How To Determine The Shape of Your Beard (With Examples)

Posted by Rocky Mountain Barber on

Your beard is more than just a handy crumb catcher— it’s your most important accessory. Not only can you shape it in all sorts of handsome ways, but depending on its size and style, your beard can disguise your not-as-handsome features. So here’s the deal with beard shapes: each type has its own transformative powers to create a more balanced and defined face. Whether you want to achieve the appearance of a thinner face or chiseled jawline, choosing the right beard shape goes a long way. 

To help you along, we’ve collected the most popular beard styles. Let’s learn how to determine the shape of your beard.  

Square beard

Also known as a box beard, the sideburns are kept short with precise lines, while the beard corners form a 90 degree angle. At the chin, the hair is fuller, which adds bulk and strength to your jawline. 

For guys who want to bulk up their narrow face, the square beard offers a robust look. It gives width and structure, so you can fake that strong Hercules chin.

Circle Beard (goatee)

The circle beard is one of the most popular beard styles in Hollywood. Nicknamed the goatee, it’s when the moustache is connected to the hair on the chin, forming a circle around the mouth.  

By removing the sideburns completely, you eliminate any bulk that would make your face seem wider. That’s how the circle beard slims out your face. It also offers a clean and tidy style that’s attractive and easy to maintain (plus, women love it).

Mini Goatee

A smaller version of the circle beard, the mini goatee just leaves some feathery fluff growing from the chin. You keep the cheeks and sideburns shaved or trimmed down to scruff.

The mini goatee works to narrow and lengthen your face. The longer and skinnier the goatee, the greater its slimming effects, but also its awkwardness. So, word to the wise: keep it short.

Low maintenance and simple, it’s an effortless way to rock facial hair without having to groom a whole werewolf image. 

Royale Beard

Like most cool things invented by the French--like croissants-- they also invented the royale beard. 

The beard shape is characterized by a mustache with a soul patch that extends to the chin. The moustache can be short or long, depending on personal taste. It works similarly to the circle beard for slimming out a round face. 

Overall, the royale beard looks super gentlemanly (maybe even a touch snobby). It’s known as the beard of choice among artists, hipsters and pretty much anyone who thinks and talks too much.

Van Dyke Beard

Captain Jack Sparrow knows all about the Van Dyke Beard. It’s got a pirate-meets-gypsy kind of vibe, featuring a short and pointy beard with a floating mustache that's often waxed. Usually, there’s also a soul patch —that’s the Van Dyke style. 

It helps elongate your face and sharpen your jawline. By introducing sharp angles, this beard shape gives you more edge.

Anchor Beard

Your facial hair will look just like a ship’s anchor. Ths beard stretches along the jawline and is cut to a point, while the moustache is shaped like a pencil, making the entire shape anchor-like. The face is free of sideburns to keep the beard crisp and clean. 

The anchor style suits beardguys with square or oval faces. You get a more chiseled effect, especially around the chin area.

Balbo Beard

The Balbo Beard is a floating moustache, combined with chin hair that traces your jawline. The hair is clean-shaven under the lower lip, except for a soul patch. 

It works best for men with strongly angular faces, like a square or diamond shape (pointy chin). The beard’s roundess lends more “meat” to your face, bringing your features into harmony. It’s higher maintenance than the average beard, but totally worth the reward.

Chin Strap Beard

True to its name, the chin strap is literally a strap-like band of hair along your jawline. There’s no moustache-- all the focus is on the beard. The perimeter has razor-sharp lines to maintain the sharpness of the chin strap. 

This beard shape adds structure to an oval face or enhances an already strong jawline. Although it’s not usually the most flattering beard style, for those rare few who can pull it off, the chin strap is a “unicorn” of sorts.

Stubble Beard

Stubble is classic and simple. You can grow some out in a day or two. These short, prickly hairs are trimmed beneath the cheekbones, helping accentuate your natural bone structure.

It’s a mainstay among men, loved for its carefree yet ruggedly handsome appeal.  Nearly every guy suits this beard style. But keep in mind, however, regular grooming is key: a little stubble says “I’m sexy”, whereas a lot of stubble says, “I’m unemployed.” Tread the boundaries carefully.




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