Whether you’re a young man who’s finally gotten past his peach fuzz phase or a mature man who wants to experiment with a beard for the first time, choosing how to style it can be a daunting task.
It doesn’t help that almost every professional picture you see of attractive males have well-trimmed, perfectly styled, and manly manes.
Some have longer beards that would make a lumberjack proud while others have stylish, metropolitan goatees that emphasize their class or fashion sense.
How did they get to be so good at picking a great style that suits them?
They read this guide, of course (kidding!).
The truth is that many men learn how to style them through trial and error, often by receiving compliments or criticism from their peers or significant others.
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But you don’t need to go through all that, because we’ve compiled a top guide to choosing the best beard styles for men right here.
We’ll go into the distinct styles you can choose from and, more importantly, help you figure out the right thought process that’ll ensure you pick the best style the first time.
By the end, you’ll be ready to look in the mirror, set your goals, and start growing the beard that’ll define your face as nothing else can.
Use the table of contents below to jump to the sections most important to you.
Table of Contents
Step 1: The Beard Basics
If you’re here, you want to style your beard in a way that both suits your personality, and that brings you some pride.
Lucky for you, there are literally thousands to choose from, each of them at least somewhat distinct from the rest.
Each beard style invokes different ideas or imagery in those who see you, and they can vary dramatically in terms of the upkeep required to attain or maintain them.
However, there’s a startling number of men – particularly young males – who don’t know much about the variety beyond the basic hipster scruff and fluff.
Trying to name and categorize all the thousands of facial hairstyles that have been created over millennia isn’t a good idea, even for a guide that aims to be as thorough as this one.
With that being said, let’s begin this guide with a broad definition of different styles to both:
Some Basic Definitions (Or, Why Specifically Naming Your Beard Style Is An Exercise In Frustration!)
Strictly speaking, there are basically five different ways you can structure your facial hairstyle or five different “archetypes” of beard styles to choose between.
While it’s true that there are many more hundreds of specifically named styles to choose from, the exact terminology of each of these can vary from region to region.
For instance, there’s a common joke term for a certain kind of goatee called a “pudding cup.”
Odds are that many of those who read this guide won’t know what we’re referring to.
On the other hand, guys who know that the “pudding cup” term comes from small, disposable cups of chocolate pudding pressed to your mouth will know exactly what we’re talking about.
However, this term isn’t beneficial when you’re trying to explain your intended style to a stylist at a salon, search for ideal growth, maintenance strategies, or for general conversation since not everyone will get the reference.
So, while these names can be amusing overall, we’ll be categorizing all of our beard discussion into the five following major groups or general styles.
Of course, you have to keep in mind that there are many smaller permutations or sub-styles of four of the following archetypes; clean-shaven is the only general style that can be achieved in one way.
So let’s begin with the simplest of styles.
All men begin clean-shaven, and it remains the most popular choice for men in Western countries.
This is decidedly untrue for countries in the Middle East and many African countries, although Asian males also stick with being clean-shaven more often than not.
There’s a lot to like about keeping your facial hair shaved away.
It looks “clean” to many, evoking imagery of a put-together man or a business professional.
It also requires a little less consistent maintenance, at least for those that don’t need to shave every day to maintain the same basic look.
However, being clean-shaven limits your aesthetic options since you can only be clean-shaven in a single way.
There are lots of ways to style a beard or mustache, but there’s only one way not to have facial hair.
Since this guide is about choosing the ideal beard for you, we won’t spend a lot of time talking about clean-shaven.
Beards, in the broadest definition, consist of facial hair that covers your cheeks, jaw, and chin.
Technically speaking, it doesn’t have to cover the upper lip (otherwise known as a mustache), although most styles incorporate facial hair in this region to at least some degree.
You can grow them to virtually any length depending on your hair’s genetic terminal length, which is the predetermined length of your beard, after which point the strands will start to split.
Also, longer beards afford extra styling options, much as women can do with their typically longer hairstyles.
With so many different styling options available, beards give you a massive range of ways to express yourself or affect your overall image.
A mustache is defined only as hair that grows on your upper lip.
While many mustaches are combined with facial hair that grows on other regions of the face, only the hairs on the upper lip count as part of the mustache.
The ideal mustache is impossible to determine since different mustache styles have been popular throughout history.
Think of a thinner mustache exemplified by the French in popular culture or the handlebar mustache that biker gangs are, for better or worse, known for.
Mustaches are often used by males who want to grow some facial hair but dislike the feeling or maintenance required to keep a full beard looking it’s best.
Alternatively, many males only grow a mustache because it’s the only place they can consistently grow facial hair.
The upper lip is the area where most men will grow facial hair, even if the hair on the cheeks or jaw doesn’t quite reach the same thickness or consistency.
As a result, a mustache is popular among young males who haven’t reached their peak testosterone levels.
The Partial Beard/Goatee/Chinstraps/Etc.
As you probably know, partial beards, which include goatees, chinstrap styles, and much more, are popular among many males for similar reasons as mustaches.
They don’t take as long to grow as a full beard and require less maintenance every day.
At the same time, these facial hairstyles can appear exciting and can be modified in lots of different ways, many of which can be used to say something about your character or profession.
The most significant advantage of the partial beard is in its attention to detail.
Because you don’t have a lot of facial hair with any of these styles, anybody looking at you will be drawn to exactly how you’ve done it.
As a result, it’s a great choice for men who enjoy precisely shaving or sculpting into the exact configuration they desire.
Finally, you can also focus on growing your sideburns to the exclusion of other parts of your beard or face.
Granted, sideburn styles aren’t nearly as popular in the modern era as they were decades or centuries ago.
But sideburns play a significant role in the proper formation of a full beard and might also impact your partial style depending on its exact design.
Sideburns are defined as the hair that grows from your temples down to the bottom of your jaw without expending into the cheek region of your face.
They’re often used by those with full beards to successfully blend their facial hair with their head hair, creating an unbroken hairy chain.
Step 2: Beard Styles and You
Now that we’ve gone over the major categories of facial hairstyles, we can break down these styles even further to identify what they can help you accomplish and what they entail.
We’ll also eliminate any definition issues so you can know exactly what to tell the stylist the next time you’re at the salon.
So How Do You Choose Your Beard Style?
You’re looking in the mirror and watching your facial hair start to grow in after you’ve abstained from using your razor for a day or two.
The time is quickly coming when you’ll have to decide what to shave off (if anything) and what kind of beard you’ll be trying to sculpt.
It’s a bit like a painter looking at a blank canvas, we think.
While you can pick any style under the sun, what you really want to do is identify one that works for you or improves your appearance.
This necessitates a little forethought ahead of time instead of just letting things grow and shaving randomly.
The choice can be made based on face shapes/structures or a beard’s social implications.
However, you’ll also have to consider the kind of beard you’re physically able to grow.
Unfortunately for some, a man’s ability to grow a full beard is often determined by his genetics more than anything else.
This is why, for instance, some cultures have lots of people with full beards while others have people with mostly clean-shaven faces.
In a lot of these cases, those distinctive styles arose because of ability rather than personal preference.
Furthermore, males can grow facial hair at varying rates, which can increase or decrease as they age or their diet changes.
