Talk to any professional barber, beard stylist, or optician, and they will all tell you that the key to choosing the perfect beard style, glasses, or haircut is to match them with your natural face shape.
The simple undeniable fact is that we humans have wildly different face shapes; triangular, square, rectangular, oval, and so on…
And for each of the face shapes, there are beard styles that suit it perfectly and those that just don’t fit it no matter how you try to grow them out.
In this article, you will first learn how to correctly measure and determine your face shape, and then how to pick the right beard style to match that face shape, so that you can have that perfect beard style you always wished for.
Choosing the right beard style for you is not about just blindly following the latest trends and randomly trying different styles.
Instead, it’s a game of geometrics and calculations, which allows you to find the approximate measurements of your natural face shape, which then allows you to learn exactly how to accentuate or distinguish certain weaknesses and strengths with the use of facial hair.
Ready to go?
How to Determine Your Face Shape
Before you can start figuring out what would be the best beard style for your face shape, you will obviously have to figure out what is your face shape to begin with.
Luckily this is a pretty straight forward process, and the only tool you need is a measuring tape.
The measurements you need to take include:
- Face height (from bottom of chin to the hairline).
- Forehead width (from temple to temple).
- Cheekbone width (from edge to edge under the eyes).
- Jawline width (from the widest point to another).
Sounds confusing? Here’s a picture example:
Now that you know how to measure your face, take the measurements and continue reading below to learn the key features of each face shape, and to finally determine what face shape is the one you have, and how to find the right beard style for it.
The round face shape is the shortest of the seven face shapes and has soft roundish features along the cheekbones, forehead, and the jawline.
You have a round shaped face if:
- The width of the cheekbones is equal or very close to the height of the face.
- The jaw, forehead, and cheekbones have close to equal widths.
- There are no sharp defined edges on your face.
The oval face shape is often called the “ideal face shape”, and it slightly resembles an egg.
The oval shaped face has similar widths at the forehead and jaw, with the cheekbones being slightly wider than both of them.
You have an oval shaped face if:
- The forehead and jawline widths measure roughly the same.
- The cheekbone width is slightly greater than the jaw and the forehead.
- Your jawline is sloped and none of the features really strike out as dominant.
- The height of your face is anywhere from 1.25 to 1.75 times the width.
The square face shape is known for its short height and sharp angle at the jaw (no sloping), it features extremely angular and defined features, especially along the jawline and the masseter muscles (think Brad Pitt in Fight Club).
The square shaped face will have similar widths at the forehead, cheekbones, and jawline (with sometimes the jaw being slightly wider than the other two) and the chin is typically slanted, giving the impression of a framed face.
You have a square face shape if:
- The height of the face is 1 to 1.25 times the width.
- The forehead, jaw, and cheekbone width measure roughly the same.
- Your facial features are sharp and defined, not roundish or soft.
- The jawline has a sharp angle at the connection point and the chin is slanted.
The oblong face is a tall rectangular face shape that has neither soft nor really defined features, but something in-between.
It features a sloped jawline and a tall forehead which give it its height, and the widths of the jawline, cheekbones, and forehead are typically very close to each other, which makes the sides of your face look straight.
You have an oblong face if:
- Your face height measures twice as much (or more) than the width of your face.
- The forehead and jawline are sloped, and the widths of the face are similar.
- The features of your face are not round, but not very defined and angular either.
The triangle face shape starts from the widest point (the forehead) and descends down to the middle (cheekbones) and then continues to narrow down into a thin jawline which tapers into a pointy and small chin.
In other words, your face has an inverse triangular shape, making it top-heavy.
Not only that, but the triangle face is also known for its sharp and defined features. So even though your jawline might be narrow and the chin is on the smaller side, they may still look good due to the sharp angles and definition.
You have a triangle shaped face if:
- The width of the forehead is noticeably wider than the width of the cheekbones.
- The width of the cheekbones is noticeably wider than the width of the jawline.
