WHAT BEARD STYLE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
In our previous post in which we talked about all things related to beard hair and its growth, we discussed how a man’s beard is largely genetically determined. Beard styles for oval face.
From the moment a boy hits puberty to the day he passes on into Valhalla, the amount, thickness and color(s) of his beard, as well as gray hair’s timing of appearance, are all predetermined by the genetic makeup of the individual.
Despite a few limitations, such as length, color and amount of hair, there is one thing that does not have to be left to the control of genetics—THE STYLE OF YOUR BEARD.
Below you will find a list of the topics we cover in this post. We hope that this article will give you some beard style ideas for your specific face shape. We also address a few other styling trends, like bedazzling, extending and coloring beards.
WHAT NATURAL STYLE DOES YOUR BEARD TAKE ON?
For example, if you have a cowlick in your beard or struggle with patchy hair growth, you may not be growing the beard you always wanted. Also, those with white beards often feel limited in what they can do with their beard.
Before you get discouraged and opt to be without a beard, there may be some styling options you wish to explore, which we do for you in this article.
So before we get started on determining the best beard style for your face we need to discuss some of the challenges men are faced with when bearding.
A cowlick is one such problem. It occurs when hairs grow in a circular pattern somewhere in the beard. Many people are familiar with cowlicks in head hair, and those who have one already know how styling around it can be challenging.
The challenges of styling a cowlick in your beard are relatively the same as with those on the head: getting hairs to lay flat and blending the “bald” center in with the rest of the hairs.
Below we offer some beard styles that could serve as potential solutions to the problem of shaping a beard around a cowlick.
In our next post for this series, “How to Trim & Groom Your Mustache & Beard Through All Stages of Growth”, we will talk you through the grooming issues related to these specific hair problems, as well.
SUGGESTED BEARD STYLES for those with a cowlick in their beard are the 3-Day Stubble Beard, the Goatee or Extended Goatee (for cowlicks on the side), the Hollywoodian and the All Natural. If looking to go longer, the Yeard or even the Viking Beard can add the necessary weight to get those hairs at the cowlick to lay flat. It will just take some awkward transition time to get to that point.
CURLY BEARD HAIRS
Some beards are full of tightly wound, springy curls. There are some benefits to having curly hair, like a fuller, thicker looking beard, but there are also some downsides, like the longer growing time.
Another problematic downside to curly beard hair is the knotting or tangled hairs. Hair knotting is more common in our long-bearded mates than those with a shorter beard, but it is an annoyance that can happen to anyone.
Knotting or tangled hair is the result of a damaged hair cuticle. The cuticle is what we see when we look at hair since it is the outermost layer, and it is what we control to give our hair softness, shine and flexibility.
To control this issue you should use deep-conditioning products and those that provide plenty of moisture. When the hair cuticle is smooth and healthy, knots and tangles are rarely an issue.
Tubb Starr has a Beard Cologne & Detangler made specifically to treat this problem. We also have a specially formulated line of products designed to meet the special needs of our curly-beard-haired folks. To check out these products, please see our Jade Label line of beard products.
STRAIGHT, WHITE BEARD HAIRS
Beards become white when the body stops producing the necessary melanin to color your beard, whether it be a result of genetics, illness, a new medication, or some other reason.
Despite the color issue (which we address in Coloring Your Beard below), there are a few more changes that you may be surprised by when going gray. The first being the texture change of your hair.
White hairs in beards are typically coarser and straighter than hairs colored by melanin. The reason for this again points to a lack of melanin since it provides elasticity to hair as well as its color. The new texture and straightness of white beard hair is going to provide new challenges in styling and grooming.
For example, the beard is going to look less full with the straightness of the hair not giving the volume your beard may have once had.
These hairs are also going to need more taming than before. If you use a beard oil to meet all your grooming, styling and maintenance needs now, you may find that with a full white beard you will need a product with a stronger hold and more nourishing, deep-conditioning power.
Beard balms, butters and waxes can be helpful to controlling the fly-aways and unruly hairs found in white beards, and the stronger hold of these products will help to better shape the beard into one of the styles discussed below. Tubb Starr’s Finishing Beard Balms are a lightweight option for controlling these hairs.
