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21 Beard Styles All Men Should Know

Learn about each one before you make your pick.

When it comes to things you can do to significantly change your appearance, growing a beard—or switching up your beard style—ranks high on the list. (Other finalists include cutting your hair, getting glasses, and overhauling your wardrobe.) However, there are so many beard styles for men that knowing which one to choose can feel impossible. After all, how are you supposed to know if your face is best suited for a dense, bushy beard or a clean-cut short one? To make your pick, keep reading: We asked the pros to describe the most common beard types, how to maintain them, and who they look best on.

RELATED: 7 Stylist Secrets for Salt and Pepper Hair.

Why Are Beards in Style?

Beards have existed for centuries and are always in the trend cycle. Although different types of beards will come and go, the beard itself is likely to stay.

Adding Dimension to Your Face

The biggest reason beards are in style is because they can significantly improve a person's look.

"A beard can dramatically change someone's appearance because it adds depth and dimension, giving the illusion of altering one's face shape," says Robert Jan Rietveld, barbershop owner and grooming expert.

It can make your face appear longer or shorter, fuller or slimmer, and can even trick the eye into making the nose and other features look different.

How to Determine Which Beard Style Is Right For You

Barber with face mask combing customer

The type of beard you choose depends on many factors, including your face shape, haircut, how thick or thin your beard grows, and your personal style (some beards make such a statement that pairing them with certain looks might appear mismatched). A good barber will be able to help you find the one that best suits you and your features. You can also try a few out and see which feels right.

Understanding Your Face Shape

A good place to start is by learning about your face shape, which beards look best with it, and why. The most common face shapes are square, circle, oval, and triangular; many charts will help you identify yours.

You'll want to choose a beard that balances your shape and creates more of an oval. "For example, someone with a rounder face may want to avoid a fuller, bushy beard, whereas, for someone with a square face and narrow chin, a full beard could help to improve their appearance," says Jan Rietveld.

RELATED: 10 Anti-Aging Products Every Man Should Know About.

Partial Beard Styles for Men

1. 3-Day Stubble

older man with light stubble wearing a gray shirt
Shutterstock / pixelheadphoto digitalskillset

A three-day stubble beard is exactly what it sounds like. You give your facial hair three days (give or take a few) to grow, and you'll be left with this style. This beard should stay somewhere between two to three millimeters on the face and neck.

Try it out over a weekend, and if you're not into the look, you can go back to bare! Or, maintain it with a beard trimmer every few days. It's low maintenance in that it doesn't require sharp lines; however, you could do a three-day stubble length with a beard shape that does.

2. Original Stash

Portrait of a young man with a mustache wearing a light blue shirt on the phone in his living room
enigma_images / iStock

Otherwise known as a classic mustache, an original stash is a strip of facial hair above the top lip. You create it with clippers or a beard trimmer; once it's established, you can maintain it with facial hair scissors and a mustache comb. A mustache doesn't need a beard to go underneath it, but you can combine it with a range of different beard types.

3. Beard Stash

Portrait of a middle-aged man with a salt-and-pepper beard and mustache wearing a dark-gray sweater

This is a mustache-beard combo style. There are many different versions of the beard-stash look, but if you're looking for a partial beard, you'll want to keep it at stubble length. However, the opportunities are endless—you could even keep a stubble beard and full stash or vice versa. A few of the beard styles on this list are iterations of the beard stash.

Short-to-Medium Beard Styles

4. Goatee

Portrait of Idris Elba with a goatee wearing a black suit
DFree / Shutterstock

You can spot this look on celebs like Billy Bob Thornton and Idris Elba.

"Just like a goat's facial hair, a goatee is a beard that is shaped and controlled to only grow around the chin and sometimes the upper lip," explains Tom Yates, founder of Cut Throat Club. "A goatee can give a refined look, showing care and attention is being placed on the man's male grooming—however, they don't suit everyone, so test it out short and then grow and shape it to see if the style is right for you."

