Alright beardsmen, we’re here today to prove that you can rock a short beard style no matter what your face shape is, so if you’ve always been curious if you can pull it off, read on.
The short beard is growing in popularity these days and there are so many reasons for that. So, why are short beards becoming more popular? First, they look great on any face shape. Whether you’ve got big, round cheeks or that chiseled jaw look, it doesn’t matter, you, too, can look sizzling with a short beard style.
Another reason why short beard styles are gaining steam is the recent need to wear masks. A short beard is definitely more mask friendly. In the last two years, we’ve seen a lot of celebs rock the short beard look. Kumail Nanjani has sported some mask-friendly scruff, Johnny Knoxville has grown a few whiskers to match his hairstyle and loads of other celebs have also worn the short beard in the past couple of years.
Short beard styles for men are also easy to take care of and maintain for all our low maintenance Kingsmen out there. Some of us just don’t have the time to style our hair with pomade for men and would rather roll right out of bed looking great.
Long beards were a symbol of wisdom in ancient times, and in Ancient Greece, they curled their whiskers which became a sign of honor. It wasn’t until Christianity dawned, that clean-shaved faces became the go-to look, as clergy were required to shave their beards. In the 1500s, full facial hair came back and men wore it in a multitude of styles, but in the 1600s, a famous Flemish painter named Anthony Van Dyke popularized a pointed goatee and mustache, known as the Van Dyke, with his paintings.
Since then, facial hair has gone in and out of fashion and many styles have been all the rage. Chin straps and mutton chops, handlebars and finally the return of the goatee in the 1990s. In recent years, the hipster trend has brought with it the popularity of a full, neatly maintained beard and mustache which has slowly morphed into the mask-friendly short beard style we see on so many beardsmen today.
In this guide, we’re going to go over short beard styles that suit different face shapes. Let’s find out if you’re better suited for a short boxed beard or stubble. Maybe you’re going to look best with a corporate beard or a beardstache. By the time we’re done, you’ll know which short beard style is best for you, and how to grow a beard that suits your look so let’s jump right in.
Is a Short Beard Right For You and Your Lifestyle?
Short beards are great for beardsmen looking for a low-maintenance look. That is, something that won’t require a lot of styling and brushing every morning. However, short beards still need to be maintained. You’ll need to keep it trimmed, moisturized, and clean.
So, consider what kind of maintenance you want to put into your beard before deciding which style is right for you. You’ll also want to take into consideration your face shape before you settle in on a short beard style. So, how do we find out what our face shape is and how does it affect our beard? Let’s take a closer look.
What is My Face Shape?
Face shapes fall into one of four categories, generally speaking. There are oval faces, square faces, round faces and rectangular faces. How do you determine which face shape you have? You’ll have to take a closer look at your features to do that.
If you have a rounded hairline and jawline, your face shape is round. Round faces also have a width and height that are almost equal. Round faces always look great in some stubble.
Square faces generally sport cheekbones, a forehead, and a jawline that are roughly equal to each other. A longer beard in the front and short on the sides is a great way to enhance a square face.
An oval face is more long than wide and the width of the forehead will be shorter than the cheekbone width. If you’re an oval-faced beardsman, you’ll look fantastic with a goatee.
A rectangular face is longer than it is wide, but the forehead, jawline and cheekbones appear to be a similar width. A beard that is short in the chin area and a little bit more full on the sides will look great on a rectangular face.
Best Short Beard Styles for All Face Shapes
It’s time to get into some specific short beard styles and which face shapes they’re best for. A short beard can be any length shorter than 4 inches, including stubble. Here are some of the most popular styles for men that fit that criteria.
1. 5 o’Clock Shadow
The 5 o’clock shadow is the definition of effortless. Really, it’s just the slightest hint of stubble and can usually be visible after just a day of skipping a shave. The 5 o’clock shadow got its name in the 1930s from a shaving company that claimed to shave so close, you’d never see new growth before you shaved again the next day. To achieve this look, all you have to do is refrain from shaving for a day or two, however, some beardsmen might want to shape their stubble to emphasize their jawline, cheekbones and other facial features. No styling needed! You’ll still want to keep those whiskers happy and your skin healthy with your daily beard oil, though.