- The jawline tapers down to a small and pointy chin.
- All the features of your face are sharp and defined, not round and soft.
The heart shaped face is extremely close to the triangle face – almost identical in fact.
It features a wide forehead, which descends down to the cheekbones that are narrower than the forehead but considerably wider than the jawline.
The chin is also small, but the big difference maker between the heart face and the triangle face is that the heart has round and soft features instead of the defined and sharp ones seen in a triangle face.
You have a heart shaped face if:
- The forehead measures greater than cheekbones.
- The cheekbones measure greater than the jawline.
- The chin is small, round, and soft – not pointy or slanted.
The diamond face shape has the cheekbones as its focal point- they are wide and prominent, taking over attention from the jawline and the forehead.
In the diamond shaped face, the forehead and jaw will often be roughly the same width, while both are still considerably narrower than the overpowering cheekbones. This, combined with the pointy chin, creates the outline of a “diamond”.
You have a diamond face if:
- The width of the forehead and jaw measure roughly the same.
- The cheekbones are by far the widest part of the face.
- The features of your face are defined and angular, and the chin is pointed.
How to Pick the Right Beard for Your Face Shape
What Beard Suits a Round Face
The round face shape will want a beard style that adds length to it at the bottom, has short sides to prevent adding any more width, and features a jawline that has been trimmed into a more angular and defined shape to distinguish the natural roundness of your face shape.
Some good beard choices to match the round face shape include the Hollywoodian (which the round face shaped actor Leonardo DiCaprio is sporting on the image below), the Ducktail beard, and the classic full beard.
If your beard doesn’t grow that well on the cheeks, then some other beard styles such as the goatee, the Van Dyke, and the Balbo beard are viable alternatives.
All of the above feature shaved cheeks, but have mustache and chin beards that can add length to your face and distinguish some of the roundness.
The beard styles you should avoid with a round shaped face include the BeardStache, most kinds of stubble beards, and practically any beard style that adds width to your face; such as the mutton chops.
What Beard Suits an Oval Face
If you have an oval shaped face, then consider yourself lucky. The oval is the ideal face shape that allows you to experiment with practically any beard style you want to.
As visually pleasing as an oval shape is, you might actually not want to hide or accentuate it at all with a big bold beard style; instead focus on styles that are short and only slightly enhance your natural facial features, without masking them.
Some good choices of facial hair for the oval shaped face include the short boxed beard (seen below on the oval faced Jake Gyllenhaal), the heavy stubble beard, the BeardStache, Goatee, or the Verdi beard.
Even though there aren’t really any beard styles that would look bad on an oval face, you still want to make sure that you’re keeping your facial hair clean and well-maintained.
Nobody likes a scraggly beard or a beard that looks like a bunch of pubes, no matter what your face shape is.
What Beard Suits a Square Face
The square face shape is known for its defined angular jawline, which is visually pleasing and attractive to most women.
When choosing the right beard style for the square face, you want to make sure that you only gently accentuate your natural jawline, without hiding it. It’s most likely the best asset of your face, so there’s no point in burying it under a gigantic beard.
Without a doubt, one of the hottest beard styles for the square face shape is the BeardStache (as seen on Henry Cavill on the image below), as well as all kinds of stubble beards, the short boxed beard (corporate beard), and the classic goatee.
The poorly fitting beard styles for square face shape are any kinds of beard styles that bury your magnificient jawline underneath the facial hair.
It would be understandable if you’d want to grow a beard to distinguish a weak chin or jawline, but considering that the square face shape has a strong jawline and slanted chin, you really wouldn’t ever want to cover those up.
What Beard Suits an Oblong Face
The oblong face is super tall, which is why it wants a beard style that doesn’t add any extra length at the bottom.
You could even go for beard styles that add a bit of width to the sides, as this would help make your face more oval shaped and more proportionate – but this is optional, usually just making sure you focus on the shorter beard styles is enough.