We’ve all known (or been) the teenager trying to grow his first beard, only to realize that he can only manage a little mustache of peach fuzz.
This same problem can actually impact adult males, who might only be able to grow a mustache but be unable for the life of them grow anything across their cheeks, chins, or anywhere else.
So, in summary, when choosing your facial hairstyle, you need to consider:
While this might sound like a lot to consider, especially if you haven’t grown a full beard before, it’s not as big of a problem as you might think.
You just have to break down each aspect and handle them individually.
Then, you can figure out what facial hairstyles flat-out won’t work for you, eliminate them from the list, and choose from the ones remaining.
Done in this way, you won’t actually have to browse through hundreds of different beard styles to find the perfect one for you; you’ll just choose from the ones that’ll suit the above requirements.
Facial Shapes – An Overview
Face shapes can have a dramatic effect on the way a beard or facial hairstyle works for a person’s image.
Certain facial shapes are better suited to different beards, as you might well know.
That’s because they can alter the way that your facial structure looks by hiding or highlighting certain aspects.
Alternatively, your bone structure itself might be thought of like a scaffolding on which to sculpt a beard of various shapes or sizes.
Basically, facial shapes matter a lot when choosing the ideal beard style for your aesthetic; let’s go over the main structure categories so you can better identify your own when you next step in front of a mirror.
It should be noted beforehand that a man can have any of the below facial structures or a combination of them.
It’s practically all down to genetic luck which one you get, although if you’re young, you can get a good idea of what you’ll probably look like by checking out photos of your ancestors (male and female).
Men have facial structures of all the below categories in relatively equal amounts, i.e. there isn’t a “masculine” facial structure.
They can all be masculine, especially with the right beard, so don’t worry if you have what you imagine to be a “feminine” facial structure.
Below, you’ll find our recommendations for pairing different beard styles with different facial structures.
The key in most cases is to find balance, either by pairing dynamic or bold facial hairstyles with softer and gentler facial structures or the reverse.
It’s a rare thing that you want to add a particularly bold facial hairstyle with a sharp jawline, or a soft, fuzzy facial style with an already curvy facial structure.
Balance, in our opinion, is the key to holding an excellent facial hairstyle that will draw the eye and accentuate your natural features without overwhelming them.
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Males with a round oval face are defined mostly by their rounded chin or jawlines.
They tend to have softer lines around their face without really sharp jaw corners or a defined chin.
In addition, their cheekbones might not be very pronounced, instead of blending more wholly with the rest of their face.
Despite our above statement that any facial structure can be masculine, lots of males tend to prefer squarer or sharper bone structures.
As a result, many popular facial hairstyles for round faces are chosen for this aspect.
What Styles Work Best?
Round faces can work with lots of different beard styles.
A classic beard is a solid choice, as it adds volume and definition to your face if it’s trimmed just right.
In fact, you can grow out your beard to a length slightly farther than above your skin, allowing it to square up your face and mimic a more defined jawline.
At the same time, a full beard can hide the rounded portions of your jaw or chin, drawing attention to the other elements of your face, such as your lips or eyes.
A goatee is another good idea.
This defines your mouth portion and draws the eye there, which can add an additional rounded feature to your face if you’d like to lean into your facial structure more than hide it.
Alternatively, goatees can be done with squarer edges, although this can clash with your face’s natural shape if you go too drastic with it.
Sideburns are characteristic among males with rounded faces, as well.
These can make your face appear longer to the eye by adding a pair of lines on either side; this is particularly helpful for those with short and round faces.
They’ll also add some rectangular shape to your face as a whole, potentially doing what a full beard does with less hair.
However, sideburns aren’t very on-trend at the moment, at least by themselves, though lots of males will connect them to a goatee or beard.
Such a style can easily make an actual silhouetted square of your face.
If this is done correctly and with the right amount of facial hair, people won’t even know you have an especially round face without some serious inspection.
What Styles Don’t?
While full beards can be helpful if you have a round face, they can also exacerbate the softer lines of your jaw and make your face appear squashed or more boyish.
A face that’s too round doesn’t have a lot of definition, and your eyes risk disappearing into the center of your face.
This doesn’t look great on most men, so we’d recommend keeping it trimmed tightly or for a specific shape.
Basically, untrimmed or “wild” beards don’t always look great on round faces.
You’ll also want to ensure that your neckbeard is taken care of regularly.
If scruff starts to creep down your neck, your face can appear even rounder once again, and your neck might appear too short as well.
In the current era, males with square faces receive a lot of attention since a square jawline and/or chin are considered extremely masculine by both men and women.
Square faces can look sharp, decisive, and draw attention from the eye to their angles or corners more than most other bone structures.
As a result, facial hair on square faces can look dynamic and bold to the degree that other facial structures sometimes struggle with.
However, this doesn’t mean that all facial hairstyles work perfectly on people with square faces.
In fact, certain styles work fantastically while others work worse with square faces than even the most untrimmed beard on a round face.
What Styles Work Best?
For square faces, general beards are a win for most guys.
Round beards can soften the angles of your jaw if you find them too distracting, or if your jawline makes your head appear too wide or flat.
Alternatively, a well-trimmed full beard that hugs your face will emphasize your jawline without making it too sharp at the same time.
Depending on the color, it can even make you look a little more imposing or intimidating.
Mustaches are another popular favorite for males with square faces.
Rounded mustaches can make your face appear longer if it is already on the short side, or they can balance out the geometry of your face by adding a few softer curves against the sharper lines of your jaw.
A handlebar mustache is a great example of this style.
Rounded mustaches prevent your face from becoming too boxy or squarish in appearance; while square jawlines are known to be masculine, men with faces that are too square can sometimes come across as dull or slow, even if it isn’t a fair assessment.
What Styles Don’t?
Generally speaking, you want to avoid very long sideburns if you have a square face already unless those sideburns mesh with a full or a partial beard.
It’s because adding additional long lines to either side of your face can sharpen the squareness already present and cause issues, as we described above.
You’ll also want to avoid square goatees since these emphasize the square nature of your bone structure; they look a little like a box within a box.
Pair that with a squarish hairstyle, and you’ll look more like a fool than anything else.
Softer goatees are still okay, but all in all, a beard or mustache will be a better bet for most guys.
Males with small faces might indeed have heads that are a little smaller than average, or they might only appear to have small faces because of their hairstyle or hairline.
Regardless, smaller faces tend to naturally emphasize the positioning of the eyes, nose, and mouth.
If proportions are on the positive side, you’ll have an interesting face, but if your eyes and other elements are a little too large, you might appear a little “bug-eyed” or similarly odd.
Thus, best beard styles for men with small faces should emphasize increasing the overall size of your face and/or drawing attention to the eyes or mouth.
What Styles Work Best?
Goatees are great for those with small faces since they add some beautiful detail to your limited space with which to work.
They also appear more sophisticated and “busy” than regular beards, which can make your face look more dynamic and exciting without taking up too much space.
Goatees can be accentuated by a mustache, or you can add a mustache as a separate beard style.
While you don’t want to go too long with a mustache, as this takes up too much space, and can highlight how small your face already is, a mustache well-sized for your upper lip can look classy.
