Popular facial hair and beards are constantly evolving. Throughout history, many different beard styles have been popular. Many of the styles we wear today we once popular in the past.
Today’s Hottest Beard Styles
Beards have reached new heights of popularity in 2021 and there are countless beard styles men are wearing now. Statisticians estimate that more than half of the world’s adult male population has one, and the fastest growing demographic to embrace the beard is the 20-something crowd. And why wouldn’t they? After all, the beard is the ultimate symbol of manliness.
That is, as long as it isn’t left to simply grow wild and free.
Some differences in some beard styles are subtle, while others are very distinctive. Some great beards are understated, classical, contemporary, mountain-man, or bold-and-edgy. It doesn’t matter what effect you’re looking for, there is something that suits every face shape and taste.
A little bit of style goes a long way when it comes to beard grooming, and finding the perfect one to fit your face, personality, and lifestyle will definitely turn all heads in your direction. In the end, women like beards with style, so finding the right shape for you is important.
Let’s start with a basic description of beard types and then move on to specific beard styles.
The term “partial beard” is loosely-defined, but basically refers to any facial hair growth (including the mustache) that covers part, but not all, of the skin under the lower lip, lower jaw and the area above it to approximately the cheekbone. A partial beard may or may not extend all the way to the ear area, may or may not include a mustache, and may be any length from stubble to long and beyond.
Either way, it involves shaving away part of the beard.
A full beard usually refers to any styles or shapes where the hair is left to grow and cover most or all of the space under the chin. It extends all the way to the ears on both sides of the face, and covers the face from the jawline or below all the way up to the cheekbone area.
A full beard can be very trim and short, even just a couple of days’ stubble, to long and beyond. A full beard typically includes a mustache, which usually joins up with the beard hair.
As you can see from these explanations, hair length does not matter as much as square inches when defining a partial versus a full beard. The beard styles we will outline here are either partial or full, but many of them can be worn short or long or somewhere in between. Style, in many cases, refers to the shape of the cut, not necessarily the length of the hair.
There are many beard styles and mustache styles in the world today. Below we go over 37 of the best beard styles for men.
Beard Styles: Mustaches/Partial Beards
1) The Pencil
This mustache is just a very narrow, trim line above the upper lip. It is typically slightly upturned at its ends.
This mustache resembles a very long version of the pencil. The ends are typically twisted tightly as far toward the center of the mustache as possible.
3) Copstash Standard Mustache Style
The stereotypical style for the 1970s cop, the copstash is slightly wider than the pencil, with ends that extend no further than just past the outer edges of the nose.
4) Handlebar Mustache
In this style, you allow the mustache hairs to grow longer, so that the ends extend to the lines of the eyes or even slightly beyond. The ends are then twisted into a point.
5) Super Mario Mustache Style
This one is for the avid gamer or the guy who dares to be flashy. Just think Super Mario from the Nintendo series. This style is wide, thick, and long. It sort of resembles an upside-down handlebar mustache without the twisted ends.
6) Mighty El Insecto Beard Style
This unique and daring minimalist short beard features a thin, curved “C” shape of hair on either side of the lower chin and downward, like insect jaws.
7) Soul Patch
This beard is the smallest patch of hair that can still be called a beard. You create it by shaving almost all of your facial hair, except for a small patch of hair just under the lower lip. Some people prefer keeping it trim and short, while others grow it a little longer. Finally, it can be worn with or without a mustache.
Popularized by American rock musician and guitarist Frank Zappa, this style features a box-shape soul patch and wide, bushy mustache with ends that turn downward at about the mid-eye line.
9) Imperial/Napoleon the III Imperial
This style requires merely growing the soul patch a little bit longer, so that it extends to the bottom of the chin or slightly beyond, keeping the shape of the lines rounded and tidy. People often wear the Imperial with or without a mustache. The Napoleon the III Imperial is a slightly different take on the Imperial, with the chin hair extending further past the lower chin.
