The fact is: beards are awesome. They demonstrate masculinity and confidence – which is why 62% of women find men with facial hair attractive.
But before you dramatically toss your razor in the trash, listen up. A stylish man needs a well-groomed beard to be attractive – the caveman look just isn’t going to cut it.
That means it's time to evolve. In my guide to the best beard styles for men, you’ll discover everything you need to grow and groom a perfect beard, guaranteed to attract a beard-loving lady.
Finding Your Perfect Beard Style
The beauty of growing a beard is that you can style it in many different ways. However, I recommend that you “grow what you’ve got.”
What I mean by this is that, based on your beard genes, try to grow a style that fits how your beard naturally grows.
The full beard is timeless, but other styles will come and go as fashion changes. Assess your beard growth patterns and choose your style accordingly.
Beard Growth Top Tips:
- Shaving your beard will NEVER make your beard grow faster – that’s just an urban legend.
- Testosterone will help your beard grow better. Eat more red meats, avoid soy-based products, and work out regularly to boost testosterone.
- When grooming your facial hair, focus on stroking and brushing rather than picking and plucking. This will avoid patchy areas forming.
- Patience is king when it comes to beard growth. Have some patience and wait it out.
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Beard Styles & Face Shapes
Like sunglasses or hats, different beard styles work better with different face shapes, so it's essential to pick the right one for you.
Men with oblong or rectangular faces should grow a beard with more hair on the sides while keeping the length on the chin shorter to balance out their features.
Guys with square or round faces should grow fuller beards on the chin with shorter sides to help lengthen their faces. It's all about keeping your facial features in balance.
Oh, and if you've got an oval face, most beard styles will work. (Lucky you!)
Check out our guide below if you're unsure about your face shape.
The RMRS Guide To Beard Styles
We're going to show you the top 20 beard styles for men. Each style has unique features that will completely change how a man looks. I want you to carefully study these beard styles to make the best choice for yourself and your face shape.
The short stubble beard style is arguably one of the most simple ones around. It can be achieved by growing facial hair for a few days after shaving. This type of beard looks very short.
To maintain a short stubble successfully, use a trimmer and adjust it so that the built-in guard is set all the way back.
Any hair that grows below the Adams Apple should be trimmed using a trimmer or razor.
If you have stubble all the way to your cheeks, you can trim or shave the hair just below your cheekbone.
As the name suggests, medium stubble is a beard style that is slightly longer than short stubble.
A medium stubble can be anywhere between 3 to 5 mm long. Any longer, and it begins to look unkempt and sloppy.
As with the short stubble, a medium stubble looks best when kept at the bottom third of a man's face and right above the adam's apple.
The long stubble beard style may be trickier to maintain than its shorter counterparts.
It is slightly longer than the medium stubble, measuring about 6 mm, and to achieve this look, an adjustable beard trimmer set with the built-in guard at the back will work best.
A man who chooses to sport the long stubble style should carefully trim the stubble so that the overall look remains consistent in length.
Using scissors or a precision trimmer, remove stray hairs from the face. Shave any hair that grows above the lower third of the face and below the top of the Adams Apple.
The Full Beard is the traditional way to grow facial hair. This beard style can be challenging to achieve as not every man can grow one! Genetics have a lot of influence here, gents.
A full beard has a very distinct shape. It starts at the cheek line, and everything below that is left to grow naturally.
Men who have naturally high cheekbones, or have trouble defining the cheek line, should draw an imaginary line from the angle of the sideburn in front of the ear up to the outer edge of a mustache.
After 4 weeks of growth, guys aiming for this beard style should start shaping it and defining a clear neckline.
A professional stylist or barber comes highly recommended for this process and can usually spell the difference between success and failure.
French Fork Beard
A French Fork is a very distinctive beard style.
It is characterized by the hair that extends past the chin, splitting down the middle into two segments.
French forks only had 2 prongs – which is where the name for this beard originates.
The fictional character Jack Sparrow has been credited for making the French Fork look cool again in recent times.
The Ducktail beard style is another take on the original full beard and gets its name from its appearance.
By looking at it, you can quickly see how much the bottom part of this beard style resembles a duck's tail.
Many consider the Ducktail a perfect compromise between the wild characteristic of having a beard and well-groomed sophistication. For this reason, the Ducktail continues to be one of the most popular styles of beard today.
