I’ve been thinking for a long time about switching up my facial hair. I’m normally clean-shaven, which can be a bit of a hassle to maintain. I thought about growing my beard out, but was nervous about whether it would give a bad impression. In my mind, beards can often look unkempt and I am worried about projecting a negative image, especially at the office and in my dating life.
But I recently talked to a friend about this and he mentioned that more refined beard styles are popular right now. Lots of people look much better with a grown-out beard. We ended up plunging into a discussion about facial hair styles that made me much more excited to try out a few short beard styles.
Why Do Beards Make Some Men Look Better?
- They’re a classic symbol of masculinity.
- They can conceal minor flaws and imperfections.
- They make a style statement.
How to Choose the Right Beard Style for You
You can choose a beard style based on a lot of different factors. Some styles might match your personality – if you’re a rugged, outdoorsy guy, then a more voluminous scruffy beard might match you perfectly.
But if you’re going to wear a beard, I strongly recommend considering your face shape and choosing a style that will complement your features. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of wiggle room in each of these categories to find a style that you like. But this is an important starting place to make sure you look your best.
- Square faces look best with beards that take advantage of their jawline. Keep it close-trimmed on the sides and let it get fuller on your chin. Recommend beard styles: Goatee, Circle beard, Royal beard.
- Round faces look good with beards that create an angular look on their cheekbones. They can also look good with styles that emphasize the chin, to create a strong chin silhouette. Recommend beard styles: Van Dyke, Balbo beard.
- Oval faces can work with just about any beard style, so you can take your pick. Go with whatever suits your vibe. Recommend beard styles: Chevron mustache, Close-trimmed stubble, Classic mustache.
- Rectangular faces thrive with a beard that’s short on the bottom and long on the sides. This highlights their existing strong lines. Recommend beard styles: Mutton chops, Chin strap, Gunslinger beard, Mustache.
How to Trim a Beard
Where most men go wrong is not taking care of their beard. Having a beard isn’t a way to get out of taking care of your skin and face. You have to groom a beard, just like any part of your body. Here are a few tips to follow, no matter what style you’re rocking:
- Always trim right after you shower. Towel off your beard so it’s dry (you can’t trim a beard if it’s dripping wet). This is when your beard will be easiest to cut because the hair will be clean and hydrated.
- Comb through your beard before you trim it. This will detangle any knots and make sure it’s tidy, so you’ll be able to trim it properly.
- Use a trimming styling tool.
- You can’t undo a bad trim job, so go slow.
- If you have a mustache, always brush it downward and trim any hair that hangs over your lip. A shaggy mustache is never a good look.
- Use a sharp pair of grooming scissors to trim away any loose hairs.
- Use a good beard oil to keep the hair soft, healthy, and conditioned. This will keep your beard looking stylish and rugged without veering into “mountain man” territory.
The Most Popular Beard Styles
Listed below are 12 top beard styles for different styles, choose the one that fits you well, and create your own masculine look right away.
Short Beard Styles
#1 Top Beard Styles: Van Dyke Beard
A Van Dyke is a combination of a mustache and goatee, where the goatee forms an upside-down T. All other hair is shaved. This style is named after Anthony Van Dyke, a famous Flemish artist. It’s popular with creative types.
#2 Top Beard Styles: Chevron Mustache
Mustaches have been getting a bad rap for decades, but they’re finally coming back. The chevron mustache is what you immediately think of when you think “mustache.” The hair closely follows the shape of the upper lip, forming a soft upside-down V. It’s the classic Tom Selleck mustache.
Because it’s such an iconic look, doesn’t require a lot of careful sculpting, and looks pretty natural, it’s a good place to start if you want to try having a mustache without a lot of hassle.
#3 Top Beard Styles: Pencil Mustache
The pencil mustache is a tricky one to nail. It’s the kind of look that you probably already know whether you can make it work – and if not, I don’t recommend trying it. Give it a shot if you have very thick, dark facial hair and don’t have fair skin. A good pencil mustache can look great on the right person, but unfortunately, it doesn’t look good on most people. It’s high-risk, high-reward.
#4 Top Beard Styles: Mutton Chops
Mutton chops make a big statement. They’ve been out of fashion for a while but are recently starting to make a comeback, in part thanks to Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in the X-Men movies. One great thing about mutton chops? They really sculpt the features of your face.
#5 Top Beard Styles: The 5 O’clock Shadow
5 o’clock shadow is the shortest beard you can get; the idea is to replicate the look of half a day’s worth of beard growth. They only take a few days to grow for most people. They’re a great way to add shape and contour to your face – it’s a bit like the facial hair version of contouring with makeup.
#6 Top Beard Styles: Scruffy Beard
Scruff is just a bit longer than 5 o’clock shadow. It’s a bit grittier, a bit more of a statement. Just about anyone can wear an all-around scruff as long as they keep it well-groomed.
#7 Top Beard Styles: Corporate Beard
This style was specifically developed to be appropriate in just about any office environment, which is why I chose to start with it as my first foray into facial hair. Make sure you keep it tidy, even though it has some length to it.
#8 Top Beard Styles: Hollywoodian
The Hollywoodian sculpts the cheek lines lower, creating the illusion of a prominent jawline. Keep the neckline full to stay firmly out of chinstrap territory (unless a chinstrap is what you’re going for). Consider this style if your cheek and sideburn growth is patchy.
Long Beard Styles
#9 Top Beard Styles: Power Beard
Power beards manage to toe the line between old-school and modern. They’re between 4 and 6 inches in length and certainly make a statement. Depending on whether you pair it with a curled walrus mustache or a trimmed mustache, it can give a rustic or sleek look.
#10 Top Beard Styles: Spade-Shaped Power Beard
This is a tricky style; I recommend having a barber do this one for you. But it does a great job at creating a chiseled jawline.
#11 Top Beard Styles: Yeard, Twears, and Terminal Beards
These are the Duck Dynasty-type mountain man beards, with between 1 and 6 years of full growth.
#12 Top Beard Styles: Bandholz Beards
The Bandholz is the quintessential hipster beard. It’s a yeard that’s been allowed to grow completely naturally without trimming or shaping. Everyone’s Bandholz will grow out differently, making it a distinctive style not for the faint of heart.