For ancient Egyptians, it was a sign of wealth and status. Romans would cultivate their beards to signify mourning, while Gauls equated the loss of one with castration. To the 21st-century man, though, beard styles are more a sartorial statement of intent than a status symbol; and choosing the best beard style just got a whole lot easier.
From short stubble, Hugh Jackman’s medium beard to a long goatee, when it comes to facial hair, there’s no one-size-fits-all when choosing a beard style. In the office, at the gym, or partying hard, beards say a lot more about you than you think. Beard styles can convey confidence, reveal a rebellious side, or even portray a powerful persona.
Keep scrolling to discover everything you need to know about finding the most flattering beard style for your face.
Reasons to Grow a Beard
Cheap, versatile, and adaptable, facial hair can change the shape of a man’s face and completely alter how he looks in jeans and a T-shirt or a suit.
A few whiskers here and there can make a babyface look older, draw attention away from a thinning hairline and hide a multitude of sins (or chins). In short, it allows a man to be the ultimate chameleon.
What makes things different from the last time facial hair was in fashion back in the seventies isn’t just the sheer variety of styles men are now experimenting with or the number of products available to help them achieve the perfect look, but women’s attitude towards beards.
The fact that so many celebrities are sporting facial furniture just like they do tattoo designs has helped, too. Try imagining the likes of Drake, Idris Elba, or David Beckham without their signature beard styles and you’ll see how much it’s embedded itself into the public consciousness.
Short Beard Styles
Who It Suits
A neatly trimmed short beard will suit most face shapes, though you may need to tailor the angles to emphasize your best features and downplay your worst.
If you have a round face, for example, you might want to reduce the length at the sides slightly to elongate the face. Similarly, leaving the sides slightly longer can help add width to a thin, narrow face. Blessed with a double chin? Try taking the beard down all the way to the Adam’s Apple to disguise it.
If in doubt, ask a barber to tend to your beard with your next trim, then keep up the shape at home.
How To Maintain
Unlike the big, bushy beard, the short beard style is minimal and precise. With neatness being key, a decent beard trimmer is also essential. A wet razor will come in handy, too.
- Allow the beard to grow until around 1-2cm, keeping hair neat with the help of a beard trimmer. Opt for one with an edging blade or built-in laser guide for pinpoint accuracy. Always trim just outside the line of your beard that will leave you room to tidy it up properly with a razor.
- Use a wet razor to remove any stray hairs on the cheeks and to keep the lower neck area smooth.
- Instead of ending the beard exactly on the jawline (which can be unflattering, especially for guys with a soft jawline), remove it just after the natural line of the jaw, or adjust the length of your trimmer by small increments as you work down towards the Adam’s Apple for a graduated effect.
1. Short Stubble Beard
A short stubble beard is a beard style that bridges the gap between a clean-shaven and a short beard. While stubble is the easiest to cultivate, the length of the stubble depends on how quickly your hair grows, meaning it can take between 2-14 days for that just got-out-of-bed vibe.
2. Short Boxed Beard
This well-groomed beard style features sharp lines and contours to give the impression of a box around the jawline. It’s an ideal option for anyone who wants a full-face beard suitable for work and play. It is usually trimmed evenly to around ½” long.
3. Corporate Beard
The corporate beard style means business. It’s a formal, very short full face, well-maintained beard style that works for professional men within a corporate environment. Classy, presentable, and ½-1” long, it’s one of the short beard styles for the CEO hopeful who has to follow a strict beard policy.
4. Short Rounded Beard
If you have a round, diamond, or square-shaped face, a short rounded beard style is a great look. The facial hair follows the natural curve of the face but doesn’t add bulk to the cheek area. You’ll need to grow your beard for 4-8 weeks and regularly trim to ensure a uniform length.
5. Short Faded Beard
A faded beard is neat and stylish. Here, the beard fades from thick hair to a shaved face in the same way as a faded haircut, this can be as subtle or dramatic as you want it. To rock this beard style, combine it with a faded hairstyle to create a cohesive sharp look.
6. Hollywoodian Beard
This beard style features an extended goatee, a full mustache, and a wide horizontal chinstrap tracing the lower jawline. It’s perfect for anyone wanting to show off their movie-style looks. Be patient though, to create this beard style, you’ll need a length of around 1-2” which can take 2-4 months to grow.
