It happens to many a man. You wake up one day, see the reflection of a hairless baby face staring back at you in the mirror and you realize that you are not living up to your potential as a man. Beard. It’s like the voice of god whispering in your ear. Beard. It’s then that you recognize the absence of any facial hair, the absence of power, the absence of sexy, the absence of manliness.
That’s the first step, recognizing that it is in our nature as men to sprout and cultivate face bushes. That a face is the perfect and most natural place for a man to grow hair.
Or perhaps you have a beard already, but it doesn’t quite do it for you, like something is missing. You’re a step ahead of the “guys” with hairless void faces. But maybe it’s the style of beard that’s lacking.
Whether your face is naked or is wearing the wrong outfit, I’ll help you identify what to consider when choosing a style of beard to get the most of your man hairs.
It Ain’t Just Growing Hair – Things to Consider
There’s a handful of things to consider when having a beard or deciding to grow one out. An often overlooked aspect of beard growing is the shape of your face. Is your face round? Or square? Is it an oval? Or perhaps your mom (probably your dad…who didn’t have a beard) dropped you on your head as a baby and you’ve got a weird ass shaped face. No worries! There’s a style of beard for every face shape out there.
Genetics plays a pretty big role in the type of beard style you can grow. Some men have awesome beard growing genes. Others not so blessed. That’s okay…you can choose a style that fits the genes you were born with. Genes are going to effect beard length, fullness of your beard, and how fast your beard is going to grow. Finding a beard style that fits your beard genetics will leave you looking sexy, manly, and having that confidence and awesomeness only a man with a beard understands.
Unfortunately, some careers and jobs out there are going to restrict the type of beard you can sport on your face. They might limit it to just a mustache, or trimmed short, or be really strict about appearance. If your current job restricts the type of beard you’re trying to get to bloom from your face, you’ve got to decide what’s best for you. Find a new job and grow the beard you want, or find a style that works for you and your job.
Sort of a side note here, but it’s not only facial hair that adds the man to manliness, but a good working vocabulary. Word of the day is kempt. Kempt means that something is well cared for or maintained in a clean and neat condition. When applying the term to beards, it generally means the neatness of your beard. Some styles are more kempt than others.
To understand different beard styles we need to understand the anatomy of a beard on a macro level. You’ve got the mustache, the side burns (or chops if you prefer), the side, and the front. You’ve also got the cheek line and neck line, which are not hair parts of your beard, but locations on the face where hair and non-hair come together.
Full Beard Styles
This here is my default. Some kind of full beard. They work for most face types and require different levels of kemptness.
Traditional Full Beard
The traditional full beard is pretty straight forward and works for any face shape. Genetics can be an obstacle here if your beard comes in patchy. A full beard can also look unkempt if not maintained and trimmed regularly. You’ll typically keep your beard trimmed and have clean cheek and neck lines.
The bandholz is named after Eric Bandholz. You can see him over at his website Beardbrand. This is a version of a full beard that you let go wild. By go wild I don’t mean not groomed or maintained. It’s more like you let all your hair grow as long as you can all over your face and probably the most natural of beard styles you can reach for. It is an unkempt style and not one you can sport in a corporate office. Your genetics might fight you on this as well. It is a style that’ll work for nearly all face shapes. If you’re not sure on a style to choose, this is a great style to start with. You can always trim and shape later depending on how it works for you.
The garibaldi style is similar to the bandholz style, but you’ll be shaping the sides and front of your beard to be a bit more rounded.
The stubble style has grown in popularity the last few years. You can grow the stubble out to different lengths depending on preference. It’s essentially long-term whiskers and a five-o-clock shadow. Play around with different lengths of stubble to find what works for you. The benefits are that it works for all face shapes and can look very kempt. To keep it looking especially clean, keep the cheek and neck lines shaved.
Partial Beard Styles
If all those bad ass full beard styles didn’t hit home for you, there are a lot of partial beard styles to choose from.
The imperial style is essentially a fancy, curled mustache. It is really only going to be pulled of by men with rectangular or oblong shaped faces. The grow out process can be a bit of a challenge as it can take significant time, depending on genetics, to grow your mustache hairs long enough to pull of this style. You’ll also need a heavy beard oil or mustache wax to form the curls.
To picture this one in your head, picture Wolverine from the X-Men. This style works best with circular or square faces. If you’ve got the genetics for a full beard or have a patchy front beard (the area below your lower lip) this is a style you can attempt. Grow out everything, but clean shave everything from your lower lip down to your neckline.
Circle Beard or Goatee
This style can look a bit more kempt than a full beard. It is basically a full beard with the side burns and sides shaved off. Grow out the mustache and front beard to whatever length you like best. The shorter you keep it trimmed the cleaner it’s going to look. This style works best with round and oval shaped faces. A hybrid version of this style is growing out stubble where you’d normally shave it clean.
Van Dyke and Balbo
The van dyke and balbo styles are very similar. Essentially you grow out a neatly trimmed mustache, a patch of hair on the bottom of your chin, maybe spread out a little, and the strip of hair from the middle center beneath your lip down to the patch of hair on your chin. Robert Downey Jr. has made this style popular. This style will work best if you have a narrow chin.
I’ll keep this simple for you. Clean shaven faces are for women and babies. Grow yourself a beard and redeem yourself!
Understanding Your Face Is How You Find The Best Beard Style
Growing hair out of your face is just one step to a glorious growth of man hair. Finding a style that works for both your face shape, genetics, and personal preference is going to take your beard from level Baby Face to level Master Wizard. Remember to have patience and use proper grooming and beard maintenance habits when growing out your beard. The time it’ll take to grow out and experiment with different styles will most definitely be worth the effort. When you find the style that works for you, you’ll have the God of Beards showering you with manliness and awesomeness.
Here’s to beards!