Beards, to put it simply, are tricky business. Although they’ve become practically universal in today’s pop culture, with everybody from disillusioned detectives to swarthy superheroes sporting some degree of coverage, they’re not an easy thing to get right. The right beard, grown in the right way and cultivated correctly,adds masculinity, poise, and experience to your overall look, improving the impression you give off — whether that be in a social or professional setting.
Whether it’s the beard style for a round, oval, square, or triangular face shape you’re looking for, getting the look exactly right will help you no end. The wrong beard, however, will make you look more like a misguided juvenile trying to seem older than he is — and unfortunately, there are many more ways to get a beard wrong than there are to get one right.
In the following article, we’ll be going over one of the single most important aspects to getting your beard right: nailing the right kind of beard for your face. While there are plenty of other concerns to take on board as you attempt to grow that fabled perfect beard, this is probably the single most important consideration you need to keep in mind, since no matter how good your beard looks or how well it has been cared for, if it’s the wrong kind for your face it’ll never look quite right.
Of course, to be able to decide which beard style is best for your face shape, you need first to know what exactly your face shape is. It’s not only useful for your beard, and is in fact a great way to determine what kinds of haircuts or glasses will suit you as well. The Internet is chock-a-block with information on how to learn more about your face, so we’ve decided to condense some of the best tips to be had into a short, readable guide. You’ll need a measuring tape (the soft, plastic kind, not the hard construction-worker’s kind), a pen, and a piece of paper.
First of all, get any hair you have out of the way, particularly if you have a fringe, as that’ll get in the way of the measurements you’ll be taking. Stand directly in front of an untangled mirror, so that you can see your face in its entirety head-on. It’s best to stick to natural light if possible, as some harsh lighting can create deceptive angles and shadows.
Next, measure the widest part of your forehead, and write down the figure. Repeat the same process with your cheekbones, your jaw (from chin to the tip just below your ear), and the length of your face from the central point of your hairline straight down to your chin. Now that you’ve got the figures, all you need to do is compare them to see which rough kind of face shape you have. This doesn’t need to be an exact science, since you’re mostly looking to get a sense of which proportions dominate your face.
If your face is about as long as it is wide, it’s either round or square. Distinguish between the two by checking to see if you have a wide, angular jaw or not. A square face will always have a wider, sharper jaw than a round face.
If your face is longer than it is wide, it’ll either be oblong, rectangular, or oval. It’ll be oval if the measurements gradually decrease from the forehead to the jawline, and it’ll be oblong or rectangular if they stay more or less the same all the way down.
If your face gets steadily wider from the forehead as you work your way down to the jawline, it’s triangular.
Remember that none of these is better or worse than any other, and there are examples of exceptionally handsome men with every kind of face. But it’s a very important thing to work out before you grow a beard, since it’s the best way to tell what kind of beard style will suit your face shape. Now that you (hopefully) know what kind of face you actually have, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty of the discussion, and talk about what kind of beard is most likely to suit you.
There are two aspects to be considered for each face shape with regards to the kind of beard you should grow; and since each face shape comes with its own strengths and weaknesses, it can be tricky to know what to do in each case. The first thing to keep in mind is that in general, you’ll want to balance out any notable poor proportions that come with your face shape. The second concept to get your head around is that you’ll also want to highlight the most appealing aspects of your face. This isn’t just useful for being attractive to women at the bar — studies have shown that men who are more conventionally attractivetend to do better in professional and other work-related settings, not just in their personal life, so it’s in your interest to make yourself look as appealing as possible.
If you’ve got a triangular face, your jawline measurement is greater than your cheekbones, and your face will generally narrow slightly from the hairline towards the chin. In order to make the most of the attractive elements of a triangle shape, you should aim for beards which draw attention away from your chin, by attracting the eye towards the upper part of your face.
Because you have a wide jawline, it’s best to avoid too much hair on your cheeks, as that’ll only distract from the great formation of your cheekbones. Similarly, it’s important to keep the hair on your upper face as clean and tidy as possible. This rules out mutton chops and other kinds of full beard, and also means you should try to be as minimalist with your haircut as possible.
