business man with a dark circle beard

As many as there are men, there are also different types of beard styles.

After the characteristic full face beard, the most common one has to be the goatee, also known as the chin beard, dad beard, or the circle beard.

We decided that we can’t truthfully call ourselves Beard Resource without having a definitive guide to the goatee beard style on our site, and inspired by that “aha” moment, this ridiculously detailed goatee guide came to life.

We will teach you what is a goatee, what are the different goatee styles, who is this facial hair type really suited for, and of course; how to trim and style a goatee (properly).

What is a Goatee

two examples of goatee beards

The definition of a goatee is that it’s a small pointy chin beard, similar to the kind you can see on goats.

It should cover a man’s upper lip and chin, but not the cheeks (in goats it doesn’t cover the mustache, yet the real goatee is often shown with a mustache so go figure).

Although there are many different variations of the goatee, the essence of the style is to have shaved cheeks with a short patch of hair on the chin and a mustache that connects.

For the most accurate representation of a real goatee beard style, look at the image of Walter White above.

For a deeper goatee meaning, there’s some interesting history behind this style. In fact, some call it “the devil beard”.

Originally the goatee was the beard style of Pan, known as the devil in ancient Roman and Greek religions of Paganism.

Once Christianity became a major religion and started copying its imagery from the ancient Pagans; Satan, the devil figure of Christianity also received the goatee.

Partly because of its history as the devil beard in religious pictures and paintings, goatees have become to be the main beard styles of villains in movies.

Some examples of movie villains depicted with goatees:

  • Will Ferrell as “Mugatu” in Zoolander.
  • Leonardo Dicaprio as “Calvin Dandie” in Django Unchainced.
  • Alan Rickman for his role as “Hans Gruber” in Die Hard.
  • Denzel Washington as “Alonzo Harris” in the movie Training Day.
  • Bryan Cranston when he changed his appearance to “Heisenberg” in Breaking Bad.

Of course, not all villains have goatees, and sometimes the good guys can be also seen with chin beards.

Some examples of movie heroes depicted with goatees:

  • Leonard Nimoy as “Mr. Spock” in The Star Trek.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch as “Dr. Strange” in the Marvel Universe movies.
  • Robert Downey Jr. as “Iron Man” in the Marvel Universe movies.
  • Christian Bale as the “Batman” in the Dark Knight Trilogy.

Looking at Hollywoods idea of a goatee, it’s clear that most often the bad guys or the superheroes with some “villain-like” qualities end up with circle beard goatees on the screen. And hey, according to Gizmodo, they really do make men look more evil.

So to sum it up; what’s a goatee? It’s a circle or boxed facial hair style that covers the mustache and chin area, but not the cheeks. Goatee comes originally from the Pagan devil “Pan” and is most commonly seen in movie villains and the majority of the dads all around the globe (sorry dad.)

When and Why You Should Grow a Goatee

bearded man giving a thumbs up

What sets the goatee apart from many other styles is that it suits most face shapes and it’s considerably easier to grow compared to a full beard.

Since the circulation of the cheeks tends to be weaker than the rest of the face, many men find themselves reaching out for ways to speed up the growth of facial hair in their cheeks.

Alternatively, they could grow out a goatee, which is one of the few styles that incorporates clean-shaven cheeks and emphasizes the chin and the upper lip, which are far easier to fill in with facial hair.

Growing a goatee beard mask a weak jawline and the double chin, which is why many older guys especially grow out this style of beard to hide the fact that their aging has brought about some extra fat to their faces.

Lastly, many younger guys with patchy beards like to experiment with different styles, and often find themselves starting from a mustacheless chin beard or a subtle anchor beard.

Bottom line: Regardless of your face shape or age, a goatee is one of the easiest beard styles to grow out and maintain, and it looks good on almost anyone.

Different Goatee Styles and Shapes

beard resource goatee styles illustrations

If you image search for “Goatee” you will receive tons of beard pictures with a few different goatees mixed in between, as if every beard style from full beard to soul patch would magically fall under that category.

Fact is that only five styles really fall under the label of “real goatee”.

