Goatee beard style might be one of the most timeless styles for men for at least the past 50 years or so. And with the beard revolution, it gets stronger in men’s beard style preferences.
Beards have been back in style for as long as anyone can remember. It isn’t unusual for every second man to sport some sort of facial hair.
Men are finally letting their whiskers grow free and wild and it seems like this is a trend that will endure.
But not all beards are made equal.
Men don’t really experiment so much with their hair. Most hairstyles aren’t too extreme but there are of course unordinary styles that only a small percentage of men are willing to try out.
Yet, men are willing to experiment more with their beards.
It’s way more common to see a man sporting a full grown beard or a stubble than, say, a soul patch.
There’s a spectrum of beard styles out there and they range from the most mainstream to the most outlandish.
While a stubble is more mainstream, and a glitter beard is completely outlandish, a goatee is somewhere in between.
Most men would have never tried a goatee and it’s true that it probably doesn’t suit every face type.
And as Barney points out to Ted in season 7 of How I Met Your Mother, a goatee doesn’t go very well with suits. But again, that’s his opinion.
But there is a certain charm to the goatee and it can be attractive if pulled off properly.
I mean Hugh Jackman and Brad Pitt have pulled it off, so why not give it a go?
Here’s a look at all the different goatee styles and the face shapes that suit them best.
The perfect goatee for your face shape
Not all goatees are created equal and depending on the shape of your face, some goatee styles might suit you better than others.
Closely observe your face in the mirror, figure out your face shape and take a pick from the list below.
You might also want to make a thorough reading on the hairstyle that suits you depending on your face shape.
Small, round face
A goatee could really complement a small, roundish face. It tends to make your face look a bit longer, which enhances your natural features.
A plain simple, classic goatee works well for men with these types of faces.
It’s fairly easy to grow a beard like that. You only have to stop shaving around the chin and your mustache for this look and you’re good to go.
Your best reference for a great goatee style is the one Robert Pattinson wore for a while.
He has a wide forehead and a triangular face which meant his shaved mustache-crescent chin goatee worked well.
Small thin face
Most goatee will suit you if you have a small, thin face, but the one that works best is a combination of a pencil-thin mustache with a detached chin cover.
That means your goatee isn’t complete and actually breaks off where you mustache ends at the edge of your mouth.
Many men get this shape naturally and can simply shave the rest of the beard off for a distinct goatee.
A slightly triangular goatee will go well with a clearly oval face.
You must make sure the hair on the chin tapers at the edges and the rest of the goatee traces the jaw-line.
If you’re lucky enough to have a strong jaw-line, this may be the best beard style you can get.
Square or triangular face
You can choose to go the chin-only goatee (semi-goatee?) if you have a square or triangular face.
Shave off the entire beard and neck, leaving behind a patch that is either horizontal (u-shaped) or vertical (soul-patch).
Trendy Goatee Styles
Now that you got an idea on the different styles you can wear based on your face shape, I’ve gathered a few goatees that you could easily get started with.
Most of them don’t require heavy beard growth and it can work for many men that aren’t able to grow a full beard.
And that’s the beauty of the goatee. It works great for a big number of men no matter how thick and dense their beard is.
Let’s see what we got here.
The goatee is called Anchor because of the shape on the chin hair. When looking to obtain this goatee style, the chin hair should have a point and the mustache should be slightly turned up on the edges. The mustache and chin hair should extend just outside the lips and the rest of the face should be clean shaven (leaving the soul patch and its connector to the chin hair).
How to achieve the Anchor:
- Trim then clean shave the face until all facial hair is removed and all that is left extends barely beyond the lips.
- The mustache should be trimmed so that the hair is even with the chin hair and slightly longer that the width of the lips.
- Using a small trimmer attachment, trim the soul patch so that it is about the width of the nose and the height is about half the length of the width. Make sure that you don’t disconnect the hair below the soul patch because it should connect to the chin hair.
- Trim the hair below the soul patch so that is about the width of a pencil. The hair should remain the same width until it reaches the chin.
- Shave all the area that was just cut so that the goatee is tidy.
- Start at the edges of the lips and slope the chin hair so that it gradually angles to a point. The chin hair should have a triangular look to it and should be around 2 inches long or so.