If you do choose to color your beard, please keep in mind that although you may be able to change the color of your beard, without addressing the texture issue (like we suggest in our next post, “How to Grow a Beard Others Will Envy (Part Four): How to Trim & Groom Your Mustache & Beard During All Stages of Growth” ) your beard will still be as straight and wispy in appearance as when it was white.
SUGGESTED BEARD STYLES for white beards and even those that are colored are those that look good for your face shape (as determined below). Really anything will work so long as it is proportionate to your face type, like the 3-Day Stubble Beard. The Classic Full Beard and the Garibaldi are good styles for showing off what you have, whether it be white or dyed hair.
FACE SHAPE DETERMINATION
There are several face shapes of men out there: oval, square, heart-shaped, rectangular/oblong, round and triangular.
To determine which shape best matches your face, you could just take a long look at yourself in the mirror and try to match a shape to the face staring back at you.
However, there is a more exact method to aid those who are unsure of their face shape and who want a more precise answer.
If you would like to go the more precise route in finding your face shape, you will first need to grab a flexible tape measure, scrap of paper and writing utensil to measure and record your findings. Then place yourself in front of a mirror so that you can see the entirety of your face in its reflection. You are now ready to start Step 1.
STEP 1: MEASURE YOUR FACE
The first step in the more exact method of determining your face shape is to measure.
FOREHEAD WIDTH: Take the flexible tape measure and stretch it across the width of your forehead at its widest part, which typically is halfway above the eyebrows and halfway below the hairline. (See the diagram below.)
FACE LENGTH: Next, you should measure the length of your face. Starting at the hairline, in the center of the head, measure all the way down your face to the tip of your chin.
If you shave your head or are without hair (i.e., bald), then take your best shot at guessing where your hairline would be.
For those of you who have a widows peak (meaning there is a “peak” of hair that extends further down your forehead than the rest of your hairline), you will want to line your tape measure up with the rest of your hairline so that you are starting further back (see diagram below).
Lastly, if you have a beard that hides your chin, then make sure to tuck the tape measure under your chin, folding the beard hair with it, so you can get an accurate read.
FACE WIDTH: After recording your length, measure the width of your face by measuring from cheekbone to cheekbone. The cheekbones are the bony parts of your face just below the eyes. Be sure not to extend further than the cheekbones or wrap the tape measure too far around the sides of your face. You should still be able to read all the measurements on that part of the tape measure you are holding to your face. Otherwise, you may have extended it past your cheekbones. (See the diagram below.)
JAWLINE: Finally, you will measure your jawline. To start, measure from the center of your chin and follow the jaw’s angle upward, stopping where you meet the bottom of your ear. Now multiply this jawline number by two to get its length. This multiplied number is what you want to record for your jawline measurement and will be the number to use in determining your face shape.
STEP 2: MATCHING YOUR MEASUREMENTS TO A FACE TYPE
Now that you have all four measurements recorded (width of forehead; face length; width of face; and jawline), you are ready to match those measurements to a face shape.
To do so, please see a description for all of the face types we have addressed (oval; square; heart-shaped; rectangular/oblong; round; and triangular) and choose the type that best matches your recordings. Make sure to read through ALL of the face types before deciding on the right one for you.
Goatee with short beard
An OVAL FACE is similar to a round face but is longer in length and slimmer on the sides. An oval face has a forehead that is wider than the jawline and a face length that is greater than the width of the face (from cheekbone to cheekbone). The jawline is more rounded than other face types, like a square or rectangular face shape.
Having an oval face means that you are lucky. Why, you ask? That is because you can wear almost any mustache or beard and have it look good on you. Your face is long and slim enough that you do not need to focus on lengthening or shortening any particular area.
SQUARE FACE TYPE
A SQUARE FACE is one where all the measurements are fairly similar. The jawline has sharp angles rather than the more rounded look of some other face types, like the oval or heart-shaped.
For those with a square face, you have the envy of other men who wish to have the chiseled, defined jawline you have.
Thus, keeping a style of beard that does not take away from this manly feature is ideal. Shorter length on the sides of your face and a fuller beard at the bottom will keep the attention at your jawline.
To achieve this, try trimming or shaving the sides of your beard with sharp, precise lines at your cheekbones. Growing too long of a beard can square out your face even more, so consider this aspect when choosing a longer beard style.
