viking beard style

What exactly is even a Viking beard? Well, I’m glad you asked because we are about to teach you everything you need to know about this popular beard style.

You may have seen the HBO’s hit series “Vikings” and you may have seen how some of the actors in it – most of them actually – wear brutal full beards.

The reason for their choice of facial hair is not only to look cool but also because it’s historically accurate to have one when playing a Scandinavian Viking from the 793–1066 AD.

You see, old paintings, stories statues, and plenty of other evidence suggest that Vikings did sport facial hair, and there have been even some beard beads and rings found in their ancient burial grounds.

This suggests that the real-life Vikings not only grew facial hair, but also valued the beard and even decorated it with jewelry, beads, and other trinkets.

But how do you grow out a modern-day Viking beard style, who it fits, how long does it take to grow, and what are the pros and cons of the style?

All of the answers can be found below. ↓

Pros and Cons of the Viking Beard

statue with a viking beard

The Viking facial hair is typically brutal looking full beard with a bit shorter sides and a longer growth at the chin, think of it as a rough tapering beard style.

The rules of growing out this type of beard are not set in stone, and the key idea is that it’s a minimally maintained full beard that looks a bit unkempt (but is thick enough to not look like a beard made out of pubic hair).

The benefits of the Viking beard are numerous.

Firstly – it makes you look like a goddamn man, who rocks an unapologetic scruff on his face that doesn’t need a huge arsenal of beard products or a barbershop trim every few days.

Secondly – it’s very low maintenance. You may want to get some beard oil to prevent beard itch and beardruff, but that’s about all you need.

Thirdly – for anyone living in Scandinavian countries or with ancestry from there, growing a Viking beard can be a step closer to your roots.

Everyone and their dog agrees that the modern man is soft as butter compared to the old ages (beard or no beard). But as a Finnish man, I’d like to hold on to the idea that there may be 0.1% of Viking blood still in my veins.

Certainly, the Viking beard doesn’t only come with benefits, as there are arguably few cons associated with the facial hair type.

Think about the modern day work environment for example.

Got an office job? Chances are you will not be allowed to rock a Viking style beard, but instead, have to succumb to being clean-shaven or rocking a boring corporate beard.

Or maybe you want to grow a beard to get the attention of women?

In that case, a Viking beard may seem like a good idea, but studies suggest that women actually hate unkempt beards, and would much more likely prefer a well-shaped and sculpted beard or heavy-stubble instead.

But hey, any real beardsman doesn’t grow his facial hair to please a woman. The beard is grown because the beard can be grown. And if you want to rock a Viking style, you are 100% going to do that.

What Face Shape Fits the Style

face shapes illustration

As explained in our beard shaping guide, there’s a beard style for all the different face shapes.

When it comes to the beard style of Norse Vikings, the thing is that it fits well to almost any face shape.

That is because it’s essentially a variation of a full beard – And full beards just tend to suit almost all guys who can are able to grow them.

Best matches:

Acceptable matches:

Since the Viking beard is typically shorter on the sides and it tapers down along the chin, it’s best suited for masking a short chin (such as the one on round faces, square faces, and oval faces).

How to Trim and Grow a Viking Beard

travis fimmel ragnar beard

The key thing about trimming a Viking beard is that you don’t actually have to.

Sure, you may want to get a beard trimmer and maintain the sides a bit shorter, to prevent the wide face look…

But other than that, I’d say just let the beard grow out long before you begin touching it at all.

Typically a beard grows 1/2″ per month. Since the Viking beard is considered to be 2.5″ and everything longer, it will take around 5 months to grow out this beard style.

How to trim a Viking beard:

  • Let it first grow ~5 months naturally.
  • Use a beard trimmer to shorten the sides a bit.
  • Use good beard scissors to snip of stray hairs.
  • Don’t do anything to your beards neckline or cheekline.

Here’s an example where a cool looking Viking style beard is trimmed a bit too neatly from the Beard Brand:

Celebrities with a Viking Style Beard

This type of beard is commonly worn by the cast of Vikings (duh).

Most notably by Travis Fimmel and Peter Franzen, who play their Scandinavian parts perfectly (Franzen has some natural help since he is from Scandinavia, to begin with).

You can also find a bit more neatly styled – but still Viking-like – beard style from the model Josh Mario John, aka @Spizoiky from Instagram.

mel gibson beard

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#harald Photo by @alexhoeghandersen

A post shared by Peter Franzén (@peter.franzen) on


This concludes our guide about how to grow a Viking beard and why it’s actually a really good idea.

Does it make you as bad-ass as real Vikings were?

Probably not, I mean most certainly not…

But it’s still a great facial hair type to try, and it makes you look unique in a way since not many men dare to grow an unkempt style like this for months.

Most will instead keep their necklines and cheek lines clean, spend lavish amounts on beard oil, beard balm, and use all kinds of beard shaping tools and trickery to make their beards look as presentable as possible.

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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