- Shave the neck and underside of the face.
- Finish the look by applying so mustache wax to the tips of the mustache and slightly twist up.
The name, as stated above, Anchor, comes from the shape of the hair below the lips. This is a goatee style that is intended to be kept fairly short and well maintained. As with all goatee styles, the cheeks are to be clean shaven. The mustache should extend just beyond the edge of the lips and be brushed straight down. Hair on the chin should be two inches or less in length and extend to a similar width of the eyes. The soul patch should be left intact and should connect to the hair on the chin.
How to achieve the Anchor 2:
- First, clean shave your cheeks and sideburns to the edges of your eyes. This should be done every day or every other day (depending on hair growth rate) so that the goatee remains well groomed.
- Shape the mustache with a trimmer so that the hair extends slightly outside the edges of the lips and clean shave the remainder of the hair below and stop just above the chin strap area (make sure to not trim the soul patch of the hair below it).
- Using the smallest blade attachment of a trimmer, mold the chin hair into the “anchor.” Start at the soul patch and shape it to the width that is, roughly, around the width of the nose. Trim the soul patch area so that it looks like an upside down house with a square top and a triangular bottom. Do not disconnect the soul patch from the chin hair. At the base of the soul patch, the hair should be shaped so that it is around the width of the pencil and gradually expands as it reaches the chin hair (the anchor).
- Clean shave the areas that were just cut by the trimmer so that the anchor is the only hair left on the face.
- Just beyond the chin, clean shave the neck from up under the face all the way to the base of the chest.
- The mustache and chin hair should be brushed straight down and worn that way.
- You should trim your chin and mustache every 7-10 days to ensure that growth is even and the look remains sharp.
Known for being the facial hair choice for Robert Downey, Jr., this goatee gets its namesake from an Italian Air Marshal, Italo Balbo. Balbo was a Mussolini goon during WWII. While the person may be controversial, the goatee is not. Men who wear the Balbo are usually bold and confident. It contains a sculpted mustache, soul patch, and chin hair.
Here’s how to get the Balbo:
- Most men opt for growing a full beard and shaping it into the Balbo. If this is the option you choose, you should not trim your beard for at least a month. Most men will have at least half an inch of growth from this.
- We suggest you take your beard trimmer and remove the guard and trim out your facial hair. Begin at your ears and shave your face inward. Remember to go back and forth from side to side so that the cut remains even and uniform. The chin hair should be left so that it has a width that is similar to that of the eyes.
- When you disconnect your mustache from the goatee, you should shave a gap about ¼ inch from the mustache to the goatee on both sides. This is what most people recognize the Balbo for. The mustache should be around the same length of the lips.
- Leave the soul patch and allow it to remain full and connect to the chin hair.
- Groom the leftover hair with a guard on your trimmer that cuts the hair to a full, even length.
- Clean shave all the hair that should be removed and trim all neck and under the jaw hair.
- Brush the mustache and goatee straight down.
Many goatees have what is called a chin puff but the true chin puff has no mustache. The hair on the chin should be left high so that it is left even with the lips on both sides. The look should look like with a horseshoe on with a sole patch. Some men claim the top of this goatee looks like the batarang.
How to get the Chin Puff:
- When starting with a full beard, start at the ears with a trimmer and go from side to side until the only hair left is left just beyond the lips. Leave the mustache and goatee completely in tack.
- Starting at an area even with the lips on each side. Remove the mustache with a trimmer. The goatee should be left alone and should extend to where the mustache was.
- Clean shave the area that was just cut and the underside of the jaw and neck area.
- The goatee should be around 2 inches long and should be groomed with a guarded trimmer to maintain even length and tidiness every week or two.
- Make sure to clean shave the areas that do not have hair every other day so that the look remains sharp.
Most men think about a goatee being a “chin strap” of hair. This style has no mustache and a well close cut soul patch and chin hair. When done correctly, the style looks like an eagle symbol below the lips. It is similar to the Chin Puff but with less length of chin hair and the sides are trimmed slightly lower.