What Styles Don’t?
You’ll want to avoid full beard styles if you have a small face, as this has a tendency to swallow your features and minimize the distinctiveness of your eyes and mouth.
This is especially true for fluffy or puffy beards; they can almost seem like they’re eating your face rather than accentuating it.
Remember, guys with small faces don’t necessarily have soft jawlines or chins, and you’ll probably want to keep those features at least somewhat on display if you have a small face with a strong jaw.
Don’t let a full beard cover that stuff up.
If you do decide to go for one, keep it thin and consider doing only a partial style.
You also don’t want to go with sideburns for a small face because they’ll only draw attention to your lack of size and have similar problems as a full beard.
Big sideburns can seem too big for your face and appear to be mismatched, which is the exact opposite of what you want.
Males with large faces have a lot of space to work with and can thus have really bombastic or dramatic beard styles and still have some space to spare.
However, they also have to contend with facial hairstyles that can make their eyes or nose appear too small.
This is an especially pertinent worry if they have small eyes or other features already.
Best beard styles for men with large faces emphasize a cool style without covering up too much of the face or drawing attention to any smaller areas.
You also don’t want to grow a hairstyle that makes your head look too big, as this can seem silly or clumsy to an observer.
What Styles Work Best?
Beards are an excellent choice for those with large heads, although you don’t want to go too far and grow too big of a beard that makes the rest of your head appear fat or overly big.
Closely trimmed beards on large heads can look great since they balance out the overall size of your head while still providing the framing effects that good beard styles are known for.
Sideburns are also great, especially since they have plenty of room to grow without making your head appear small or short.
They can help you accentuate the lines of your face and make a large head appear sharper or squarer overall.
You can, of course, combine your sideburns with a beard for a fuller effect.
Larger mustaches are another excellent choice.
They can have the added benefit of separating your face into two sections, which can lessen the impact of your face’s overall size.
Smaller mustaches don’t really do much, however, and in fact, can appear even smaller than they actually are relative to the other features of your face.
What Styles Don’t?
Tiny mustaches are a no-go.
We also don’t recommend goatees if you have a large face unless they’re closer to a full beard than not.
The reason is similar to why we don’t recommend small mustaches; thin or narrow goatees can make your mouth appear smaller or miniaturized relative to the other features of your face.
This can make your proportions seem a bit off to an observer, which is a thing that men with large faces already have to contend with.
As we already mentioned, longer beards usually don’t work well if you already have a large face.
They can make your head appear even bigger, which, depending on your build and the width of your shoulders, can make you seem lopsided or too top-heavy.
There are plenty of guys with different issues who have short faces.
These can appear either squarer or soft and may have features that look somewhat squashed or flat.
For this reason, we’ll want to emphasize beard styles that can make your head appear larger than it actually is or draw attention to your sharper angles and lines.
Dynamic or interesting facial hairstyles can also be helpful since they distract from the possible squashing your other features might experience.
What Styles Work Best?
Beards are an excellent choice for those with shorter faces because they artificially add surface area to your jaw and cheeks.
Think about it.
A full beard literally puffs your face up and makes it larger to any observer, even though, of course, no real bone was added.
Longer beards can actually be a great choice here, as well.
They’ll make your face appear longer as a whole and can potentially cover up a small or flat chin that does nothing for your overall appearance.
Because shorter faces tend to be on the rounder side, this can have the added benefit of eliminating soft curves that you want to cover up.
A goatee can be a similarly good choice for shorter faces.
It adds a little detail to the area around your mouth and can make it seem a little broader or larger than it actually is.
It also diverts the eye away from the size of your face to an exciting area that you’ve spent time and energy on.
If you have big or buggy eyes, the goatee will make them appear less dramatic.
What Styles Don’t?
Although you might think that sideburns could help you fool someone into thinking your face is longer or thicker than it actually is, in practice, many males find that sideburns highlight small face shapes and can even draw attention to small, weak chins.
This is a bit of a tossup depending on the exact size of your face and what kind of sideburns you want to grow.
But in general, we would recommend against growing sideburns if you have a short face unless you want to connect them to a goatee or a full beard.
Mustaches are a similarly tricky territory to tread.
You have to walk a fine line between crafting a mustache that is visible enough to draw attention without being too large that it overwhelms your mouth and the rest of your face.
A mustache that is too large will also take up more facial “real estate” as it were, which can make it appear much larger than it actually might be.
As a guy with a short face, you have limited space to take advantage of.
So, you can’t do any large or droopy mustaches and are restricted to smaller and thinner ones.
It’s possible to make this look good, however, especially if you have other elements (main hairstyle, eyebrow thickness, etc.) that complement the mustache, but most guys with short faces will probably want to stick with a different beard style.
Whatever you do, don’t do a pencil-thin mustache, as this will make your face look even shorter.
Such a thin mustache basically screams to any observer: “Look at my face! It’s so small and cute!”
Males with long faces usually have sharper or more defined angles along their jawline or chin, although this is not always true.
Their proportions may be well suited to their facial structure or might be slightly exaggerated.
We’ll want to focus on beard styles that can cover the excess area of the long face without adding too much mass or surface area at the same time.
We can also use the same principle for “halving” the face as we did with a goatee before, to break a long face into better-proportioned sections.
What Styles Work Best?
Full beards can work well with long faces, although the exact style of a long beard will determine if it’s a good fit.
Beards that are too long and thin, without enough girth or thickness, can make your face appear droopy.
So if you do decide to go for one and you have a long face, you should emphasize thickness overall, as this can accentuate your face’s length and make it appear more substantial rather than stick-like.
A mustache can be a great help as well.
This can segment your face into different areas and help define the middle section of your facial structure, which might be a bit bare already depending on how your facial features are currently proportioned.
What Styles Don’t?
However, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend a full goatee, as this can artificially elongate the shape of your mouth and chin, which emphasizes your face’s length: something you have plenty of already.
Similarly, sideburns can elongate your face and make things appear stretched out, especially if they connect to a long beard.
You’ll probably want to avoid distinctive sideburns if you already have a long face, only growing hair there if it gracefully blends into a shorter beard.
What Do Various Facial Hair Styles Evoke?
What kind of beard you grow to decorate your face can say a lot about your character, profession, interests, or insecurities.
In fact, it’s not an overstatement to claim that a man’s beard is often the most distinctive part of his aesthetic, even above the clothes he chooses to wear.
While your clothes are also somewhat dictated by your body type, the styles of your culture, and what you personally enjoy, your beard is something that you grow over some time with directed intent.
Any beard shows that you meant for it to look the way it did, either through effort or laziness, in the case of grungy stubble.
While it would be nice if we could wear whatever we wanted or grow whatever kind of beard we desired without getting comments or tension, that would also somewhat take away from the magic of facial hair.
After all, part of the reason we humans even bother to display ourselves in various means or fashions is to have an effect on other people.
Do you really put on a sweet-smelling cologne for yourself, or is it to impress a lady friend?
So, what a beard says about you is something you should consider before going through all the effort to grow something impressive.
This isn’t to say that you have to necessarily abide by what certain facial hairstyles will indicate about you as a person, but they can help you choose between similar styles or help you avoid looks that you don’t want to emulate unintentionally.
