For a second there, beards seemed to be going out of style. But they are not! Beards still can do wonders hiding a babyface underneath or accentuating a guy’s natural features. Deciding on a beard is one thing, however, things can get complicated when you have to pick a particular style for your beard. How exactly should you handle your hair or wrestle your whisker? Now that’s a good question.
This roundup is created for men who don’t know what style is best for them – or even that there are several different beard styles! We’ve compiled a breakdown of six great potential beard looks, with tips on what beards fit best with certain face shapes, so you can decide which looks suit your face’s fancy best.
1. The Full Beard: Let it Grow
The full beard is a popular favorite – that’s because it’s nice-looking and adaptable. It requires you to let your beard grow up full on your face, particularly on the middle and the sides. It’s recommended for the full beard, to blend naturally into the rest of the hair, that the sideburns are trimmed. Occasionally, a traditional mustache also accompanies the full beard. Opting for a more natural style means releasing your beard to its own wild whims, generally with minimal intervention from you. Or you can pull out your trusty beard trimming scissors and shape the beard to your particular tastes. The full beard is very flexible; it just involves facial hair thick on the sides and then the rest is all up to you.
WHO IT’S FOR: While it always depends on how you trim it, and there are exceptions to every rule, the full beard is generally best for men with both wide cheekbones and round faces.
2. The Yeard: Wild and Free
What exactly is a “yeard?” A yeard is basically a full beard that has been allowed to grow wild for a full year. You’ll earn a “tweard” if you let the beard go wild for two full years. We know, it’s a lot of hair lingo! Normally with a yeard you wouldn’t thin it out or cut the beard itself, but you might prefer to trim the sideburns (so the growth is mostly around the chin) or the mustache (so you aren’t constantly getting your hair in your mouth). As you encourage your beard to grow naturally, you’ll find it makes this style very low maintenance.
WHO IT’S FOR: The yeard is a great style for any face shape. Be warned though, there is a tendency for men with a yeard to be compared to a lumberjack.
3. The Terminal Beard: Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
You have two choices if you let your beard grow for two full years, after winning the coveted “tweard” distinction. Either you trim it or let it grow even more. If you choose to keep it growing without cutting, you will now have what is considered a “terminal” beard. A terminal beard reaches its maximum length and stays put. Yeah, your hair actually has a built-in stopping point (which is different for everyone). This look comes with the great advantage of needing very little maintenance. Among all beard styles, the terminal beard requires the least amount of trimming upkeep.
WHO IT’S FOR: If you (and your partner) can handle the beard bush, this style can fit anyone willing to put up with unmanaged facial hair growth for over two years. However, because not all hair is created equal, your hair might not reach your preferred length.
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4. The Corporate Beard: Business Up Front
White-collar workers in a regulated environment need to be aware of how corporate policies and expectations play into your beard. Luckily, the corporate beard style is an office-approved variation of the full beard that is not as likely to look untamed and unmanaged. Creating the corporate beard means growing your facial hair out for about two weeks to a month, to get it long enough to cut down to about a half-inch to one-inch max. Keep it well-trimmed and neat, taking special care to trim the neckline and manage any stray hairs.
WHO IT’S FOR: The corporate beard works great for oval-shaped faces. It’s also well-suited for men with triangular faces since it draws the attention away from a pointy chin.
5. The Balbo: AKA Sexy Genius
The balbo has recently become one of the most popular beard styles for men, perhaps because it exudes a sexy Tony Stark-like confidence. To grow one, shave your sideburns, but let your beard grow down around your jawline. Your cheeks and neck should be clean-shaven, and your mustache ought to be disconnected from the rest of your beard to create the signature look. Generally, the balbo beard rises in a small peak just under your lower lip.
WHO IT’S FOR: If you’ve got an oval, round, or square-shaped face and you’re looking for an attractive, manicured beard style, consider the balbo.
6. The Goatee: The Real G.O.A.T.
Goatee is perhaps one of the most recognizable (by name) beard styles. Start with a full beard and then cut it down from there: your face should be clean-shaven on the sides and neck (or with a little stubble, if you prefer). Some goatees extend outward just under the jawline. The mustache may be either connected or separated from the rest of the beard, or non-existent (called the classic goatee). It’s like the balbo, though it typically doesn’t extend as far each direction on your jawline. A goat can be as long or as short as you want, offering a wide range of style opportunities for anyone’s desired look.
WHO IT’S FOR: Those with a diamond-shape face can benefit from this look, as well as those with patchy hair on their cheeks.
The best beard style for you rests on your facial shape, hygiene habits, and personal trimming preferences. Some types are high-maintenance, others simply allow the natural growth of your beard. Many of these looks do require specific tools to create the desired effects, such as a beard trimming reference tool, so this is another factor to consider.
Once you’ve decided what you are willing to commit to, it’s time to experiment to find which style is right for you. Ask for advice from friends and loved ones, and don’t be afraid to try something new in 2021. Even if we didn’t list your face shape under “Who It’s For”, that doesn’t mean your head won’t be benefited by the style. Interested in the best variety of fashionable beard styles for 2021? Don’t be afraid to experiment. You might be surprised what beard style works best for you!