2. Short and Rounded
This work-friendly look is characterized by soft, rounded edges and a length anywhere from stubble to an inch. It’s neat and tidy looking for the beardsman with a round face. The short and rounded style was popular in the 20th century and is making a comeback in 2022. This look is easy to maintain with a good beard trimmer. To achieve the short and rounded style, trim to under an inch, following the curves of your face. Make use of moisturizers like beard oil, beard balm and beard butter as well as beard conditioner to keep this looking healthy and full. Don’t forget to brush it through daily to lightly exfoliate anything blocking follicles or pores.
3. Short Boxed Beard
The short boxed beard is kept to under an inch and can be a scruffy, rugged look or a neatly styled workplace-friendly beard. This style of beard didn’t really become popular until recently when stars like George Clooney began rocking the look. The short boxed beard is perfect for warmer days and can really accentuate the cheekbones in oval shaped faces. This look may require a facial hair trim every few days, and a clean shaven neck and upper cheek area daily. Your short boxed beard should be washed a couple of times a week with a beard wash and a beard conditioner and daily beard oil treatments are a must. Tame any flyaways or unruly whiskers with the smallest amount of beard balm.
The corporate beard style is extremely well-groomed, down to every last hair. It’s immaculate facial hair perfection and can be any length. However, to keep it a short beard you’ll want to trim it under an inch and you change it up with faded sideburns. This is the type of beard you rock with a power suit when you’ve got an important meeting. It says you’re all about effort and can help you make that great initial impression. This is a uniquely 21st century look that brings a little bit of the hipster to the workplace. You’re going to need the full line-up for this one: beard wash and conditioner, beard oil, beard balm, beard butter and mustache wax, as well a great trimmer, scissors, a beard comb and a beard brush. These are your tools to achieve absolute perfection.
You remember this facial hair style from Mission:Impossible. You know, Fallout? With Henry Cavill? The slight stubble beard and lusciously full, Magnum PI ‘stache? As Mr. Cavill proved, the square and rectangular faces look best with this look, especially if you want to accentuate your jawline. The key to this look is maintaining the stubble beard while growing out your mustache. I light buzz over the beard with your trimmer every couple of days with a #1 or #2 and a couple of snips of the mustache with the scissors to keep it the length you want. Mustache wax is going to be your best friend with this look, but don’t forget your daily beard oil regimen.
6. Royal Beard
Identified by a mustache paired with a vertical strip of hair on the chin, the royal beard got its name from men in the Royal Navy back in the 1800s. You’ll want to keep your mustache and chin strip about the same length, so this style is going to demand some trimming and shaving every few days. Shave your cheeks and neck clean and snip your mustache to keep it trim. Aside from your daily beard oil to keep those whiskers happy, you’ll probably want to invest in a good mustache wax and beard balm to keep your royal beard neat and tidy.
7. Short Stubble Beard
A short stubble beard is a little bit longer than the 5 o’clock shadow but still short enough to qualify as stubble. This look became popular in the 1990s and is making a comeback today because it fits neatly under any mask.
You really don’t have to do much to achieve this look outside of letting your stubble grow for a few days and use a trimmer maybe once per week, depending on how fast your hair grows. A little beard oil every day is all you need!
8. Chin Strap
The chin strap is a truly unique beard style that’s probably easiest recognized from a certain SNL skit featuring Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg. It roared to popularity in the 90s with the boy band boom. It’s great for oval and round faces to make the jawline look more chiseled. This style is just a simple strip of hair along the jawline. It can be accompanied by a mustache but you can also skip the mustache all together. You’re going to need to keep this look neatly trimmed with clean shaven cheeks and neck. Use your daily beard oil and a little beard balm to control any flyaways and neaten the look.
9. Classic Mustache
The classic mustache is trimmed above the lip and as full as you want it to be. There is no beard which means a shave at least every other day. The mustache has a long and interesting history, from designing medieval knight armor to show off your cookie duster, to the mustache revolution set off by Burt Reynolds and Tom Selleck in the 80s. The mustache is certainly making a comeback today and it’s going to look great on any face shape. All you need is a little mustache wax and you’re good to go!
