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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!
And we know that you’ve been thinking about the style you want to try. 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 is the best beard for your face that will show off your features and match your personality. Read on to find out the right facial hair style that will suit you based on your face shape.
The Basic Face Shapes
- The Oval Face Shape
“Egg-shaped,” somewhat oblong, with rounded cheeks and a pointed chin. The cheekbones are the widest part of your face, and your face is longer than wider. Usually, there are no sharp angles.
- The Round Face Shape
Circular, with consistent length at both the head and chin. This means that your cheekbone length and the length of your face are the same, and at the same time, they are bigger than your jawline and forehead.
- The Long Face Shape
Noticeably larger in length than in width. Meaning that your face is noticeably longer than wider, and you probably have a sharp jaw.
- The Square Face Shape
Generally consistent all around, with a broad chin and forehead. This means all the main characteristics of your face have the same width (cheekbones, forehead, jaw).
- The Heart Face Shape
It is quite similar to the round face, but your forehead and cheekbones are the widest parts of your face. As you go down to the jaw, your face becomes less and less wide.
- The Diamond Face Shape
Your cheekbones are the widest parts of your face, and the forehead and chin are noticeably narrower.
Before deciding on the style you want to try, the first thing you need to do is to find out the shape of your face. 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 from your girlfriend.)
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. If you don’t feel confident doing it by yourself, visit a professional barber or stylist, and ask their opinion.
There are basically four facial beard styles: full beard, scraggly beard, mustache, and goatee. Each of these can be broken down into more specific styles. So let’s take a look!
The Basic Beard Styles
Full Beard Styles
- Full Beard – the classic full beard we all love.
- Side Whiskers – a long beard connected to sideburns and a mustache, but with the chin shaved clean.
- The ducktail beard – a long beard style that is shorter on the sides and longer on the chin.
Scruffy beard styles
- Neck Beard – a beard that is only grown out (where else?) on the neck. The face is shaved clean.
- Stubble – also known as a “five o’clock shadow,” is a day’s growth of close-trimmed facial hair.
- Fu Manchu – a thin, long mustache grown alongside each mouth. Named after the fictional villain Dr. Fu Manchu.
- Pencil Mustache – very thin mustache hairs just coating the upper lip.
- Toothbrush Mustache – a thick comb or toothbrush-like bunch of hair on the upper lip. It was made popular by Charlie Chaplin and made unpopular by Adolf Hitler.
- Walrus Mustache – A thick, bushy mustache that drapes slightly over and on either side of the mouth, looking supposedly similar to a walrus’ whiskers.
- Handlebar Mustache – a long mustache that is usually curled and tapered at the tips.
- Balbo – a bushy goatee covering the chin, with a thick mustache on the upper lip.
- Van Dyke – also known as a “French Beard,” consists of a single pointy goat patch and a wide, pointy mustache.
- Soul Patch – a small, closed shaved patch of hair directly below the lower lip in the middle of the chin.
Once you know your face shape and the basic facial hairstyles, you can easily decide the style that’s the best beard for your face shape. A general description, recommendations, and general suggestions are listed below.
Best Beard Styles For Oval Face
Touted as the “perfect” face shape, the “egg-shaped” oval-shaped face is the easiest to accommodate and upkeep since it has the right balance of smooth and sharp features. Almost any style can suit an oval face, including:
Either a small tuft of hair on the chin or a circular patch around the mouth. Best paired with a trimmed mustache.
A scraggly, rugged, close-cut beard. It can either be confined to the chin and the cheeks or met by sideburns.
Either drooping or trimmed, almost any kind of mustache will match an oval face.
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. Learn how to choose the best trimmer for long beards here.
- GOAL: To enhance your natural face shape.
- DO: Try various styles! The oval shape is very flexible, easily forgiving beginner’s mistakes.
- DON’T: Do anything that would distort the face line. For example, Dickenson period sideburns, a Mohawk, or a very long beard with a bald head.
Read more about choosing a beard style for the oval face
Best Beard Styles For Round Face
A round face can be hard to figure out, as it tends to be seen as youthful and “cute” rather than rugged. However, there are options available that will help you get rid of this cuteness and look more badass.
The faded beard is a really good choice for guys with a round face shape as it will make their face look less round by adding length to their face.
Goatee and circle beards are another really good option for guys with round face shapes as they will make their jaw look more defined and will add length.
- GOAL: To elongate your face, making it more oval.
- DO: Keep your sides fairly close-shaven. The thickest points should either be at the top of your head or the point of your chin.
- DON’T: Do anything that will widen your face like sideburns, bushy beards, or mustaches.
Related Article: 11 Best Beard Styles For Round Face Shape
Best Beard Styles For Long Face
Similar to the oval shape … but just a little bit on the long side. Instead of keeping most of the hair equal on your head and chin, as you would do with a round face, you should try to make your face look shorter by adding width.
Best with short (or thinning/bald) hair; keep it short and try to add width.
A well-trimmed mustache stretching outward can help break up your face’s length as it will create the illusion of a wider face.
- GOAL: To make your face look shorter without changing the overall shape.
- DO: Experiment to see whether you prefer fuller hair with a short beard or cropped hair with a longer beard.
- DON’T: Do anything that will elongate your face, for example, a pointed beard.
If you want more details about the long face, read our article: “Best Beard Styles For The Long Face Shape“
Best Beard Styles For Square Face
A square face is similar to a round face in size but tends to have a broader forehead and chin, with a boxlike shape. What you want to achieve is to soften the edges by keeping a nice, smooth cut all around.
Try a short-length beard. Keep it rounded instead of squared at the edges, avoiding sharp or jagged angles.
Try a close-shaved, circular-shaped goatee around your mouth.
- GOAL: To round out the edges of your face, making a more ovular shape.
- DO: Keep your beard trimmed close to the cheeks and fuller near your chin.
- DON’T: Make the chin hairs too long or too pointed, and don’t elongate your face too much.
For more details, read our best beard styles for square faces guide.
Best Beard Styles For Heart Face
A heart-shaped face is somewhat a combination of a long and oval face, 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.
Close shaved generally, but longest on each side of your chin.
A goatee that covers your chin, perhaps met by a dropping mustache to add volume and make it wider.
- GOAL: To cover the chin and make it appear even with the rest of your face.
- DO: Go for flat, straight-cut edges, cause it will make your face broader and squarer.
- DON’T: Do a mustache without a beard. This will frame your chin, making it even more obvious.
For more details about the best beard styles for the heart-shaped face, read this guide.
Best Beard Styles For Diamond Face
A diamond face (triangular face) is the widest at the cheekbones, tapering off into a pointed chin. It can be a difficult match, but try to create a more oval shape by choosing a square-cut style.
Try a medium to full-length beard and make it more square than rounded.
A trim mustache, low and pointed outward, to emphasize the lower half of your face.
A short beard will make your jaw look softer, so it is a nice beard style for the diamond face shape.
- GOAL: To soften sharp cheekbones, round out the chin and forehead.
- DO: Keep all hair on the cheekbone shaved close, allowing the hair below to grow fuller.
- DON’T: Do sideburns. Just don’t. This will have the effect of widening your cheekbones without compensating elsewhere.
To learn more, read our article: 5 Best Beard Styles For The Diamond Face Shape
Feel free to experiment
So, there are 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 and let us know if you like your new beard.
Russell is the founder of themensattitude.com. He is a barber a beard enthusiast and he is obsessed with trying men’s lifestyle products and blog about them. If you have any questions you can hit him up via the contact page.