How to get the Classic Goatee:
- Trim/cut all the hair from the ears inside until the hair left extends just beyond the lips. Leave the mustache and the goatee alone.
- Now, remove the mustache and cut the hair so that the goatee begins even with the bottom lips.
- Make sure to leave the soul patch and it should naturally have an hourglass shape to it. If not, trim the hair so that it gives the soul patch some shape.
- Clean shave all the area that was cut off with the trimmer and shave the neck and under jaw area.
- This goatee should be left short and should be less than a ½ inch on the chin.
- Shave and maintain the facial hair regularly to maximize look.
- If the hair on the chin is left longer, it is called the Goatee with Chin Strap.
The Deer Tail is a look that some hard rock members (Scott Ian, etc.) have worn for years. It has no mustache and looks like one giant upside down teardrop below the lips. Some men opted to have their Deer Tails thinner than others but the name, Deer Tail, comes from its look resembling the tail of a deer.
How to get a Deer Tail:
- Trim all the hair from the ears in so that the only hair left is just wider than the width of the nose.
- Remove the mustache and sides of the goatee so that no hair extends beyond the width of the lips.
- The hair below the lips, that extends beyond the chin, should be left full and fairly long.
- Clean shave the cut area as well as neck and underjaw.
- The hair should naturally slope so that as it grows the base of the goatee comes to a point.
- Always brush the hair straight down to train its growth pattern and keep the hair looking neat. The Deer Tail length can range from an inch to much longer.
- Clean shave the hairless areas on a regular basis.
When viewing a picture of a famous Pharaoh or Egyptian royalty, odds are they have the Egyptian Goatee. Most of their beards in pictures were actually fake metallic beards and were status symbols that made them appear godlike. Today, it is a tidy goatee with a pointed tip that is usually fairly long. The edges of the goatee should be even with the width of the eyes and should gradually increase in length as they get closer to the chin. This style looks like an arrowhead when properly done.
How to get a Egyptian Goatee:
- Distinguish the outer edges of the goatee by trimming from the ear to an area even with the center of the eye.
- Remove the mustache and that connects the mustache to the goatee all the way down to the jaw line. Leave the soul patch and area below alone so that there is a seamless transition to the goatee.
- Using the natural slope of the jaw line, angle the hair so that both sides are symmetrical and come to a point at the base. Do each side little by little to ensure that you don’t cut more than you would like.
- The hair on the chin, usually, is as much as 4 inches or more.
- Shave all the cut hair and neck and underjaw so that it has a nice clean shave and keep that consistent.
- Daily brush the hair down so that it grows downward and stays healthy.
It’s like the standard goatee with wings. It extends to around the width of the eyebrows and has a full connected mustache. It looks a little more like a beard than the basic mustache.
How to get the Extended Goatee:
- Trim the hair so that the base of the goatee stops even to the width of the eye brows. Leave the area there on the jaw and trim upward removing the hair from the cheeks and work inward to the mustache.
- Leave the hair around the lips so that mustache connects to the goatee and an area that is around half an inch wide is left with hair.
- Clean shave all the cut hair and the neck and underjaw area.
- The mustache and sides of the goatee should be left pretty short and not touch the tips while the chin area usually is around ½ inch in length or longer.
- Trim the facial hair with a guard so that it remains one length and remains professional looking.
Probably the most recognized goatee style and the one most men think about when referring to a goatee. It has a mustache that connects to chin hair and is slightly wider than the lips at the top and gradually slopes to around the width of the lips at the base.
How to achieve the Full Goatee:
- Trim the hair so that it is just beyond the width of the lips.
- After you have straight lines of width on both sides, start at a place just below the lips and very faintly slope the goatee so that is around the width of the lips at the chin.
- The hair should look like a circle around the lips.
- Clean shave all the cut area and neck and underjaw area.
- Most men leave the hair pretty short and groomed and maintain it daily.
This is probably the least hairy of all goatee styles. It looks like a vertical rectangle from below the lips to the chin. It is a good style for those men that struggle growing facial hair.
How to achieve the Goat Patch:
- Facial hair should be trimmed from the ears inward until it is around the width of the nose. Using the nose as a guide, remove the hair straight down so that both sides have straight vertical lines.