The goatee is sometimes also called the Van Dyke, but we think it may have originally gotten its name from the goat god, Pan. Back in ancient Greece, this god was depicted with goat legs and a goatee. This facial hairstyle came roaring back in the 90s representing a kind of bad boy look, but it's lost its edge, today. It’s a common sight and can really compliment a round or oval face well. Your mustache and beard are not connected, and your cheeks and neck are clean-shaven when you rock the goatee. You’ll want a good beard oil to keep those whiskers fed, and a nice, natural beard balm to tidy it up.
11. Mutton Chops
General Ambrose Burnside, a Union soldier and former Governor of Rhode Island put this beard style on the map and, incidentally, is also who sideburns are named for. This style boasts a clean shaven chin, with full sideburns connected to a mustache. This is an eye-catching style and definitely a good bet if you want to get some attention. Mutton chops compliment a neatly trimmed hairstyle. To achieve it, shave your chin and let your sideburns and mustache grow. Be sure to keep that mane healthy with some beard oil every day and you might want to invest in some beard balm and mustache wax to keep any stray hairs in check.
A scruffy beard is just a little bit longer than a stubble beard, maybe a few days worth of growth. To keep it this length, a quick buzz with your trimmer and a #2 attachment every few days ought to do the trick. To tidy up the look, you can shave your neck and cheeks and add some shape with clean or faded lines. It’s a great look with a tidy hairstyle. In years past, scruff was an indicator of being unkempt, but today, it can look sharp even in the most professional settings. Keep it looking great with your daily beard oil and a light brush through.
The Hollywoodian is a truly unique style that roared to popularity in the 60s as Hollywood stars began sporting it. Since then, A-list celebs like Leonardo DiCaprio and Chris Hemsworth have been seen rocking the Hollywoodian. It can be easily identified as a full beard and ‘stache with clean shaven sideburns sometimes faded into the beard. It’s the perfect look for a man with an oval or rectangular face. You can grow your beard out to any length, but keep those sideburns and neck clean-shaven. Beard oil every day applied to your damp Hollywoodian is a must to maintain this style, while making use of beard balm to keep everything neat and tidy. You’ll also want to invest in a good beard wash and conditioner to keep this mane clean without stripping natural oils and drying it out.
14. Van Dyke Beard
The Van Dyke beard is a goatee that tends to have a lot of points. Its defining characteristics are the clean-shaven cheeks and a disconnected beard and mustache. This style was made popular in the 1700s when Flemish painter Anthony Van Dyke painted many of his subjects with this style and it’s come back to popularity in recent times, being sported by the likes of Pierce Brosnan. Rock it with any hairstyle! Let your whiskers grow to an inch or so, then shave the cheeks, neck and the area between the beard and mustache. You’ll need to keep up with shaving to maintain the look and you’re going to need some good styling products to get those points sharp. Beard butter, beard balm and mustache wax should be in your arsenal for this one.
Named for a beloved 1800s Italian composer, Giuseppe Verdi, the Verdi beard style has a short, rounded beard and a large, full mustache. Often the mustache is sported with curled up tips. This beard style is always shorter than 4 inches, which means you have to keep it trimmed. You can also give it some shape with your razor. Mustache wax is your weapon of choice for the Verdi, because it’s strong enough to hold those ‘stache points for the whole day.
This style was made famous by Freddy Mercury. This is, most often, a mustache-only look with a cookie duster that hugs the curves of your upper lip tightly. You’ll want to have clean-shaven cheeks, chin and neck but if you wanted to switch it up a bit, you could grow out a chin strip. Trim your ‘stache just above the lip and keep it neat and tidy with mustache wax and beard oil every day.
How Do I Style My Short Beard?
How does a beardsman style his short beard? It all depends on what look you’ve chosen to rock but in general, you’re definitely going to want to make use of your beard oil every day to keep those whiskers healthy and vibrant rather than dry and brittle.
Invest in a good beard brush and comb as well. Your brush can help you exfoliate around the follicles to free up debris, allowing regular growth. It’s also going to keep your whiskers in check and help you shape and style that mane whichever way you choose. Beard balm is any style’s best friend, and a good one will both nourish your facial hair while offering strong hold to any shape you’ve created.
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