The best beard styles for an oblong face shape are the all kinds of stubble beards, the short boxed beard, the BeardStache, and natural full beards at shorter lengths (such as the one seen below in oblong faced Ben Affleck).
The beard styles you want to avoid if you have an oblong face are those that add length to the bottom, as they would make your face look unnaturally tall.
If you have an oblong face shape, it’s better to avoid beard styles like the Van Dyke, most kinds of goatees, The Balbo, the Ducktail, and other super long beard styles like the Garibaldi beard or even a Yeard.
What Beard Suits a Triangle Face
The triangle shaped face will want a beard style that adds width to the narrow jawline and helps distinguish the small pointy chin.
The sides should be kept short to avoid adding any extra width to the cheekbones, as they are already wider than the jawline and any extra boost to that area would further narrow down your jaw.
Some of the best beard styles for triangle shaped face include the heavy stubble (seen in the triangle faced Ryan Reynolds below), the short boxed beard, the Garibaldi beard, the Verdi beard, the Hollywoodian, and the classic full beard.
Beard styles you definitely want to avoid with a triangle shaped face include the ones that make your already pointy chin even pointier, and those that add width to your already wide cheekbones.
So for triangle face shape, avoid beard styles such as the mutton chops, most kinds of goatees, and the Van Dyke.
What Beard Suits a Heart Face
The heart shaped face has a narrow jawline and rounded small chin, it will want a beard style that adds width and definition to the jaw, and helps mask the weaker chin underneath.
You also want to make sure that the style you choose has short sideburns, as you don’t need to add any more width to the cheekbones.
Alongside the round face shape, the heart face shape is one of the face types that benefits the most from growing facial hair, as it has wonky proportions and lack of angular definition (both of which a good beard style can correct).
By far one of the best beard styles for a heart shaped face is the Garibaldi beard with its wide bottom part and short sides (take a look at Jake Arrieta below, his Garibaldi perfectly balances out his heart shaped face).
Some other styles like the Verdi, Ducktail Beard, Hollywoodian, and the classic full beard are also acceptable.
The beard styles you want to avoid with a heart shaped face are similar to the ones you’d need to avoid with a triangle face; aka. those that add width to the sides or make your chin pointy without having any hair on the jawline.
So if you have a heart shaped face, stay away from beard styles like the Van Dyke, goatee, and the mutton chops.
What Beard Suits a Diamond Face
The diamond face shape features big wide overpowering cheekbones that are the focal point of the face.
If you want to showcase the cheekbones instead of hiding them, consider growing a shorter beard style such as the five o’clock shadow, designer stubble, heavy stubble, BeardStache, or the short boxed beard.
Or you may go “against the rules” and grow yourself a big and bold Ducktail beard like the diamond faced Jason Momoa below.
The thing with the diamond face shape is that some want to hide it, while others want to accentuate its natural shape.
The reason for this has a lot to do with the widths of your forehead and jawline:
- If your forehead and jawline are noticeably narrower than the cheekbones, then it makes sense to grow out a beard style that adds width to the jaw and distinguishes the cheekbones (like the Garibaldi or Verdi).
- But if your forehead and jaw are not that much narrower than the cheekbones, then the face shape overall is quite balanced and very masculine. In that case it would make sense to go with a stubble beard or BeardStache.
It really is up to you which way you prefer, just make sure to not grow a beard style that adds any extra width to the cheekbones, as that would really blow your face out of proportions.
Please read through our full and detailed article to decide the best beard style for your diamond shaped face.
Any professional barber knows that the secret to choosing a good looking beard style is to match it with the wearers face shape.
It’s really the same thing as with glasses and your hair, the face shape is the key determiner that either makes or breaks the look.
In this article you learned the do’s and don’ts of each of the seven main face shapes and how to match a beard style to any of them.
Hopefully it helped you in choosing the optimal facial hair style for your face.
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