2021 Top 16 Beard Styles
There’s no denying that beard styles for men have come a long way over the years. The days when men let their beard grow wild and free seem like a distant memory in contrast to the stylish and well-groomed beards of 2021.
These days, while beards serve much the same purpose they always did, we’re looking at them through more of an aesthetic lense. No longer merely facial hair, in 2021, beard styles for men are an extension of our personality and personal style.
The way we groom our beards and the type of beard style we choose is a reflection of taste and lifestyle. It’s possible to say that beards tell others who you are without having to speak.
Limited only by our creativity (and to an extent, genetics), beard styles span a huge array of shapes and types; and we have the freedom to rock our beards in just about any way imaginable.
Whether it’s a short and sharp work-friendly beard, or a well-maintained mane, the styling options for our facial hair is endless. It’s the freedom to use what nature gave us to make a personal statement that has so many men desiring to grow a beard in the first place.
If you’re thinking of growing a beard, or perhaps you’ve already got one, before too long you’ll be looking for the best beard styles to try. Perhaps you’d like to add definition to your jaw line, or elongate a rounded face. Or, you could be looking for a new way to add flair and style to a week’s worth of stubble. The good news, is that all of 2021’s key beard styles for men are contained in this guide.
Here we’re going to explain everything you need to know about which beard styles are popular - and who they’re best suited for.
Starting with an explanation of the different face shapes and what they mean for beards, you’ll then learn what the key beard styles are for each type of beard: partial beards, full beards, and moustaches.
When deciding on what style of beard to go for, a range of factors should be considered, and we’ll go into detail on this in each section.
By the end of this guide you’ll not only know what beard styles best suit your face shape, but you’ll be equipped with a handful of attractive and powerful beard styles to try.
2021 Beard Styles For Men
Choose the right beard style for your face shape:
Understanding what face shape you have is the first step to finding which beard styles will work best for you. For most men, the ultimate goal of a beard is to enhance their appearance, and that means adding dimension and contrast to your face.
Depending on which face shape category you fall into, this will determine what areas you should highlight (or detract from) with your beard.
Beards have the ability to enhance certain facial features, and this is a man’s best kept secret. But - there’s not a one size fits all approach, and not every type of beard style will suit every guy.
Firstly, the best thing to do is determine your face shape.
To make it simple, our faces generally fall into 4 shape categories:
Oval faces suit almost any beard style. With even proportions and balance all over, you can wear anything from 3 day stubble to a handlebar moustache with ease. If you have an oval face it’s possible to transform your face shape into something more angled, more round, or longer, with the use of a beard, however most men with oval faces tend to stick to short beards with clean lines to add definition.
Famous oval faced beardsmen include: David Beckham, Will Smith, Justin Timberlake.
Round faces are described as having a wide jawline, wide cheekbones, and a short chin. This face shape works best with beard styles that help slim the face. Angled lines along the cheekbones and keeping the hair full on your chin will also help to add definition. The Van Dyke beard or goatee are great beard styles for round faces, while thick, long beards are best avoided.
Famous round faced beardsmen include: Leonardo Di Caprio and Jack Black.
Rectangular faces are lucky to have a strong facial structure, but they are weaker around the cheeks. So, beards that are shorter on bottom and longer on the sides are ideal. Also ideal are beards that add fullness to the side of the face. Mutton chops or chin strap style beards (which we’ll explain in a following section) are two beard styles that work well with rectangular faces.
Famous rectangular faced beardsmen include:Jason Statham, Ben Affleck, Russell Crowe
Square faces already have plenty of definition, but this can be enhanced further by shaving or trimming with sharp lines near your cheekbones. Ideally, square faces work best with beards that are short on the sides and fuller on the chin to take advantage of the strong jawline. Avoid beards that are too full on the sides as this can over-accentuate the width of your face. Should you prefer a longer beard, then tapering it into a soft point is ideal to balance the width.
Famous square faced beardsmen include: Brad Pitt, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Cruise
Top Beard Styles (Overview)
As stated above, beard styles can be roughly categorised into three groupings:
- Partial beards
- Full beards
What is a partial beard?
As the name implies, a partial beard is a beard style that doesn’t take over the whole face. Men may prefer a partial beard over a full beard for a variety of reasons including their aesthetic preferences, their lifestyle and line of work, their genetics, or all of the above.
