Nearly 62% of women say they prefer a man with facial hair over one that’s clean-shaven.
The problem is, most men see this as an invitation to go ‘full caveman.’ Slow up there – unless your name's Kurt Russel, a wild-man beard just isn't going to fly with the ladies.
The secret to bearded success is careful and consistent grooming. This means you need to know the different beard shapes, and styles, and how to achieve them.
Understanding the significance of men's beard shapes is crucial for personal grooming and self-expression. A well-groomed beard complements facial features, enhancing one's overall appearance and style.
Different face shapes require specific beard styles to achieve optimal balance and symmetry. The right beard shape can highlight strengths and minimize perceived flaws, contributing to a more confident and attractive presence.
Beyond aesthetics, cultural and professional contexts also play a role in influencing the social perception of facial hair. By understanding these beard shapes, you can empower yourself to make informed grooming choices that align with your unique facial structure.
Today I’m covering the top ten men’s facial hair styles guaranteed to take your beard game from shabby to sexy.
#1 The Faded Beard
This style is excellent for men with square and oval faces. It is achieved by tapering the beard and sideburns into the hair.
The facial hair gradually fades into the skin, producing a blending effect. These can start anywhere from halfway down the beard to the sideburn.
It can be a great way to show your attention to detail – but it’s also challenging to manage and maintain.
Make sure you have a good barber – maintaining this faded style will require regular check-ups to maintain that fade.
Pro Tip: Don’t try and fade your beard yourself. It takes precision and training to fade the beard correctly, and any mishap on your end can have irreversible consequences.
#2 The Beardstache
This controversial look has started making waves within the last 3 years.
It consists of a full-length mustache with a beard trimmed to stubble.
The Beardstache works best with men who have a long philtrum – the skin between the nose and the upper lip – to allow for the growth of a more robust ’stache.
There are no ‘correct’ measurements for the mustache, only that it has to be thick compared to the beard.
Warning: This style requires dutiful maintenance – you need to keep two different lengths of facial hair, not to mention careful crafting of the mustache itself.
Wear it at your own risk – this men’s facial hairstyle is the most polarizing on the list. People either love it or hate it!
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#3 The Bandholz Beard
This style works great for guys with round faces – especially those who aren’t in love with their jawline and want a more angular look.
Eric Bandholz brought forward this type of beard after growing tired of the stigma against facial hair in corporate offices. From 2011 onwards, this style became synonymous with the “Urban Beardsman” lifestyle he promotes.
It holds a strong resemblance to the Garibaldi (which I’ll talk about later) in that a full mustache connects to a fuller beard. However, while the Garibaldi is round and stops at the 7-inch mark, the Bandholz isn’t beholden to length.
There isn’t as much care required here, but it does look best with a trim around the edges to maintain a clean and deliberate look.
It’s a new take on a classic, making this one of the more widely-approved “trendy” men’s facial hair styles.
#4 The Van Dyke
A good choice for round-faced men – the Van Dyke came in and out of style since the 17th century.
It all started with Flemish painter Anthony Van Dick, and it became such a hit that King Charles I of England started using it.
Portraits often show him wearing the iconic style, most of which were painted by Van Dick himself.
It’s a simple look any man can achieve manually – the Van Dyke consists of a goatee and mustache that don’t connect. They vary in length between longer and more modest combinations.
Nowadays, the look is used notably by David Beckham, Johnny Depp, and yes – Colonel Sanders.
#5 The Full Goatee (aka Circle Beard)
This men’s facial hair style burst onto the scene in the ’90s, and it’s remained a favorite. Celebrities such as Robert Downey Jr. and Leonardo DiCaprio love to rock it.
It’s simply a mustache and goatee that are connected. It’s great for guys who want to conceal their jawline – especially those with square faces.
Though it doesn’t require extensive maintenance, men should take care to shave around the circle to keep it crisp.
This style is also favored for its social versatility – feel free to rock it even in professional environments.
#6 The Garibaldi
General Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882) was a leading man in the unification of Italy.
His signature men’s facial hair style can be counted as another lasting legacy.
This fuller look comprises a more prominent mustache and beard with a rounded bottom.
For men looking for a full beard to start with, the Garibaldi is a viable option as it looks good on all face shapes.
