Every man hits a moment in his life when he is faced with the decision, beard or no beard? Depending on their age, personal style or preference, some will go for the clean-shaven look. But there will always be those that choose the road otherwise travelled and are faced with the question, “how should I shape my beard?”
Genetics has blessed modern men with a variety of face shapes that allow us to accentuate our uniqueness and provide us with the capability to stand out in our own ways. However given the plethora of face shapes that men have, it can be quite an ordeal choosing the look that they want to go with that highlights their features in the best way.
Well we have put together a comprehensive guide of how to go about deciding just that, and help you to figure out the best beard styles depending on your face shape.
First things first, how do you figure out your face shape?
To go about figuring out your face shape, grab a tape measure and follow along:
Face Length – Starting at the hairline, guide the tape measure down your face to the tip of your chin.
Cheekbone Width – Placing the tape measure just below your eyes, measure the distance between the two outside corners of your eye.
Forehead Width – Just above where your eyebrows begin to arch, measure all the way from the left side of your forehead to the right. Record that number.
Jawline Measurement – Starting just below your ear where your jaw begins to angle upward, measure all the way to the tip of the chin. Multiply that number by two and you have the length of your jawline.
Now that you have your measurements, we can determine your primary face shape.
Square - Those with a sharp angled jaw and all of the measurements are of similar length.
Rectangular - Men whose face length is the longest and the rest of the measurements are all similar in size, have more rectangular face shapes.
Heart – If your chin is pointed and your forehead width is greater than the cheekbone width and jawline measurement, then your face is more heart shaped.
Oval – Men with a more rounded jaw and the length of your face is greater than your cheekbone width. The forehead width also tends to be greater than the jawline measurement.
Diamond – Starting with your face length, then put your cheekbone width, forehead and jaw line measurements in a row. If the measurements go from higher to lower numbers in this order, and you have a more pointed chin, then you likely have a diamond shaped face.
Round – Men with a rounder face shape tend to have softer and less defined angles around their jawline, and the cheekbone width and face length are fairly similar measurements. The forehead width and jawline will also tend to have similar measurements.
Triangular – Men with a jawline measurement that is greater than your cheekbones. Forehead width should be smaller than both of these measurements.
You’ve made it this far and you’re almost done. Now that you have your face shape, read below and determine the best beard style to fit.
Gentlemen with a strong jaw and square face could consider rounding out the face a little with a beard shape that is rounder at the bottom and more narrow. To achieve added length to the face, the beard should be longer under the chin and shorter at the sides, similar to those with round faces. As it becomes more full, continue to the shape the beard as it grows. If it is your style, you can also look at trying a goatee rather than a full beard.
For a little bit of inspiration, take a look at the shapes that Zac Efron, Brad Pitt, Jeff Bridges, and Henry Cavill have tried over the years.
Similar to those who lean towards a square face shape, the rectangular guys can also try softening the sharp edges that accentuate their features. Those with this shape can pull off a full thick beard and short boxed beards. To try to make the face look less long, you should keep an eye on the sides and add more width as you see fit.
Take a look at the looks of Idris Elba, Ben Affleck, Chris Pine, and Russell Crowe if you’re looking for more ideas.
HEART & OVAL
The lucky men with these two face shapes can have your pick of the bunch. These symmetrical shapes can sport almost any look you please, but be careful to not trim too sharp of angles in it so to preserve the complementary nature of your bone structure. Giving some width to the sides, length on the bottom and most goatees, you really cannot go wrong.
David Beckham and Justin Timberlake are a couple of modern day men who are also blessed with these face shapes, take a look for more inspiration.
Due to the wider set of cheekbones in this face structure, men should generally consider keeping the sides short and focusing more on growing the bottom of the beard. By growing it out not too long, you will square out the natural contours of your face and soften the sharp lines of your chin. Going for a short or long goatee is a popular choice with this shaped face, or when growing out full beard, to use a quality beard oil that will keep its shape more rounded.
Johnny Depp is a superb example of the many goatee styles a diamond shaped face can sport.
If you have a rounder face, shaping your beard can make the biggest difference to your jawline and angles. Chisel up your face or sharpen that chin by avoiding more round styles. Try shaping the beard with a longer length below your chin and keep the sides of your beard shorter. Many men also benefit from a goatee to look a little leaner.
Check out the great Earnest Hemingway for inspiration or the many faces of Leonardo DiCaprio for a little modern day appeal.
Last but never least, a triangular face shape has a narrower forehead than jawline that short beards compliment spectacularly. Because your jawline is already filled out well, focusing on your moustache and having a trimmed face allows you to cleverly even out that jawline emphasis. If you prefer a shorter stubble or cropped look, this shape is perfect for you. For those that would still like a longer beard style, create an oval effect by sculpting the beard inward and maintaining the sides shorter as it grows, not allowing the beard to creep to high up the cheekbones.
If you’re having trouble still, take a look at Robert Pattinson and Ryan Gosling for the styles they have supported over the years.
Don’t forget, the best thing about growing a beard is that you can switch up your style whenever you please. So dare to be different, and restructure or shave to a clean palette if you aren’t able to get the look you want. Most importantly be sure to continue to care for your beard as it grows, using the right products to keep your hair gleaming, moisturised and clean.