Despite the style and statement your beard makes, there are still many professional settings where they’re not accepted. Corporate settings, for instance, have looked down on or outright banned facial hair altogether for decades. That’s where the corporate beard style comes in.
While that is largely not the case anymore, and beards in corporate America have become more widely accepted, these settings still don’t allow for complete freedom while choosing your beard style. After all, the corporate world puts massive importance on a clean, well-groomed appearance.
Employees are expected to look their best at all times. Not only does this demonstrate professionalism while representing yourself as an upstanding corporate member, but you’re also projecting a positive image for your company.
The corporate beard style makes the best of both here. It’s a well-maintained fuller beard that looks clean, crisp, and most importantly, professional.
Making a Statement: You and the Corporate Beard Style
It’s also referred to as the “business casual beard” or “professional beard.” Many young professionals sport this look, as it gives an impression of maturity beyond their years. However, it’s also found widely amongst those in technology fields, like software and web development, as well as managerial roles.
The corporate beard style communicates an entrepreneurial spirit, as well as confidence in yourself. Since beards are still so taboo within the corporate setting, you need a bold personality to grow one.
However, the corporate beard style runs into some limitations, as outside of work and in more social settings, the beard’s statement is far less bold. That’s an unfortunate by-product of the limitations put in place by your workplace.
Younger men are more likely to grow this type of beard since more young men wear beards than older men. It takes a young man’s boldness to sport a beard when walking into a major investor’s office.
What is the Corporate Beard Style?
The corporate beard style is a well-groomed full beard. It has trimmed sharp lines and is kept at a short length of ½-inch to 1-inch. It is different from a boxed beard because the cheek line maintains a more natural appearance. However, both the corporate beard and boxed beard have clean, trimmed necklines.
The even length and well-trimmed lines of the corporate beard are its defining points. The mustache is kept trimmed short, while the soul patch is trimmed while maintaining its natural shape.
This beard is not the lumberjack look and doesn’t suit scraggly hairs. Depending on your workplace culture, you can vary the length from being shorter and cleaner to a little bit longer.
What Face Shape Works Best with the Corporate Beard Style
Since the corporate beard is part of the full-beard family, it can work with any face shape. The short, trimmed style of the corporate beard doesn’t overly emphasize any parts of the face. However, some face shapes work better than others.
The face shapes that pull off the corporate beard style best are those with pointed chins. The corporate beard draws attention away from the chin and gives the face a more balanced appearance.
If you have a triangle, diamond, or heart-shaped face, this beard will be a great choice. Those with oval-shaped faces can pull off this look very well, also, though oval-shaped faces can pull off pretty much any beard style.
If you have a round face or a square face, you’ll need to pay more attention to shaping and trimming your beard. Having it too long can make your face look too wide or bottom heavy. A closely-trimmed beard resolves that issue.
Growing a Corporate Beard
The important thing to remember when deciding to grow this beard is that maintenance is essential. You’ll need to keep it trimmed, with sharp lines. A shorter length is more of a business professional beard, while longer variants are more business casual beards.
Beards will grow an average of ½-inch to 1-inch per month, and it will take 4 to 6 weeks of growth to sufficiently grow out your beard. You need to let your beard grow out enough during that time so that the hair fills in, preventing a patchy appearance.
The beginning stage of this process can look scraggly and unprofessional. If you can grow out your beard over an extended break, that may be preferred.
Things You’ll Need to Shape Your Beard
To keep your corporate beard clean and professional-looking, you’ll need to invest in some tools.
Invest in a high-quality electric razor with a trimmer function. You won’t need to do fine detail trimming, like for your Adam’s apple. However, this will make it a lot easier to define the lines of your beard to then shave further with a razor.
You’ll also want a high-quality set of beard scissors, which will make your life a lot easier for trimming your mustache.
While you don’t necessarily need this last tool, it can make your life easier for not a big investment. Beard shaping tools are available to help you trim clean lines along the outline of your beard. These are typical guards that you can either hold or strap onto your head to provide an outline while trimming your beard. Variations include built-in combs or smaller pieces to use with a mustache.
You don’t need additional tools to shape your beard, though it removes the guesswork involved with shaping your beard.
