Here are the seven best facial-hair styles of late. They include weighted mustaches and beards that play with contrast, a goatee that kind of resembles a beard, a once-creepy pencil ’stache (cool now!), and even a patchy beard. All of this is proof that, if you can grow any facial hair at all, you can wear a bunch of different styles, regardless of genetics and fullness. Take your cues from these guys. Facial styles.
1. The weighted mustache
It's a mustache, accented by scruff on all sides (or just on the chin if you like), with a much bushier upper lip (as seen here on Henry Cavill). Just adjust your beard clipper to a lower setting (start with 2 and work backward) to get a scruffy chin and cheeks, then snip the mustache on a longer setting (a 4 to start, unless you want it big and fuzzy like Cavill’s). Keep it in check with mustache scissors.
2. The weighted beard
The inverse of the above mustache is the weighted beard, with a fuller chin and cheeks, plus a short manicured ’stache. LeBron James, who does everything else perfectly, wears this look with aplomb. You’ll need to trim the beard as it grows to keep it looking sculpted and shapely, but you can take a trimmer to the upper lip (on a 2 setting—or a 3 to start) to see how low you want to go. Just don’t go fully ’stache-less, all right?
3. The dirtbag mustache
Dacre Montgomery wore a super-short mustache to the Emmys, and it looks like he even shaved away at the top and bottom for a John Waters–esque effect (though it’s fuller than Waters’s signature pencil look). This is best done with a smaller, detailing trimmer like Wahl’s.
Beard cut design
This style is visually polarizing if you don’t wear it well. That is to say, you should make an effort to clean up the rest of yourself (see Montgomery’s slicked-back, freshly cut hair).
4. The sort-of soul patch
While you won’t see us yet endorsing the soul patch, you will see us praising Zayn Malik for just about everything he does to his hair and beard. One recent favorite of mine was this slightly weighted soul patch, which is perhaps a few days longer than the rest of his whiskers, making for the subtlest of statements.
5. The goatee beard
Shemar Moore wears it nicely. You've seen Hugh Jackman wear it perfectly and often. It’s a great option if you can’t grow out the hairs on your cheek but prefer not to go all Walter White with your whiskers. You’ll need a full patch of hair on the lower chin (and beneath the chin) to execute it best.
6. The patchy beard
If you don’t think you’re a good candidate for facial hair, just look to J Balvin or Justin Bieber for proof that you can work with whatever it is you’ve got. But follow the same rule of thumb as a guy with a fuller beard: Keep the edges clear, like J Balvin does here. Even above his cheek patches, you can see a clear line that graduates toward his sideburns. You want to keep everything shaved within the typical borders of a beard, even if you can’t color in the space entirely.
If you’re trying to grow a thicker beard, you should know that genetics are probably not on your side. But there are ways to plump your beard up otherwise.
7. Clean shaven
Gasp! How revolutionary—a clean face! But it does feel worth mentioning here, since everyone (us included) is so intent on facial hair these days. Just like shaving your head is a hairstyle, so is the complete removal of your facial hair. I love the excuse to start anew and to grow into a new style (or wear a bare face for a while), rather than shaving my beard down into something short.
New beard look
But please, be sure you shave safely and properly, and practice the laws of razor hygiene. It’ll save your naked face from irritation, infection, and ingrown hairs.