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How to Choose a Beard Style

To Beard or Not to Beard… That is the Question

Speaking of The Bard, he did have a pretty impressively curled mustache paired with a short and tight beard style. One might say that The Bard’s beard style reflected emotional strength with an artistic flare. 

A beard speaks even when the man is silent. 

Whether your facial hair rests neatly and exclusively on your upper lip like an earnest Tom Selleck, or extends down from your chin into a hefty bunch of coarse hairs like the rugged nomad Jason Momoa, your beard style can either enhance or impair your facial features. As a result, choosing the right beard style for your face is imperative. 

Identifying the best beard style for your unique features and, of course, your particularly charming personality, is a process that requires careful thought and consideration. 

How to Choose a Beard Style

The process of choosing an appropriate beard style for your face is simple, though not without conscious effort. 

There are 5 steps in this process, which include: 

Step 1: Identify your face shape.

Step 2: Determine the thickness of your facial hair.

Step 3: Review various beard styles. 

Step 4: Select beard style that best aligns with your face shape and hair thickness. 

Step 5: Grow your facial hair accordingly.  

Let’s discuss how to make your face even more strikingly handsome than it already is. 

Step 1: Identify your face shape.

Identifying your face shape may not sit at the top of your priorities list, but it sure does help when choosing the best beard style for your face. 

You can certainly stare into the mirror with undisturbed concentration and take your best guest. Or, you could grab a dry erase marker, stare into the mirror, and outline your face with the marker making sure to pull long hair back and tuck any facial hair as far under your chin as possible. Take a step back and look at the shape you just created… The closest shape to the marker outline is your facial shape. 

If you tend to find math enjoyable, you could also take facial measurements and calculate the ratio. You need to measure your jawline from the corner of your jaw to the other corner of your jaw, from cheekbone to cheekbone, from the highest point of your eyebrow to the other highest point of your eyebrow, and the length of your face from hairline to chin. 

Here are the most popular facial shapes, and a quick description of each one.  


A rectangular face shape is long with a jawline and cheekbone of similar lengths. This face shape is a hybrid between the oval and square face shapes, which are elaborated below. 


When cheekbones and face length have similar, if not identical, measurements, this is considered a round face shape. The round face shape also has similar forehead and jawline measurements, which are smaller than the cheekbone measurements.  


The square face has similar ratios for all measurements. Square faces also have a sharp jawline, which creates a box-like effect. 


A diamond facial shape is characterized by a longer face with wide cheekbones and a pointy, defined chin. The forehead and jawline of this facial shape are similar or identical. 


The measurements of the triangular face shape start small at the forehead and get wider in the lower half of the face with the jawline having the widest measurement. The triangular face shape has a wide or boxy jaw with a smaller forehead.  


The oval face is longer than it is wide with a forehead wider than the jawline, which is rounded rather than pointed. 

Step 2: Determine your facial hair thickness.

How do you determine the thickness of your facial hair? 

Either you grow a thick beard with no effort, or your facial hair grows patchy and sparse in some areas. Simple and easy. 

Step 3: Review the various beard styles. 

A quick browse on the Internet will produce an infinite amount of beard styles with complicated names and descriptions. The following beard styles cover the “heavy hitters” of the beard game, and will be easily understood by any trained barber.  

The Full Beard

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The full beard is the epitome of beard styles. Facial hair grows long from the chin, is cropped on the sides, and connects to a thick mustache. 

The Short Beard

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The short beard is well-cropped on the sides and under the chin, and is most effectively described as a well-maintained yet casual beard style. 

The “Chin Strap” Beard

(Image Source: A to Z Hairstyles)

The chin strap beard style connects the cheekbone and jawline pieces with the mustache and flows into the chin beard. This style suits any face shape and is considered a very versatile beard style. 

The Stubble Beard

(Image Source: GQ)

The stubble beard lets nature take its course. The facial hair in this beard style grows naturally on the face with frequent trimming on the jawline and down into the neck. 

The Five O’Clock Shadow

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The five o’clock shadow is a great transition beard style on the path to a full beard. This beard style is neat and tidy with clean lines and tamed stubble. 

Step 4: Select the beard style that best aligns with your face shape and hair thickness.

A good beard makes a man’s face appear oval, despite their God-given face shape. Each face shape requires a slightly different beard style to elongate, shape, or divert attention from a specific facial measurement. 

Those with a rectangular facial shape should avoid long beards since a rectangular face is already longer than it is wide. Any beard shape or hairstyle that elongates the face is a no-go. The thicker the beard on a rectangular face shape, the more oval the face appears, which is the ultimate goal. 

Round face shapes bode well with longer, shaped beard styles, which elongate the face. Stubble and five o’clock shadows are not compatible with this face shape, since it only emphasizes the roundness of the face. 

The square facial shape looks best with a closely cropped, rounded beard style. A square face can look extra boxy with a wide or rectangular cropped beard, so keeping a square-faced beard closer to the face with rounded corners will soften any harsh angles.  

A diamond facial shape is best complemented with a thick, wide beard, which can effectively expand the jawline creating a more symmetrical lower half of the face. In addition, pairing a thick beard with a fuller hairstyle around the hairline will help the diamond shaped face look more oblong than diamond.  

Stubble or a five o’clock shadow are recommended for the triangular face shapes to avoid increasing the width of the jaw. Keep your face clean shaven or let tight stubble grow on your jawline, your chin, and your upper lip. Avoid any facial hair on your cheekbones.  

With oval face shapes, the beard styling options are endless. Whether you opt for stubble, a short beard, or a long beard, the oval face wears facial hair well. 

As far as hair thickness is concerned, thick facial hair can be styled any which way, depending on personal preference. Patchy or thin facial hair is best kept short as stubble a close-crop beard. 

Step 5: Grow your facial hair accordingly.

You identified your facial shape, your hair thickness, and your beard style preference. Now it’s time to let your facial hair grow like a lifesize Chia Pet (with the help of your trusty barber, of course). 

Grow a Beard, Give a Beard

Should you find the process of growing and styling a beard worth your time, energy, and intellectual pursuit, you may want to consider a career in barbering. With great beards comes great responsibility. Now is your time to help the misguided beard wanderers find their way on the path to the great beard kingdom. 

Learn more about pursuing a career in barbering here.