Part of growing a beard — and, y’know, just life in general — is working with what you’ve got, which often means styling and shaping your beard to fit the unique (in a good way!) contours of your face. To help you out with that, we sat down with DSC’s resident beard expert, Travis Fields, and barber Asia J for a brief lesson in face shapes and beard styles. These tips can be applied no matter what kind of facial hair you have — as Asia explains, “This advice goes for all races.” Here’s what we learned:
The Best Beards for Round Faces
Round faces are usually defined by a soft jawline and a weak chin. To combat this, Fields recommends keeping your sideburns and cheeks tidy, and allowing your chin hair to grow a bit wilder. “You want well-groomed cheeks and a longer, triangular beard,” he explains. “This will help give the appearance of a more defined chin and jawline while also adding some length to your face.” As such, the goatee and the chin strap are both good choices for round-faced dudes.
Alternatively, Asia says a bushier beard can add some texture to an otherwise round face. “Most men with round faces tend to want to grow their beards medium to long, like two to three three inches long,” she explains. “They can basically grow out a full beard, like a lumberjack beard.” Just be sure to give it some tender love and care every once in a while so it doesn’t crawl off your face in the dead of night to find a better owner.
The Best Beards for Square Faces
Square faces are, well… square, which means the wrong beard style will have you looking like an actual blockhead. To avoid that, Fields suggests taking a similar approach to the round-faced guys: Don’t let your beard get too full on the cheeks and sideburns. Similarly, Asia recommends following the hard lines of your face, which can mean sculpting what she calls an “L-shaped beard.” She also says men with square faces who prefer longer beards should trim them into a point toward the chin, unlike men with round faces, who can leave their beards more naturally round. As for specific beard styles, the Van Dyke and the chin strap work for those with square faces.
The Best Beards for Oval Faces
As far as beard styles go, guys with oval faces have the most freedom: “If you have an oval face, you can pull off a wide variety of beard types,” Fields says. “You seriously can’t go wrong so long as it’s well-kempt, and the hairs are a consistent length across the board.” Asia agrees: “They also like to grow longer beards, like medium to long — about three inches.” A simple way to achieve this without using electric clippers is to occasionally lightly graze a razor across the bulk of your beard to remove strays.
The Best Beards for Rectangular Faces
Rectangular faces are also referred to as oblong faces, since they’re long and thin around the cheeks. “Because the rectangular face is already naturally long, you want a fuller cheek growth,” Fields explains. “This will help your jawline appear wider, which helps lessen the face length.” As such, a full beard works well for guys with longer faces.
Just know that if you’re going to grow out your facial hair, you’re going to have to tend to it lest you become totally unkissable, which is no fun for anyone.