10) A la Souvarov
Barely a beard, this style features a mustache, the ends of which extend all the way to the ear line or hairline. The lines are typically curvy and round.
11) Franz Josef
Similar to the A la Souvarov, but less flashy. Lines are straight and crisp and form the shape of a “W.”
12) Fu Manchu
This is another style that straddles the line between “mustache” and “beard.” The mustache hairs are trimmed to form a very narrow, fairly straight line which turns downward in right angles at the ends. The beard part of the style extends downward to just past the lower part of the chin.
This style looks like a cross between a Fu Manchu and a Franz Josef, except the sideburns are cut off from (not connected to) the Fu Manchu part of the style.
14) Rap Industry Standard
Similar to the Fu Manchu, but even narrower. Its lines are slightly more rounded, and it typically includes a close and similarly narrow-shaven “beard” which extends the length of the lower jaw line to the ear. As its name implies, it is popular with rap artists.
This short beard is so-named because the hair is shaved and trimmed into an anchor shape around the mouth/chin. The mustache forms the anchor’s crossbar/stock. The center part forms the anchor’s stock, and the hair is shaved down to the lower part of the chin and rounded off, forming the anchor’s crown. The hairline moves outward to just past the ends of the mouth and shaved to points, forming the anchor’s flukes.
16) Van Dyke Beard
This short beard style is similar to the anchor, but with one difference. Instead of rounding off the bottom, the hair is trimmed to form a point.
This one resembles an upside-down anchor, with its ends (“flukes”) extended outward along the lower jaw line, just past the sides of the nose. The ends are then squared off.
18) Handlebar and Chin Puff
This style plays up a handlebar mustache, and features a strip beard which is grown past the lower chin and rounded off.
This style is made from hair on the lower chin. Sidelines extend to just past the lips and are straight and tidy. The bottom of the goatee is rounded off.
20) Handlebar and Goatee
Just like the goatee, but add in a handlebar mustache.
21) Petite Goatee
Like its name implies, it’s a narrower, more understated version of the goatee. Hair is typically trimmed to a point below the lower chin.
22) Extended Goatee
As its name suggests, this short beard is like the goatee, except for the sides. They are extended along the lower jaw line, coming to points just past the outer corners of the eyelids.
Think “Jack Sparrow” in the Pirates of the Caribbean series of movies. It resembles a long goatee, divided in the middle and each half twisted into a point. The sides may be shaved like a goatee, or they may extend in a fairly narrow line along the lower jawline toward the ear.
24) Mutton Chops
Now we are taking sideburns to a whole new level. Facial hair is left to grow from ear to lower jaw and ear to approximately a distance extending to the outer corner of the eyelids. The entire area below the lower lip is shaved bare and the side is left relatively bushy.
25) Friendly Mutton Chops
As the name suggests, this resembles mutton chops, with the major difference being that the “chops” are worn much more closely-shaven.
The hulihee is similar to the pork chops style, but on steroids. It’s for the truly brave who dare to grow chop hair to extreme lengths. It’s a definite attention-getter.
27) Dutch/Old Dutch Beard Styles
Although this style resembles a full beard in many ways, it is still considered a partial beard because it only covers the lower half of each jaw and is worn without a mustache. The shape is similar to that of a bib with a patch of hair in the center that goes up towards the lip.
This is one of the facial hair styles that falls into that gray area between full and partial beard, and there is a little flexibility in how it can be worn and still be considered “Hollywoodian.” As you may have guessed, it is named such for its popularity among Hollywood actors. It can best be described as taking the ends of an extended goatee and drawing them outward along the lower jaw either all the way to the sideburn area, or stopping just before it. The top of the beard is typically worn just under the lower cheekbone area. It is always worn with a mustache which connects with the beard at each end. Hair is kept short to medium-length.
29) Chin Strap
Although this beard is similar to the Old Dutch, the width is much narrower. Also, the hair extending upwards on the chin is gone so the beard closely follows the jawline. The chin strap has been a popular beard in current times and will continue to be.