Clean-shaven males have an advantage in that this facial hairstyle (or lack thereof) can say anything literally.
While it’s associated with a career-oriented professional, clean-shaven males are a dime a dozen and may not have facial hair for any number of reasons.
They may not be able to grow beards quickly or easily, or they may simply enjoy the feel of smooth skin more.
In a way, being clean-shaven is almost a lack of a statement; it doesn’t tell anyone any meaningful information about your personality or aesthetic, and it’s practically unnoticed.
This might be exactly what you’re looking for, in which case we have to ask: why read this guide?
There is something to be said for maintaining a generally “stubbly” appearance.
We all know the look; think TV or movie stars, particularly action heroes, who somehow maintain a perfect 5 o’clock shadow every day and are, miraculously, allowed to show up to work wearing their stubble proudly.
Perhaps because of this media phenomenon, there are plenty of people who think that having consistent stubble is actually a good look.
Avoid stubble whenever you can and either go clean-shaven or grow a beard.
While you can’t avoid having some stubble in the earliest stages, keeping stubble as your most frequent look is a bad idea.
Firstly, those who think that stubble is attractive aren’t actually that numerous.
Secondly, actual workplaces or employers aren’t likely to think of you as professional if you only have stubble instead of clean shaving every day.
Thirdly, it implies a level of indecision on your part, which is something that virtually no guy wants to be thought of as.
Having stubble is kind of like stopping midway before achieving your goal.
It’s like you decided to grow a beard but keep changing your mind and shaving it off before it attains any real progress.
Alternatively, having stubble could be seen as a sign of laziness, which is another negative implication.
While there’s nothing wrong with growing a few days’ stubble on a staycation or over the weekend, we strongly recommend against making this a habit.
Overall, clean-shaven or other kinds of beard styles for men are better choices by a long shot.
More than any other type of facial hair, the style and length of your beard will tend to imply different things about you and inspire different reactions.
Perhaps the most exciting result of this phenomenon is that you can get either extraordinarily positive or negative reactions from the same general archetype facial hair.
It’s quite distinct when compared to being clean-shaven, which generally doesn’t receive any attention at all, being the standard that most adhere to at one point or another.
Long beards have an association with maturity, wisdom, and ruggedness all at the same time.
Which association your beard inspires an observer somewhat depends on your profession and the clothing you wear.
As an example, we’ve all seen the professor with a long beard who wears a suit to his classroom every day, or we’ve seen paintings or movies with wizards who sport lengthy, flowing beards.
Long beards are also associated with mountaineers or outdoorsman, although the implication is that they have long beards because they spend their time on other tasks rather than aesthetic maintenance.
Still, masculinity and rugged individualism go together like bread and butter, so it would be a mistake to say that this particular class of long beard is anything but desirable for many males.
However, you have to be careful with your beard. Unkempt or scraggly beards of considerable length will draw negative attention and make people think you are more sloppily put together than you might actually be.
This is doubly important to consider because longer beards necessarily require more maintenance work and care to keep them looking perfect.
Additionally, long beards aren’t allowed in various workplaces because they can get trapped in machinery or otherwise present a safety hazard, so they aren’t necessarily the most professional beard style, even if they’re sometimes associated with academics.
All in all, long beards are a mixed bag when it comes to what people think of when they see one.
It might be perfect for your personal aesthetic or profession, but keep in mind that it does draw the eye and will cause people to make conclusions about you based on the rest of your ensemble.
Closely trimmed beards are another story altogether.
They can definitely be seen as a professional’s facial hairstyle, although it still doesn’t hold a candle to the number of professional men with clean-shaven faces.
But close beards are also traditionally seen as the beard of the inventor, the architect, or the man of art.
Famous males across the ages have grown beards that they trim closely to their jaw.
The very act of this maintenance may imply a level of control and precision that you may identify with strongly.
Because they’re so close to your jaw, they’re more professional than long beards because they don’t pose a safety hazard like their counterparts.
However, close beards are also sometimes associated with males that can’t grow longer beards but may wish to.
This is most often the case with close beards that clearly aren’t very well maintained or trimmed to perfection; they’ll often have smaller chunks or pieces that are longer than others, either due to laziness or an actual, ill-fated attempt to grow a longer beard.
Our advice is to make sure that any close beard you grow stays very close through consistent trimming.
This ensures that anyone who looks at it knows that this style is what you intended, and it’s not merely an accident on your quest for a longer, “manlier” mane.
Mustaches as a facial hairstyle are a mixed bag in terms of their current popularity and what kind of aesthetic they evoke for the grower.
They’ve had periods when they were the most popular facial hairstyle for men, at least in Western culture, although now they are a little more niche and tend to feel a bit “old-school” by younger males and women.
Still, they’re a classic for a reason, and they can be done in lots of different styles.
Handlebar mustaches are an old favorite and are still rocked by males who spend lots of time on a motorcycle or in a general automotive-focused environment.
Notably, you can find a few eccentric academics with these kinds of mustaches, although they’re few and far between.
More traditional, “cop” mustaches are another common choice.
They were, as you know, traditionally worn by police or Highway Patrol officers and saw their most significant popularity spike in the United States during the 1960s through the 80s.
Because of this period of popularity, they’re also sometimes called “dadstaches,” to reflect the likelihood of one’s father growing one.
They can still be an exciting choice in the modern era, but they’re definitely rare.
Perhaps because of this, men who grow distinct mustaches these days can sometimes have an aura of rebelliousness or old-fashioned sensibilities: an odd combination, to be sure.
Thinner, more closely trimmed mustaches are the more popular choice in today’s day and age.
These usually don’t have ends that droop very far (or at all) over your lips and tend not to be very thick, acting as an accent to the mouth or highlighting its shape.
By far, most mustaches are seen with goatees or partial beards rather than as singular facial hairstyles grown for their own sake.
Short or Thin Mustaches
Short and thin mustaches, sometimes called “pencil mustaches,” aren’t seen these days by many.
They can be grown well when combined with a goatee, but having these by themselves is likely to be a fashion in our eyes.
These mustaches aren’t likely to make anyone think that your facial hair looks good.
In fact, they have a mild association with upper-class butlers and the like, mostly due to pop-culture and the style’s popularity in France for quite some time.
In general, it’s a more acceptable look in Europe than it is in the United States.
Goatees are a style that’s been around for just as long as beards, although they haven’t always been called the above term.
In fact, it was only recently that the goatees signature shape – that of a mustache connected to an outline of facial hair around the mouth and perhaps including the chin – became widespread.
Goatees can often be seen as classy, intellectual, or as attention-seeking depending on how you grow it and how thick it is.
Generally speaking, goatees with thinner lines are usually more thought of as accessories, while thicker goatees seem a bit more powerful or dynamic.
Try to keep your goatee lines from becoming too thin, is our advice.
Regardless, goatees can be paired with lots of different clothing styles and suit many different professions, without leaning too hard into one thing.
They’re not really associated with the rugged outdoorsman-y feel that beards are, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grow a goatee if you’re a park ranger or spend most of your free time doing physical hobbies.