Partial beards have the ability to enhance attractive aspects of the face, and diminish weaknesses. For example, you can use a partial beard style to add definition to a weak chin (the goatee), widening a narrow face (sideburns) or drawing attention to the jawline (Hollywood beard).
Benefits of partial beards:
1 - Partial beards are thought to be a more ‘socially acceptable’ type of beard.
2 - Partial beards are a great option for men with genetics that prevents them from growing a full beard.
3 - Partial beards allow you to pull off a more unusual beard style.
4 - Partial beards can help redefine and reshape parts of the face, such as adding definition to the jawline, lengthening the chin, or adding width to the side of the face.
5 - Partial beards are a stylish ‘gateway’ before gradually moving into a fuller beard style.
There are plenty of partial beard styles out there, limited only by your genetics and your imagination.
What is a full beard?
Again, as the name implies, full beard styles have the most coverage over the face, and they are generally longer. It’s the most popular style of beard even though they take more time and dedication to achieve. While you may think there’s little room for customisation of a full beard, in fact, there’s plenty of ways to make a full beard your own which we’ll get into later in this guide.
Due to the genetic conditions required to grow a fuller beard style, full beards tend to give a more manly, masculine look. Full beards still require regular trimming and maintenance though, to help them look their best.
Benefits of full beards:
1 - Full beards make a statement, they are the result of time, discipline, and patience and therefore command attention.
2 - Longer full beards can elongate a wide or small face.
3 - Full beards can be teamed with different moustache styles for the ultimate personal expression.
4 - Full beards give the impression of maturity.
What is a moustache?
Despite being much smaller size than regular beards, moustaches make a big and bold statement on their own. Immensely popular in the 19th century, this facial hair style has dropped in popularity since then, but they still remain the facial hair go-to for men of all walks of life.
It’s amazing to think that such a small strip of skin can play host to so many unique and eye-catching moustache styles. From the neat and tidy ‘cop’ moustache, to the big and bold ‘walrus’, there is a moustache style for everybody.
Benefits of moustaches:
1 - Moustaches are helpful to balance out asymmetries in the face.
2 - Moustaches create an older, more masculine appearance.
3 - Moustaches are generally less time-consuming to groom and easier to maintain than other beard styles.
4 - Moustaches can be more socially acceptable than other beard styles.
5 - Moustaches allow for self-expression without committing to a full beard.
Top Beard Styles - Partial Beards
To recap the information explained earlier, partial beards are suitable for just about any male, but particularly, they are ideal for anyone who would like to redefine or balance out certain aspects of their face shape.
They are also a great option for men whose genetics prevent them from growing a full beard style. Partial beards allow you to create a more customised, unique appearance via your facial hair.
Best partial beard styles to try:
The Goatee: Definitely the most common partial beard, the goatee was popular in the 90’s and it shows no signs of dying out in 2021 - or beyond. With a goatee, the facial hair grows down from the edges of the mouth down to the chin. A goatee can be short and subtle, or it can be grown into a feature. There’s plenty of room to customise a goatee, as small styling tweaks have a big impact.
Sideburns: You’d be forgiven for thinking that sideburns went the way of the Dodo after the 70s and 80s, but in fact, this beard style remains as popular as ever. Sideburns, otherwise known as ‘mutton chops’ are characterised by facial hair which runs down the side of the jaw. Corporate men tend to keep their sideburns short (not longer than the ear lobe) whereas blue collar males often favour the full ‘chop.
The Circle Beard: Popular with men from all walks of life, the circle beard is composed of a goatee and a moustache. Circle beards are a great way to diminish the visibility of a softer jaw line and they also suit men with square faces and jaws.This is one of the most versatile beard styles that doesn’t tend to offend.
The Hollywood Beard: Starting around the bottom of the earlobes, the Hollywood beard grows along the jaw and is combined with a moustache. Some would say a more woman-friendly choice, this beard style is devoid of sideburns. It’s full enough to look manly without any wild or woolly overtones.
The Amish Beard: Also known as ‘The Whaler’ an Amish beard is a beard without a moustache. This can be a long, full beard of any length. According to the Amish, moustaches were the hallmark of violent, aggressive people (and wearing one was against their religion). So, therefore the Amish beard is any full beard without anything along the top lip.