5. Verdi Beard

Man wearing a dark gray suit with gray hair, beard, and curly mustache
Anatoliy Cherkas / Shutterstock

This beard has short, trim sideburns and cheeks with a mustache (the stash is what sets it apart from the classic full beard). Aside from those features, the Verdi beard can vary. The length of the chin section can be medium length or longer, and the mustache can have either natural edges or sides that curl up.

6. Faded Beard

Shot of a confident young businessman looking thoughtful in an office with his colleagues in the background
Mikolette / iStock

This style blends sideburns into a full-face beard and down the neck. "It's a great style for bald men or those who have shaved the sides of their head," says Jan Rietveld. "It creates a subtle, gradual transition into the full beard."

Long Beard Styles for Men

7. Classic Full Beard

Man with long beard

Just think lumberjack. This is a thick, full beard that is clear-cut at the cheeks and then grows naturally on the chin and neck. You'll need to regularly comb and brush it and use a quality oil or balm. You can never go wrong with a classic, but this style is especially great for people with a narrower chin.

8. Full Beard and Handlebar Mustache

Portrait of man combing long beard; he also has a handlebar mustache
Bona_natty / Shutterstock

Call it the layered effect: This style of beard marries the full beard discussed earlier with a handlebar mustache (this is a stash that curls up at the sides). It could take a few months to grow a handlebar, but once you have the length, you can use wax to keep it in position.

9. Ducktail Beard

Portrait of bearded male with long hair dressed in a denim jacket over grey background.
FXQuadro / iStock

This type of beard makes a statement, and Yates says it needs to be a part of your personal style in order to pull it off.

"The ducktail beard gives 'renaissance' vibes, with shorter trimmed cheeks leading to a sculptured beard below the chin, sometimes even shaped to a point," he says. "You may want to visit a barber to have the initial style cut and then maintain yourself."

Beard Styles To Make You Look Slimmer

10. Short Boxed Beard

Portrait of Drake against a purple background
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

For this one, think of celebs like George Clooney, Drake, and Robert Pattinson. It's a popular classic for a reason.

"With a lower line revealing more of the cheek and trimmed to define the jawline, it can give the visual effect of a longer face compared to a fuller and higher beard," says Yates. "Regular trimming is needed to keep the lines sharp, of which I would recommend using a straight-edge razor."

11. Van Dyke Beard

Portrait of confident businessman holding laptop against window. He has gray hair and is wearing a gray-blue blazer
Robert Kneschke / Shutterstock

This style is when a mustache and goatee are not connected.

"For men looking to make their face appear slimmer, the Van Dyke beard is an excellent choice as it draws attention to the chin and elongates the face," explains William Slator, founder and managing director at Hairguard. "This style can create a more angular and defined look, especially for men with rounder faces."

It emphasizes the chin area to balance the features. You'll need to trim this beard regularly to maintain its sharp lines.

12. Balbo Beard

Young man wearing a white t-shirt sitting on his couch giving a thumbs up.
Zinkevych / iStock

Similar to the Van Dyke beard, the mustache and beard aren't connected with the Balbo beard. However, instead of a goatee, the beard is a bit fuller, extending along the jaw, though without sideburns. You can do different styles of mustache with this beard type.

Beard Styles for Men With Short Hair

13. Patchy Beard

Young man in a suit leaning against a small airplane

A patchy beard can be due to several factors, like genetics, hormones, or even diet. If your health is in check, then it's likely just due to the cards you've been dealt. To make a patchy beard look more full, keep it on the shorter side, like a 5 o'clock shadow, chin strap, or goatee. A full beard probably won't work.

14. Chin Strap

Front view of mature man with short hair and close-cropped beard and mustache wearing dark colored polo shirt and smiling at camera against black background.
JohnnyGreig / iStock

"A chin strap beard is a thin strip of facial hair that runs along the jawline, typically connecting sideburns to the chin," says Slator. "For men with short hair, the chin strap beard can add definition to their jawline and enhance their facial features." He especially likes it with short, well-groomed haircuts.