In fact, goatees are worn by many celebrities, many of whom are professional athletes.
In a way, growing a basic goatee is joining the males who boast perhaps the most versatile style of facial hair around.
This is the strength of the goatee; it can mean whatever you want and be grown to work successfully with just about anything.
Partial goatees draw little more attention to their actual shape and style, probably because they deviate from the signature full goatee.
An excellent example of this is the “soul patch” or the active growing of a patch of facial hair just beneath the lower lip and nowhere else.
This style is usually worn by artists, especially those in the music scene or with a bit of a taste of more punk-oriented styles.
It’s a bit of a style aligned with independence and music overall.
Other versions of the partial goatee include the style that only outlines the face, without adding any filling into the chin.
This can make you look a bit silly and is usually associated with movies from the 80s, which is where the “soul patch” saw most of its proliferation.
Overall, you can do partial goatees with almost as much versatility as full ones, but be aware that the hair you do grow will draw more direct attention because that hair will seem more isolated.
Chinstraps are defined by growing facial hair from your sideburns down the angles of your jawbones to meet at the center of your chin, without allowing much hair to grow up into the open space of your cheeks or around your mouth.
Traditional chinstraps are usually pretty thin, which act to highlight the shape of your face and accentuate any sharp angles that you might have.
However, you can grow thicker chinstraps if that suits your facial style more.
Overall, chinstraps aren’t prevalent and are commonly associated with younger males, particularly those who aren’t in a very classically professional lifestyle.
That’s not to say that you can’t be a professional with this kind of style; just that you won’t usually find someone with an office job growing this too.
Chinstraps are usually paired with more independent men and can be combined with goatees or mustaches for more varied effects.
However, chinstraps that are too thin might make people think that you want to grow a beard but simply can’t in the middle area of your cheeks.
You probably already know that most men don’t grow their sideburns out independently.
That’s mostly because this style (sometimes called “muttonchops”) is usually associated with men from centuries ago.
Indeed, if you open a history book, you can find lots of pictures of famous males sporting this beard style without a hint of embarrassment because it was considered attractive and masculine back then.
Somewhere along the way it became associated with old folks, causing younger males to discard it as an acceptable style: an attitude which has continued to the present day.
At a certain point, longer sideburns became popular with rebellious teens, around the 50s and 60s.
Those adults then continued to grow sideburns to some degree, although they never attained the same popularity as they did in the early centuries after America’s founding.
It might be that sometime in the future, sideburns will come back into style, but for now, growing just sideburns is likely to make people think you idolize older eras.
Maybe this is exactly what you’re going for; as an example, a 50s-esque aesthetic is popular among some younger subcultures, so growing sideburns to emphasize this look might be the perfect fit for you.
Step 3: The Hairy Details
Now you’ve chosen a style, but there are some other things we need to go over to ensure that said style will actually end up working out in the long run.
Even within every style, there tends to be significant variation between men thanks to decisions about thickness, color, accessories, and more.
Should Your Beard Style Emphasize Length or Thickness?
“Big” beards can be long and/or thick.
So, which should you prioritize?
The truth is that length and thickness both have to be considered when growing an ideal beard of any shape or size.
A beard that’s too long will become thin and spread out across its entire size, while a beard that is thick but too short may appear too puffy or clumped together.
Both length and thickness have to be considered and grown in balance, much like you need to choose a hairstyle that works in a balanced way with the rest of your facial structure or aesthetic choices.
In general, your beard should be thick enough, such that it appears robust and full.
Our guide to the best beard growth and thickness supplements can help with that if you’re facing difficulties currently.
Beards that are too thin can appear patchy or weak, often with plenty of skin showing beneath the actual surface hairs.
Effective beard styles cover up your skin enough to completely change the look of your face, so the thickness is definitely a top priority.
In fact, it’s safe to say that, of the two aspects, the thickness should be considered first.
This is also because some beards simply aren’t very long by their very nature, so thinking about their overall length is something of a waste of time.
However, you don’t want to go overboard with thickness supplements so much so that it overwhelms your face.
This is one of the reasons why it’s essential to have a great beard trimmer, as you can use it to periodically trim your beard out and prevent it from becoming too fluffy.
This is a crucial part of beard maintenance, especially for beards that are mostly defined by single lines or shapes, like goatees.
Beard length definitely matters, but it’s partially dictated by your genetic terminus length.
All males have a pre-set length, after which point their hair won’t grow.
However, most men don’t ever reach this point and simply grow it to a length that they’re satisfied with and stop.
Keep your profession in mind when deciding on an ideal length, however.
Certain places may have guidelines in place that limit precisely how long a beard can be.
Besides, you never want to grow your beard or mustache too long just because of the general inconveniences you might experience.
A quick and dirty example is that of a mustache that gets in the way when you eat or drink.
No one (at least not anyone we know!) wants the edges of their mustache to dip into their soup or drink each time they bring a cup or bowl to their lips.
In general, keeping things at a controllable length, whatever that might be for your current facial hairstyle, is the way to go.
Clean Lines or Fuzzy?
When you’re deciding on a facial hairstyle or maintaining the beard that you’ve already grown, a lot of time will be spent on touching up the edges or outlines.
Even those with full beards need to consider this part of styling since their beards will end somewhere on their cheeks.
So, which is better: clean lines or fuzzy ones?
A clean beard style or facial hairlines are a common choice, especially among men that like to precisely sculpt their facial hair.
It’s more common for younger males to endeavor for clean facial hairlines, partly because they are more likely to pick up specialized beard, styling or shaping tools to help them with this effort.
There’s no doubt about it: keeping your beard tightly trimmed with perfect lines takes more time and effort than letting your lines blur a bit naturally.
However, the effect can be very appealing, especially for facial hairstyles like goatees, which are partly defined by their intended shape.
Clean lines can also let you do more complex facial hairstyles and pull off blending multiple styles, like mixing a chinstrap with a goatee or mustache.
However, going too clean with your lines can also give an aura of “overdone-ness” by making it seem like you spend too much time in front of the mirror each morning.
This is really a mild concern and might even be something you don’t care about.
After all, whose business is it how much time you spend on styling each morning?
Still, it’s something to keep in mind since some people will draw conclusions based on how precise your facial hairlines are drawn.
Overall, clean facial hairlines usually look great and imply a level of maturity and decisiveness to your style.
Their possible downside is a lot less negative than that faced by fuzzy lines.
If clean lines interest you, check out our guide to the best beard shaping tools.
Fuzzy or soft facial hairlines can also look great, but it can be challenging to balance blended or soft facial hairlines without making them seem too sloppy.
Blended or softer lines along the upper section of a full beard can soften the entire effect and really enhance the woodsman look you might be going for.
They can also make your mustache look gentler or less drastic if it’s of a shorter variety.
On the other hand, a softer beard or outline can look a little lazy or unintentional.
All in all, clean and fuzzy lines can both work well for any man, but they imply different things about the style and its intent.
As a general example, a full beard with softer lines will appear a little more rugged and relaxed, while a full one with painstakingly drawn outlines will seem more metropolitan and professional.
You can use both to full effect, although we’d recommend that you stick with either one outlining style or the other to avoid clashing aesthetics.
