First off, I love having a beard.
However, there are certain times when shaving your beard is just as important as growing one.
While many people 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. You may even be able to make your beard grow very fast with the proper 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.
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 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:
- 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:
Then go up to the search box:
Once you are here, go ahead and start typing in a company – in this case, I will use Google as an example:
In this case, you will want to go into the area ‘People who Work at’ + ‘Your Prospective Company.’
Once here, you have an excellent 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):
As you can see above, a couple of guys are sporting a bit of a stubble.
In this case, I would 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 significant than a speeding ticket, you may have a larger problem on your hands than just your beard.
As was mentioned at the beginning, people make a first impression in a matter of seconds.
If it’s 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?
If you are very passionate about your beard – should you shave it off for a date?
Just the opposite.
Make sure that you clean up the edges and sport your beard in full follicle glory.
If you’re on a date, the other party should like you for exactly who you are.
Just be confident and have a good sense of humor.
If you don’t have those two primary traits, the whole house of cards will collapse, and you’ll be going home alone.
Besides, if there is anything that I learned, it’s that women (and men) love a guy with a beard; just a quick search yielded hundreds of results…
Here are a few of them:
So the women have spoken, and they love a beard. They love full beards!
The only, and I mean the 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. 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 remarkable 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 before 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 going to want to make sure that it’s adequately maintained (i.e., kick out the beard dandruff).
If you’re going to a funeral with a full beard, I strongly recommend that you purchase a beard oil that doesn’t have a too powerful fragrance.
Being that you will be in a room with several other family members, it’s best not to command the room with a strong scent of citrus or the woods. I would personally go with a fragrance-free oil.
5. 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.
6. Do You Have to Shave Your Beard for a Passport Photo? No!
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 is 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 ten 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 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 Movember, men get together and grow killer beards to showcase their support for cancer awareness.
Contrary to Movember, there are tons of charities all of the time that gets 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:
And here were the results to shave his beard:
Sorry Cubby, but it looks like the shavers had it!
But as with any beard, you can always grow it back!
Joking aside, it was an excellent way to raise money for an important cause.
Charity Water was able to raise $5,895 by just having a contest over Cubby’s beard in total with that campaign.
As mentioned earlier, there were several other cases where guys shaved it off for charity:
8. It’s Your Wedding; What do You Do?
This is a toss-up. If you want a clean and slick look that your grandchildren will see in your wedding album years from now, then perhaps consider shaving.
Or if the special someone standing across from you while you take your vows wants you to be your current and awesome self, then keep the beard.
Whatever you decide, just do yourself a favor and get it cleaned up before the big day.
But don’t go crazy here. Don’t dye your beard hours before the wedding ceremony or get a radical new facial hairstyle the day before.
Get your facial hair cleaned up about one week before your wedding. This will give you time to clean things up if any mistakes were made. Additionally, consider applying a beard balm the morning of your ceremony, as it will help to control wispy hairs, so you look dapper for your big day.
9. Attending A Wedding, What Should I Do?
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 when just simply attending a wedding?
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 neckline, 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 ten days before the wedding.
Why ten 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!
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.