ducktail beard featured image

The ducktail beard is a high-maintenance professional beard style that can be trimmed at home, but often requires a steady hand of a barber.

The name of the “ducktail beard” comes from its pointy and prominent chin part, which is shaped in a way that resembles a duck’s tail.

It’s a full face beard style (although goatee variations exist) and typically has a length of 2-4″, meaning that from a clean-shaven starting point, it will take roughly 4-8 months to have beard long enough so that you can start sculpting a ducktail out of it.

The ducktail beard is best suited for men with diamond or oval shaped faces, but as a safe beard style, it looks reasonably good on all face shapes.

What is a Ducktail Beard

mel gibson ducktail beard

Like said, the ducktail beard is a full facial hair style that is shaped in such a way that it looks like a duck’s tail due to the extended chin part.

The beard style features a long pointed chin, short sides, and a well-sculpted jawline that extends outwards and finally connects to the chin. The mustache area is typically kept neat and trimmed.

It’s a beard style that requires thick enough beard growth, as it’s nearly impossible to sculpt a weak and patchy beard into a good looking ducktail shape.

Another version of the ducktail beard is called “pointed beard”. It’s typically a shorter beard or a goatee with a pointier chin part, but which has the chin area shaped into a ducktail.

The ducktail beards have been around for probably as long as men has known how to trim a beard, but their rise in to popularity really started around the late 90’s and early 2000’s due to several actors and musicians adopting the style as their own.

Examples of Different Ducktail Beards

example of a long ducktail beard
This is a long ducktail beard style. It takes a long time to grow and is very challenging to shape properly, but when done correctly, the look can give your face a whole new look.
example of long ducktail beard
Here’s a sideview profile of the ducktail facial hair. This example shows the sharp angles at the connection point between the jawline and sides.
example of a medium length ducktail beard
Here’s an example of a full face ducktail beard kept at medium length. As you can see, a hairstyle with shorter sides plays really well with an angular beard style like this.
patchy ducktail beard variations
Both Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio sported beard styles that combine an extended goatee with a short ducktail in the movie Django Unchained
charlie hunnam short ducktail beard
Charlie Hunnam’s character “Jax Teller” in the hit series Sons of Anarchy sported various lengths of ducktail beard. As you can see, even with patchy sides and cheeks, you may be able to pull off a variation of the full ducktail.

How to Grow a Ducktail Beard

black man with a full ducktail beard

To start growing your own ducktail beard, you first need to be able to grow a full face beard and it has to be thick enough so that you eventually have enough hairs to shape from.

If that’s what you have, then the next part is waiting until your beard grows out long enough so that the chin area can be shaped into a pointy extension.

Considering that the average ducktail beard is 2-4″ in length, and average beard growth rate is ½” per month, you’re looking at 4-8 months of just patiently growing out your beard before it can even be shaped into a proper ducktail style.

How to Trim and Shape a Ducktail Beard

trimming and shaping a ducktail beard

You can trim and shape a ducktail beard at home, but since it’s an advanced beard style, I highly recommend that you – at least for the first time – go to a professional barber to have it done.

After that it’s much easier to just maintain the edges and shape yourself.

Here’s an example of how a professional barber trims and shapes a ducktail beard from Beard Brand’s Youtube channel:

As you can see, even for a barber it takes a lot of work to sculpt out a good looking ducktail beard. This is a professional high maintenance beard style, so don’t get over-confident with your at home beard grooming skills.

If you insist on trimming a ducktail beard by yourself at home, then we shall proceed with the exact step-by-step process of how to do that, but don’t tell me I didn’t warn you!

The tools you need include:

NOTE: If your beard is curly, then you probably also need a good beard straightener to maintain the sharp style of a ducktail beard. A beard shaping tool may also be used to line up the cheeks and neckline, but it’s optional.

Step 1: Carve Out a Rough Ducktail Shape

This step is by far the hardest, but if you can master it then the rest of the steps will be like riding a bike.

What you’re going to have to do is to take a beard trimmer without a guard comb on it, and just look straight into the mirror as you carve out a rough 2-4″ pointed ducktail shape out of your long beard.

