oil is often included in men’s shaving gifts, meaning you’ll likely get a bunch with Christmas and birthdays!
Similar to stubble, short beards are just slightly longer with the same length across the face. These require similarly regular maintenance to ensure no stray hairs start heading out on their own, keeping cheek and necklines sharp while you’re at it.
We’d also suggest using beard oil here to soften any scratchy hairs and to keep everything looking neat and fresh. Typically, short beards are trimmed at three or five on the beard trimmer settings.
Medium and Full Beards
Anything longer than a short beard trimmed at the number five setting is considered a medium beard. These can be a little harder to maintain as they require regular upkeep, ensuring you don’t have any unwanted stragglers. You might want to consider getting the best beard straightener if you're planning to grow a long beard.
These can take a little while to grow, and can mean you go through a few periods of ‘not looking your best’ as it’s hard to maintain and trim a beard while wanting to grow it out; sometimes, you just have to take the plunge.
Beard balm is important for caring and maintaining your facial hair, keeping everything in place and ensuring the hair is kept healthy. We’d also suggest using a beard brush or comb to keep all hairs pointing in the same direction.
If done correctly, this style can add character to your appearance, while making you look older and more distinguished. If done wrong, you’ll look like Chuck Noland from Castaway.
Facial Hair Styles
The style that you grow your beard in can often depend on the nature of your profession and the office environment in which you work. If things are relaxed, you can experiment more freely, if not, maybe a more uniform style would be best. Here are some of our favourite styles that you can show off to your office colleagues.
Famously exhibited by the chinstrap penguins and, more recently, Stormzy (although this is more of a chin curtain), the chinstrap is a staple when it comes to office beards.
Typically kept the same length around the face, the main differentiator is the shaving under the chin and around the mouth, with one long line from one ear to the other. The width of the beard is really your choice and can depend heavily on the shape of your face.
Although the description of this style – a floating moustache with a beard, but without sideburns – can seem a little strange, the Balbo is unashamedly popular.
Often the go-to choice for Robert Downey Junior, this beard can be trimmed and styled in various different ways to compliment your face shape. Lengths with this choice can vary, although, with a longer moustache, it can lose the ‘floating’ appearance as hairs cover the shaved skin.
Famously worn by Ricky Gervais in the UK comedy The Office, the circle beard is a style of an acquired taste. Typically favoured by the older gentleman, especially as hair growth will have developed, the circle beard can work well in an office environment.
Quite self-explanatory, the circle beard entails a connected moustache to the chin hair, while supporting growth under the bottom lip, either trimmed to a style or ‘filled in’. For a less intrusive look, this style can be kept short while still supporting the style.
Think you’ve got what it takes to wear a beard in the office? Let us know your preferred style and whether you wear short, medium or full beards. We also have some great tips for clothing and grooming on our blog!