Find the Best Beard Style for Your Face Shape [Infographic]
The time has come, as it has come into the lives of many good and noteworthy men before you.
An act that changes you from a thin-faced, pimple-speckled teen (or a thirty-something java-drinking Joe Average) into the rugged embodiment of manhood.
You’ve decided to grow a beard.
Now, like as not you’ve basically thought about the style you want. Maybe it’s inspired by that movie you saw last week, where the hero is practically a social magnet. Or maybe you want to look just like your Dad did … or not.
Whatever the case, before committing to a life of whiskers, you should investigate which beard suits YOU, showing off your features and exemplifying your personality. Namely, which best matches the shape of your face, framing your eyes and creating a flattering, respectable appearance.
The Basic Face Shapes
"egg shaped", somewhat oblong, with rounded cheeks and pointed chin.
circular, consistent length at both the head and chin.
noticeably larger in length than in width.
generally consistent all around, with a broad chin and forehead.
similar to round, with wider chin and forehead than cheekbone.
wide cheeks with sharp bones, narrow chin, and narrow forehead.
First, decide which shape your face is. If it isn’t obvious, look straight into a large mirror, and trace the outline of your face with a washable marker (or borrow some lipstick.)
Don’t include your ears or neck, just your face (including your chin, cheeks, and top of your head.) This should make it easier to tell.
Or, if you visit a professional barber or stylist, be sure and ask their opinion.
There are basically four styles of facial hair: full beard, scraggly beard, mustache, and goatee. Each of these can be broken down into more specific styles.
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The Basic Beard Styles
Once you know your face shape and the basic facial hair styles, you can easily decide the style that’s best. A general description, recommendations, and general suggestions are listed below.
Touted as the “perfect” face shape, the egg-shaped oval shape is the easiest to accommodate and upkeep, since it has the right balance of smooth and sharp features. Almost any style can be made to suit an oval face, including:
Goatee – either a small tuft of hair on the chin, or a circular patch around the mouth. Best paired with a trimmed mustache.
Scruffy Beard – a scraggly, rugged, close cut beard, almost any of the styles listed above. It can either be confined to the chin, the cheeks, or met by sideburns.
Mustache – either drooping or trimmed, almost any kind will match an oval face.
Full Beard – it can be made round and full, or more pointed and trimmed. Again, any of the listed styles can be acceptable for the oval face.
A roundish face can be hard to figure out, as it tends to be seen as youthful and “cute” than rugged. However, some options are still available that can elongate your profile, and be styled to your liking.
Scruffy Beard – keep it shaved close, such as the five o'clock shadow. A general rule of thumb is the height of your hair; if your hairstyle is about ¼ tall, your beard should be about the same.
Mustache – Again, keep it shaved close. It should also “fade out” downwards rather than tapering towards your ears, which would make your face appear wider. Try something similar to the pencil mustache.
Similar to the oval shape … but just a little on the long side. Instead of keeping most of the hair equal on your head and chin, as for round faces, you’ll try to shorten your profile slightly by emphasizing one or the other.
Scruffy Beard – best with short (or thinning / bald) hair, still kept short but of equal thickness all around.
Mustache – a well-trimmed mustache stretching outward can help to break up the length of your face.
A square face is similar to the round in size, but tends to have a broader forehead and chin, with a boxlike shape overall. For this one, you’ll soften the edges by keeping a nice, smooth cut on everything.
Full Beard – try a medium to long length beard. Keep it rounded instead of square at the edges, avoiding any sharp or jagged angles on either the face or edges.
Goatee – try a close-shaved, circular shaped goatee around your mouth.
A heart shaped face is somewhat a combination of long and oval, where the chin tends to jut out longer than the cheeks. Your style option should try to make the cheek and chin appear flush and slightly broader.
Scruffy Beard – close shaved generally, but longest on each side of your chin, until it appears even.
Goatee – a goatee that covers your chin, perhaps met by a dropping mustache.
A diamond face is widest at the cheekbones, tapering off into a pointed chin. It can be difficult match, but try to create a more oval shape by choosing a square-cut style.
Full Beard – try a medium to full length beard, cut more square than rounded.
Mustache –a trim mustache, low and pointed outward, to emphasize the lower half of your face.
Goatee – a goatee that is wide instead of long, to broaden your chin.
Feel free to experiment
So, there’s the six basic face shapes, along with the recommended (and not recommended) styles of beards, mustaches, and hair for each. Feel free to experiment – some.
Know your hair’s thickness and general growth speed before making drastic changes, and be sure to consult a barber to stylist for expert and personalized advice.
Keep in mind that certain styles will look and feel different at different ages. Generally, between the late teens to mid twenties, facial hair tends to be sparse and somewhat soft; it'll be unlikely to gain a full beard or stiff mustache.
Middle aged men tend to get the best results, and usually find their favorite style at this time.
By the time men reach upper fifties, face shapes may have changed some, the hair is thinner and color might change. Each point may require a completely different look for some, while others may notice very little change.
In general, the goal is to achieve an equal, oval-shaped face, and to provide a natural frame that draws attention to your eyes.
With time and practice, you’ll discover a number of options that will help change up the ordinary while still enhancing your best and boldest features.
~ Growing a beard can me a tricky but worthwhile endeavor if you enjoy the manly look and feel of a beard, or if that special someone in your life does.
Many well-known and renowned individuals have had beards or mustaches, or some creative combination on therein.
Beards can be worn handsomely in any color, from blonde, to black, to brown, to red. As long it you choose a style to complement your face, you are certain to receive numerous accolades from the less fortunate.
Also be sure to groom your new style regularly.
Nothing is less appealing than a style that is handsome from a distance and disgusting upon closer inspection. Washing, combing, applying oil, and daily styling is a must. It would be wise to receive input from several sources before settling on one style. Friends, family, and speaking acquaintances are one. Books, magazines, websites, and other inspiring media are another.
However, do keep in mind that media can often present an unrealistic view of life and should be approached cautiously as a source of advice. You should also consider whether you truly desire the expense and upkeep that a well maintained beard requires. ~.