Facial hair and whether to wear it or not is a matter of personal preference, like every other aspect of style. Fortunately, today’s social standards are very accepting of facial hair in most arenas, including the workplace, so men are free to express their individuality and sense of style without the restrictions our fathers and grandfathers once had.
If you’re like most guys, you choose facial hairstyles based on what you like and think looks good on you, which is perfectly fine and acceptable. But did you know there are other factors to consider when selecting a style other than simply liking it? Like hairstyles and glasses, face hair can be utilized to compliment your face shape by enhancing your best features, while minimizing the rest. It’s an option men have to optimize their appearance, and is one I highly recommend considering, since complimenting facial hair is an effective style tool. Facial hair not only reflects aspects of our personality and image (just ask any woman), but it adds dimension and contrast to face shapes like nothing else can.
Have you ever wondered why some guys look great with a particular style while others don’t? Chances are it’s because of their face shapes. The following is a list of recommended facial hairstyles for each of the seven face shapes. I’ve added some photos of celebrities; each with a recommended style for their face shape.
Square: Very angular, with a prominent square chin, broad forehead and jawline.
Goal – to enhance the square jawline. Severe jawlines can be softened, as well.
- Scruffy Beard (trimmed)
- Beard with hard lines (enhances)
- Beard without hard lines (softens)
Goal – to slim down the face to appear more oval.
- Beard/Close (trimmed with hard lines)
Triangle: A triangle or “pear shape” face features the jawline as the widest point that angles to a narrower forehead.
Goal – to balance the narrow forehead and broad jawline.
- Full Beard (trimmed to slim face and square jawline)
Oval: Forehead is slightly wider than the chin, and the length is approximately one and half times the width.
Goal – to appreciate that most styles work!
- Scruffy Beard (trimmed or not)
- Full Beard
Oblong/Rectangular: Much like the oval shape, it’s longer and narrower. The chin tends to be somewhat pointy.
Goal – to square and shorten the face.
- Beard/Close (trimmed – shortens and squares)
- Moustache (shortens)
Diamond: Face is widest at the cheekbones, with narrower forehead and jawline that are approximately the same width.
Goal – to square off the face and cover a prominent chin.
- Full Beard (squares and covers chin)
- Goatee (covers and broadens chin)
Heart: Forehead and cheekbones are wider than the jawline. Chin is on the pointy side.
Goal – to balance the broad upper face and narrower chin; cover chin.
- Full Beard (trimmed or not)
- Scruffy Beard
Remember, these are only recommendations and guidelines, and not the only acceptable styles for each face shape. Your facial features (eyes, nose, mouth) are also part of the equation to finding your best look, so don’t be afraid to experiment, since individual characteristics can dramatically influence the outcome. The great thing about face hair is it can be shaven and regrown in a matter of days. So, have fun and try the various styles on for size. My guess is you’ll find more than one facial hairstyle that looks good. And having more than one style to wear opens the door to diversity and change, which is a great way to enhance your image! Watch for my next article, The Best Sideburns for Your Face Shape.
by Aaron Marino