HEART-SHAPED FACE TYPE
A HEART-SHAPED FACE has a greater measurement at the forehead than either the face width or jawline. The chin is slightly pointed, and the jawline of a heart-shaped face is weak and undefined.
Choosing styles that are full and voluminous will help to balance the lower portion of the face to the top portion, as well as giving the illusion of a more chiseled jawline.
However, adding too much beard to the face can also cause a man to look like a walking beard, so use your best judgment in going for one that is heavier.
Well kempt sideburns are most flattering, so be sure to maintain this area regularly.
RECTANGULAR/OBLONG FACE TYPE
A RECTANGULAR/OBLONG FACE has more length than a square face. The width of the face is similar in measurement to the forehead width and that of the jawline. This consistency from the top of the head down to the chin is what gives this face type its rectangular shape. The length of the face is greater than any of the other measurements, which is why it is also referred to as an oblong face.
Beard styles that are going to look good on a person with a rectangular/oblong-shaped face are going to be those that define the manly structure of the face without adding more length. Those styles that are short at the bottom and fuller on the sides will look best.
ROUND FACE TYPE
A ROUND FACE is balanced with even proportions and curvature. These face types are wider than an oval or oblong face but are not as long. The forehead width is similar in measurement to that of the jawline, but less than both the face length and face width. Measuring from cheekbone to cheekbone, the width of the face is similar in measurement to the face length, both of which are greater than the forehead width or jawline. The jawline has soft angles and is not well-defined.
When choosing a beard style for a round face, you want one that will help slim and elongate your face so that you do not appear heavier than you actually are. Choosing styles short on the side and full on the bottom will achieve this goal.
Using angles on the face will also help add dimension and combat the roundness, so try angling your trim/shave at the cheekbones.
TRIANGULAR FACE TYPE
A TRIANGULAR FACE has a prominent, pointy chin like that of the heart-shaped face, but has opposite measurements. The greatest measurement is going to be at the jawline. To properly identify this face type, imagine if you were to draw an upside down triangle on your face and whether the lines of the triangle would be similar in angle to that of the face.
The styling goals of a triangular face are to not draw more attention to the jawline by adding too much scruff. A stubbled look is going to give definition and add dimension to the jawline, helping it look more chiseled.
Keeping hair off the cheeks also helps keep the attention off the jawline. Longer beard styles are not recommended.
CLASSIC & POPULAR BEARD STYLES
There are as many styles of beards to choose from as there are hairstyles. There are also certain beard styles that seem to be more popular at certain times than others (think “Dukes of Hazard”).
Below we will walk you through some of the most popular beard styles we are seeing now, styles that are fun and for the more adventurous, and some classic looks that are easy to manage.
THE ALL NATURAL BEARD
The ALL NATURAL BEARD is one that grows in naturally (duh) but is kept relatively short. To grow one of these scruffy yet gentlemanly looking beards (think Keanu Reeves), you should first let your hair grow in for a full week or two without doing any trimming or grooming.
Then, after a couple of weeks and without touching the neck area (as neck hair lends itself to this all natural look), you can begin maintenance by trimming the front and sides of the beard to a nice, short length.
This beard style goes with any face shape. If you have patchy beard growth, do not fret. Patchy beard growth is not necessarily bad with this style since it can also lend itself to the all natural appearance this beard will give you.
If you want to look carefree and a little on the hippie side, then this style of beard is a perfect choice.
THE CLASSIC FULL BEARD
The CLASSIC FULL BEARD is a style that a lot of men find themselves with when they first make that transition from growing longer stubble and commit to full-on beard growth. It is a manly and bushy beard with a connected mustache that screams out for attention.
This beard style requires commitment and hard work to keep it from going awry.
First, it will take at least four to six weeks to grow, after which time you will start regular trimming and grooming maintenance to keep it at a length that extends just below your chin.
The goal is to keep the beard at an inch or a little more in length and to shape it to your facial structure.
You will need to clean up the neck and cheeks for this style which keeps it appropriate for the workplace or corporate America.
It looks good on a lot of face types, but those with an oval or triangular face shape may benefit from its fullness and proportionality.