To achieve this beard style – the upper part of the beard is trimmed shorter while the hair on the chin area is allowed to grow out. This provides a perfect blend f styled and rugged aesthetics.
The Circle beard is the style for men who desire a neater aesthetic.
While having full beards may appear untidy to some, the circle beard is a good compromise that allows a man to still keep some facial hair while maintaining a clean look.
The circle beard derives its name from its shape. It combines a mustache and a rounded goatee to create a distinct circular shape.
Part of the circle beard’s popularity stems from the fact that it is relatively easy to maintain.
Sporting circle beards can also have several benefits:
- It’s a great way to conceal a softer jawline
- It can help cover up skin breakouts
- Works well to soften the harsh lines of square jaws
A goatee is a beard worn on the chin, much like a Billy Goat’s beard, and is never supposed to be connected to a mustache.
To grow a goatee, a man must allow the hair below the lower lip to grow down into the chin.
According to the wearer's preference, the sides are then defined as vertical lines or slightly curved, and the hair is then rounded off at the bottom of the chin.
The extended goatee is also called the tailback or the Hollywoodian, and it’s a combination of the goatee and the mustache.
Men can attain even more variations of this style by simply adjusting the shapes and angles.
In appearance, it looks like a mustache connected to a beard – but with the sideburns removed.
To grow an extended goatee, allow a larger area of hair to grow than the preferred size. Once there is enough growth, it becomes a simple matter of trimming the extended goatee into the desired shape and size.
For the man who wants to make an impression with his facial hair, the Imperial beard might be the style to go for!
The Imperial beard style is not technically a beard but rather a mustache and was popular in France during the Second Empire. It consists of a curly mustache and a carefully groomed chin beard.
It is not to be confused with the Verdi beard style, which has similarities in the curly shape of the mustache. However, unlike the Verdi, the cheeks and sideburns of an Imperial beard are cleanly shaven.
The Imperial beard style is more of a goatee than a full beard.
Van Dyke Beard
The Van Dyke beard style theory is simple: a goatee combined with a mustache.
The Van Dyke beard style gets its name from the 17th Century Flemish painter Anthony Van Dyke, and this beard style was his signature look.
When sporting the Van Dyke, the cheeks and sideburns must be completely smooth and free of facial hair.
A Van Dyke should also be well-defined, so those who choose to wear this style should pay close attention to the shape of the chin beard, making sure that the lines remain clear as time passes.
As you may have already guessed, the Anchor beard style comes from the nautical anchor, and the overall shape should resemble one.
A man’s face must be free of sideburns to get the Anchor right. However, the beard should extend slightly along the jawline – shaven to a fine point about a third of the way up the jaw.
This beard should be combined with a pencil mustache so that the overall shape is anchor-like. A word of caution regarding this style: it can be tricky to get right as it’s a combination of many styles, namely the Chinstrap, the Goatee, and the Handlebar.
The Anchor style suits men with square or oblong-shaped faces, so it’s not a beard style that anyone can pull off.
The Balbo beard style has an interesting history.
It used to be closely linked to fascists as the man who made it famous was Italian Air Marshall Italo Balbo, one of Mussolini's henchmen during the second world war. The Balbo seems to be synonymous with actor Robert Downey Jr in recent times.
The Balbo style consists of three main sections.
- First, it requires one to grow a mustache.
- Secondly, a small patch of hair needs to grow under the bottom lip
- Third, hair should grow beneath the patch under the lip, resembling the low part of a typical beard
For reference, the Balbo should resemble an inverted “T.”
The Balbo will suit men who have narrow chins. It is also a go-to style for men who may have been aiming for the Van Dyke but have had a couple of trimming mishaps.
‘Mutton chops' is a fancy term for longer sideburns that extend down past the bottom of the ears.
To grow Mutton Chops, a man should let his sideburns grow to the corner of his mouth freely.
Then, he should shave off the end part of the sideburns, creating a well-defined line to each corner of the mouth.
The bottom edge of the sideburns should be clearly defined along the edge of the jawline.
Friendly Mutton Chops
There is a slight variation between the Friendly Mutton Chops style of beard to the regular Mutton Chops.
Friendly Mutton Chops still involve sideburns, but these have to extend to the edge of the mouth and be connected to a mustache. Keep in mind that the mustache is the main difference.
To grow Friendly Mutton Chops, allow your sideburns to grow to the corners of your mouth while enabling the mustache to grow, too.