- Remove the mustache and clean shave all the area besides the chin hair including under jaw and neck.
- The chin hair is usually less that ¼ inch in length and should have a uniform length.
- Make sure to trim the hair every week or so and clean shave the rest of the face often.
- When the hair is allowed to extend slightly beyond the chin, it comes to a point and is normally called the Norse Skipper
Goatee and Mustache
A style that sounds exactly like its name. Think a slightly shaped goatee paired with a mustache. It is good for mean that struggle to have full hair on their checks and struggle to connect their mustache to their goatee.
How to get the Goatee and Mustache:
- Trim all the hair from the ears until the goatee and mustache are even with the center of the eyes.
- Remove the hair that would connect the mustache to the chin hair until it reaches the soul patch and area beneath it. The goatee on this style should look like an upside down tree with a soul patch that is wider at the top then narrows until it reaches the goatee.
- Clean shave all the cut hair, neck, and under jaw.
- Most men leave the chin hair around an inch in length.
- Brush the mustache and goatee down and maintain the shape through trimming and shaving.
Handlebar and Chin Puff
The Handlebar mustache has made a huge resurgence of sorts as it gives a great feeling of manliness matched with quirkiness. The Chin Puff with this style is smaller than those of most Chin Puffs because the Handlebar is the star of this show.
How to get the Handlebar with Chin Puff:
- Use a trimmer and remove hair from ears until it touches the mustache around the width of the eyes. The mustache should be longer than normal to accent the curled tips.
- Remove the hair below the mustache until it leaves the soul patch and chin hair around the width of the nose. This hair should be connected and have a rectangular shape similar to the Goat Patch.
- The hair on the chin is allowed to grow longer than the Goat patch and should extend an inch or so below the chin.
- Shave all the cut hair, neck, and under jaw area so that it is smooth.
- Apply wax to the mustache and shape it into the classic mustache. It should dip, slightly, at the edge of the lips and the tips should point upward.
Handlebar and Goatee
Just like it sounds, this is the goatee mixed with the Handlebar mustache. It is a great style for them men that wants both a full goatee and some style.
Here is how to get the Handlebar/Goatee:
- Trim this just like the above, Handlebar Chin Puff, to begin but leave the area that connects the mustache and goatee intact.
- Allow the mustache to grow longer than the goatee so that it has the length needed to style and shape.
- The goatee should be the width of the eyes or slightly less and left fairly short in terms of length.
- Clean shave everywhere that doesn’t need hair and maintain regularly.
- Apply wax to the mustache and twist up in a similar manner as mentioned above.
Famous for Jeff Bridges’ character in The Big Lebowski, the Dude is very similar to the Handlebar/Goatee but the goatee is more rounded and slightly wider. The style can be achieved the same way as the above style but allow the hair of the goatee to be around the width of the eyes and round the edges more so that it looks like a wide circle around the lips.
The Imperial style is describing the mustache look that was made popular in France during the Second Empire. It is like the Handlebar but the curled tips are longer and curl upward then inward or straight outward The Imperial Napoleon is this mustache with a long Goat Patch type goatee.
How to get the Imperial Napoleon:
- Trim the hair so that the mustache is left as long as the width of the eyes. The mustache should be left fuller and longer than with most styles.
- Trim all the cheek hair and goatee until the hair is left in an area that is the width of the nose. Sideburns should be kept short and not extend down the ear.
- The goatee should be at least 4 inches long and it takes most men at least 6 months to grow facial hair that can be shaped to this style.
- Clean shave necessary area.
- Brush the mustache and goatee straight down so that it points downward not out.
- Apply wax to mustache and curl tips or straighten them out based on preference.
Think about the Imperial Mustache with a nothing more than a small inch square below the lip and you have the Zappa. This style was made popular by famous guitarist, Frank Zappa. You can get this style by following all the above steps but taking the hair below the lips and after it extends an inch down, shave the below hair completely off.
Think about an American football chin strap and you have the appearance of the Petite Goatee in your mind. It doesn’t have a mustache and leaves a full covering of the chin. Most men can grow this beard type as the chin typically grows the fullest of all facial hair.