7. Short Beard
For many men, a beard symbolizes manhood and attractiveness. But you don’t need to follow the rules to opt for this style, create whatever type of facial hair suits you best. Add a unique men’s hairstyle to create a memorable look, no matter what you’re wearing.
8. Short Modern Beard
A short modern beard is smart, neat, and should come no more than 1-2” below the chin. This style is particularly suited for men who deal with patchy facial hair growth. Style it in any way to suit your face and lifestyle. Easy to maintain, and still holds a masculine look.
9. Mustache and Chin Strap
Looking to showcase a chiseled jawline? A chin strap beard is the only way to go. It extends from one sideburn to the other riding between jawline and neck. Wear with a mustache or go mustache-free; think F1 racer Lewis Hamilton for inspiration.
10. Short and Tapered Beard
While long beards work best for tapering, it’s also possible to taper many short beard styles. Banish the stubble effect by keeping the hair around the chin dense and trimming any remaining facial hair in a gradient. It’s a modern beard style that suits all face shapes.
11. Textured Short Beard
Facial hair is much more coarse than the hair on the head. Face follicles are also more sensitive to testosterone, which makes the follicles twist, giving a kinked and sometimes unrurly effect. For a textured short beard style, allow the hair and mustache to grow, don’t use a beard brush, and curl the ends up with some light hold beard wax or product.
12. Verdi Beard
The Verdi beard style, named after Italian opera composer Giuseppe Verdi, is legendary. If you want your beard to hit notes on everyone’s radar, you’ll need a rounded bottom, short sides, and a long bushy mustache combed to the sides or curled up. The beard should be no more than 4” long.
The beardstache falls somewhere between stubble and a full beard. It’s a hybrid style where the mustache is kept longer and fuller than the surrounding hair. This beard style oozes masculinity and is a favorite with celebrities, including designer Patrick Grant, actor Jamie Dornan, and model-turned-DJ Chris Camplin.
If you have a rebellious streak, the goatee is a beard style is beloved by bad boys. Brother to the beard, it’s any style featuring hair above the lip and chin only and occasionally connected to frame the mouth. A goatee works great for guys with short hair or long, messy locks.
15. Short Shaggy Beard
This beard style should be sexy, shaggy, and not messy. For the best results, keep it finger-width long. If your facial hair has uneven growth and it’s a struggle to grow a full beard, it’s a forgiving option. You’ll need to get this beard type styled around every 2 weeks.
The chevron is a classic short beard style. It covers the whole top lip and follows your natural facial contours. Its look is distinctly retro and, despite the bold statement it makes, it’s still easy to achieve and maintain. Keep the rest of your face clean-shaven for a timeless style.
17. Mutton Chops
Unless you’ve been living on Mars, you’ve likely seen Hugh Jackman in Marvel’s Wolverine, and there is no way you missed his mutton chops. A beard style originating from the mid-19th century, mutton chops have seen a comeback in the 21st century. To wear this style, maintain long sideburns down to the jaw and pair with a mustache, stubble or a clean-shaven chin.
18. Van Dyke Beard
Named after Anthony Van Dyke, a 17th-century painter, this whimsical short beard style is a highly-stylized trim featuring a full goatee with a floating mustache. The cheeks and jaw should be clean-shaven, well-maintained and require regular upkeep. The finished look is artistic and attention-grabbing perfect for elongating a round face.
19. Classic Stache
If you’re looking for a short beard style that’s approachable, versatile, and unpretentious, a classic stache is ideal. A more relaxed version of the chevron, this style allows your upper lip hair to grow naturally but trim any hairs that grow beyond the edges of your mouth. Keep the rest of the face clean-shaven or dusted with a healthy 2-3 day stubble.
20. Royal Beard
A distinguished beard style for classy, professional men. To create a royal beard, pair a classic mustache with a chin strip that runs vertically down the chin. For a balanced look, keep the mustache and chin strip thicknesses similar. This trim is especially flattering for guys with square-shaped faces.
21. Thin Beard
If you’ve always wanted to grow a beard but are battling thin facial hair, it can be frustrating. Not everyone has thick, fast-growing hair, (and that’s okay). Instead of choosing beard styles that highlight sparse facial hair, opt for ones that leave cheek areas close-shaven or bare. Think goatees, chinstraps, and staches.
22. Chin Beard
A chin beard style can help to transform the shape of your face. For round face shapes, style your chin beard in a sharp point to give the impression your face is more angular. If you have a square face shape, round the beard to create softer lines.