During the time of growing a full beard, you may need some important nutrients to keep beard itch and rash from ruining your excitement. Also, beard-druff and acne are common problems that often make the beard-minded throw in the towel too early.
A beard oil, like Tubb Starr’s Platinum Label Conditioning Beard Oil is a great way to condition the skin and beard, keeping things healthy and aiding against itch.
If suffering from beard-druff, be sure you use an oil that contains ingredients with plenty of linoleic acid (like Borage Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, Kukui Nut Oil, Flax Seed Oil and Sunflower Oil).
THE GARIBALDI BEARD
A GARIBALDI BEARD is best identified by its natural, full and voluminous rounded bottom with a mustache that connects to the beard. Named for a 19th century Italian General, Giuseppe Garibaldi, it is a full beard style that goes a little further.
To grow this beard you must be one of the luckier ones who does not struggle with patchy hair growth. The beard should have more length than the classic full beard but not too much or you may lose the wide, round base needed to define this beard style.
If you are looking for more length with this style, you will know where trimming maintenance should begin when the beard starts to taper at the bottom.
To maintain the style you should clean up the cheek and neck areas.
The Garibaldi looks best on grizzly men full of macho ego—like men who have well-worked bodies from hours at the gym. This style can be worn by many face types.
For men with curly beard hair, this style is a good option for showing off the curls while keeping a defined appearance.
The YEARD is the easiest to grow of all the beards we have discussed so far as it requires no trimming or grooming.
From the moment you put the razor down to the moment you choose to rid yourself of your luscious beard locks, you are growing a yeard so long as you do not trim it in any way or touch your cheek or neck areas. It is a full beard that makes no excuses for its ruggedness.
Because it is just full-on, committed beard growth, there is no one face shape that is better-suited to carry this style of beard.
It is for any man who wants to show the world what he has, and the world is sure to be impressed with your yeard. So go forth you brave yearders!
THE VIKING BEARD
A VIKING BEARD reeks of manliness. Aptly named for the vikings that donned this rugged look, this beard style is going to up your testosterone-powered manliness to the next level.
To grow one you have to be more committed to your beard growth than with any other beard style.
Viking beards are also referred to as barbarian and warrior beards because that is the kind of powerhouse punch these beards knock people over with when they first glimpse sight of one.
To grow a viking beard you will go beyond the yearders year of growth and be bearding long after.
The goal is to grow a beard so epic that it will seem as if you are a character plucked straight from the pages of Homer’s Odyssey.
You will not clean the cheeks or neck with this beard style, but you may want to fancy it up a bit by trying some braids, beads, wraps or bedazzlements like we discuss in the next section.
In fact, it is a long braid or other fashion accessory in this beard type that establishes it as a true Viking Beard.
The vikings were actually more hygienic than you may have thought. In fact, beard style was of some importance to them as well, and their facial hair styles evolved much like they do now.
So, just like a viking, you must consider both hygiene and appearance when growing one of these or you are sure to turn away a few love prospects or spend many nights sleeping alone.
Since these kinds of beards collect a lot of food crumbs, dirt, dust, grime, etc., you need an equally strong and moisturizing beard wash to help cleanse, nourish, condition and moisturize your awesome beard.
Tubb Starr’s Uber-Moisturizing Beard Wash with Honey & Aloe is a great option to use since it has Manuka Honey, Tea Tree Oil and Aloe to aid in preventing fungus and bacteria from affecting your beard. The wash is also pH-balanced so that it can be used on your face, as well.
Another great Tubb Starr product for the heavily-bearded to use is our Hydrating & Cooling Beard & Face Tonic. The natural menthol from the Peppermint Oil included in this formula will stimulate, cool and refresh your face. It feels especially good on a hot summer day or when working out.
HOW A BEARD COMPLIMENTS A BALD HEAD
If you are one of the many that is noticing some signs of or has already undergone balding, then you may have decided to grow a beard to compensate for this loss.
Beards help balance out a hairless head and, well, it is a sexy look. Just think of Bruce Willis… We can all agree he is a sexy beast, right?
There are some other factors that play into why bald men may benefit from more than just the balance a beard gives to their overall appearance. We addressed those in our previous post, which you can check out by clicking here.