Styling for an Occasion
Lots of men grow beards periodically or will change their facial hairstyle for a particular event or cause.
These guys are those who likely enjoy changing up how they look every now and again or who don’t mind experimenting with their personal style, especially if it’s for a good cause.
These styling efforts can be great opportunities to test out something you otherwise wouldn’t or to see how people might react if you’ve been clean-shaven until this point.
Let’s go over some classic styles that you might decide to adopt for reasons other than your own personal fulfilment.
Movember is one of the most well-known charity events that men across the world participate in.
It requires you to grow a mustache for the entire month of November to raise awareness of prostate cancer.
While lots of people grow a mustache as a fun side-activity, many others participate in this charity event to its fullest extent by also gathering funds or donations for cancer research.
More serious participants will have a great time during fun events or contests, many of which revolve around the growing and thickness of the mustache around which the entire organization is focused.
Participation is relatively simple: just grow a mustache for the entire month of November, and you’ve technically done your part.
You can use this as an opportunity to grow one of the classic masculine styles and see how people react or how you like the look of the mustache on your lip yourself.
Of course, you can continue growing it after November has passed, or you can shave your ‘stache’ away the second you reach December 1st.
Either way, this fun yearly event is a great way to experiment or play around with beard styles, particularly if you aren’t likely to do so on your own.
Emulating A Celebrity
Lots of males might adopt the facial hairstyles of a celebrity or famous person that they want to show their support for.
While some might think of this as copycatting, we men know the power of brotherhood.
But this can also just be a fun way to showcase your appreciation for an artist or movie star’s work, while taking advantage of their knowledge of public trends, as well.
After all, movie stars are often trendsetters, so settling on the facial hairstyle of your favorite superhero actor isn’t a bad way to ensure that you’re growing something that the majority of the public will appreciate.
Emulating the facial hairstyle of someone you admire is never a bad thing.
As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
If anyone ever gives you guff about growing a beard that looks like someone they know, ignore them.
Every style has been tried hundreds of times over thousands of years, and no celebrity has a monopoly on a single facial hairstyle.
Many in certain religions will grow beards to note their masculinity and to adhere to their cultural and religious practices.
Both Western and Eastern religions can have some interesting observations about beard growing and what facial hair can mean for a man.
If you’re part of a religion, chances are there are some bearded brothers in its history that you can take inspiration from, adopting their beard as your own both to show your solidarity with your other adherents and to look masculine and mature.
Many beard styles, when combined with certain types of dress, are actually well-known as religious symbolism.
Men with longer beards can go a step further when it comes to personalization and self-expression by adopting accessories.
Granted, you have to have a pretty long man mane to attach anything that looks remotely good, but this can be a great way to spice up every style and distinguish yourself from the crowd.
By far, the most common accessory for men with long beard styles to wear is a braid or band.
This helps to keep it tied together instead of spreading out all over the place.
Not only can this look cool, but it serves a practical purpose by keeping your beard controlled and preventing it from being as much of a hazard for hygiene or safety.
Bands can be anything from elastic to leather, although most guys choose something with a masculine color like black or brown.
Brighter colors can also be fun, particularly if you don’t take yourself too seriously and want to have some fun with others’ expectations.
You can always braid your beard by hand, of course, but this takes lots of practice and time, and some males don’t have textures that work very well with braiding in the first place.
Second to bands are beads or other decorations, which can be tied or threaded into your beard to make it really pop.
These kinds of accessories can truly make your long beard style stand out from the rest, although you’re sure to get a few looks from other men and women when you hang out in town.
Overall, we think that accessories can be fun additions to your style, but they’re not very common or popular nowadays.
We’d recommend thinking carefully before committing to any kind of attention-seeking decorations, although we maintain that true masculinity is mostly defined by self-reliance and independence.
In other words, it doesn’t always matter what other people think; just do what makes you happy, and you’ll be more fulfilled in the long run.
Putting It All Together
By now, we’ve gone over:
Making choices at each of these critical junctures will result in a few styles that’ll be perfect for your aesthetic or inner desires.
If you still aren’t 100% sure about which beard style might be right for you, keep reading.
We’ll go over some other aspects of beard growing and showing which can help you pick from the above choices based on their benefits or social effects.
Lots of guys might be on the fence, unable to decide if they want to put in the time and effort to not only grow a beard but also maintain it over time.
They might have even gone through most of this guide without making a clear decision one way or the other!
If this is you, don’t sweat it.
Growing a beard can be something of a big decision, especially if it takes you weeks or months to attain the style that you have in mind, unlike some other guys (who can, miraculously, grow a full one in a mere week or two…).
But there are a plethora of benefits that come with growing your own facial hair and which make it a worthwhile pursuit.
Changing up your lifestyle habits and ignoring the urge to shave every morning can be a bit tricky, but hopefully, the following reasons will be enough to convince you to take advantage of our excellent style suggestions above.
What Does A Facial Hair Style Do for You?
When you decide to grow facial hair, it can help you maintain your motivation and discipline throughout the process by focusing on what that beard will do for your life.
Getting the inspiration to grow one is easy.
It’s as simple as viewing a favorite movie star rock a new beard style and thinking, “Hey, I can do that!”
But keeping the same motivation over weeks and months is a lot harder, and you’ll need to keep your discipline in reserve, so you clean and tend to your beard over time.
Growing a beard is, in some ways, a continual process that doesn’t end when you finally get enough scruff to scratch your fingers on.
Growing a beard is, in some ways, a continual process that doesn’t end when you finally get enough scruff to scratch your fingers on.
It Directs Attention
First and foremost, depending on the exact style of facial hair or the type of beard you sport, you’ll automatically cause anyone who looks at you to direct their eyes at specific segments of your face or to focus on particular features.
For instance, a goatee literally surrounds your mouth, directing the attention of your conversation partner there much more easily.
If you have a great mouth, naturally, this will increase your attractiveness.
Beards or facial hairstyles can also direct attention away from places that you don’t want people to focus on.
As an example, having a mustache can draw attention away from a soft jawline that you might be insecure about.
In a way, growing facial hair is just one method by which you can direct the impressions people draw about you or how they think about you, especially when it comes to conversing with strangers or people you have to interact with at work.
When viewed in this light, a beard’s ability to alter the way folks interact with you is almost a minor superpower.
This concept isn’t unique to beards, of course; almost every part of this principle can also apply to your wardrobe and general hygiene standards or decisions.
But consciously thinking about this benefit can help you determine which beard style you settle on in the end, which can be helpful if you have already found several that you think would suit your features nicely.
It Hides Flaws
Beards and other facial hairstyles can also be explicitly grown to hide various flaws.
One of the most basic examples is the full beard, which can be used either to cover-up softer jawlines or to emphasize your jawline if it isn’t particularly sharp already.
Beards can further cover any facial imperfections or odd scarring.
But you can do this same effect with other facial hairstyles, partly because of the attention directing power we talked about above.
Mustaches can hide the overly long shape of a face or make your mouth seem more appealing.
Sideburns can hide the fact that you have wide ears.
You get the picture.
All in all, facial hair can be a great cosmetic cheat for your face if you learn how to use it right and pay attention to how each style complements your bone structure.