23. Balbo Beard
The Balbo beard style got its name from Mussolini’s right-hand man, Italo Balbo. It’s defined by a separate mustache and beard. It features a beard minus sideburns and a trimmed, floating mustache. It works on all face shapes but is most flattering on men with a weak chin, where it helps add fullness.
24. Patchy Beard
There’s no shame in a patchy beard; it happens to the best of men. The likes of James Franco, Keanu Reeves, and Jamie Dorman don’t let that stop them. These Hollywood A-listers embrace their natural hair texture, allowing thicker areas to grow longer while keeping patchier sections short.
25. Five O’Clock Shadow or Three Day Beard
Three-day stubble, or a five o’clock shadow, is a rugged and relaxed beard style. Let your facial hair grow out for 2-5 days to achieve designer stubble at home. Take your trimmer and clip your beard down to a ¼” or less, but make sure it’s uniform length all over. Shave the neck clean – job done.
26 . Chinstrap Beard
Showcase a strong jawline or define a softer one; chinstrap beard styles for men are versatile and unique. The effect a chinstrap beard creates is dramatic yet still minimalistic – this style will not reinvent you just add to your overall style. Keep in mind your overall face shape when determining the thickness of your chinstrap.
27. Anchor Beard
Robert Downey Jr., Johnny Depp, and Christian Bale; what do these celebrities all have in common? They’ve all worn (and pulled off) an anchor beard style. Named after the shape it creates, an anchor style combines a neat mustache with a strip of hair leading down to a pointed beard extending from the chin to the jawline.
28. Circle Beard
The short circle beard style is making a comeback. Here, the mustache connects directly to the beard, which has shaved edges. The lines can be soft of the edges defined, but either way, the two areas of facial hair link together to create a ring or circle around the mouth and chin.
29. Soul Patch Beard
If you like to make a bold statement and don’t take life too seriously, look no further than a soul patch beard. A tuft of hair under the bottom lip, the soul patch has its roots in the art scenes of the fifties. Show the world your creative side with this retro beard style.
30. Defined Beard
If you’re working in a corporate environment, there’s no need to ditch the beard; just keep it groomed and neat for a professional look. A defined short beard style will look smart and flatter your bone structure. Keep the hair one uniform length and the cheeks and edges razor sharp.
31. Coarse Short Beard
Beards are incredibly popular amongst men, and it’s easy to see why; a beard can completely alter your entire look. Close-shaven and defined or natural and rugged, short beard styles are on-trend. Incorporate a moisturizing beard oil into your daily routine to prevent irritation and promote growth.
Medium Beard Styles
Who It Suits
In the same way the beardstache straddles two facial hair styles (the beard and mustache), medium-length beards look just as good on a lumberjack as a suited city slicker, instantly adding a hyper-masculine ruggedness to any face.
It works well on most face shapes but requires thicker facial hair and looks best on guys with a wider philtrum (the stretch of skin between the top lip and nose) and a prominent chin due to it drawing attention higher up the face. However, there are a few different styles you maintain to alter your face shape – much like short beard styles.
How To Maintain
Maintaining a medium beard style is like looking after two very different kids just adjust your maintenance strategy to accommodate both.
- The look can be created from the starting point of a full beard or by simply allowing the stubble around your upper lip to grow longer from scratch.
- Use a beard trimmer to keep the hair around the chin and cheeks at an extended stubble length while growing the mustache so that the sides finish just lower than the bottom lip, but not beyond the jawline (unless the cheek and chin hair is also that length), otherwise, you’ll look like Yosemite Sam.
- Keep the ‘stache part tangle-free with the help of a decent mustache comb and shape with a touch of mustache wax, distributing the wax evenly with the comb.
32. Medium Stubble Beard
Stubble beard styles are universally flattering, even for men with thin or patchy facial hair. Better still, they don’t require much maintenance. Medium-length stubble is a classic, masculine look and was voted the most attractive facial hair option by women in a study by Northumbria University.
33. Medium Boxed Beard
A medium boxed beard style is a more groomed and maintained alternative to a full beard. Sides are neatly trimmed with a 3 guard, tapering to a number 2 for the sideburns with a little more length left around the chin area using a 4 guard.