Allow the two to connect. Then, shave the ends of the sideburns by drawing an imaginary vertical line defined at each corner of the mouth.
As with regular mutton chops, the bottom line of the sideburns should be defined along the jawline.
The Verdi is an example of a full beard that has been slightly styled.
It should be short and rounded at the bottom and no longer than 10 cm in length when measured from the bottom lip.
The Verdi also features a mustache distinguishable from the rest of the beard.
The mustache must not grow more than 1.5 cm past the corner of the mouth and should always appear impeccably groomed.
Fun Fact: The Verdi style of beard is inspired by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901).
The Garibaldi is the type of beard that will suit a man looking for a slightly unkempt style.
It is a wide and full beard with a rounded bottom and an integrated mustache.
The Garibaldi should be no more than 20 cm in length. While the mustache should be kept neat, the beard can grow naturally. In fact, the more natural the beard appears, the better.
The Garibaldi is a good compromise as it appears as a bold and full beard but is shorter than most.
The Dutch Beard is known to be an old-school beard style. It is commonly associated with the lumberjack type of facial hair.
The Dutch, also referred to as the Old Dutch, is a large and long beard. It is connected by sideburns and is allowed to flare outwards at the bottom.
The Dutch should not have a mustache.
The Bandholz style of beard has a fascinating story behind it.
Eric Bandholz started as a run-of-the-mill guy working in the corporate world.
In 2011, he felt a strong desire to grow a beard but always got negative comments from his corporate work environment.
He then decided to ditch his job and pursue his “urban beard man lifestyle.”
Today, Eric Bandhoz is the founder of Beardbrand, a company that specializes in men's grooming products.
With that, he also became well known for sporting a distinct beard style known as the Bandholz.
The Bandholz features a mustache that is connected to a full beard.
Unlike the Garibaldi, the beard does not stop at the 20 cm mark but is allowed to grow freely.
It's probably a no-brainer to most of you as to what a clean shave beard style is.
As the name suggests, it is a very clean style, meaning the absence of any facial hair.
While it is fair to say that growing facial hair comes with a certain set of benefits, the same can also be said for the clean-shaven look.
For one, studies and surveys show that most women prefer the clean-shaven look.
Women seem to prefer the clean-shaven look for various reasons, including hygiene.
How Do I Grow A Beard From Nothing?
Waiting For Your Beard To Grow
A beard is not measured in length but months.
One of the most impressive traits you’ll gain when growing your beard is patience. As you progress through your bearded journey, your milestone goals should be:
- 1-month beard
- 3-month beard
- A yeard (year-long beard)
Reaching your beard goals isn’t going to be a walk in the park. You’ll be presented with slightly different challenges and obstacles to overcome with each length.
The Itchy Phase
Going from being clean-shaven to having around 2 weeks of stubble, you may notice that your baby beard gets pretty itchy. The reason for this is simple – eventually, your bristles get long enough to bend around and poke at your skin – causing itching and irritation.
For this stage, you have two options:
- Man up and wait. It’s only temporary and will pass shortly.
- Apply a moisturizing product like beard oil to soften your bristles.
Trimming Your Beard
CAUTION: This is where most men fail in their beard growing journey.
When trimming for the first time, men can get a little ambitious with their razor, cut too much off, and then simply shave their entire beard in frustration. Don’t do this!
The ideal location for the cut-off line is where the neck meets the head.
With the cheek line, try to go with the natural curvature of your face and only trim off the one or two stragglers that are outside that line.
Of course, deciding what beard styles you like is only the first step. You're going to need to know how to grow a beard and look after it. I cover these topics with the help of my friend – beard expert Eric Bandholz – in my article – How To Grow A Great Beard Fast. Check it out!
In this article, we covered:
- Finding Your Perfect Beard Style
- Beard Styles and Face Shapes
- Short Stubble
- Medium Stubble
- Long Stubble
- Full Beard
- French Fork Beard
- Ducktail Beard
- Circle Beard
- Goatee Beard
- Extended Goatee
- Imperial Beard
- Van Dyke Beard
- Anchor Beard
- Balbo Beard
- Mutton Chops
- Friendly Mutton Chops
- Verdi Beard
- Garibaldi Beard
- Dutch Beard
- Bandholz Beard
- Clean Shaven
- How To Grow A Beard From Nothing
Click below to watch the video – 7 Best Beard Styles For Professional Men (2022 Guide):