How to Pick the Right Beard Style for Your Face Shape in 2021
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What we are looking for when we style a beard is to put a shape that flatters the face, i.e. highlights your features in the best possible way. Different face shapes require different beard shapes: A beard that looks good on one man can look strange on another. Read on to learn the basic guidelines.
How the Beard Grows
For most people, the beard grows equally over large parts of the face. In other words, if you don’t shave for months, your beard will have a fairly long, but equal length everywhere. This will almost never look nice. The most common challenges are:
- Chin: The beard wraps around the tip of the chin and lies like a round pillow backwards towards the neck. This makes the chin look less marked than it really is.
- Jaw: The beard hangs past the jaw line and forms a clump of hair. From the side, it is impossible to see where the jaw actually goes, which contributes to a shapeless profile.
- Cheek: The beard grows too far on the sides and forms vertebrae / tangles. From the front, the face looks around.
- Neck: The beard gradually becomes thinner down the neck. This makes the whole beard look glistening since it does not form a clear contrast to the neck.
- Split ends: The beard is worn pointed or split at the edges. It is difficult to lay nicely and looks thinner than it actually is.
How to Make a Shape on the Beard
A good beard trim puts different lengths on different parts of the beard to build a consistent shape. To know how long the beard actually is, it must be blow-dried and straightened with a beard comb before grooming, otherwise you risk that the length will be completely different after the next shower.
It is also much easier to shape beards that are softened by beard shampoo. Beard that has been dried out by hair shampoo or facial cleanser gets split ends and becomes too stiff to put in shape (read more about this here).
Professional barbers follow certain basic rules regardless of head or face shape:
- The chin determines. The length of the beard is maximally limited by the length of the tip of the chin, the entire rest of the beard is formed from this. A beard that is longer on the cheeks than on the chin immediately looks strange.
- The beard is cut short at the very inside of the neck and gradually further out towards the tip of the chin. This causes the beard to “stand” forward on its own legs and emphasize the jaw.
- Seen from the front, the beard should follow a vertical line downwards from the widest point of the face (usually the cheekbones). This means that the beard is trimmed briefly in front of the ears and gradually further from the cheekbones down.
- The beard “fades” into the temple. This means that the beard length gradually decreases until it matches the length of the scalp hair. If the temple is peeled, the beard trim gradually shaves. A beard that suddenly ends up in nothing can look like a blob.
- Seen from the side, the back corner of the beard (below the ear) should, as a rule of thumb, form an angle of at least 90 degrees. The longer the beard, the larger the angle can be.
- The tip of the beard is almost always trimmed to a point at the tip of the chin. How pointed this tip is is determined by the width of the jaw (see below).
- As a general rule, we shave our necks up to just above the Adam’s apple. You can shave the lines along the cheeks as well. Many Norwegians prefer a natural line that is not too strictly defined by shaving.
Different Face Shapes
An oval face is naturally symmetrical and fits with most beard styles. If you have this head shape, you can pick & choose.
A round face shape looks best with a short beard on the sides and a little longer under the chin.
Your face is wide with sharp angles. To get symmetry, you should keep the beard shorter on the sides and grow it further down. Feel free to round it off a bit when the beard has lengthened.
You have a narrow forehead and a face that gradually widens down towards the jaw. This means that you already have a wide face shape where you want to grow a beard. We recommend either going for a shorter beard or getting enough length on it so you can trim it short on the sides and narrower down the chin.
Rectangular or Oblong Face
Your face is long and narrow, but with a rectangular chin. For you, we recommend shortening it down a bit at the bottom and filling in something on the sides. This way you get better symmetry in the face.
You have a narrow forehead and jaw, but a wide cheek. For you, we recommend keeping it short on the jaws and using the length down to shape the beard into a more oval shape.
Why Does the Barber cut the Beard so short?
It takes time to grow a full beard. In order for your barber or hairdresser not to waste months of saving, it is crucial to have good communication in advance. If you stand and trim your beard in the bathroom, you know how you want it. But it is not necessarily that a barber knows what your plans for the beard are. In the following we will try to describe the logic of a good barber so that you better understand why they do as they do.
Barbers are primarily looking to create a working shape. As I said, this mostly depends on the beard being the longest at the tip of the chin – everything else must be trimmed shorter. For example, if you have bled by stroking your chin more than your cheeks, the barber will try to correct it by stroking your cheeks as well.
Some men with fairly thin beard growth are able to grow parts of the beard far to compensate. In some cases, it is impossible to make this beard look tight and well-groomed with its current length and the barber’s instinct will be to cut it shorter.
A self-respecting barber will also try to trim away chipped/ worn tips. The more of your beard that is worn to pieces, the more beard they need to remove. Be careful with beard shampoo and beard moisturizer to avoid this.