15. Royal Beard

Young man with facial hair wearing a gray t-shirt smiling confident looking to the side at street
AaronAmat / iStock

This one's also known as a royale beard or royale goatee. It consists of a mustache (usually on the thin side) that's distinguished from the hair on the chin. It was made popular in the Royal Navy and has a clean-cut vibe that still feels a bit rugged. It's fairly versatile in who it works for and is a great starting point to move into bushier styles.

Beard Styles for Men With Long Hair

16. The Yeard

Man with long hair and a beard wearing a black shirt against a light gray background
Cristalov / iStock

This one's fun: "A year, also known as a yeard, refers to a beard that has been growing for a full year without any trimming or shaping," says Slator. "This style can particularly suit men with long hair as it creates a harmonious balance between the beard and the hair, giving a rugged and natural appearance."

You'll need to wash and condition both the hair and beard regularly to maintain their health. Even when you're growing out this beard, trim it occasionally to prevent split ends and maintain the shape.

17. Mutton Chops Beard

Close up portrait of a retro man in a 1970s leisure suit and sunglasses smiling and laughing with a mutton chop beard
Willrow_Hood / iStock

This is a beard with long sideburns that connect to a mustache. Pairing it with longer hair creates symmetry. However, this beard will make a statement whether you keep it neat, bushy, or somewhere in the middle. Think John Quincy Adams, Wolverine (of Marvel fame), and John Lennon in the '60s.

18. The Garibaldi

portrait of Henry Cavill against blue background
DFree / Shutterstock

Celebs like Zak Galifianakis, Jim Carey, and Henry Cavill have all rocked this style.

"The Garibaldi beard is characterized by a full, rounded beard with a wide, rounded bottom and a slightly unkempt appearance," says Slator. "For men with long hair, the Garibaldi beard can complement their flowing locks by adding an element of ruggedness and masculinity."

It can begin to look unkempt quickly, though, so groom it regularly.

Beard Styles for Bald Men

19. The Hipster Beard

Bald hipster man with a beard
brusinski / iStock

This is a big bushy beard that's often paired with a full mustache, sometimes with the sides turned up. It would look straight out of the 1800s if it weren't for modern-day clothes styling. For bald men, it provides a nice balance between the top and bottom of the head by creating a more oval shape.

20. 5 O'Clock Shadow

Smiling young man with casual clothes at the park.
Circle Creative Studio / iStock

If you shave in the morning, then you know that a light stubble will typically appear sometime later in the day—and that's called a 5 o'clock shadow.

"For bald men, this style can enhance their ruggedness and masculinity, complementing the smoothness of their bald head with a hint of roughness," says Slator. "It can create a balanced contrast, drawing attention to their facial features without overpowering them."

You'll need to shave regularly at around one to two millimeters.

21. The Soul Patch

Portrait of a young man with a soul patch against a dark-green background
Ryan McVay / iStock

Orlando Bloom is one of the most famous soul patch wearers out there.

"A soul patch or mouche is the small tuft of hair below the lower lip," says Yates. "Sometimes it is short and found just in the natural dimple below the lip, and other times it is a trimmed line going down to the bottom of the chin."

Because it's small and defined, you'll need to maintain it daily to keep it clean.

"Some people can wear this style comfortably whereas it can look a little forced and out of keeping on other faces," says Yates. "Finding out on yourself will be a case of trying it out when trimming."

RELATED: 8 Skincare Mistakes That Make You Look Older.

How Can I Keep My Beard Healthy And Well-Maintained?

Bearded man holding pippete with beard oil
FOTOKITA / Shutterstock

Growing a beard requires more than trimming it every so often. Healthline suggests washing it at least two to three times a week to keep it in tip-top shape; washing it too frequently could cause dry skin and irritation.

You should also keep your beard and neckline hydrated with either a beard oil, conditioner, or moisturizer. Finally, trim your beard regularly to maintain its shape and prevent split ends.


Deciding which beard style for men is best for you depends on several factors, such as your face shape, personal style, and the amount of time you have to dedicate to upkeep. You can test out certain shorter styles while you trim or visit a barber to get their professional insight. When all is said and done, facial hair can have a transformative effect.

Juliana LaBianca
Juliana is an experienced features editor and writer. Read more
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