Twenty years ago beards were usually found on your uncle, your dad, or worse yet, your Geography teacher. They were unkempt, straggly things. The sign of someone who didn’t care to think about the specifics of their jawline. But these days, you’d be hard pressed to scroll through Instagram without accidentally liking one of the 27 million photos tagged #beard.
But how do you make sure you’re more David Beckham than Grandad Frank? The answer is to care for your beard just as much as you care for your hair. Wash it properly, nourish it, and remember to trim it diligently. And if you don’t know what beard style suits your face shape, we’ve got the expert advice to sort you out.
First things first, you have to know what you’re looking for. “You’re looking for the best results for your face” says Dom Williams, head barber at AONO in London. “Always aim for a shape that’s the opposite of your face. Don’t be afraid to ask a barber for some advice either, and never try and trim your beard until you do”.
With that in mind, here’s our beard style guide for different face shapes:
OVAL FACEWell done, you’ve won the genetic lottery for beard growth. Almost any beard shape will suit your symmetrical face. The ovally blessed aren’t too long, too short, too narrow or too wide, which makes them aesthetically pleasing. Your bristles should grow softly with no awkward sharp angles or clumps because of your curved jawline, so go ahead and try out whatever style you want.
Fuller growth on the sides and short on the bottom will look just as good as a bulkier, longer length. Go wild. Just make sure to follow our beard care routine below.
ROUND FACESIt’s good to know what you’re working with sometimes. And let’s be blunt, a wide-as-it-is-tall head needs a little elongation. Think of it as the beard equivalent of a slimming suit. Longer beards are your go-to look here, but make sure you keep the sides short. Otherwise you might end up looking like Hagrid in Harry Potter.
SQUARE FACESLuck would have it you’ve been gifted the jaw of a God. But if you do want to soften your angles, follow the round face guide. The key here is to avoid widening your face, which could make you look less defined. Keep the sides short to make the most of your jawline, and round off the length.
TRIANGLE FACESThere are two different types of triangular faces. Those who flare at the forehead, and those whose chin is the stronger of the two. If you’re one of the former, you can grow a rounded beard to create a more facial symmetry.
HOW TO STYLE A BEARDDon’t forget the core hair commandment: whatever style of beard you’re sporting, if you don’t look after it, it’s not going to look good, and you won’t be able to style it how you want. That means regular trims, a good skincare ritual and, yes, taking advice from a professional barber.
1. TRIM ITThink ahead. No beard is the same and we all respond to growth differently. Your beard might itch to begin with. And as you grow your chin’s new do, make sure to trim it so it looks good all the time, not just in the future. But press on. It’s worth it.
2. WASH ITRemember your beard hair is different to your head hair. And the skin on your face is different from your scalp. You wouldn’t wash your face with shampoo – so why your beard? You need to keep it clean and conditioned, and exfoliated underneath to prevent irritation.
Try the Get Groomed Purifying Beard Scrub which washes, scrubs and conditions your beard all in one go, to keep you spot-free.
3. NOURISH ITNext, you’ll want to nourish the hair so it doesn’t dry out. The Softer Touch Beard Oil provides intense nourishment - and, being a dry oil, leaves no residue. Rub a few drops into your palms and massage upwards against the grain. Comb through to finish.
4. TAME ITFinally, tame the beast with our Seriously Groomed Beard & Hair Balm. For condition and control, apply to a damp or dry beard in the morning after your shower. The rich, thick formula will make even the most unruly beards manageable.