As we approach Halloween, I got to thinking about costumes, particularly masks. You could say your company uniform is a costume, of sorts. The way you wear your hair is part of your costume. Facial hair is a kind of mask.
Our choices in grooming are a form of non-verbal communication. Different choices project different messages. Your choices in grooming cause different responses from people. Think about it. When people first meet you, they’ll form an instant opinion based on your appearance. The exact same person will initially respond to you one way if you’re clean shaven, and more than likely, another way if you’ve got facial hair. Don’t argue the point. After all, it’s why you’re wearing facial hair.
How many of you reading this have grown facial hair because you feel like you’ve got a baby face without it? In other words, people would respond to you differently without it.
Facial hair has always been a contentious topic, and this is not an article criticizing facial hair. I know better than that. Styles come and go, and goatees are more prevalent and socially acceptable than they’ve been in my lifetime. (I’m not aware of any time in which they were ever totally unacceptable.)
I’ve learned that there are three things the American male of today won’t part with, and will go ballistic if you try to take away from them:
- Their constant tinkering at their smartphone
- Their tattoos
- Their facial hair.
Some think a well-groomed beard makes a guy look rugged and masculine, while others feel they only detract from a man’s look.
According to a new facial hair study published in Biology Letters on April 16, 2014, when shown men’s faces, men and women consistently rated the faces with beards or stubble as more attractive than clean-shaven faces. Imagine, a few years ago stubble was considered unattractive and pretty much taboo in the professional workplace.
The study went on to say that beards were most alluring when facial hair was rare, whereas clean-shaven faces gained in popularity when hairy faces were the norm. In other words, facial hair was deemed more attractive when subjects saw fewer men wearing it. This follows a 2013 study by Australian researchers that concluded women prefer men with heavy stubble to the clean-shaven look.
Those scientists hypothesize that facial hair makes men seem more mature and masculine, but also more dominant and aggressive. “Men, judging other men, might be sensitive to the overall level of masculine threat and aggression signaled through full beards,” the researchers wrote.
So, that study indicates that stubble could be a positive when meeting women, but has potential as a negative when meeting men.
On the other end of the spectrum, other studies have shown that, when mock juries are presented with pictures of men accused of crimes like rape, the juries are much more likely to believe the bearded man is guilty.
One consistent theme I noticed in my research for this column is that, whatever facial hairstyle is chosen, it must be kept very neat. That’s my biggest objection to wearing it myself. It’s just too much trouble to navigate around a mustache or goatee. Plus, no matter how you look at it, facial hair is a sign of vanity, and I don’t think people who work with the public should look vain. I’m entitled to my preferences, and I prefer not to see mustaches on both men and women.
Your Opinion Counts
I just spent all summer without a shave or a haircut, just so I could take this series of pictures. As you can see, I took these as I gradually cleaned up my act.
See for yourself and decide which of these four people your wife would feel most comfortable inviting into the deepest, darkest, quietest, most remote part of your home, while you’re away, and she’s alone with him.
Use the "Comments" section below, to offer your opinion on which of these pics you prefer.
Charlie Greer now offers technician ride-alongs with his clean-shaven associate, Dale Mincks. Dale will run calls with your technicians, in your market, using your prices. Dale does all the talking and selling on the calls. He is an expert in the Tec Daddy system, and uses it on calls. He usually sells more for you than what he charges to do it, plus, everyone’s sales go up. For more information, call 800-963-HVAC (4822), or go to www.hvacprofitboosters.com. Email Charlie at [email protected]