  • Full goatee, which is a circle beard on the chin that fully connects to the mustache.
  • Long goatee, which is basically a full goatee with a longer bottom part.
  • Anchor beard, which is a more naked version of the goatee that doesn’t connect.
  • Extended goatee, which is a hybrid of the goatee and a full beard with shaven cheeks.
  • Chin beard, which is a goatee with no mustache. The iconic “douchebag” beard style.

Let’s look at each of the “circle beard styles” individually with some popular goatee pictures for motivation and examples. ↓

1. Full Goatee

kanye west with full goatee

Here we have an example of a full goatee, aka. the circle beard, which is the staple beard style of the rapper/songwriter Kanye West.

Essentially, a true full goatee is a beard with completely shaven cheeks combined with a mustache and chin hair that connect to each other.

Full goatees are usually kept short at around 0.5 to 1 inch in length and have gained popularity as one of the best all-around choices for short beard that suit nearly all face shapes whether yours is heart, round, diamond, oval, square, or oblong shaped.

Maintaining a full goatee is not that hard of a thing to do, although it does take some practice.

We recommend a specific goatee shaving template called Goatee Saver to help you with quickly trimming yours to a perfect shape, along with a quality electric stubble shaver and/or straight-edge razor for best results.

2. Long Goatee

stone cold steve austin with long goatee

Here’s a great example of a long goatee style by the self-proclaimed beer lover and WWE-wrestler; “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

At its core, a long goatee is exactly like a full goatee, but with the exception of having a longer bottom part.

How long should the bottom part be you ask?

Well, that’s entirely up to your preference. Most guys have it at around 2-4″ length, while some grow it super long and even attach beard rings and beads into it.

Grooming and maintaining a long goatee is a breeze. Simply shave the cheeks with a straight razor, shaver, or a stubble trimmer, then trim the mustache and chin area with some quality beard scissors or a beard trimmer while letting the bottom part grow out to your desired length.

3. Anchor Beardrobert downey juniors anchor beard

The anchor beard is an interesting goatee style, not hugely popular, but still, it’s impossible for you to have never seen one in action.

Perhaps the best example of a proper “anchor goatee” comes from Robert Downey Jr. (pictured above) who is one of the best-bearded actors Hollywood has to offer.

Essentially, the anchor beard is exactly what the name indicates; a beard style that looks similar to an anchor, where the mustache part is the top stock where the rope or chain would attach into, and the bottom part creates the “crown” of the anchor.

This style looks almost identical to the full goatee, with the important distinction that the mustache does not connect to the chin part, even though the lower part of the style curls upwards (as in the flukes at the ends of the anchor crown, duh.)

Cutting an anchor beard is a bit trickier process than with the other styles of goatees, as you will have to be careful to properly align the upper edges of the chin part so that they do not connect with the ‘Stache, while also looking identical to each other in height and shape.

4. Extended Goatee

christian bale extended goatee style

If your cheek growth is sparse but your chin and mustache growth is good, you might create a visual impact of a full face beard with a style called; the extended goatee.

So what exactly is an extended goatee anyway?

Well, it’s a goatee that connects or doesn’t, but also has a thin slice of hair across the bottom part of your jawline that “extends” the normal chin part of the goatee (hence the name.)

One good example of this is the man of many beards; Christian Bale, who is often seen with a characterful extended goatee.

As a side note though, you can clearly see some dry beardruff on his mustache in the above picture, which is why he should definitely have a read of our article on preventing dandruff on the facial hair area.

Trimming and grooming an extended goatee is relatively easy and it happens with the same tools like the above goatee styles (stubble trimmer, straight razor, beard clippers, and, beard scissors), the only difference being that you should swap the GoateeSaver thingy to a beard shaping template, which makes it easier to master the sharp line at the bottom of the jawline, and makes shaping and sculpting the beard easy.

5. Chin Beard

james hetfield chin beard

Here we have an example of the chin beard, aka. a goatee without a mustache, sported by the lead singer and guitarist of Metallica; James Hetfield.

Chin beards are often called “douchebag beards”, partly because of almost every movie made in the 90s and early Millenia had the Schoolyard bullies, jocks, and just general douchy guys showcased with a characterful chin beard.

Considering that the definition of a goatee is sometimes said to be “a beard similar to that of a goat”, one could argue that the chin beard is the “real” goatee, as goats have no mustache.

Maintaining a chin beard is easy, all you really need to do is to shave the mustache and cheeks while letting your chin grow out and occasionally trimming it to the desired length with either a trimmer or some scissors.