34. Oscar Isaac’s Medium Beard
When the movie Dune hit the silver screen, it wasn’t the visual thrills or dynamic screenplay fans were raving about; it was Oscar Isaac’s impressive beard. It may come as a surprise that Isaac’s character was almost beardless. The movie’s director and Isaac fought about the facial hair, which took 14 weeks to grow.
35. Hugh Jackman’s Medium Beard
Hugh Jackman’s facial hair is as famous as the movies he’s starred in. Hollywood actor Hugh has worn everything from mutton chops for his role as Wolverine to a pirate mustache as Captain Hook. His most popular look, though, is his red carpet-rocking medium stubble beard style.
36. Medium Round Beard
A round beard follows the face’s natural contours without adding width, making it an ideal medium beard style for men with wider faces. You’ll need patience, though; a quality beard will take 1-2 months to grow. Once you have the length, get to shaping regularly with your favorite clippers.
37. Medium Square Beard
Facial hair can transform and even change your face shape. For example, a medium square beard style will help create angles that you may not naturally have if you have a round face. Trim close to the chin, leaving more length towards the sides and back of the jaw.
38. Medium Length Beard
Medium beard styles are very popular with men who want to achieve a sophisticated yet edgy vibe. Why not fully embrace the look with a slick man bun which will showcase high cheekbones? If you have finer facial hair, consider goatee styles.
39. Tailored Beard
A medium-length tailored beard style can make the face look longer and define the jawline. Also, an intermediate beard length is considered the most attractive. To keep your tailored look in tip-top condition, use a professional shampoo that doesn’t strip your facial hair of its natural oils.
Long Beard Styles
Who It Suits
Of all the beard styles, the full beard is the hardest to rock, partly because it’s such a statement. Guys with oval faces will have no problem making it work, but if you’ve any other face shape, you may need some creative trimming to ensure it flatters.
Slim, angular jaws, and narrow faces can be softened and rounded out by keeping the sides slightly longer, while round faces can be elongated by growing the hair at the chin longer and keeping the sides shorter.
You can also make a rounder face look thinner by growing the hair on the front of your face slightly longer than the hair on the cheeks. Think of this crafty contouring as whisker magic.
If you’re seeking the best beard styles for bald men, a full beard may be the way to go. Just because you can’t grow it on top (or don’t want hair there) doesn’t mean your face can’t pick up the slack. A full, long beard with a bald head makes for a dramatic contrast that’s sure to turn heads.
How To Maintain
More than any other beard style, you get out what you put in with fuller growth. Society finally accepts this shape as something that’s acceptable for more than just shopping mall Santas, so don’t ruin it for the rest of us by heading out with a wiry, matted mess hanging off your face.
- Grow your beard to your own personal peak beard length (you’ll know when you’ve hit it).
- Use a beard trimmer on a long setting to maintain the length, combing through with a beard brush first – always trim when dry.
- Be patient if your beard appears patchy at first. Gaps often fill in naturally as hair grows to cover them.
- Keep your beard glossy and conditioned with the help of beard oil. Since facial hair draws up moisture, the skin itself beneath can become particularly dry and flaky (hence the dreaded beard dandruff) so use your fingers to ensure the oil gets right beneath the hair, too.
- Use a beard comb or brush daily to minimize the risk of tangles and evenly distribute your beard oil.
- To increase the bushy-ness, try blow-drying your beard using a hairdryer on the cool setting. Take a small comb or beard brush and gently tease out and downwards as you dry.
- Have your beard professionally shaped by a barber every once in a while to give it a shape you can easily follow at home.
40. Full Beard Styles
Nothing is more macho or will instill more beard-envy than a long and full beard style. To give this look justice, you’ll need to be patient. Growing a long beard can take up to a minimum of 8 weeks. After that, to avoid the Santa vibe, it will need regular grooming and products.
41. Faded Beard Styles
Faded beards can look just as good with longer beard styles as short beard styles. To look your best and get that classic faded look, though, it’s a good idea to go to a professional barber. The longer the beard, the more masculine – fade it, don’t fake it.
42. Braided Beard Styles
You only have to look at actor Jason Momoa to realize braids are not just for girls. So why not go one step further by braiding that bold and beautiful long beard? For this beard style, speak to a professional barber and make the first move to becoming that much more magnificent.
43. Curly Beard
Curly beards look a lot fuller and have more volume than straight beard styles. Each hair follicle is wound like a spring, meaning it needs careful managing. Using beard balm or beard oil or a mixture of both to keep the hair moisturized and healthy. Applying these products daily will help tame, smooth, and conquer those curls. Time to respect the beard.