- Cut all hair from the ears inward until all the hair left is just below the lips to the chin. It should be no wider than the lips and perfectly shape the chin.
- Remove the mustache and clean shave all but the “chin strap”.
- This is a shorter goatee style and should stay fairly short and trimmed every week or so.
A goatee that’s the epitome of cool as it named from being the style that the loved character, John Shaft, donned. It is really similar to the full goatee with a little more style and shape to it.
How to get the Shaft Beard:
- Follow all the steps to achieve the full goatee.
- After molding your full goatee, take your trimmer and using the smallest trimmer blade, shape the soul patch and the hair that connects it to the chin hair until it resembles a goblet shape. It should be about the width of the nose of the top and around the width at the pencil down the stem of the goblet shape.
- This goatee should always be left short and needs regular maintenance and grooming.
Most men are extremely familiar with this facial hair style as it is worn by men who don’t opt for much facial hair. The soul patch is the hair that is just below the lower lip and extends down around half an inch.
How to get a Soul Patch:
- Trim and then shave all of the hair on the face except a little triangle below the lower lip.
- Most soul patches are less than half an inch in length and height and around an inch in width.
- It is a facial hair that most men and face types can grow and pull off.
Some men call this the pencil line goatee. It is an extremely thin goatee and mustache with the absence of a soul patch. It is similar to the pencil beard but includes a mustache and the chin hair is removed at an area around the width of the eyes. Men like Johnny Depp and other Hollywood stars have been known to wear this style.
- Trim the facial hair from the ears in so that all hair is removed on the cheeks and down the jawline until it reaches a point around the width of the eyes.
- Leave little wings on the jaw line and trim straight up to the mustache leaving a line of hair that is about a ¼ an inch at most.
- Follow that line and trim the mustache until it is a similar width as that of the sides.
- Make sure the mustache remains connected to the chin hair by this thin line and remove all area underneath the lips until it reaches the jawline. There should be no soul patch of anything connecting to the chin hair other than the thin mustache connectors.
- Clean shave all the leftover area than was cut or hasn’t been shaped and keep it clean by routine shaving.
- All the facial hair should be left short and just beyond the stubble stage.
The Van Dyke
The Van Dyke beard style has been known since the 17th century when it was given it’s namesake. An eccentric Flemish painter, Anthony van Dyck wanted to modify the classic goatee and trimmed his facial hair into what we know know as the Van Dyke. This style is similar to the standard goatee with a mustache but it is not connected.
How to get the Van Dyke:
- Trim your beard until you are left with a full goatee.
- Severe the connection between the mustache and chin hair with your trimmer. The mustache and chin hair should both be sloped until both have a point to them. The mustache should go down until it is even with the lower lip.
- Start at the soul patch and trim the hair downward just beyond the edges of the chin at a 30 degree angle or so. The chin hair should look like a triangle with a rounded bottom when done correctly.
- Take the mustache and apply wax and point out the tips.
- Clean shave all needed areas and maintain the look.
- Check out our article on the Van Dyke beard for additional tips and explainations.
Grooming tools and softening products you’ll need
Like with any other beard style, a goatee doesn’t need any special grooming tools. But you may need more than just a razor to get the style right.
After all, it’s all about getting the shape right and maintaining a beard soft and healthy.
Here’s what you should look out for before you start picking the style that suits you best.
Regular triple-blade, commercial cartridge razors are not the most idea razors when it comes to beard shaping and this is the case with a perfect goatee.
Getting the goatee right means shaving at the right spot at the right angle. For this, there’s nothing better than a sharp safety razor or a good straight-edge razor.
I prefer the safety razor mostly because the straight edge involves a learning curve.
Straight razor is more likely to cut you while shaving if you haven’t used it a fair number of times. Safety razors are safer, if you know how to use them properly (hence the name). Though, it takes a few uses until you become comfortable with them but it won’t take too much time until you get a good, comfortable shave.
The good thing with safety razors is that they are sharp and you only need to make one pass on your face. This minimizes the error in shaping the goatee.
On top of that, less passes means less irritation for your skin since you don’t shave the same area again and again.
One of my personal favorites is the Merkur 34C. Check it out.
