to beard, or not to beard

what does your facial hair say about you?

The residential flat rate contractor has been told for years that, “facial hair should not be allowed in your company.”  There have been a variety of reasons cited as to why techs, in-home salespeople, and mangers should not have facial hair.  The most common reason is, “facial hair indicates that you have something to hide, and therefor can not be trusted.”

Once a lack of trust has been established, it is then easy to say that your sales would suffer as well.

However, is this true?  Does facial hair really say that about you, and more?

Does facial hair identify your business model?

Facial hair has become a dividing line for many companies.  If you line up the technicians of 2 different companies, and look at their grooming, you can quickly form some opinions about the way those companies do business.

I think you can form opinions on the type of company a tech works for based on image alone.  Don’t believe me?  Ok, then take this quick test.  Based on the pictures below, label the tech as either A) Retail Flat Rate Contractor, or B) Time and Material Contractor.

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Do I work at a Flat Rate Company or a Time and Material Company?

Jeremy Full Beard 2

Full Beard – Flat Rate or Time and Material?

Do I work at a Flat Rate Company or a Time and Material Company?

Jeremy no beard 2

N0 Beard – Flat Rate or Time and Material?

(Please – cast your vote and share your answer by commenting on social media.)

I would be willing to bet that all of you labeled the clean shaven face as that of the Retail Flat Rate Technician.

I’d also bet that you begin to label these men in other ways too.

Does facial hair affect the perceptions of other characteristics, like trustworthiness?

Going back to the examples above, let’s ask a few more labeling questions:

What does a full beard say about me?

Jeremy Full Beard 21.  Do you think I’m a nice person?

2.  Would you trust me in your home?

3.  Do you think I have a criminal history?


What does the clean face say about me?

Jeremy no beard 2

1. Do you think I’m a nice person?

2.  Would you trust me in your home?

3.  Do you think I have a criminal history?


As a tech, how did the above example make you feel?

If you are mad, then I bet you are sporting some facial hair, and you feel judged.  Allow me to point out, that I have not made any judgements on character up to this point.  I have left the character judgements up to you!  The only judgement that I made is that the clean shaven face is probably that of a residential flat rate contractor.

If you are NOT mad, then you are either clean shaven, or don’t have a negative opinion of facial hair.

The pictures above are of the same person. His name is Jeremy Smith, and he is an old friend of mine from high school. He graciously gave me permission to use his photos. The point of using the same person is to point out that you form an opinion based on image alone.

What does science say about facial hair?

Allow me to say that science is all over the place on this topic!  I have found research pieces that “prove” that facial hair will reduce your perceived trust with homeowners.

However, I have also found research pieces that “prove” it increases your trustworthiness as well.

McMaster University of Hamilton Canada did a study in January 2014 that stated

“Participants were significantly more likely to choose bearded faces over their clean-shaven counterparts when asked to assess a male’s perceived trustworthiness.”  See full article by CLICKING HERE.

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Published Online March 2014 in SciRes.

Published Online March 2014 in SciRes.

What does the real world of results say about facial hair?

Here’s where it get’s interesting!  I have been tracking results for over a decade, and I have discovered that there are 2 truths on the topic of facial hair:

#1 – The Clean Shaven Professional gets BIG RESULTS!

#2 – The Well Groomed Professional with Facial Hair gets BIG RESULTS!

Yes, I have brought you to this point to say, that professionalism wins, not facial hair!

It is very common that a big producing professional will switch between facial hair and being clean shaven, several times in his career.

The key to winning with facial hair is to pick a look that works great for you, and meets your company’s image standards.

Here’s to your success and facial hair!

Question:  What’s look do you sport?  Please share your answer on  and .

Here’s a fun picture of Jeremy transitioning from fully bearded to no beard.

Jeremy Beard Transition

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