9 Reasons You May Want to Shave Your Beard

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First off, I love having a beard.

However, there are the rare certain times in life where shaving your beard is just as important as growing one.

While there are definitely a lot of people that love a good beard, sometimes you just have to part ways with a piece of you that has become so near and dear.

Look, if you can grow a killer beard, chances are you will also be able to regrow one again.  In fact, you may even be able to make your beard grow very fast with the right techniques.

Unfortunately, many people judge based on first looks alone before they even get to know you,  be it thinking you’re smart because you have glasses, are rough around the edges because you have tattoos, or how you are dressed.

I am not condoning that type of attitude in life! But experts say that it only takes between 7 and 17 seconds to make a first impression.

That’s crazy!

So let’s go over all the reasons:

1.  You Should Shave Your Beard for An Interview

Like I said above, it only takes seconds for a person to formulate a first impression of you.

If you had your beard for only a month or so, it’s definitely worth shaving.  If anything, you can quickly grow it back once you start at the company.

But if you are on the fence about shaving your beard for an interview, here are a few things you can do:

1.  Do Your Research on LinkedIn:

A great way to determine whether a place is beard-friendly is to check out the company’s LinkedIn page.

So, for example, hop on to LinkedIn:

linkedin - should you shave your beard

Then go up to the search box:

linkedin search - should you shave your beard

Once you are here, go ahead and start typing in a company – in this case, I will use Google as an example:

linkedin - should you shave your beard

In this case, you will want to go into the area ‘People who Work at’ + ‘Your Prospective Company’.

Once here, you have an awesome list of people…

…as you can see below in our 2-minute search on what the general ‘beard culture’ is like (in this case Google):

employees that have beards

As you can see above, there are a couple of guys that are sporting a bit of a stubble.

In this case, I would definitely feel comfortable going in with a bit of facial hair.

If it’s a larger company like Google, you may want to sort it by location to get an idea of what the  sub-beard culture is like at the particular branch.

To note, though, depending on if you are applying for a corporate job or perhaps a job at a branch (i.e. corporate grocery store job vs. working at the grocery store), the policies may be drastically different.

In this case, though, I would recommend urging on the side of caution and going without the beard.

2.  Is the Jury Still Out if You Should Shave Your Beard for Court?

Your honor, my client here has a killer beard, don’t hold that against him.

If you are going to court for a simple speeding ticket, the best thing you can do if you have a beard is to make sure that it’s well-kempt (i.e. applying some beard oil to that beast).

However, if you are going to court for something a bit more major than a speeding ticket, you may have a larger problem on your hands than just your beard.

But look:

As was mentioned at the beginning, people make a first impression in a matter of seconds.

If it’s something that is important to you to look very well, then by all means, shave it off (especially if it’s only a few week-old beard).

If you’re close to growing a yeard (a beard that grows for a year), then just give it a proper trimming and oil to clean up any loose ends.

3. Is it Worth Shaving Your Beard For a Date?

This is one that I have the hardest time with.

If you are very passionate about your beard – under no circumstances should you shave it off for a date?

In fact, just the opposite.

Make sure that you clean up the edges but sport your beard in full follicle glory.

If you’re on a date, the other party should like you for exactly who you are.

Women love a confident man that is funny.

If you don’t have those two primary traits the whole house of cards is going to collapse and you’ll be going home alone.

Besides, if there is anything that I learned it’s that women actually love a guy with a beard; just a quick search yielded me hundreds of results…

Here are a few of them:


So the women have spoken, and they absolutely love a beard.  In fact, they love full beards!

The only, and I mean ONLY reason I would recommend shaving before a date would be if it were very patchy and it’s only a couple of days old.

Otherwise, embrace your beard fully and make sure it looks neat!

4. Patchy Beard? Should You Shave It Off?

patchy beard

Guys struggle with a patchy beard.

It sucks to have it happen to you but what do you do?

Should you embrace the patchiness on a daily basis or should you perhaps nix it all together?

The way I see it is you have two choices to make when dealing with a patchy beard.

Either shave it off or try minoxidil.

Wait what’s minoxidil?

Minoxidil is the active ingredient that is used in Rogaine.

Before you think it’s a waste of time, hear me out.

If you want to grow a thicker and fuller beard, or if you wanted to grow a beard very fast, minoxidil may actually work.

I say “may” because it works in about 40% of men.

In fact, I wrote a whole post dedicated to breaking down how to grow a thicker and fuller beard.

There were definitely some guys who had a patchy beard or just simply wanted a fuller beard that had real results.

Check them out:

Beard Minoxidil Testimonial
Beard Minoxidil Testimonial Reddit
Beard Minoxidil Testimonial 3
Beard Minoxidil Testimonial 2

5. Should You Shave Your Beard if Attending a Funeral?  It Depends

Funerals are a tough time for anyone.