For best results, aim for a beard without hair on your cheeks, by keeping your moustache and chin hair full without allowing the beard on the jawline to get too overgrown.
Round faces, by definition, have weaker jawlines than some of the other face shapes. This means that you should be trying to emphasize the jawline you have as much as possible with your chosen beard style for a round face, while keeping the focus on your youthful cheeks, cheekbones, and upper face.
Because your face is already round, you want to avoid making it even rounder, as this will create an unfavourable impression and won’t do you any favours when the time comes to look in the mirror. For this reason, you should avoid growing hair too thickly on any part of your face, paying special attention to the hair around your cheeks and jawline. With a round face, the less hair you allow for in your beard style, the better. This doesn’t rule out a beard, but it does mean that you should pay even more attention to keeping the hair you do have as well-trimmed and minimal as possible.
If you’re wondering how to grow a beard for a round face, the answer is to focus on the chin in order to make it look like your jaw is more angular than it is. Stubble around your upper lip and chin is ideal; long hair growing on your cheeks and jaw is not. A goatee is a great solution to the problem — just take a look at Robert Downey Jr!
An oblong, or rectangular face, is defined by a deep, square-shaped chin, as well as by a wide jaw that extends out past your cheekbones or level with them. Because your face is by definition longer than some of the other shapes, you should be trying to break up that vertical space by making use of horizontal facial hair that prevents your face from seeming too straight and thin.
Your upper lip is the ideal way to break up the size of your face, as a moustache is basically a horizontal line drawn across it. Because your jaw bones are so wide and sit so high, you should also avoid having too full a beard on the rest of your visage.
Try for afilled-in moustache and thick lower face stubble, highlighting the masculine chin you naturally possess and avoiding filling in too much hair high up on your face, as that’ll draw attention upwards and make it look even longer than it already is.
The classic square face is one of the most masculine face shapes around. Known for being the trademark of A-list Hollywood celebrities and models, there aren’t too many ways you can go wrong with a square face since almost anything will look good.
Still, though, it’s important to keep a few points in mind. The ideal beard will draw attention to your strong jaw line, but won’t exaggerate it, which can look ridiculous and wind up making you look like a box. This is one of the rare occasions where you want your facial hair to round out your face, rather than sharpen it.
A full, soft beard is the best choice, focusing on taking some of the edge off of your jawline and chin and making the overall thing easier to look at. Another good option is to skip the sideburns but keep a floating, well-manicured moustache that floats above your stubbled chin and jaw.
An oval face shape is the most versatile of the lot, and to tell the truth, most styles of beard will work well on you. Offering the masculinity of the square shape without seeming too angular, while still possessing the rounded subtlety of the round shape, the oval face shape is an excellent middle ground that essentially means your struggles to find a beard style are over before they even began.
You can wear any kind of beard style with an oval face and it’ll work well. In fact, the kind of beard you wear will mostly depend on the purpose it’s being used for. If you want to pull off a rugged look, you can feel free to grow the hair longer on both your cheeks and your jaw. On the other hand, if you’re trying to look like a clean-cut professional, tightly-trimmed stubble will do the trick just fine, saving you a ton of time in the morning since all you need to do is tidy it up before you go to work.
Now that you’ve got an idea of what kind of beard style will fit your face shape, it’s time to get down to work. This will either involve a lot of time with the clippers in front of a mirror, or more time spent with scissors in order to keep a full beard from looking too wild. As another point, no matter what kind of beard you decide on to fit you, a solid beard oil or beard balm will make a world of difference. By investing in a solid product, you’ll be allowing your beard to smell good as well as look good, and you’ll be making maintenance that much more straightforward.
This article is the beginning of the story, not the end. Spend some time experimenting in order to figure out what looks best on you, and don’t be afraid to allow your personality to shine through. If you’ve got any other queries about beard care or want some advice on a style for your own particular face shape, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Urban Beard. We’d love to answer any questions you have.
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