Which style of beard is best for your face shape?
Trendy beards, goatees and designer stubble have shaved an incredible £72m off men’s shaving products in Britain in the last year. Driven mainly by global style icons like David Beckham and Gerard Butler, the beard can now been seen pretty much everywhere you go. And we can’t see this trend ending any time soon, even if studies have suggested we have in fact reached “peak beard”
However, with a variety of beard types to choose from, there is a great deal of scope for making the wrong decision on the style you opt for – contrary to popular belief, one size does not fit all, or in this case, one beard. The type of beard that looks good on you will depend heavily on the shape and size, and is worth some careful consideration before taking the plunge.
If figuring out your best bet seems a bit too much like hard work, then we’ve rounded up all you need to know on the matter to make your life easier.
Square: A square jawline is considered the most masculine type to have, and it’s often worth emphasising rather than hiding. You can go for any type of beard, including a full one, but keep the edges squared-off so as not to lose your natural shape. A goatee will also flatter. If you dislike your face shape, then keep hair fuller on the chin, and shorter at the sides in order to slim the face.
Rectangular/Oblong: People with this shape already have strong lines, so it’s better to avoid anything too angular. The same goes for length – keep your beard trimmed short to avoid elongating the face even further.
Round: Go for a neatly trimmed beard and hard lines along the cheekbones, as doing so will slim the face. Squaring off slightly at the neckline gives the illusion of an oval face.
Oval: If you have an oval face, then consider yourself lucky. You can wear almost any beard style, so feel free to experiment without the worry of a faux pas. The oval is one of the most symmetrical face types, and there is no need to try to disguise your features, so a neatly-trimmed goatee, heavy scruff, or the 5 o’clock shadow will all look good.
Small: For men with small faces, the beard is best avoided, as this type of facial hair tends to emphasise the size even further. In particular, avoid full, heavy beards. Ideally, go clean-shaven, or opt for a small moustache instead.
Large: Those with larger faces can go for as full a beard as they like, and in fact, doing so will make the face appear slightly smaller. Choose a full beard, and keep it trimmed so as to avoid any unnecessary elongation – your face is big enough already and you won’t benefit from the extra length.
Prominent chin: If you have a diamond-shaped face, or an inverted triangle, then your best bet is to go for a style that will create the illusion of a broader chin area. A full, traditional beard will work well, and hair should be kept thick at the sides
No chin: A full beard, shaped at the sides, will give the appearance of a stronger jawline and more pronounced chin. A longer beard will also help to create the desired shape.
Caring for your beard at home
Beard hair is often neglected, but just like the hair on your head, it requires a degree of care and attention to keep it looking and feeling its best. In fact, given the proximity to your mouth, it’s not unusual for food debris to find its way in there, so it’s as essential that you keep it clean for hygiene reasons as for aesthetic ones.
Wash your beard as often as necessary using a mild shampoo – a couple of times a week is a minimum. Once finished, pat dry with a towel. We also recommend investing in a good beard comb and oil. Brush through a few times per week to keep any knots and tangles at bay – the longer your beard, the more often you should do it. Afterwards, massage a few drops of beard oil through the hair and into the skin beneath it to moisturise, soften and condition.
Main image above courtesy of The Bluebeards Revenge