Looking around, it’s easy to find countless styles of beards. Short, long, full, and thin beards are everywhere. So, which one works for you? Chin beard.
Answering that question for yourself can be a bit overwhelming. If you want to grow a classic-looking beard that is shorter yet still stylish, a chin strap may be for you.
A chin strap beard is a solid starter beard, but it can be your long-term style as well. Luckily, you can always switch to a more traditional beard by growing out your mustache, so the chin strap is a low-risk style to try.
Like many other beard styles, there are quite a few different forms of the chin strap. Read on to find out what each one looks like and how to grow your own.
What Is a Chin Strap Beard?
A chin strap beard is a close-cropped style of facial hair that starts at your sideburns, runs down your jawline, and to your chin — but does not fully cover the chin. The chin strap’s great-great grandpa was the chin curtain (rocked by none other than Abraham Lincoln).
The chin strap beard’s name was inspired by the chin strap on a football helmet — ear to ear and over the chin. While the concept itself is simple, there are several ways that you can style your chin strap.
Before you start to style, you should consider your face type. Finding out your face shape gives you a sense of which chin strap variety will be best for you. Some chin strap styles are more flattering on guys with sharp, angular facial features. However, other styles may work with softer, rounder features. But most importantly, ignore the rules, and you do you — while beards can be tamed, their spirits should grow wild.
How Do You Grow a Chin Strap?
Just like growing any other beard, growing a chin strap takes some time.
For a chin strap, though, the growth process can be a bit quicker because of the beard’s shorter length. First, you want to know how long you want your chin strap to be. When you get it to your desired length, then you can start to style it the way you want.
How To Shave a Chin Strap
Finding a beard’s shape is like Michelangelo finding the statue hidden in marble. Here’s how to create the chin strap of your dreams:
Start with your beard nice and dry (optimal starting beard length is about one inch long).
Trim close — but not too close. Aim for settings around 3 to 5mm.
Small face beard styles
Find the center point of your jaw: This is where your chin strap beard will emerge. All hairs above this will be vanquished/shaved.
Shave around above and below this line (neckbeards will damper the effect of a clean chin strap line).
Styling a Chin Strap
When it’s time to style your chin strap, you’ll need a high-quality trimmer. Your beard trimmer should be user-friendly, durable, and powerful enough to cut through even the thickest and coarsest facial hair.
Trimmers have multiple uses for guys with the chin strap style. The PT45 Trimmer allows for a close trim so you can have a neat neck and cheek line, making it a lifesaver when you’re rocking a chin strap.
The PT45 also comes with guards of varying sizes for an even-lengthed cut from ears to chin. The guards are also handy for fading your sideburns into your beard (if that’s the look that you’re into).
If you are a more experienced beard-grower, you have the option of using a straight-edged razor to clean up your chin strap. A straight-edge razor gives you clean edges along the cheek and neck lines while providing a classic shaving experience. You’ll feel like a dapper 1920s gentleman in no time.
Maintaining a Chin Strap
Once you have your desired chin strap style, the work is far from over. You will need to make upkeep a part of your daily routine.
You will want to trim your beard at least once a week if you’re going for a short beard style. This will keep your beard short and crisp while also keeping your neckline and cheek lines clean. Don’t forget to keep your beard healthy by using beard oil!
Chin Strap Styles: A Preview
Here are just a few styles of chin straps that you can grow. You may be able to recognize some of these looks just by reading the names.
Beardstache and Chin Strap
Thin Chin Strap
The thin chin strap is probably what most people think when they hear the words “chin strap beard.” It’s pencil-thin and runs from the ears down the jawline. This specific style is often worn by men with angular facial features, as the thin chin strap accentuates the hard jawline.
This style of the chin strap is often associated with burly, ultra-masculine guys, but that shouldn’t stop you from growing a thin chin strap if you feel the style fits you. Ludacris wore a personalized variation of this style by trimming a thin line down his jawline — but Luda also had two separate waved lines on each cheek. Iconic.
Stubble Chin Strap
The stubble chin strap is shorter and not as full as some other styles. While still sticking close to the jawline, the stubble chin strap doesn’t rely on the thick chin strap's preciseness.
If you can’t quite picture this look, there is a celebrity who wore this chin strap style for many years: Chris Daughtry. He rocked this look while rocking the microphone on stage.
Chin Strap Goatee
The chin strap goatee tends to be a more popular style. This style can either take after either the thin or stubble styles. It just depends on the wearer. It does hold closer to the jawline than the stubble style, but it can either be thin or a bit fuller.
Goatees are known to frame the mouth, and combining the goatee with a chin strap is no different. If anything, this chin strap will put the focus on the wearer’s perfectly-framed mouth.
With this in mind, the chin strap goatee is a popular style for public speakers and performers. One popular performer who wears this style well is the one and only 50 Cent. Another unforgettable wearer of the chin strap goatee is Robert Downey Jr., mainly when he portrayed Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man.
Defined Chin Strap
The defined chin strap style is a solid fit for all facial structures. It’s essentially the one-size-fits-all chin strap — or the closest thing to one.
This style of chin strap is often fuller than other similar looks, as it is a bit longer. In addition, the defined style is wider on the face, meaning it is not close-cropped to the jawline like many other chin strap styles. While this style does include a mustache, the ‘stache and beard are kept the same length throughout for continuity.
A well-defined chin strap can give you a distinct and memorable look. It’s rugged and classy at the same time. A couple of famous actors who have worn the defined chin strap look are Chris Evans and Chris Pine.
Beardstache Chin Strap
The “beardstache” chin strap style has a base of the defined style but is a little shorter.
A beardstache is a bit fuller and wider on the face, making it fitting for all facial structures. Where it differs from the defined style is the mustache portion. This particular mustache is typically longer and fuller, which gives the wearer a more intentionally rugged look.
Hairstyle with beard and mustache
The longer mustache can draw some attention from the chin strap, giving you a more balanced beard overall. Having a longer mustache may be an acquired taste because of the lack of uniformity, but it’s definitely a look worth trying. A well-known wearer of the style is Eric Dane, who grew the beardstache when he portrayed Mark Sloan on Grey’s Anatomy.
Now that you know about chin strap beards, are you going to strap in and move forward with this look? The decision is up to you!
Remember that chin straps are typically shorter beards, so they grow quicker than others. With that being said, it’s not a bad idea to try the lookout for yourself if you are on the fence about it. The worst thing that can happen is that you end up with a beard that isn’t quite what you wanted. Luckily, there’s an easy fix for that — just move on to the next style.
Thinking about growing an angular, thin chin strap or spending more time growing to get the well-defined look? There’s no wrong choice.
Do you not see a style you really like? Not to worry! There are plenty more styles out there. Pull up Pinterest and search “chin strap beards” for countless more styles to try.
Many have worn the chin strap throughout history, from actors and public figures to average Joes. No matter which style you choose, know that you are in good company. This style is sure to live on throughout the centuries, as it’s a timeless and versatile type of beard with multiple variations. There’s something for everyone when it comes to the iconic chin strap.