If you're part of the beard community, you're probably well aware that healthy facial hair is a trend that never really went anywhere. Beard envy is real and the temptation to sport the same cut grows strong with every fade you scroll past on social media. While it may feel strange using shapes and the power of symmetry as the determining factor of what beard style to sport, knowing the basics can go a long way on your quest to enhancing your features.
Of course, choosing the right beard shape for your face will depend on a few factors. Every face has its own unique considerations (such as the size of your mouth, nose, and jawline), but there's some general advice you can follow to find the best-suited beard for you. Below, check out what barbers JayR Mallari and Rodrick Samuels, had to say about choosing the best beard for your face shape, from round to oval.
Meet the Expert
How to Determine Face Shape
Mallari advises clients to take note that prior to determining what beard might fit best, keeping in mind their current hairstyle will give a better picture. There is a beard shape specifically crafted to celebrate your features.
- Triangular: The jawline is wider than the cheekbones, a small forehead, and a pointed chin. The face can be any length.
- Oval: Face length in measurement is larger than the width of the cheekbones. The forehead is larger than the jawline and the chin is round.
- Round: The length and width ratio of the face have similar measurements. The cheekbone is the widest part of the face and the angle of the jaw is not defined.
- Diamond: Face length is the largest, cheekbones are high, the forehead is narrow, and the chin is pointy
- Oblong: Forehead, cheekbones, and jawline are similar in measurement. The face length is the largest measurement
- Square: Face length, cheekbones, forehead, and jawline are about the same size. The jaw is sharp.
Round Face Shape
When shaping the beard for a round face, your goal is to create angles. "If you have a round face, when you are trimming your beard, you need a beard style that creates that illusion of an angular face. As such, you need a beard that emphasizes on your chin," Samuels says.
Do this by opting for a beard shape with closely cropped sides and more length at the chin (no bushy sideburns here). Or, in lieu of a full beard, a goatee is often a good option for a round face. Samuel advises round face shapes to try and avoid thick (as well as long beards) as they only make your face look even rounder.
Oblong Face Shape
Rectangular face shapes with soft edges can master any beard. This shape is the most elongated and a strong jawline is a prominent feature.
Before committing to a style, Mallari advises avoiding highlighting how long your head is by not growing a long beard. "A 5 o'clock shadow, short length goatee, and mustache are great options to start with."
When deciding what beard style suits you best, Mallari recommends double-checking that you can grow a beard. "It will take about two weeks to see how your facial hair pattern grows and then you can decide what style you prefer to wear," he explains.
Oval Face Shape
Unlike the round face shape, the goal for those with a longer face shape is to make the face appear fuller. You can choose to add width to the sides and keep the chin area shorter.
To shape a beard for an oval face, maintaining a shorter length on the chin is important. Samuels says, "A short beard covering the chin, which is groomed on a regular basis, looks very attractive on a rounded chin. However, for the perfect beard trimming experience, consider a short beard that has clean lines for definition."
Diamond Face Shape
For an angular face from forehead to chin, high cheekbones will jut out. Samuels suggests finding the balance through reducing the prominence of your cheekbones by keeping hair on the chin and going wider on the sides of the face and cheeks. "You can try beard styles such as the chin strap, a full beard, Balbo, or even a mustache combo or a goatee."
Triangular Face Shape
If the widest part of your face is your cheekbones, opt for a beard style that covers the chin. "Given the prominence of the jawline, short or partial beards are often too challenging and result in a pear-shaped appearance. Larger, bulkier beards can be honed to not only conceal the jawline but taper it in a way that offsets the forehead," Samuels says.
Mallari suggests a goatee or mustache to draw just enough attention to the chin and jawline.
"Always style your beard to regain a sense of symmetry and take care not to allow it to overgrow as this will only emphasize your jawline," says Samuels of triangular face shapes.
Square Face Shape
Similar to shaping a beard for a round face, the beard for a square face should be shorter at the sides and longer at the chin to add length to your face. To add proportion, keep the shape a bit rounder (versus square) at the chin. The sharp angles will emphasize your sharp features. "You can choose to fully grow a goatee and mustache or a full beard. Another option would be to have the beard slightly shorter than the goatee," Mallari says.
Samuels explains, "If you have a square face, what you need is a beard that highlights your strong jawline rather than exaggerates it. Try to round up your chin with a softer narrower beard such as the circle beard that will accentuate the jaw and lengthen your chin. You might also want to try a beard without sideburns but with a trimmed and floating mustache."
Still Need Help?
The nice thing about beards is that you can switch up your style rather quickly if you're not happy. A quick shave or skipping one (or a few) can easily give you a clean palette to work with. If growing your desired beard style is not an easy process, there are various options available. Mallari says, "Enhancements (color, filling patches, and creating sharp outlines) are fine in my opinion as long as it is properly done and not completely 'painted' on."
Head to your barber or stylist and ask them for advice if you're really stuck and looking to make a change. Be sure to ask them for any tips about beard care while you're there.