Step 2: Gradually Clean Up the Rough Edges and Shorten the Sides

Once you have your rough ducktail shape bottom part cut out, the next step is to take out your beard brush and brush outwards from the bottom to clearly see the pointed ducktail part.

Once you have the ducktail in sight, get the trimmer again and slowly but surely start shaping the bottom part of your facial hair into a cleaner and cleaner look.

There should be a sharp edge where the side of the face meets the end of the jawline and then the rest of the jaw should be somewhat straight edge down all the way to the pointy chin part.

At this point you may also want to take out your beard comb and use it to pull out any scraggly beard hairs on the sides and trim them down, you want your sideburns area to be roughly ½-1″ in length. You can also use a guard-comb for the sides if you feel more comfortable doing that.

Step 3: Shave your Neckline and Line Up the Cheeks

When shaving or trimming the neckline, stop at the highest peak of your Adam’s apple.

Create a nice looking neckline shape along the natural shape of your jaw approximately at the height of the Adam’s apple and DO NOT go any higher or you will regret it later.

Next up are the cheekbones. This part is self-explanatory, and if you’re trimming a ducktail you should be knowing what you’re doing here. Simply create a defined clean line at the upper cheeks, try to keep it as high as you can.

Step 4: Maintain the Shape

You should have a ducktail beard now if you followed the steps above, now the next part is just about holding it down to a nice shape and not letting it get un-kempt and bushy looking again.

This means that you will need to use a beard trimmer and beard scissors to maintain the edges and length every 3-4 weeks or so.

If your beard curls up easily, then learning how to straighten your beard will be imperative.

What Face Shape is Best for the Ducktail Beard

face shapes illustration

The ducktail beard style is a sculpted full beard, which means that it suits practically all face shapes and doesn’t look bad on any of them.

In descending order, the best face shapes for ducktail beard are:

  • Diamond
  • Oval
  • Square
  • Round

The reason why ducktail beard works so well with the diamond and oval face shapes is the fact that all of them have either equal or larger forehead width compared to the cheekbones and jaw.

By growing a ducktail beard, you are enhancing the jaw and chin area, which creates perfect balance with the slightly larger cheekbones and forehead.

Round faced men often also want to make their chin more prominent and jawlines more angular, and nothing could be better at creating this effect than a well shaped ducktail facial hair.

Men with triangle and heart face shapes can grow pointed beards as well, but they have to be more careful with it as the face shapes both already have a prominent pointy chin, and adding even more emphasis to this isn’t always a good idea.

For men with oblong face shape, this beard style fits well, as long as you don’t let the pointy chin part grow too long, which would make your head seem unnaturally long.

Bottom line: When it comes to face shapes, the ducktail beard style is universally a safe choice. It’s not bad looking on any face shape, and compliments most of them quite nicely.

Best Products for Taking Care of a Ducktail Facial Hair

beard products for ducktail style

As you can expect, beard oil is pretty important for a big beard style like this.

The amount of natural sebum oil produced by your sebaceous glands is limited, and a beard that’s 2-4″ in length is pushing the limits.

That’s why as a bare minimum, you should get a bottle of high-quality beard oil to use as a daily beard softener. You can check out our list of the best beard oils here.

On top of just using beard oil, I would highly recommend that you get some strong beard wax to keep the ducktail beards shape under control. We have a list of best beard waxes here.

Beard combs and beard brushes are of course also super helpful for taming a ducktail, but at this point, you should already own a good number of them.


Now you know how to grow, trim, and shape a ducktail beard.

Like I’ve said a couple of times above, this beard style is relatively hard to trim and it takes a bit of effort to maintain, but that’s all worth it as the ducktail is easily one of the best looking beard styles there are.

Since the style requires at least 2-4″ of beard hairs, you will need to have some patience and first grow out your beard for months before even attempting to shape a full ducktail.

And that’s precisely why I suggest that you get yours shaped (at least for the first time) in a barbershop, so that you don’t erase all those months of beard growing just with a stupid little trimming mistake.

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Ali is a published author and a beard grooming expert. To this date, his articles have been read more than 15-million times on various sites, and he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and grow thicker. His work has been featured and cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.


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