Part of growing a beard is working with what you've got, which means styling and shaping your beard to fit the contours of your face. To help you out with that, we sat down with beard stylist, Travis Fields, for a brief lesson in matching face shapes to beard styles. Here's what we learned:
The Best Beards for Round Faces Round faces are usually defined by a soft jawline and a weak chin. To combat this, Fields recommends keeping your sideburns and cheeks tidy, and allowing your chin hair to grow a bit wilder. "You want well-groomed cheeks and a longer, triangular beard," he explains. "This will help give the appearance of a more defined chin and jawline while also adding some length to your face." As such, the goatee and the chin strap are both good choices for round-faced dudes (and as always, maintain your facial hair with beard oil).
The Best Beards for Square Faces Square faces are, well… square, which means the wrong beard style will have you looking like an actual blockhead. To avoid that, Fields suggests taking a similar approach to the round-faced guys: Don't let your beard get too full on the cheeks and sideburns. As for specific beard styles, the Van and the chin strap work for those with square faces.
The Best Beards for Oval Faces Oval faces are just that—oval. As far as beard styles go, guys with oval faces have the most freedom: "If you have an oval face, you can pull off a wide variety of beard types," Fields says. "You seriously can't go wrong so long as it's well-kept, and the hairs are a consistent length across the board." A simple way to achieve this without using electric clippers is to occasionally lightly graze a razor across the bulk of your beard to remove strays.
The Best Beards for Rectangular Faces Rectangular faces are also referred to as oblong faces, since they're long and thin around the cheeks. "Because the rectangular face is already naturally long, you want a fuller cheek growth," Fields explains. "This will help your jawline appear wider, which helps lessen the face length." As such, a full beard works well for guys with longer faces. Just know that if you're going to grow out your facial hair, you're going to have to tend to it lest you become totally unkissable. You have been warned.