Shaping Your Beard
Once your beard has grown out and you have the necessary tools, it’s time to shape your beard. Make sure to wash and dry your beard before shaping.
If you purchased beard shaping tools, they can be a shortcut for this next section.
For the corporate beard style, it’s best to start by shaping the neckline. This beard requires a higher neckline than most other full beard styles. While the full beard trims the neckline to the Adam’s apple, the corporate beard trims to just above the Adam’s apple.
Tilt your head up and inspect the neck and under your chin. Take your first two fingers of either hand and use it to measure from the Adam’s apple up to the chin.
To determine the neckline for the corporate beard style, imagine a line from the left ear to the area above the Adam’s apple, then to the right ear.
Trim a line along those points using your trimmer, then trim the hair below that line.
It’s important to clean up the corners of the jawline, as well. Imagine a vertical line down from the sideburns and trim any hair that extends beyond it.
What to Do With the Cheek Line?
You have the option with the corporate beard style whether you want to trim your cheek line. Unlike the boxed beard, the cheek line does not have to be trimmed into a perfect line. However, if your beard hair grows high, almost up to the eye, or your hair is thick, trimming your cheek line can create a cleaner appearance.
To determine the cheek line, imagine a line from the center of the ear to the mustache and trim the hair above it.
Different Takes on the Mustache
The mustache for the corporate beard style needs to be well-trimmed. It’s easiest to snip any unruly hairs using your mustache scissors. You also need to keep a shorter, uniform length at the lip.
Use a comb to make the hair uniform and trim the hair that extends below the lip, to the mouth. You can trim for uniformity around the edges of the mouth, into the connectors, depending on how thick it grows.
The classic look for the corporate beard style is an attached, well-trimmed mustache. There are variations of the corporate beard that has a detached mustache. This is a much bolder look and is popular amongst those with more of an entrepreneurial spirit.
Trimming Your Corporate Beard to Length
Once your beard is shaped, it needs to be trimmed to a uniform length. Keeping your beard short and clean is a crucial defining point of the corporate beard.
If you’re using electric scissors, comb your beard and snip off any unruly hairs sticking out. Using the comb, lift portions of hair to trim into uniformity, being careful to keep it looking symmetrical. The cheeks are often trimmed shorter to add more shape and to keep a professional appearance.
Using electric trimmers is a lot simpler, as you select the guard size you want. For the corporate beard, select either the ½-inch or 1-inch guard.
Different trimmer brands have different guard sizes from each other (as in, a #2 guard in one brand is different from a #2 guard in a different brand). Be careful when selecting, though they should tell you the size in inches.
Trim your beard slowly and incrementally, alternating sides to keep a symmetrical beard length. Once your beard is trimmed and uniform, it’s important to clean up your look using a traditional razor.
Rinse your beard and face to wash away any loose hairs. Apply your shaving cream or gel to the newly trimmed areas, then shave along your beard lines. If needed, make a second pass with the razor to keep a smooth close shave.
Once shaved, apply aftershave balm or lotion to keep your skin healthy.
Maintaining Your Corporate Beard
The corporate beard style is defined by its carefully manicured appearance. This is crucial to keep your beard’s lines sharp and crisp, but having a healthy beard is going to make it that much more comfortable for you.
Trim your beard using the electric razor at least once every 1 to 2 weeks, depending on how quickly your beard grows. Monitor its growth and trim away any unruly and scraggly hairs. Shave with a traditional razor every 1 to 2 days. If your beard grows quickly, shave daily. The neckline and cheeks should be cleanly shaven to maintain your best appearance.
It’s also important to moisturize your beard regularly. Do so at least once a day, but twice is recommended. Wash your face using a facial cleanser (it’s easy to do this during your regular shower) then apply a facial moisturizer.
Don’t use shampoo designed for your scalp on your beard. This can make your beard dry out and become scratchy. It’s also recommended to towel dry your beard at this length, it’s not necessary to use a hairdryer, as this can further dry out your beard and make it brittle.
Applying a beard oil or balm is also recommended, alongside your facial moisturizer. Massage it into your hair and skin, then comb your beard for uniformity. This ensures your beard is softer and healthier, plus it keeps your skin more comfortable and prevents it from being itchy.