But owing just the razor isn’t enough to nail the perfect goatee.
There are few more tools and products that might help you in your grooming routine.
Shaving soaps and creams
Prefer a good traditional shaving cream or a nice shaving soap to build some rich lather.
Since the goatee beard style requires a lot of shaving, shaving creams and soaps offer you great cushioning. This is what prevents the razor from going deep into your skin. Unless of course you insist on it.
At the same time, these latherers have superior slickness compared to pressurized creams. This helps the razor glide nicely on your face and prevents you from getting a razor burn or any nicks and cuts.
Lastly, for guys that have a sensitive skin, I would highly recommend applying a pre shave oil before any lather. This type of pre shaving products can offer you an extra layer of protection and extra slickness to your lather.
On top of that, the slickness of the oil doesn’t allow the razor to get stuck on the skin and razors burn is prevented.
Pre shave oils can be also used by guys that don’t have very thick beard growth as a shaving cream alternative. Otherwise, I would advise against it as it can cause great discomfort while shaving.
Electric beard trimmer
Razors are used to shave off the sides and neck, but to get a goatee you’ll need to leave some beard around your lips and chin.
Although you can let the goatee grow freely, a well kempt beard means a well trimmed beard.
If you’re looking to keep your goatee short, a good beard trimmer will ensure that the beard length will be the same on each spot.
Most beard trimmers will do a great job maintaining the beard lenght that you want because of the different beard guides and trimming lengths. Besides that, they offer great precision when it comes to your desired beard length.
Even though beard trimmer is essential for maintaining your goatee style, a good pair of scissors is a beardsman best friend.
With scissors you get all the control and detail you need to style the most difficult spots of your goatee. These spots are usually the ones close to your mouth or under your nose.
Besides taking care of the details, scissors is a better tool than a trimmer when you want to leave your goatee grow longer.
As beard trimmers have certain beard guides, they’re good up to a limited beard length. Once you want your goatee to be longer than what a trimmer can cut, the scissors does a much better job.
You can still use the beard trimmer for longer goatee styles but there are high chances of error as the trimmer is much heavier than a scissors. This makes the level of control a bit far from ideal since you won’t be able to balance the trimmer on your face as with shorter goatees.
Beard oil (or conditioner)
No style is going to look good unless your hair looks healthy enough.
I’m afraid that dry and rough hair is going to be unattractive, no matter how you style it. That’s why you need a great conditioner or beard oil to trap in the moisture and keep your hair shiny and healthy.
A beard oil makes your beard softer, so that you don’t scratch your beard off of your face.
On top of eliminating beard itch, it maintains your facial hair healthy and nourished while giving your the appropriate natural shine while also helping with beard dandruff.
Seven Potions Beard Oil is one that I really like, but you’ll also find a lot of other great options. Some examples are the Grave Before Shave and CanYouHandlebar.
Now, if you have a longer beard, you can also consider applying beard balm instead of oil. In principle, it does the same thing as the oil but a beard balm is more suited to longer beards.
Besides conditioning, a beard balm can give a bit of shape to your goatee, depending always on the amount of beeswax it contains. The more beeswax, the stronger the hold. Although the hold isn’t the reason to use one.
Speaking of hold, beard wax is the product that does exactly that.
Beard wax is more like a beard balm with a higher wax (beeswax in most cases) percentage.
It’s no coincidence why you find similar or even the same main ingredients in both beard balms and waxes.
Beard wax normally contains natural ingredients that help with nourishing the beard and depending on how much wax it contains, it gives you from light to strong hold.
The wax is very good to tame the unruly hair for any goatee length and quite useful for longer ones. Besides, if you’ve growing a goatee you must have noticed the weird shapes you beard gets as the facial hair grows longer.
Goatees are a great way to set your look apart from all the mainstream beards out there now.
I can appreciate that not every man looks great with a goatee but it is certainly a unique beard style. When maintained and shaped properly as well as matched with the right hairstyle, a goatee can look awesome.
Give it a go at least once to see if the look fits you. Worst case scenario, you don’t like what you see and you can always either shave the whole thing off, or grow a full beard.
Main image courtesy: Image courtesy: Dave_Pot/BigStock.com