#7 Dutch Style
This is as old as it gets – used by the ancient Greeks to symbolize masculinity.
The Spartans even sheered it off Greek men at war as a show of disgrace.
In the 19th century, it became famous in the US as the “Shenandoah” style after Abraham Lincoln made it his signature look.
It’s gone in and out of style since its inception, but more and more men have grown to like it throughout the 2000s – making it a viable choice in 2022 for men with triangular faces.
Besides the fact you need to keep your mustache area shaved, the length and shape of the beard are subjective – shape it according to your preference, just know it may be controversial in the office!
In the 1930s, the man who had stubble was a man who was unemployed and down on his luck.
People thought so lowly of this style that the “5 o’clock shadow” was coined as an incentive for young men to shave twice a day.
Today, however, it’s a different story. Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK, found that stubble received overwhelming preference out of 15 men’s facial hair styles shown to 60 women.
Out of all the looks in this list, stubble is the easiest to grow and maintain. A man needs to wait a few days (usually 5) and proceed upon maintenance with a simple run of a clipper.
The best part? It works for all face shapes and situations.
#9 The Uniform Style
This men’s facial hair style is usually just a step up in length from stubble. The uniform style is great for oval, square, and round faces as it accentuates a little edge.
It’s particularly well-suited for the office, as it constitutes a full beard without going overboard.
This could be the best option for the man who wants a bit more than 5 o’clock shadow but can’t quite pull off a full-length beard.
#10 The Short Beard (aka Boxed Beard)
The grand champion of 2023 men’s facial hair styles has to be the short beard – it’s been in style for centuries and still looks excellent on men of every face shape.
It was made famous by Roman army officers and emperors in the 3rd century AD.
The empire was in a state of crisis, and good commanders became celebrities, bringing the beard with them. In Roman society, a groomed short beard became the staple of refined ruggedness.
For men who are proud of their face shape, it’s beneficial as it gives the appearance of a full beard without detracting from their natural features. Though it’s generally a few steps above stubble, it’s highly adjustable.
Different men usually trim certain aspects of the beard to accentuate their absolute best features.
Mastering the art of grooming different beard shapes is essential, as it allows you to tailor your facial hair to complement its distinct features. A well-groomed beard isn't just about style; it's about understanding the nuances of one's facial structure.
Different face shapes demand specific beard styles to achieve harmony and highlight key attributes. Knowing which beard shape suits your face is akin to selecting the right accessory — it enhances your overall look.
It's a form of self-expression that boosts confidence and radiates personality. Beyond aesthetics, understanding these beard styles ensures that your grooming choices align with individuality, promoting a polished, intentional appearance that leaves a lasting impression.
In today's article, we covered:
- Faded Beard
- Bandholz Beard
- Van Dyke
- Full Goatee
- Dutch Style
- Uniform Style
- Boxed Beard
Need some more tips on grooming the gruff? Check out my top picks for beard oils.
Click below to watch the video – 7 SIMPLE Shaving Hacks That Will Level Up Your Shave:
What Beard Style Is Best For Me?
Hard to say - it depends on your lifestyle and face shape. If you need more information on the best beard styles for men, check out my ultimate guide here.
Are Beards Unprofessional?
Again, that depends. Beards are not unprofessional but may be considered inappropriate for some workplaces. Check out your company's dress code to work out where you stand.
What If My Beard Grows Patchy?
Then keep trying. A patchy beard can be covered up with length! Don't let patchy spots ruin your bearded dream!
How do I choose a facial hair style that's right for me?
Consider factors like your face shape, beard growth pattern, personal style, and the look you want to achieve.
Can I combine different facial hair styles?
Absolutely. Combining styles, like the beardstache, can give a unique look and allow individuals to customize their appearance.
Are there styles that can make my beard look fuller?
Yes, styles like the full beard, when grown and groomed properly, can give the appearance of a fuller face of hair.
What style is best for patchy beards?
Styles like the stubble or strategic shaving (emphasizing the fuller parts and trimming the patchy areas) can work well for patchy beards.
Is facial hair a trend or a timeless style?
While specific facial hair styles may trend at times, facial hair, in general, is timeless and has been popular across various cultures and eras.