The Van Dyke: The Van Dyke beard is a pointed beard that grows straight off the chin. Suitable with or without a moustache, most people find that moustaches work best with the Van Dyke beard style.
Top Beard Styles (Full Beards)
To recap the information explained earlier, full beards make a statement. They take the longest time to grow, and are a symbol of patience, dedication and manliness. Full beards can help redefine certain face shapes, such as adding length to a round face, or widening a narrow face. Full beards require regular trimming and grooming to look and feel their best.
Best full beard styles to try:
The Scruff: An all-over growth (a stubble) that most men can achieve. This beard style is apparent after approximately 2-4 days and is always kept short. The stubble beard provides a slightly edgy look, and in 2021 this beard style is accepted in all settings. For a corporate look, the cheek and neckline is kept clean, and the length is kept short.
The Corporate Beard: This is a beard style that is achieved anywhere between 2 weeks to 2 months. A high-maintenance beard choice, the corporate beard requires trimming in all areas to stay neat and tidy. As far as full beard styles go, the corporate beard is a great style for men who want to show they can grow a full beard, without getting too carried away.
The Verdi: This beard style is favoured amongst more creative beardsmen. It features a full beard that grows just past the chin and jawline, in combination with a neatly trimmed and styled moustache. Already requiring a reasonable amount of upkeep, the Verdi beard style calls for a clean neckline at all times.
The Natural Beard: Beard styles come and go, but the natural beard will never be out of fashion. The natural beard requires nature to take its course. Simply let your beard grow freely and tend to it with minor shaping and trimming along the way. Genetics will play the main role in the look of the natural beard, so be prepared to ditch it or embrace it accordingly.
The Yeard: A beard + a year = the yeard. For those that are less inclined to follow the latest trends, then the ‘yeard’ beard style is worth considering. Given that this beard style needs one year of uninterrupted growth, with only limited trimming of split ends and flyaways permitted, this beard style is suited to those with a combination of the right genetics and medium-level patience.
The Tweard: The evolution of the yeard, is of course, ‘The Tweard’. This beard style is defined by two years of uninterrupted growth, with only minor tweaking permissible. Beardsmen should expect to see a very full beard that may start to grow wider rather than longer.
The Terminal Beard: The lucky dip of beards, the terminal beard is a man’s MAXIMUM beard. It’s the longest any beard can naturally grow. There is no answer to how long a beard may take to reach terminal status. Naturally, no two terminal beards are alike. This beard style requires a blend of the right genetics, dedication, and unlimited patience.
Top Beard Styles - Moustaches
Largely, DNA will determine a man’s ability to grow a moustache. While there is plenty of folklore about the best ways to grow a thicker moustache, in reality, like growing any other kind of facial hair, its success is a combination of genetics, patience, and time.
Having said that, if you’re in the lucky position of having to choose which moustache style to go for, there’s a few popular styles to explore.
Best moustache styles to try:
The Cop: Undoubtedly one of the most popular moustache styles throughout the decades, the ‘Cop’ is achieved by limiting the facial hair growth to above the top lip only. This style must be neatly groomed and styled at all times.
The Handlebar: In 2021, the handlebar moustache is hotter than ever. This style is characterised by a thicker growth which extends across the entire top lip and beyond - with the ends curled upwards. Requiring daily styling with beard wax or similar firm-hold grooming product, the handlebar moustache is quirky yet approachable.
The Walrus: The Walrus style of moustache is familiar and comforting. Defined by a big, bold hair growth that extends over the top lip, men can decide whether to grow out the tips on each side, use styling wax to provide further shape, or keep it trimmed all the way across.
In 2021, beard styles for men are the ultimate form of self expression and personal representation. No longer limited by societal norms or convention, men can customise a beard style that looks and feels like themselves.
When looking for the best beard style, the first step is to take note of your face shape and look for any areas of the face you’d like to enhance or diminish. From there, it’s a matter of analysing where and how your facial hair grows.
It’s important to remember that there isn’t a one size fits all approach to growing a beard. What style suits one man might not suit another. Ideally, the goal of any beardsman is to grow a beard style that enhances your appearance - without battling your natural genetics.
Whether you decide to grow a week’s worth of stubble or a terminal beard, there’s no shortage of masculine and powerful beard styles to choose from.