boxed beard styles featured image

The short boxed beard is a type of full beard that has been carefully groomed with sharp lines and contours so that it resembles a “box” around your jawline. It’s typically trimmed evenly to ½ inch length.

This type of facial hair is a great choice for any man who wants to grow a full face beard, but doesn’t like the volume and ruggedness of a classic full beard.

Short boxed beard is one of the hottest beard styles a man can grow and at the same time quite a formal one (so formal in fact that some call it “the corporate beard“), which means that it’s an accepted beard style for both in and out of the office.

What is a Boxed Beard

short boxed beard closeup

Boxed beards are full face beard styles with sharp well-groomed lines and edges, which sometimes make them resemble a box or frame around your jawline.

In a proper boxed beard style the cheek line should either be a straight line or have an angular step-cut, and the neckline is typically trimmed closer to the natural edge of the jawline compared to most other beard styles (which normally have the neckline close to the Adam’s apple).

What is also characteristic to the boxed beard is that the whole beard is trimmed down to an even length thorough the face, contributing to the clean and sharp look of which the style is known for.

short boxed beard style anatomy

There are three main types of boxed beard styles:

  • Short boxed beard: easily the most popular one with a length of ½ inch.
  • Medium boxed beard: cleaner version of the full beard, length is 1-2 inches.
  • Long boxed beard: aka, “the square beard”, upwards of 4 inches in length.

The short boxed beard is the one that people almost always mean when they talk about boxed beards, and that’s why we will be focusing primarily on the short variation of the three box beards for the remainder of the article.

Examples of Different Boxed Beards

profile view of a short boxed beard
This short boxed beard checks all the boxes that the style is known for: an even length of ½ inch, sharp step-cut cheekline, neatly maintained mustache, and a neckline that is trimmed relatively close to the actual jawline. The gentleman on the image has what looks to be like a diamond shaped face, and if you have read our article about the best beard styles for the diamond face shape, you already know that the short boxed beard is one of them.
short boxed beard on a round face
Here’s a guy with a short round face shape rocking the short boxed beard. It’s not typically one of the beard styles we would recommend for a round shaped face (since the short face shapes should go for longer styles to add some height), but in this example, the boxed beard really nicely frames the face and adds a wee-bit of length to it as well. 
short boxed beard style
Here you can get a better view of the short boxed beard’s neckline and how it’s typically left a little bit higher than you’d normally trim a beard’s neckline. It’s crucial to not trim right along the natural contours of the jawline though, as this would expose the soft fat underneath your chin and make your neckline creep up to your cheeks when you open your mouth or smile.
side profile view of a boxed beard style
Here’s another side profile view of the short boxed beard. At first glance it may look like the neckline would hug the natural jawline, but it doesn’t really. Upon a closer look you will find that there’s still a gap of ½-1″ below the actual jawline where the beard’s neckline has been trimmed to.
high boxed beard from the side
This guy has what is called the “high-box” variant of a short boxed beard. What the terms “high-box” and “low-box” mean exactly will be explained in the subheading below.

High Boxed vs Low Boxed beard: What’s the Difference

high and low boxed beard examples

The short boxed beard style has two distinctive variations:

Low-box: which as the name implies, has the cheek line trimmed lower than where it naturally grows at, so much so that it almost resembles a thick chinstrap. This is a good option for guys who have weaker growth at the upper cheeks.

High-box: has the cheek line as high as it naturally grows at. In most cases, the high-box variation is the better looking one, but it should only be grown if the upper cheeks have enough thickness and density.

How to Trim a Short Boxed Beard

trimming a short boxed beard

Like most beard styles, it takes time to learn how to properly trim a short boxed beard, and for your first few times, you will most likely not get the desired results.

That’s OK though, with some practice you too can become a master at grooming the boxed beard – and if not, you can always go to a professional barber to have it trimmed for you.

The tools you will need include:

Here’s how to trim a short boxed beard:

  1. Decide whether you want to go with the low-box or the high-box variation. If it’s the low-box, reduce the height of the cheek line by roughly 1-1.5″. If it’s the high-box, just crop out the cheek line as high as you can.
  2. Take a razor and define the width of the sides (next to your ears) that slope down to the cheek line, try to leave as much width to them as possible for a clean and neat look. Also make sure the point where the sides meet the cheekline is angled sharp & straight.
  3. Attach a ½ inch guard comb to your beard trimmer and carefully go through your whole facial hair area with it to make sure that your beard is at even length thoroughly.
  4. Take the beard and mustache scissors and snip away any fly-away rogue hairs that you find, also clean up the mustache and make sure no hairs overlap into your mouth.
  5. The last part is trimming the short boxed beard’s neckline. You want to define a line that follows the curvature of your own jawline, but is ½-1″ lower than the actual jawline. This is the hardest part and easiest to mess up, so be careful and take your time!