It Highlights Attractive Features
We already touched on this aspect, but let’s go into more detail.
Some faces are born to be seen with a beard, as their positive features come to even greater focus when they are paired with the perfect beard.
For instance, men with attractive jawlines can draw more attention to the shape of their face with a thin, tightly trimmed beard that acts as a kind of highlight.
Similarly, guys who are getting a little older might decide to grow a goatee that has a touch of gray; this emphasizes their maturity and experience without indicating excessive age the way a head of white hair can sometimes do.
The fact is that the male gender role (and perhaps natural inclination) inspires us to use makeup and other cosmetics at far lower rates than women.
Facial hair is one of the few ways that males can improve their attractiveness through concentrated effort.
You’d be a fool not to take advantage of this ability at some point during your life.
It Implies Maturity
It’s a fact of biology that only males past a certain age can grow beards.
While this age can vary wildly, most guys can only grow a full beard after they’ve hit their late teens or early 20s; in other words, it’s a mark of maturity that implies full physical ability or sexual performance.
Naturally, cultures around the world have always considered them to be an extremely masculine signal for both interactions between males and those with the opposite sex.
Maturity in a man is a great blessing, as it’s what many women find attractive in a mate and what many cultures demand from their boys as soon as they reach a predetermined age.
Increased maturity, implied or real, also grants a level of additional respect that many men will appreciate.
It doesn’t hurt that beards tend to make any man look a little more formidable or dominant.
The exact reasons for this aren’t apparent to scientists or armchair internet theorists, but it’s a known factor that a man with a beard looks much fiercer than a clean-shaven man.
All of these aspects together make a beard a powerful social force that can significantly affect how people view you as a person and what kind of responses you get to your actions or words.
Those with softer facial features may want to adopt one just to appear more imposing physically, as may many shorter or smaller males.
This implied maturity is so well-known, even on a subconscious level, that many young men will grow beards as soon as they are able as if they want to jumpstart their own maturity or adulthood.
Overall, this aspect of beard growing certainly shouldn’t be underestimated, especially if you’re a man in his early 20s.
It’s an easy way to gain a few assumed years in your interactions with strangers (or a way to get waiters to stop asking for your ID at a restaurant once you’re over 21!).
It Defines You as Masculine
Like we said above, beards are a definitively masculine thing.
While both men and women can wear various cosmetic products or can have long or short hair, only males can produce facial hair to a considerable degree such that they can style it consistently.
While women definitely have a monopoly on makeup and long hairstyles in Western society, beards are something that will never go the feminine route.
This ironclad masculinity makes beards an easy way to add to your own male performance.
Basically, they’re an easy way to appear manlier, which might be helpful if you are trying to attract a significant other or if you want to impress your fellow males at work or in a club.
You mustn’t go too overboard and start thinking that men with beards are inherently more masculine than those without.
It’s better to think of beards as a universal shortcut or signal of masculinity rather than a replacement for the real thing.
Because of this, beards can be helpful if you feel that you have physical characteristics that tend toward the feminine side of things, and this makes you uncomfortable.
For our part, we think beards are one of the best parts of being a man.
Every guy who can grow one ought to, at least once, just to see what it’s like and discover if they can find a style they appreciate!
It Might Be Religious
Many beards are worn for religious reasons, as we touched on earlier.
This can grant you maturity or prestige within your religion, marking you as a mature man and, in many cultures, ready to marry.
It Describes Something of Your Character
Most of all, the kind of beard you grow, or if you grow one at all, will necessarily describe something about your character.
It might not be something that you do on a conscious level, but it is something that everyone understands on the subconscious level.
After all, no beard is grown by accident.
Every man has access to affordable shaving equipment and so can choose how their beard is displayed or styled, meaning that every man has to have thought about it at one point or another.
This ties into the implications we discussed earlier in this guide.
What does a clean-shaven face mean?
How about a full beard?
What exactly does that style of goatee indicate about the man you see ahead?
The answers to these questions can vary wildly and are often dictated by culture, age, mood, and the rest of your physical appearance, including your clothes.
The answer also doesn’t matter for our point.
Our point is this: beards offer you an opportunity to make a statement about you as a person in a short, easy-to-understand way that can be invaluable for first impressions or for guiding your interpersonal interactions.
Facial hair can be thought of as an essential tool as you navigate the world and form relationships both short-term and long-term, so it’s best to treat this topic with some level of respect.
If something about your appearance gave people an impression of you as a person, whether you intend it to or not… wouldn’t you rather have some say in what that impression was?
In a way, that’s what this guide is for, in the end: to help you control that impression and master your own identity.
Beard Styling Snags and Hang-Ups
No doubt, growing and styling your beard can be fun, but there are lots of potential problems you could run into during either process.
How Much Is Too Much?
Many who haven’t had facial hair before or who are growing their first beard often wonder precisely how thick things are supposed to be, and who can blame them?
To make things even more complicated, it’s possible to grow it too thick and too long, both of which can present separate issues.
Beards that are too thick stand a chance of smelling terrible over time, particularly if you don’t already have a good hygiene routine in place or haven’t practiced cleaning it out every day.
Thick beards are liable to trap food and drink inside their strands.
This is, as you might’ve guessed, where the unfortunate beard nickname as a “flavor retainer” comes from.
If you don’t take care to clean out a thick beard at least every day, eventually, it will start to smell like what you last ate or drank, plus a healthy helping of several species of bacteria that love to munch on that stuff.
Put simply, beards that are too thick can present hygiene problems, especially for beginners.
Read our guide on the best beard oils if you’d like some help keeping things looking and smelling great.
Beards that are too long can also pose a health risk for those who work around heavy machinery.
Every so often, there’s a poor sap who gets his beard caught in a mechanical arm that won’t let go no matter how hard he pulls.
If he’s lucky, he manages to pull himself free, likely destroying the glorious beard that he spent so much time on in the process.
Still, it’s better than getting badly hurt at work.
So how do you know when you’ve gone too far with your facial hair?
We’d recommend that you dial things back once your beard starts to become too challenging to maintain or handle.
Remember, it should bring you pride and joy, not become a pain that causes frustration.
This length or thickness might be different for different guys.
For instance, one guy might have lots of time in the morning to spend on his maintenance routine.
In this case, the man can proudly grow a long, thick beard of his choice and ensure that it remains looking and smelling great for a long time to come.
But a young professional who has a hectic life might not have the same amount of time to handle maintenance twice a day every day and could do better with something smaller and thinner.
In this case, short beard styles that are thin are likely to be a more suitable choice.
This does mean that you might need to experiment a bit with your growth before you figure out the ideal length and thickness for your style.
However, we’d recommend that you err on the side of too much rather than too little at first.
The reason for this is that it takes much longer to grow a beard than it does to trim it back down to size.
Months of work can be undone in just minutes, so investigating the upper limits that you can handle or are comfortable with is usually smarter.
If things get too long, it’ll just take a few minutes to trim things back down to a more manageable level.
What to Do If Your Hair Starts Thinning?
As we age, our hair inevitably starts to lose its luster, both in terms of color and thickness.
Even if you’re blessed with exceptional hair growth genes, chances are that your facial hair will be a bit patchier than it was when you were in your twenties.
