All beards are not created equal; they come in an extensive array of shapes, sizes, colors, textures, and levels of shininess – all with their quirks. Here is a quick image guide to many different beard styles that was created by German graphic designer Christian Goldemann.
Now if that did not satisfy your appetite for beard types lets go into more detail and talk about a few main beard types you will encounter.
The Five O’Clock Shadow
The five o’clock shadow can be many things. It can be for a clean cut guy that doesn’t want to look so clean cut, the first step to a full and luscious beard or the lazy aftermath of a night on the town and a late start. The five o’clock shadow is acceptable in most workplaces and it gives the owner a slight air of bad boyishness. However, stubble can be a dangerous thing. Stubble that’s too sharp can be abrasive and your significant other may not be too big of a fan of that.
The scruff is an extension of the five o’clock shadow, but it gives a completely different atmosphere to your visage. The scruff is either purposefully meant to be there, or the owner has really let themselves go. Depending how cleanly trimmed the scruff is, one of those two looks are generally achieved. A clean scruff is calculated and sophisticated, while a messy scruff can either make you look like a rebel with too much on his plate to tend to his face or someone straight out of a five day bender in Tijuana. Like the five o’clock shadow, the scruff is easy to maintain, just put a number two or three guard on a pair of clippers and shear away the excess. The option to shave the neck depending on how professional you feel, and if you can be bothered, is at your discretion.
The moustache is a classic symbol of manliness. Tom Selleck, Burt Reynolds and Sam Elliott showed the world that
being clean shaven isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and it’s not without reason. Growing a moustache can be a simple route to having some facial hair, but it can also be a man’s ruin. Whether you don a pencil moustache reminiscent of a simpler time or a full paintbrush, a moustache should be even on both sides and groomed neatly. Now, neatly doesn’t have to mean short; let that puppy grow, by all means, but keep it composed.
The goatee is one of the most versatile styles of beard you can have. A goatee can be thin, full, round, square, connected, disconnected – the list goes on and on. However, goatees can be tricky depending on your weight and face shape. If you’re a bigger guy and you have a pencil thin goatee, it’s going to highlight your weight. Tailoring to your face shape can be tricky; but, as a general rule, round faces should stick to angular facial hair and angular faces should shoot for round edges that will lessen the box-like effect of your face. Goatees are generally low-maintenance (depending on the length) and allow you to keep part of your face clean shaven. Be wary, however, if you venture on the path to a full-beard, keep all of your facial hair even, as if you already have a goatee it will already have a head start and thus give you an uneven beard.
The Full Beard
The full beard is considered by many to be the holy grail of facial hair. Full beards are also versatile, like several of the other styles. Full beards can be anything from a bit of fluff on the face to a long and wispy wizard beard. Growing a full beard requires patience, and maintenance can be difficult, but many men swear by it. Maintenance, with full beards, requires time and effort – things like putting a guard on your clippers then shaving the neck are out the window. A nice pair of trimming shears, beard shampoo and either beard conditioner or oil are going to be your tools of choice for the maintenance and upkeep of a magnificent, luscious full beard.
These are just a few of the many types of beards, but the other styles are mostly in-betweeners and grey areas. Whichever style of beard you decide to grace your face with, as long as you keep it face-shape appropriate, clean and trimmed, the possibilities are endless. Go where no man has gone before, climb the highest peak where eagles dare to fly, and make sure to trim those stray hairs.