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The Right to Beard

We encourage our stylists and barbers to share what our members are talking about and recently Frisco-based Linnie Watts shared a challenge that some men face in the workplace: an inability to wear a beard.  She'll note that sometimes members will come back from a vacation and really like the way their beard looks, but will reluctantly admit that it needs to go, as they will return to work the next week.  "What about some beard rights?" she opined at a staff meeting recently.

Not just about looks

Men don't just grow beards because they don't like shaving.  Sometimes there are some scars, facial trauma, acne, or even weight gain that beards can help camouflage.  It's a natural, inexpensive solution, and one that can add a certain charm and gravitas.

In fact, Tom, a business partner of Jerry Jones, told our founder, Ben Davis, after a meeting that if he had one quick piece of advice to give it would be to "never shave."  You look way too young otherwise, Tom noted.  As you can see Ben has taken that advice to heart.

Look the way that makes you feel your best

Linnie noted that women have so many options when it comes to makeup and very seldom face restrictions in workplaces regarding it - so why should men not have more options when it comes to how they appear for work?  As we've noted in a previous article, it doesn't seem like beards are going away anytime soon, so as they continue to be more accepted, they should make greater strides even in more traditional workplaces where they have been frowned upon.

There are some professions like the military or firefighting that have understandable professional restrictions, e.g. firefighters need to be able to wear respiratory masks that fit their faces and beards can impede that.  But many other workplaces simply suffer from no one really ever asking "why not?"  Simply starting a casual conversation with colleagues or with whomever is in charge of policy at your workplace may lead to a change.  There may not be a "beard rights" movement that will come about, but there should be, within reason, a right to wear one.  It also means we'll be able to offer you a beard trim service when you come in to see us!

Do you feel that beards belong in the workplace?  Why or why not?  Share your thoughts in the comments below to get 25% off your next beard trim (for the bearded) or shave (for the unbearded) service at one of our clubs.

Photo courtesy of Krystal Cottingim

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Ben Davis

About Ben Davis

A serial entrepreneur, Ben Davis is founder of The Gents Place and a leading investor in gentlemen's refinement and confidence.

As another bearded professional, I can say that it helps me stand out in a crowded field of sales professionals. I work in transportation and while many have initially forgotten my name, they remember and ask for the “guy with the beard”. In fact, when talking to a prospective client and arranging appointments I close with, “look for the short guy with a beard!” They chuckle but I stay memorable. An important part is to remember that not only must your beard be well groomed at all times (as you mentioned) but your clothes have to be a touch “more appropriate” than your peers. If the rest of your office is in polos and chinos, step it up to button downs.

As a bearded professional I’m a bit biased, but I feel as long as the beard is well groomed and well-maintained, it shouldn’t be an issue. I frequently get positive comments on my beard and moustache and clients always remember “that bearded guy” when I make sales presentations.

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