This is nothing to worry about, and it’s not male pattern baldness, which we go into more detail about below.
Beard thinning usually is caused by a slight reduction in testosterone, the primary male hormone that’s responsible for many of our more masculine features, like a deeper voice and more upper body strength.
As your body produces less of this hormone over the years, it becomes harder and more nutritionally taxing to produce the same thickness and length.
Your body eventually decides to start shuffling around resources and prioritizes your beard less and less, much to our concern.
When your hair starts thinning, it’ll typically begin at the edges and might creep inwards over time.
Alternatively, you might find your facial hair to thin relatively evenly, just becoming a little lighter and less dense as the years pile up.
Either way, thinning doesn’t necessarily spell the end of your beard styling experiences.
Male Pattern Baldness
Male pattern baldness is a much more severe condition than generic hair thinning.
It’s a condition caused primarily by an excess of the hormone dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, although there are some other causes that scientists are aware of – DHT is by far the most common culprit, however.
While DHT can be helpful in early life, too much of it can accelerate the natural thinning process that happens with all males.
When it happens correctly, your hairline recedes slightly from its boyish appearance and your facial hair tightens up a little as well.
However, male pattern baldness cannot happen to your facial hair.
Some conditions can cause it to become excessively patchy, but these are separate problems from the baldness that affects millions of men each year.
All in all, don’t worry about your beard starting to turn against you if you begin to go bald before your time.
How Should You Adapt?
So, when it comes to your beard thinning with age, what can you do about it?
The good news is, you’re not dead yet, and neither is your beard!
There’s no reason to surrender now and just shave everything away again.
However, we don’t think you should necessarily keep the same facial hairstyle you currently have if its appearance is really suffering.
Patchy, thin beards look worse than smaller, tightly trimmed ones that make more use out of the limited hair strands they have.
Our overall recommendation is to switch your facial hairstyle if your current one isn’t working due to patchiness, thickness level, or a sudden decrease in your facial hair’s terminal length (the length at which it stops growing correctly).
Think of it as a change of pace or a way to mark a new chapter in your life, and not necessarily a bad one.
If your hair is starting to thin, chances are it’s also starting to gather touches of gray here and there.
For many women, there’s nothing more attractive than an older man with a beard with spots of gray, or even mostly gray.
Our big point is that you should keep your facial hair if you like it but be willing to trim it down or change its shape or style if that’ll look better in its more modest state.
This can allow it to still provide all or most of the benefits that we talked about earlier – hiding flaws, highlighting attractive features, or saying something about yourself as a person – without looking run down or secondhand.
Age requires change, so you might as well lean into it and do the best with what you’ve got!
Should You Dye Your Beard?
Many men consider dyeing their beards, although not all of them because they’re going gray.
Some males simply dislike their natural shade – maybe it’s too flesh-colored, or it doesn’t jive well with their head hair shade – or they want to make it something crazy and youthful.
Dyeing your beard isn’t necessarily the action of a college student, either; ancient warriors of the Gaul tribes of Europe used to dye them all the colors of the rainbow to inspire fear in their enemies.
You probably don’t want to become a wandering barbarian, but the point stands.
Either way, dyeing your beard can be a great way to boost its individuality and make a more significant mark on the people you meet.
It can also eliminate touches of gray if you’d prefer to hang onto your younger years for just a little longer.
Whatever your reasons, you absolutely can and should dye your beard if you want to.
However, you should endeavor to do it properly so that you can:
Firstly, make sure that you only purchase dye specifically designed for your beard hair.
Dyes that are meant for hair on your head are made from different chemicals and, at best, might not work correctly.
At worst, they can cause skin irritation or your beautiful beard to fall right off.
Be sure to follow all the instructions based on whatever dye you purchase.
Most will have you wash and dry your beard before applying any dye product, as this eliminates any possible contaminants.
They’ll also have you wear latex gloves in most cases, as the dye can be harmful to your skin.
After application, you usually only have to wait for a few minutes before you can rinse off any excess dye and see how well it worked.
Whichever dye you choose, you’ll want to start slow and only add a little dye at first to see what the finished product looks like.
If you plan on doing a full beard, pick a smaller section first before spreading around to your whole face.
While dye can be taken off, it often takes a bit of time and can leave your beard looking a bit chaotic or confused for a while until the right chemicals take effect.
All in all, dyeing your beard can be helpful or fun, but only if you do it right.
That’s right – eyebrows are a type of facial hair, even though it’s not what most men think of when they hear the word.
But if you stop to consider it, eyebrows are just as important for communication and facial expression as other main features of your face.
Naturally, this means they can have a significant impact on how people perceive you.
Unlike women, however, males don’t typically spend a lot of time on their eyebrows, either for shaping or coloring purposes.
Luckily, our eyebrow-maintenance tips are simple.
Keep Them Organized
Your eyebrows will already have a clearly defined shape before you take a pair of tweezers to them.
This is the shape that should be protected if you decide to spend some time eyebrow-scaping.
To that end, we’d recommend plucking any far away eyebrow hairs that are clearly part of the main pack, but which wandered off like omega strands with minds of their own.
This isn’t shaping at all, but rather better thought of as maintenance or eyebrow housekeeping.
It keeps your eyebrow hairs collected into two main segments, preventing your eyebrows from looking droopier or longer than they actually are.
This is more important if you’re a man with really dark facial hair, including your eyebrows, with pale skin, as it’ll stand out more easily from your light skin tone.
Keep Them Separate
The primary purpose of any eyebrow maintenance routine is to make sure you aren’t growing a unibrow.
This can happen slowly and creep up on you if you don’t check every now and again.
Just pluck away at hairs that stretch between your brows, and you’ll keep them suitably separate.
Some will have to do this more than others, but no man wants to have a unibrow.
Even if you have some odd ideas about fashion, we guarantee you that no one will share them.
Take it from us and avoid the unibrow look at all costs if you want men and women to look you in the eye instead of staring at your single hairy brow like you’re a cyclops.
Don’t Shape Them Too Much
Finally, leave the excessive shaping to the fairer sex.
While it’s fine to touch things up here and there, male eyebrows are usually better if they’re bigger and a little blockier than female ones.
Any shaping you might think of doing will only enhance their curves or thinness, which isn’t likely to be seen as attractive by most folks.
You can ask a professional stylist to do a little shaping, but they’re a professional who can give you real advice about what might work, especially in relation to your facial hairstyle, and what might not.
Generally, we’d avoid shaping your eyebrows unless they really bother you, and even then, leave it to a pro.
A man’s facial hairstyle can say a lot about him, the same way a woman’s makeup routine can give you a clue about her personality.
It’s more critical than many males realize to choose your style with care and consideration, as it can affect a lot more than your mug when you step before the mirror each morning.
With this guide, you should be well-equipped to pick and maintain a great style that enhances your best features, hides your flaws, and demonstrates your favorite qualities for all to see.
An excellent beard can provide a plethora of benefits and emphasize your masculinity beyond what any article of clothing can do.
We can’t wait to hear what you’ve chosen.
Let us know what you accomplished, and let’s have a discussion!
Good luck and good growing!