Often our first interactions with each other are short introductions that leave physical behaviors and visual brands up for interpretation to those who we are interacting with. The face is arguably the strongest immediate connection to one another and with slight missteps or poor representation it can be misread resulting in character judgments that hit far from their mark. As your beard rests on the surface of your face and is part of your personal brand it is important to cultivate that beard and not let the beard cultivate you lest you find yourself lost in a sea of identities. Let me be clear that I do not mean tame when I say cultivate. Whether you have a 5 o’clock shadow or a Rasputin, and everything between, you can be subject to many misrepresentations and turn-offs. Below I will suggest a few things to consider when working on a strong personal brand.
The first step is to know your natural growth patterns and work with them, not against. Working within your given framework brings ease and comfort. It is easy to want to shave or trim the undesired growths but with a little shaping you can work these areas, whatever they may be, into the overall look of your beard. Find the most natural hairline on your cheeks and neck and use those as guides to produce clean lines. It is always better to shave less than you think rather than
Another approach would be to let it grow wild with minimum to no trimming and get in touch with your inner woodsman. With little else than time you will have a glorious hair-forest sprouting from your face. But know that even the lazier of techniques still require a bit of cultivating and care to achieve singularity between you and your hair. The best tools here will be your hands and balm. Stroke, pet, and play that mass into the desired form. Consistency is key so put continuous effort into it.
Due to cultural stories and historical persons there are shapes that bring numerous moods to your character simply based on appearance. The experimenting and changing of such shapes can be the most fun part of your personal brand: Indian Jones on Monday, Kublai Khan on Wednesday, and Obi Wan for the weekend. Whatever the goal of mood may be make sure that it doesn’t look forced and that you are confident wearing what you have chosen. If you are uncomfortable it will show and you can easily be misread as a poser. In my opinion there isn’t much worse for a brand than to be assigned this label, it assumes many forms of weakness and suspicion to its subject.
Time is your friend. What looks unkempt today may look perfect tomorrow; give it time. If you are truly invested in cultivating your personal brand you must give it time to become you. As it grows upon you so to will you grow with it. Be strong, Gentlemen. Go forth and cultivate the best personal brand for yourself and it will become you.