Quick tip: The short boxed beard calls for very sharp and neat edges. These can be difficult to shape out by yourself, which is why I recommend that you get a beard shaping tool to help with trimming the cheeks and the neckline.

How Long Does it Take to Grow a Boxed Beard

short boxed beard growth

The short boxed beard has a length of ½ inch (1.25 cm) and it will take approximately one month to grow out (if we go by the average facial hair growth rate of half-an-inch per month).

Obviously it will take longer than that to grow out the other boxed beards, the medium and the long one.

For those you are looking at two to three months for the medium one and upwards of eight months for the long boxed beard or the “square beard”.

But in all honesty, nobody really cares about the medium or long boxed beards, everyone just wants to know how long it takes to grow the short boxed beard and that is approximately a months worth of facial hair for an average fellow.

Which Famous People Wear the Short Boxed Beard

ryan reynolds short boxed beard

With the sharp and clean look provided by the short boxed beard, you could easily think that many famous men would be fond of the style, and you would be 100% correct.

Ryan Reynolds, Bradley Cooper, Jake Gyllenhaal, John Krasinski, Ben Affleck, Chris Hemsworth, Jon Hamm, and George Clooney are some of the many celebrities rocking the short boxed beard as their go-to beard style.

How to Style and Maintain a Boxed Beard

man looking at beard oil bottle

You need two things to style a short boxed beard so that it keeps its shape and lays flat against your cheeks and jaw – and those are a tin of strong beard wax (such as the Seven Potions Beard Wax) and a beard brush suitable for short beards (such as the Kent BRD2).

Here’s how to style the short boxed beard:

  1. Take a pea-sized amount of beard wax and warm it up in your fingers.
  2. Apply the beard wax thoroughly on your beard and mustache.
  3. Take the beard brush and use it to brush your beard neatly into place.

NOTE: You don’t necessarily even need to style the short boxed beard at all, if you have a thick beard that doesn’t have a tendency to curl at shorter lengths. But if you do, then the beard wax and a boar bristle brush are your best friends.

When it comes to maintaining a short boxed beard, you will want to trim it back down to the ½ inch length with a beard trimmer on a bi-weekly basis (or by the very least monthly if you’re lazy) and while doing that, also clean up the cheekline and the neckline with a razor or shavette.

You can also use beard oil to moisturize the beard and give it a bit of shine, but this is optional since a short beard like this will still retain enough moisture and nourishment from the natural sebum oil produced by the sebaceous glands (it’s only longer beards that typically “need” beard oils).

What Face Shapes are Best for The Boxed Beards

short boxed beard on diamond shape face

When choosing a beard style, make sure that it matches with your face shape. This is hugely important and an often over-looked thing that can make or break your looks.

Luckily, the short boxed beard bodes well with practically any face shape, as it’s considered to be an universally safe beard style.

Since it doesn’t add too much length at the bottom, the short boxed beard is among the best beard styles for an oblong face, it also works exceptionally well to accentuate the strong features of a diamond face shape.

For round, heart, and triangle shaped faces, the short boxed beard is a good style, but not the best one, as those face shapes will benefit more from added length and width at the bottom of your chin and jaw.

The two remaining face shapes; square and oval, are considered “ideal face shapes” for men and you shouldn’t grow a big beard to try and hide their natural shape. That’s why the stubble beards (light stubble, medium stubble, heavy stubble) and short beard styles (like the boxed beard) are good choices.

Bottom line: The short boxed beard is a suitable fit for any face shape, but it’s at its best when matched with an oblong or diamond face.

Conclusion

Universally viewed as an attractive and formal beard style; the short boxed beard has something for everyone.

This half-an-inch long full face beard features sharp angular lines and well-maintained mustache, along with a neckline that closely follows the natural contours of your jawline.

Due to its short length it will only take you a month to grow enough facial hair so that it can be shaped into a short boxed beard.

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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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