BEARD FASHION, ACCESSORIES & TRENDS
There are several ways a man can take his beard above and beyond the average beard you see walking the streets in your town. Some of the ways he can do this are discussed in this section, including beard braids, beads, wraps, bedazzlements and color.
In this photo gallery put together by Elizabeth Robinson on mySA, there are plenty of jaw-dropping photos of men who have taken their beards to championship level by making quite the fashion statement: Funky facial hair takes center stage at beard and mustache championships in Austin.
BRAIDING & WRAPPING BEARDS
Braiding and wrapping beards can be useful when growing out your beard (like with a Yeard or Viking style) and you need some help managing it for the time being. It can also just look cool.
If you choose to braid your beard hair, there are many styles of braids to choose from. From the Asian Twist to the Lord of the Rings barbaric-style braids, you are sure to find one that fits your personal style as well as your beard style.
To peruse some of the many braid styles and how to do them, please visit our upcoming post (to be published in late 2018), “Braids Aren’t Just for Little Girls Anymore”.
With braiding, please do not forget to apply a conditioning product to the hair before you begin weaving. This will help seal some healthy moisture into the hair shaft and help smooth the cuticle.
A smooth cuticle will prevent the hairs from tangling together and knotting, which would make the event of unbraiding a royal pain in the arse.
Beard wraps are the same as hair wraps. If you are unsure what these are exactly, try and remember your earlier days in the ’80s and ’90s (if you were alive then)…
Okay, for those of you who can remember this rockin’ era, see if you can also remember the colorful and stringy friendship bracelets that people seemed to be making by the dozen back then.
If you can, then know that the method used to make friendship bracelets is what beard wrapping basically is—wrapping your beard with colored embroidery thread or some other material in one of the chosen wrapping methods.
To wrap your beard, you will use the same technique as shown in the video and use similar material. Simply apply the concept to the hair in your beard and voilà!
Beard beads are jewelery for your beard. If you are looking to truly define your beard as one that is not boring or average, then adding a piece or several pieces of custom jewelery to your beard is sure to impress. Just imagine how jealous all the women in your life will be when they see the bling in your beard that they will never be able to have for themselves.
You could even use your newly blingable beard as a reason for that special gal in your life to buy YOU some jewelery! Finally it can be the guys’ turn to gasp with excitement when handed a small wrapped box at a candlelight dinner.
The unique and awesome designs that beard beads come in are limitless. To see what we mean, just peruse some of the handcrafted and custom designs available through independent artisans on Etsy: click here to shop Beard Beads on Etsy.
Yes, that is right, you can bedazzle your beard! No, we are not necessarily referring to gluing rhinestones into your beard, but that is not too far off from what it means to bedazzle.
If you are the bedazzling kind of guy, then you can do a Google search for some pretty phenomenal ideas, like the ones at this site.
Make sure you use a product to properly control your bedazzlements and that you regularly cleanse to keep bacteria and other dirty microbes away.
Although beard extensions are not a real thing…at least not yet, they are not a bad idea.
New style beard cut
Many women and men already look to hair extensions to lengthen their hair and to make it fuller.
The methods of achieving this are by clipping on a band of hair by anchoring the strip somewhere hidden within the natural hair, or by braiding new hairs in a little at a time (microbraiding).
So, if you are lacking length and know a fellow willing to give up his beard hairs to you, you may find it worth a try.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you have long, luscious beard locks that you are willing to part with, you could be someone’s beard donor and may even find yourself making some beardy-locks dough.
COLORING YOUR BEARD
Some men enjoy making a bold fashion statement, and coloring your beard is one way to do this. Other men may be trying to color their beards to blend out the white hairs they have begun to grow.
So whether you are looking to dye your hair a shocking hue of pink, purple, green, etc. or just trying to blend out your grays, coloring your beard takes some major know-how to prevent major mistakes.
The pigment of one’s hair is determined by inherited genes. Whether you have red, brown, black or blonde hair, the color is all produced the same way by our bodies.
Melanin is produced by melanocytes located under the skin and near the bottom of the hair follicle. There are several shades of melanin produced: yellow, rust, brown and black. It is the proportion of these different colors of melanin that ultimately determine your hair color.
Red-haired people have an addition of pheomelanin in the melanocytes that color their hair various shades of red.
