Beard Types and Styles
There are so many things to consider when choosing a beard. For example, what shape will you pick, how long will you let it grow, what style will you choose?
In this section, we'll talk about different beard types, shapes and configurations. We'll also cover some of the most common beard styles and look at what makes each one unique.
Different Beard Types
There are many types of beards and, depending on what you want to accomplish, you have a lot of options to choose from. Before we talk about beard styles let's focus on the type of beard you want to grow. What's the difference? The type of beard is really more about the length, the shape, and how your beard fits with your other features.
So, what do we mean by beard types? Really, the beard type is all about the shape, size, length and overall fit with your face. You should experiment with different types of beards to see what works best for you. You might find that a particular type of beard makes you feel more confident. For some, a more elaborate beard might make them feel self-conscious. It's all about what makes you happy. The good news is, it's fun to experiment.
By analyzing your facial features, the shape of your head, and your hairstyle, and then choosing a beard type to complement those other features, your beard will look more natural. The type of beard you choose may rule out certain styles, but at least you won’t choose a style that won’t look good on you.
Choosing a beard type for your face shape
Are you balding? Some men prefer to grow a beard to compensate for the onset of baldness. It's really just a question of what look you prefer.
Do you have any unwanted facial characteristics? Use your beard's shape and length to cover unwanted facial features. Beards are great for hiding acne scars and moles.
Do you have a double chin? A beard may be a great way to draw attention away from your chin folds, but choose wisely. A soul patch, for example, may do just the opposite and make people look right at the chin.
Do you have a round face? You might a beard that narrows your face. By adding length, you elongate your features and offset the natural roundness of your head.
Do you have a narrow face? Consider growing the sides out and keep the chin line shorter.
Do you have a square face? You might want to keep it short on the sides of your face and grow a fuller beard around your chin to offset the squareness of your jaw.
Regardless of your face shape, consider the proportion of facial hair to the rest of your face and overall hair length as you grow your beard.
Different Beard Styles
As we just discussed, beards come in all shapes and sizes. However, there are certain kinds of beards that are so common, they've been given names. Here are some of the more common styles of beards along with some background on each.
Beard Stubble - when growing a new beard, the first couple of weeks brings stubble.
While technically not a beard, it's worth mentioning beard stubble since we all have to go through this phase on our way to greater things.
The Soul Patch is a simple, short growth of hair under the lower lip that does not extend below the chin.
The Goat Patch is similar to the soul patch, but longer, extending to the end of the chin or beyond.
The Goatee is typically used to describe any type of beard that includes hair on the chin, but not the cheeks. This includes beards with and without a connected mustache. Some say that the name "Goatee" came from the idea that chin hair resembled the tuft of hair on the chin of a goat.
Van Dyke - named after Anthony van Dyck, a 17th century Flemish painter who wore this style, the Van Dyke is a form of Goatee with a mustache. There are variations of the Van Dyke including different styles of mustaches and chin beards. Sometimes the Van Dyke includes only a soul patch and sometimes it includes a narrow chin beard.
The Circle Beard, also a form of goatee, includes a rounded beard connected to the edges of the mustache, but with no hair on the cheeks.
Mutton Chops are characterized by longer fuller hair on the cheeks connected to the mustache, but without chin hair.
The Balbo is named for Italo Balbo, the Italian Air Marshal during World War II. The Balbo is a lot like a Van Dyke with the chin beard extending around the sides of the lower cheeks.
The Chin Beard, also known as a chin curtain, is a beard without a mustache. A thinner variation called the chin strap, follows the jaw line and doesn't rise as high on the cheeks.
The Short Beard is just what it sounds like - a fully connected beard and mustache. The facial hair extends up the cheeks and connects with the side burns. This style is also known as the professional beard since it has become more commonplace in corporate culture.
The Full Beard typically has more volume and length than the average short beard. These characteristics make a guy with a full beard stand out from the crowd. A full beard like this takes more care and maintenance and isn't recommended for the timid.
The Epic Beard goes well beyond the typical beard in terms of length and fullness. An epic beard may take a year or more to grow depending on what you want to accomplish and will require serious commitment.