What is a Van Dyke Beard?
A Van Dyke beard sounds like it might get its name from a 20th-century comedian but it goes back much further than that. This is one of those beard shapes that goes all the way back to the 17th century and is named for a painter name Anthony Van Dyke who clearly had style and vision. The Van Dyke style of facial hair is one of those goatee-type beard styles you won’t quickly forget. It’s a little bit hipster and maybe a dash of Musketeer.
A Van Dyke goatee beard is all points. Beardsmen who sport this look comb out their mustache to points and on the chin, beard hair is styled to be as triangular as possible. Most Van Dyke beard styles include clean-shaven cheeks.
King Charles I of England was once painted by our Flemish artist of impeccable taste, Van Dyke, who painted the monarch with his namesake pointy beard, earning this style the nickname, “Charlie”. The style was popular in Van Dyke’s time, but it quickly went out of style in favor of wigs. However, a devoted group of men vowed to wear the Van Dyke until their King began sporting it again, which earned it the nickname, “vow-beard.” General Custer and Colonel Sanders wore Van Dyke beard styles and now, in the 21st century, it’s finally making another comeback that some might claim was triggered by style icons Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, and Pierce Brosnan.
How to Grow a Van Dyke Beard
A Van Dyke goatee hasn’t met a face it doesn’t like. If it’s a style you’re willing to attempt, you’ll be able to give it personalized twists to make it compliment your face shape and features. Growing enough facial hair to style a Van Dyke beard is not difficult when you care for your beard. Let’s take a look at some products and pointers for growing this style of facial hair.
- Brush out your beard using a proper beard brush. This will help exfoliate and clear debris away from follicles that might otherwise impede growth.
- Use your daily beard oil for growth! Always apply to a damp, towel-dried beard and wait a few minutes for absorption before styling or applying products.
- Encourage facial hair growth with routine deep-conditioning treatments using natural beard butter with moisturizing ingredients.
- You don’t need your cheek hair or sideburns for this style, so you can keep these areas clean-shaven.
Beyond these tips, beard growth happens best in happy, healthy bodies, so get your exercise, eat your greens, and drink your water.
How to Shape and Style a Van Dyke Beard
Once your hair has grown out beyond an inch or two, you can begin to trim and style your Van Dyke beard. You can start with a beard as short as a ¼ inch but the more length you have, the more options you’ll have to make this look your own.
Here are the steps to trimming and styling a Van Dyke beard:
- Always trim and style your facial hair when it’s clean. We recommend using a good beard wash to cleanse it gently before a trim.
- The Van Dyke requires bare cheeks, so shave the facial hair that is not on your chin or upper lip. Don’t forget the sideburns!
- Clear out the facial hair from your neck and under your chin, as well.
- Trim your chin whiskers into a neat goatee. Depending on what you prefer, you can round out the bottom of the goatee or bring it to a point.
- For a true Van Dyke, your mustache should not fully connect to your beard, so you may have to trim the hairs between to achieve the look.
- Style your fresh new beard using a moisturizing beard balm, but if you apply it after your beard oil, wait a few minutes for the beard oil to absorb.
- Use a little bit of mustache wax to twist your ‘stache into the style you want. You can also use it for particularly stubborn beards.
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How to Maintain a Healthy Van Dyke Beard
The Van Dyke beard is so versatile that any beardsman can make it their own. Lengths can vary, and precise style may change from face to face, but maintaining Van Dyke beard styles will always look similar for everyone sporting one. Let’s go over some tips for maintaining your Charlie.
First, you’re always going to want to wash your beard with beard wash, not shampoo, soap or body wash. Shampoo and other harsh soaps can strip your beard of its luscious natural oils which will dry it out and potentially cause patchiness. Similarly, don’t wash your beard with hot water. Hot water can strip away oils as well, leaving your beard dry, brittle, and patchy. Follow up every beard wash with a beard conditioner to replenish moisture while your beard is damp and then after a quick towel dry, apply beard oil. Your beard oil is a daily use product for maintaining the health of your whiskers.
Trimming and shaving are necessary to maintain the Van Dyke look. Depending on how fast your facial hair grows, you may need to shave your cheeks and sideburns every few days or so. The same goes for the hair on your neck and under your chin. As your beard grows, you can trim it neatly with scissors to maintain the length you want. The timing of this is going to depend on how fast your beard grows and the length you want to maintain, but for most, a good snip every week or so should do the trick.
Finally, keep that beard healthy and looking great with routine deep-conditioning treatments using natural beard butter with moisturizing ingredients.
Best 8 Van Dyke Beard Styles for the Modern Man
The Van Dyke beard style can be broken down into several substyles that you might like to choose from. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular:
1. Detached Mustache and Goatee
This medium beard style can be short or long, but the defining elements are bare cheeks and a mustache and goatee that do not connect.
2. The Van Dali Beard Style
For this hipster style, mustache wax is your best friend. The Van Dyke goatee is accompanied by a pencil-thin mustache brought to rigid points. Perfect for the creative type of beardsman.
3. Van Dyke Beard with Russian Mustache
For the intellectual beardsman, this style screams sophistication with its neatly trimmed mustache that is separated from the goatee by a significant distance.
4. Short Van Dyke Style Beard and Mustache
Most beardsmen love this style. It looks casual and effortless and you can start sporting it with nothing but stubble.
5. Van Dyke Style with a Bushy Beard
This is the perfect Van Dyke style for men with thick facial hair. The disconnect between the mustache and beard may be minimal and you can let your beard grow out as long as you like!
6. Disconnected with Pointy Ends
This style is defined by a mustache brought to points at the end and a large disconnect between the mustache and beard. A perfect funky look for the type of hipster beards man who wants to stand out.
7. The Gentleman Look
Defined by a short and neatly trimmed goatee, and a large disconnect between the mustache and chin beard, the gentleman look is a great look for beardsman who want to look cultured and sophisticated.
8. Stubble with Anchor Beard
This style can be identified by the anchor shaped beard with a lot of space between it and the mustache. It’s a funky look for beardsmen who like low-maintenance styles.
Final Advice for Rocking a Van Dyke Beard
There’s a Van Dyke beard and mustache style for every beardsman, whether you’re looking for a sophisticated, gentlemanly look or a little bit of scruff and ruggedness. It’s one of the easier mustache and goatee styles to maintain, but you will need some beard care products to keep it looking great.
Shop the full line of Kingsmen Premium beard care products to style and care for your Van Dyke beard. From all-natural beard oil and beard butter to nutrient-rich styling products like beard balm and mustache wax, we’ve got everything you need to maintain your Van Dyke, even the comb.
You can even save with our beard care kits! Don’t wait! Grab your Van Dyke styling kit today.