This beard is famous because of the Klingon race from Star Trek. Its designer based it on the style that was prominent in Victorian times. It looks like a shorter, narrower version of the Dutch, with the added feature of triangular points that turn toward the corners of the mouth.
Full Beard Styles
31) Stubble Beard
The stubble beard is a classical look that can either be very short to approximately half an inch. Since it is all the same length, the mustache ends blend into the beard.
32) French Fork
This beard style can be achieved by growing out stubble to about two or more inches. The hair is then shaped into a long and narrow “W” with two points below the lower chin. The hair is short on the sides and extends up the jawline to the ear. Finally, the mustache meets the beard at its ends.
If, instead of shaping the bottom into a “W”, you trim it to a point like a “V” instead, you would have a ducktail.
34) Short Boxed
This is the full version of the Van Dyke beard, with sides extending outward along the jawline and to the ear. You complete the look by blending the mustache ends into the beard.
This beard style resembles a long Balbo with a few differences. First, the sides extend along the lower jaw to the ear. Then, you round and taper the bottom under the middle of the lower chin.
This could be considered the “full” cousin of the partial Dutch. It is similar in most every way except that it features a narrow, curved mustache with ends that blend into the beard.
37) Bandholz Beard
AKA Eric Bandholz was just a regular guy with a passion for beards. He started by competing in a beard-growing contest in 2012. Then, he started a blog to unite the bearded community, and within a few years he had a beard empire on his hands, complete with a line of hipster beard products and a beard style named after him. The Bandholdz is similar to, but longer and fuller than, the short boxed and has become something of a contemporary icon for today’s urban beardsmen.
Beard Hacks for Every Face Shape
To look your best, you should choose a style that suits your face. Some beard styles just won’t do for certain face shapes, while you can tweak others a little bit to make them look better on you.
Keep these tips and hacks in mind.
If You Have a Round Face
The idea is to try to slightly slim and elongate the lines of your face. For this reason, guys with round faces should stick with shorter beard styles, with or without mustache. It is especially important to keep sideburns neatly trimmed. You can opt for short sideburns that taper into slightly longer hair below the chin if you wish. This will help to accentuate your chin, one of the best features of the round face. If you decide to eschew the beard in favor of just a mustache, you’re in luck… the round-faced guy can wear virtually any mustache style and look amazing.
Styles to avoid if you have a round face: Chin Strap, Dutch, Balbo, Klingon.
If You Have a Square Face
You have that chiseled jawline that ladies go crazy over, so the last thing you want to do is take away from it. So, the beard styles that are best for you are those that keep the hair closest to the sides and jawline trimmed short, with a little more length and fullness under the chin. Avoid trimming to a point at the chin; either round it off wide or taper and slightly round at the bottom.
Styles to avoid if you have a square face: Hollywoodian, Klingon, Ducktail, Short Boxed, French Fork.
If You Have an Oblong/Rectangular Face
If your face is more square at the jawline, you’ll want to soften it up a bit, while those that have a more rounded jawline may want to create the illusion of definition with squarer hairlines. With that in mind, opt for a beard that is fuller on the side and shorter at the chin, such as the short boxed.
Styles to avoid if you have an oblong/rectangular face: Mutton chops, Hulihee, Dutch.
If You Have an Oval Face
Ovals are fortunate in that they can pull off just about any beard or mustache shape. If you opt for trimming your beard to a point below the chin, shorter hair will be better fit for the oval-shaped face.
So, if you want to create the illusion of a squarer, more defined jawline, go for a boxier-cut beard, such as the short boxed.
Now you have all the information you need to try and find a beard style that will work for you. Every look requires different amounts of maintenance and different tools to create them.
Some of them requires shaving with a razor, while others need only a trimmer. And others will need styling products like beard oil or wax.
In the end, it may take practice to perfect your new beard, but it will be worth it.
So, if you are looking to grow a beard or change your look, what are you waiting for?