44. Bushy Beard
If you’re looking to Be Exceptional Among Regular Dudes, then a bushy beard style is the way to go. Big and bold, a bushy beard isn’t as tricky to grow as you may think. It will all depend on your hair’s color, texture, length, and thickness.
45. Viking Beard
The Viking diet was comprised of meat, fish, and fresh veggies; this goes a long way when getting that battle-ready long beard style. You’ll need to grow your hair to its max to achieve this style. Apart from regular shampooing and moisturizing, let your beard grow wild for up to 6 months with no shaving or trimming.
46. Pointy Beard
The easiest way to be on point with this beard style is to grow a full beard and then trim it into shape. Leave more length on the chin, keep the angles crisp, and trim to a point. Doing this will make your face appear leaner and longer.
47. French Fork Beard
Like many rock bands, achieve a devilish persona with a French fork beard style. To get this long beard style, you will need a minimum of 12 weeks of beard growth. The beard extends past the chin and splits down the center into two sections to create fork-like prongs.
48. Long Goatee Beard
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to goatee beard styles. Whether you opt for short or long, the growing process is the same. Leave your facial hair alone for several days or so, during which beat the itch by using a daily moisturizer to soothe your skin.
49. Gandalf Beard
The Gandalf beard is the kind of beard style that you can twizzle and braid. This long beard style is a statement look favored by barmen, baristas, and men from middle earth. Beware, though, it may take up to 2-3 years to reach 12” long, get ready to wait.
50. Ducktail Beard
The big difference between a goatee and a ducktail beard style is the mustache remains short and trimmed along with your remaining facial hair, excluding your chin, of course. A long ducktail is more informal than its shorter cousin but does need more washing and brushing.
51. Power Beard
Never underestimate the pulling power of a beard. This long beard style can be wavy, curly, or straight, but to qualify should be 4-6” long. Not for the shy and retiring, it’s a buff beard for a man with bags of personality. Remember, big beards are the new six-pack.
52. Power Beard with Walrus Mustache
If you’re teeming with testosterone and have great genetics, then pair that power beard style with a walrus mustache. Wax and curl your tache up ringmaster-style or wear it down and comb it into the beard. Either way, it’s a style that bridges the gap between traditional and trendy.
53. Bandholz Beard
Boast a boss-like beard. This beard style gets its name thanks to Beardbrand co-founder Eric Bandholz. Bandholz took the company from zero sales to a multi-million dollar skies. It features a groomed mustache blended into a full beard. The remaining beard is left to grow freely and beyond 8” long.
54. Hipster Beard
Big, bushy, but well-groomed, a hipster beard earned its title from the 21stcentury sub-culture defined by uniqueness, rebellion, and independent thinking. This long beard style looks hip teamed-up with a mustache with or without twisted ends. It’s the perfect look for a man who likes to go his own way.
55. Lumberjack Beard
With this masculine style, you don’t need to carry an ax or wear a check shirt to look a cut above the rest. Nevertheless, it is a burly beard style that features a thick bushy mustache, long sideburns, and a full beard.
Men’s Beard Styles FAQ’s
How do I choose my beard style?
While you may like the latest trend, it might not suit your face shape, try and choose a beard style to complement your face and features. Your look must fit your lifestyle, too, at work and play. Finally, go for a beard style you know you can grow, groom, and maintain.
What beard styles make your face look thinner?
Bear in mind that fat accumulates on the cheeks and jawline when you pack on the pounds, resulting in a rounder, shorter, and softer face, which can appear chubby. To redress the balance, and make your face appear thinner, choose a beard style that adds vertical length rather than width, with sharp angles around the jawline.
Do beards make you look sexier?
It’s official; beards are sexy. A study by Northumbria University revealed that women singled out stubbly guys as partner material, viewing them as tougher, more masculine, and dominant looking than those with no stubble. Why? The higher a man’s testosterone levels, the faster the stubble growth, sending out a clear visual message of masculinity.
What beard styles are trending?
The top trending beard style in the USA and China is the goatee. The Van Dyke is a facial favorite in the UK, while Down Under, Aussie men love a short stubble beard. Wherever you live in the world, one thing’s for sure, with more people working remotely from home, the beard craze is growing (in more ways than one).