How to Trim and Style a Goatee

man with razor on his hand and goatee outline drawn on face

Now we can get to the juicy part of this guide, the actual goatee grooming section.

First off, the same set of cardinal rules of beard trimming apply to goatee shaping, as does to any type of beard trimming.

The rules are:

  • Take your time to prevent beard mistakes.
  • Use quality beard products & tools and educate yourself before you begin.
  • Leave everything too long instead of too short, you can always trim later.
  • Trim your goatee when its dry and in its natural state without any beard products.
  • Let your facial hair grow out to good length before you start cutting and shaping it.

With the cardinal set of guidelines out of the way, let’s look more closely at how to cut a goatee beard. ↓

How to Shave a Goatee with Razor, Template, and a Shaver

Experienced beardsmen can freehand their goatee outline from memory, but I still want to give a special shoutout to the Goatee Saver.

I saw this goatee template years ago in YouTube and laughed my ass off at the fact that it makes you look like Bane from the Batman trilogy.

Once you get over its comical looks, you will find that the goatee outliner tool is actually a brilliant device that allows you to find your perfect width of a goatee, set it up, and shave along the edges for a sharp and defined style without botched edges or messed up lines.

If you have a steady hand you can use the Goatee Saver with a straight-edge razor. If not, you can always use it with a normal Gilette shaver for example, or even a stubble trimmer.

Obviously, this shaving template is only suitable for a mustacheless chin beard or the full goatee style. If you’re going for the anchor beard, long goatee, or the extended goatee you should simply learn to shave those by hand.

Goatee outlining template is not mandatory or even necessary. Most guys can comfortably cut their cheeks, the edges on the sides of the goatee, and their neckline without the use of any other tools than a razor, trimmer, or a shaver.

Trimming a Goatee with Scissors and Beard Clippers

beard scissors

After you have shaved the cheeks and the outline of the goatee (sides and neckline), it’s time to move into the next step in the process, which is the part of grooming the remaining facial hair that is left on your face.

Many guys will opt for the easy route, which is taking a beard trimmer and setting it to your desired length (usually 1-2″) and then just going through the hair that’s left on your face for a pristine looking short goatee.

Alternatively, you can finish grooming the mustache and chin part with a pair of beard and mustache scissors.

How to Maintain a Goatee Beard

older man with a grey pointy goatee beard

Maintaining a goatee is easy, just shave the cheeks every couple of days, and maintain the length of the rest of the facial hair on a weekly basis.

Once you’ve had this beard style for a while, the process will be ingrained to your muscle memory and will take just a few minutes to complete.

Many big beard oil selling brands will gladly tell you that it would be “super important” to maintain your short goatee with beard oils and beard balms (the more the merrier, right?) but in reality, a short beard like this doesn’t need any products as the natural sebum oils of the skin are plenty enough to keep your beard soft and moisturized.

It’s only if you let your goatee grow long and bushy that you might want to look into purchasing some beard oil, as the natural supply of the facial hair follicles can’t keep up with the demand of longer whiskers.

As a rule of thumb; goatees at 1-2″ length don’t need any beard oil, but when it gets longer than 2″, you might want to start using some beard oil in there. Of course some men simply like to use beard products even on shorter beards, which is fine, it won’t hurt at all, it’s just not mandatory.

Goatee vs. Beard

man with goatee versus a full beard

My friend once asked me this great question;

“Why would anyone choose to grow a goatee if they can grow a full beard?”

It’s a valid point, but at the end of the day, choosing whether it’s going to be goatee or beard is down to your personal preference and your growth potential. Most guys can grow goatees or at least chin beards, while a much smaller percentage can really go for the full beard.

Personally, I have thick enough growth on my cheeks to rock a full beard, which is the style I like, but if I would have patchy cheeks, some type of goatee beard would definitely be my pick instead.

Some guys also have defined angular jawlines, and they don’t want to completely hide those with thick full beards, instead, they grow a goatee to emphasize the chin without hiding the jawline.


This concludes our guide on how to grow a goatee and take care of it.

I hope you learned a thing or two about this popular facial hairstyle and found some great tips on shaping your goatee and determining what type suits your face the best.

As always, thanks for reading and keep on beardin’.

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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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