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Are there benefits to sporting a beard at work? For some, a clean-shaven face looks most representative, while others feel a little facial hair is modern. And ignoring the current trend for beards. Do beards have a positive influence on people? For example, as a salesman, would your sales increase if you have a beard? I spoke about this with Chantal van den Berg, expert neuropsychology.
Chantal, how does having a beard affect other people in a man’s day-to-day life?
“To answer that question, we have to go back to prehistoric times. Humans have evolved to think of only one thing when we first see someone: are you a threat or not? This crosses our minds when we see relatives, friends, strangers, or colleagues. To determine whether someone is a threat, we first look at the face. Men with angular faces have an advantage. This face shape makes us subconsciously think that someone is strong and can therefore take care of us when things go wrong.
If a man has a beard, it shows a certain level of maturity. It also creates a dominant appearance.”
A mature look at work seems beneficial to me. But dominance, not always…
”A mature appearance ensures that people have confidence in that person. If you look at sales positions, the beard can work to your advantage. We are more likely to buy from someone who looks mature, reliable, and dominant than from someone who comes across as immature and unreliable. But of course, it also depends on what you’re selling. I can imagine that a man who sells razors should not wear a beard…”
Yet, some people do not trust men with beards. Why is that?
”I’ve heard that a few times. In most cases, this concerns a man with a long beard. Because there are, of course, many different beards. The funny thing is that if you ask, people rarely know why they don’t trust a man with a long beard. This is something we often receive from our upbringing. Many of us are ‘programmed’ without realizing it.
So if you want a beard that inspires confidence, it’s better to keep it short. A beard that is a few days old radiates maturity, but once it is several centimeters long, people sometimes tend to mistrust you.”
I’m curious what the gentlemen think now that they’ve read this. Are you going to adjust your beard or grow one?