Many men who have not a single red hair on their head are shocked when they start to grow a beard and find that their beard is slightly or predominantly red in color. The reason for this is thought to be the result of a mutation on the MC1R gene found on chromosome 16. When both parents pass this mutated gene on to their offspring, their child comes out a true redhead. When only one parent passes on the mutated gene, then red hairs appear elsewhere, like in the beard.
One day in every person’s life, the melanocytes will be given a stop order notice to halt production of melanin.
New scientific research has shown that this lack of melanin can be caused by a buildup of hydrogen peroxide at the production site, but the old theory is that your genetic makeup tells the melanocytes when to stop.
Although, whatever the cause, there are a few things you can do to avoid going white, gray or silver.
When coloring your beard, the hair cuticle is a key player. The ammonia in permanent dyes activate or raise the cells of the cuticle, allowing for the dye’s pigment to penetrate the entire shaft of the hair.
To close the cuticle and seal the color and moisture in requires a deep-conditioning agent. That is why many hair dye kits include a special conditioner to use after rinsing the excess dye from your hair.
There are several hair dye companies that offer dyes made specifically for beards. These are good options, but using one that has a lot of natural oils included in the formula will be the best at helping you maintain a healthy, smooth cuticle.
When applying the dye to your beard, you will want to use the brush included with the dye or use your fingers to evenly coat the hair, getting as close to the skin as possible and brushing/working it through in a downward motion.
To achieve a less uniformly-colored or shoe-polished appearance when dying your beard, you can opt to work with semi-permanent and demi-permanent dyes, but the color will not last as long and are not as available as permanent dyes.
To create a more natural and not shoe-polished look when coloring with a permanent hair dye, you can let it sit only 5 to 10 minutes after application before rinsing it from your hair. This “tints” the white hairs so they are less shocking and noticeable. Also, trapping the heat that naturally escapes from the dyed hair by wrapping the beard in an old towel or with a plastic shopping bag can help the dye penetrate deeper into the hair.
It is important to keep in mind that dying gray and white hair is more difficult than coloring hair that still has its pigment. The reason for this is that hair loses some of the elasticity that the melanin provided.
So try as you might, the hair color may not last as long or cover as fully as you desire.
Finally, chemically-treated, colored hair often resembles damaged hairs in that the cuticle’s surface is rough and some of the cells have worn away. Using conditioners rich in Omega-3 fatty acid and daily application of a beard oil should help smooth the cuticle.
When beard hair turns white or gray, the texture of the hair also changes. The hairs become straighter and tend to be more wiry and hard to control.
Using a beard or mustache wax to control these hairs is often better than using products with a lighter strength.
Thus, you will want to find products that contain a wax or resin for the needed styling strength.
KNOWING IS HALF THE BATTLE
Now that you are aware of your face shape and those styles of beard that best compliment it, you are going to need to brush up on your beard trimming, grooming and styling techniques.
You should also get the lowdown on beard products and how their ingredients either benefit or harm your beard. So keep posted on all 10 of the articles we will publish for this series, How to Grow a Beard Others Will Envy, where we will cover all of these topics.
A FULL LIST OF POSTS TO BE PUBLISHED AS A PART OF THIS TEN-PART SERIES:
A Breakdown of Beard Products & How to Select the Right Ones for You (post date: pending)
Understanding the Ingredients in Beard & Mustache Products(post date: pending)
A Grooming Routine for the Day-to-Day & Specific Events in Your Life(post date: pending)
Living the Healthy Beard Lifestyle (post date: pending)
¹ Gillette®. Top 15 Beard Styles for Men. Proctor & Gamble. Viewed on July 1, 2018.
² Balding Beards. 68 Best Facial Hair Styles for Men You Should Try At Least Once .
This article and the blog where it is published are for entertainment and informational purposes only. The views and opinions in this article are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Tubb Starr or its affiliates. The facts included, referenced and cited in this article are true to the best of our knowledge; however, there may be omissions, mistakes and/or errors. Any inclusion in this article of advice, whether it be from a physician, medical practicioner or professional, licensed or not, is intended for informational purposes only and to induce conversation. It is not intended, nor shall it be used or relied upon, as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any reliance upon views, opinions, facts and/or advice given in this article is done so at the risk of the reader.