What is a full beard you ask? Well, the style is broad and can mean many different types of beards.

What truly defines a full face beard is that it covers the whole area where facial hair can realistically grow in.

Meaning that in order to have a true full beard, you need to have facial hair covering your sideburns, chin, cheeks, and mustache area.

The length of the full beard is up to you, it can be either short or long, as long as it’s full.

With that being said, most experts would agree that a real full beard style starts from the beard length of 2-4″ and anything less than that could be categorized under different types of stubble or be called a short boxed beard.

So, now we know what is the full beard, but how do you grow one, what face shapes it fits, and what are some great examples to take inspiration from?

All of the above and much more can be found below. ↓

The Pros and Cons of the Full Beard

thick full beard

A full beard is perhaps the most popular beard style most guys aim for, but sadly, it also quite hard to grow unless you have been blessed with good facial hair genetics.

If you can grow a thick full beard naturally and you have the patience to sprout yourself a full face of hair, you may quickly see that there are numerous benefits to rocking this beard style.

The full face beard looks masculine and creates a visual impact of a defined wide jaw. It’s a well-known basic beard type that fits almost any face shape and looks good on any guy.

The full beard is also an evolutionary sign of manliness and strength to women, which may or may not result in you becoming more attractive in the eyes of the opposite sex (or same sex if that’s your cup of tea).

It’s generally very easy to maintain a full beard. You don’t have to trim it too precisely, and the only beard products you need are beard wash, beard oil, and perhaps some beard balm.

Are there any negatives to growing a full beard then?

Yes, as with almost anything in life, there are some downsides.

First of them is that it’s incredibly hard to eat many foods with a thick facial hair covering all the corners of your mouth and the top lip.

Ice cream especially is almost impossible to eat with a beard without making a huge mess.

Then there’s also the fact that a full beard is hard to grow unless you’re genetically gifted and have a high level of the beard growth hormones testosterone and DHT.

If you have tried growing a complete full-face beard before and failed in your endeavor, I recommend you check out our guides to speeding up beard growth and fixing patchy facial hair.

Best Face Shapes for a Full Beard

face shapes illustration

Like I already said, the full beard is a basic style that suits all face shapes well.

This is because it covers the whole area and doesn’t really add too much emphasis to one particular point unlike most other beard styles do.

This means that whether you have a round face, square face, oblong, oval, or whatever, it’s still perfectly acceptable to grow a full beard, no matter which expert you ask from.

Sure, if your face is round you might want to go bit shorter on the sides to avoid the wide-face look.

Or if you have a long face shape such as the “oblong”, you may want to leave the sides a bit longer to add some width to the face.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what sort of full beard is best for you. It may take a while, but you will eventually learn to shape it just right so that it highlights the best parts of your face and hides the worst.

And if you want to dig deeper into the topic, here’s a guide on how to pick the right beard according to your face shape.

Best matches:

Acceptable matches:

With this type of beard, the sky is the limit, you can shape and style it in so many ways that it will eventually fit even the most demanding face shapes.

How to Grow and Trim the Full Beard

full beard black man

Since the average rate of beard growth is 0.5-inches per month, it will take you roughly four to eight months to reach the average full beard length.

This means that growing a full beard doesn’t mean that you need to master the art of using a beard trimmer or beard scissors. Instead, you have to master the art of patience and be able to not touch your facial hair for about half a year.

Yes, that’s right, in order to grow a good full face beard, you should be able to wait out about six months without any beard trimming or cutting whatsoever.

Consider it a test of manliness and beardsmanship.

After the six months have passed, you can dust off the good old trimmer and scissors, and clean up the beard area so it looks as mighty as it really is.

Here’s how you shape a typical full beard in nine steps:

  1. First, slowly shorten the sides with a beard trimmer.
  2. Gradually move downwards until you reach the upper cheeks.
  3. Stop at the cheeks and grab a pair of beard scissors.
  4. Use the scissors to snip-off any rogue beard hairs.
  5. You can also use a beard comb to help isolate the stray hairs.
  6. You may also cut the mustache hairs that overlap the upper lip.
  7. Once you have tidied up the area, move into the cheek and beard neckline.
  8. You can either free-hand cut the edges with a trimmer or scissors.
  9. Or get a beard shaping tool to guide you along (I recommend this).

Sure, trimming a full beard may seem confusing at first, and you could go get yours trimmed in a barbershop…

But if you just go slow and leave everything longer than you think it should be at first (just to be safe), I think you will do just fine.

Shaping the beard is a skill every beardsman should learn at some point, as it will save you thousands during the years in barber costs.

Here’s a great video about trimming the full beard by Dan Beck:

Remember that this is just an example of how to trim a classic full beard. There are many other types of full beard styles you could choose to try instead.

Some other possible examples include tapering beard styles such as the ducktail beard, the Garibaldi beard style which has a wider and bushier bottom part, the Viking beard, or you could even go for the big hipster beard.

Some Great Full Beard Examples

There are so many celebrities, bearded actors, and other popular people with full beards to draw inspiration from.

To name a few, I would say take a look at the full beards of Jake Gyllenhaal, Jon Hamm, Ben Affleck, and Mel Gibson (when he grows one again).

If we take a quick trip through the best beards of Instagram, we can also find some impressive full beards as you can see below…

A fellow Finn, Teemu “Pastori” Potapoff:

Jeffrey Buoncristiano’s classic full beard:

Paul Elliott’s epic full beard style:


If you know how to grow a beard, and you have the density to cover the whole lower face area, then why not go for the full beard?

It’s a style that demands respect, most likely makes you look more attractive, and best of all; allows you to experiment with multiple different styles of facial hair.

Once you grow a full beard you can easily learn how to properly trim the mane, as you have so much “real estate” to work with and lots of room for error.

In our opinion, the natural full beard is one of the greatest facial hair styles any man can grow (provided that you have the patience to grow it out).

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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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