Especially the close members of the loved one who recently passed.

When it comes to a funeral, you go there to pay your respects to the awesome life that someone had lived.

When attending a funeral, out of respect for the person that passed and for the close family members of the loved one, you want to keep up your appearances.

My rule is if I have a month or less beard prior to attending the funeral, I shave it completely off.

It’s only a month of growth that will come back in no time.

However, if you have been growing and maintaining a beard for more than a month, you’re definitely going to want to make sure that it’s maintained properly (i.e. kick out the beardruff).

If you’re going to a funeral with a full beard, I strongly recommend that you purchase a beard oil that doesn’t have too powerful of a scent.

Being that you will be in a close room with several other family members, it’s best not to clout the room with a strong scent of citrus or the woods.  I would personally go with a fragrance free oil.

6. Your First and Only (hopefully) Prom, Should You Shave Your Beard?

Bucketing this into the dating pool, I say go full force and sport the beard.

You have to be yourself.

As seen on #3, it’s off the charts.  Women love a guy with a full beard.

It all boils down to maintaining a beard properly when it comes to your social life.

Besides, years down the road when you are looking back at your pictures from prom, you’ll likely get a kick out of what you were wearing and what type of facial hair you were going with while in high school.

7. Do You Have to Shave Your Beard for a Passport Photo? No!

Shaving For Your Passport Photo

Technically, you do not need to shave your beard in your passport photo.  Even if you were growing a full beard, you do not have to retake a passport photo if you grew or shaved off your beard.  Per the FAQ on the U.S. Department of State website:


My personal opinion would be to go with nothing more than stubble if you’re not too attached to your beard.

Just given natural aging progression and whether or not this whole beard thing is just a fad, your passport is valid for 10 years.

Say for instance you had a kid at 30 and a stressful job, your appearance might change quite a bit by the time you get to 40 🙂

So personally if I am on vacation traveling internationally, the last thing I want to do is explain to the border patrol officer from some country that it is really me in the picture from 10 years ago.

 7. Shave Your Beard for Charity: Because Why Not?

When it comes to ‘no shave November’ or simply ‘Movember’:

Men get together and grow killer beards to showcase their support for cancer awareness.

It’s an awesome campaign that I encourage you to check out here.

Contrary to Movember, there are tons of charities all of the time that get men to have their face go completely naked.

A few years back, Charity Water had an inventive campaign to either shave or save Cubby’s beard.Here were the results to save his beard:

shaving beard for charity

And here were the results to shave his beard:

shaving beard for charity

Sorry Cubby, but it looks like the shavers had it!

But as with any beard, you can always grow it back!

Joking aside, though, it was an awesome way to raise money for an important cause.

In total with that campaign, Charity Water was able to raise $5,895 by just having a contest over Cubby’s beard.

That’s awesome!

As mentioned earlier, there were several other cases where guys shaved it off for charity:

shave beard for charity

8.  It’s Your Wedding, What do You Do?


Do what the bride says.

Period. End of discussion.

In all honesty, this should be a discussion with you and your future spouse.

Your beard shouldn’t be the focal point of the big day.  In fact, no one is going to be looking at your beard at all.

All eyes are going to be on your awesome wife that you will be spending the rest of your life with.

If this is something that is terribly important to your bride to be, then sure, hack it away; it’ll be back in no time.

However, just like the dating section above, she likely loves you no matter how you look.

Why else would she have said yes when you popped the question?

If you decide to sport a full-on beard for the wedding day, make sure you definitely have it trimmed and cleaned up a few days prior to the big day.

Also make sure that you use some beard oil or beard balm on it so it doesn’t look so tangly and is much smoother.

This way when you are shredding up the dance floor or doing any slow dances with your mom or grandma, and, of course, your newly minted bride, your beard will feel soft to the touch.

9.  Attending A Wedding, What Should I Do?

dancing at a wedding

So it’s one thing to be the near focal point of the wedding as the groom, but what about being an onlooker?

Should you shave your beard then?

Here I would adopt the meard rule (beard for a month = meard).  If you have a beard that is more than a month old, trim it a little bit, clean up the neck line, and put some oil in the beard.

However, on the contrary, if your beard is less than a month old, then shave it off.

If you’re going to the wedding as a single guy, I highly recommend shaving your beard about 10 days prior to the wedding.

Why 10 days?

Women find men with a 10-day beard the sexiest.  Yes, even more so than men who have just shaved.

So if you’re feeling lucky, be sure to sport a little bit of stubble (especially if you are not a part of the wedding party).

This way you can cut loose and have an awesome time!

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About Shawn Burns

Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn's expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.