The remarkable thing about choosing a style that includes facial hair is that the options are, seemingly, endless.
One can choose from a mustache to a goatee. That goatee can include a mustache or it can not. Another individual could opt for sideburns, mutton chops, a full beard or the well maintain stubble.
While there is a style that fits any man, many men stay away from certain styles for their perceived drawbacks.
For example, some men stay away from a long full beard because it requires a decent amount of attention (such as with beard oil, brushing, and beard shampoo/conditioner) that other facial hair varieties don’t necessarily demand.
On the other hand, some men think the benefits of such a beard far outweigh the detriments. Those same men, often, would never consider a shorter beard style because they don’t like the style and think that a shorter beard’s options are extremely limited. It may be hard to convince these men otherwise, but the idea that short beards have few options is misconceived.
As further validation of this point, this article will present you will a thorough list of short beard options.
A goatee that gets its namesake from an Italian Air Marshal, Italo Balbo. For those of us that weren’t familiar with the name, Balbo served as Mussolini’s henchmen of sorts during WWII. Thought the man wasn’t someone many men would want to be, necessarily, associated with, the goatee style is a loved style for men who want to portray the image of confidence and authority. No better person fits this bill than Robert Downey Jr. who is a habitual wearer of the Balbo. The style is relatively straightforward. It is the combination of a sculpted mustache, soul patch, and chin hair.
When looking to get the Balbo, you should start as you do with all goatee styles and shave the neck, under jaw, and sideburn area (it probably goes without saying that this is when shaping from a full beard that has grown out for a few weeks to a month). After removing the sideburns begin to work each side inward with the trimmer until the chin hair is around the width of the eyes. Leave the chin hair alone from that point and disconnect the mustache from the goatee. Do this by placing the trimmer at a point even with the top lip beside the lips and shave down until you reach an area just below the soul patch (make sure not to touch the soul patch as it should remain unsculpted). Find a hair length that works best for you and using a guarded trimmer trim the hair regularly so that there is a nice smooth, even length to the hair.
The Balbo Returns
Some men love the style of the Balbo but want a little more beard than goatee. This is called the Balbo Returns or the Balbo Beard. You should always understand that the Balbo is a sectioned beard and the mustache do not connect. It includes a soul patch and beard hair that is shaped so that it looks like a giant upside down letter T.
When forming this beard, grow the facial hair out for a minimum of four weeks. Then, trim your beard out by removing the sideburns. The hair should begin on each side at a point that is below
the ears. Next, disconnect the mustache from the beard so that their is about a ¼ to ½ inch gap between the goatee and mustache. Some men divide the mustache into two sections by removing the hair that in the dip just below the center of the nose. Trim the mustache so that it stays above the upper lip and does not extend beyond the corners of the lips. Make sure to leave the soul patch and it should have a natural hourglass look to its shape. It is, generally, a rule of thumb that this style is kept fairly short (½ inch or less hair length).
Let’s go ahead and say that if you tell your friends that this beard is called the Lowrider, you will hear the phrase sung, “all my friends, drive a lowrider” fairly regularly. While that might get annoying, the pick up line options and high quality style of this beard more than make up for it. There is a little debate where the name truly comes from but men who drive lowriders are known to sport the Lowrider.
This style is a full beard with a little added style and grooming. After growing out your full beard for a month or so, you will want to remove the hair from the cheek so that the hair makes a uniform curve just below the cheekbone. Next, comes the tricky part. You want to take the connection points between the mustache and goatee and trim them to a line that is about the width of a drawn pencil line. This line should begin just beyond the width of the nose and you should come out from the edges of the lips about half and inch so that there is a gap between the lips and the hair. The hair should be left alone once it connects to the beard just below the lower lips so that the pencil line disappears into the beard. Below the bottom lip you want to shape your soul patch into the hourglass or goblet as associated with the classic goatee, etc. The beard hair is kept a little longer than other short beard styles at an inch or so in length.
The French Fork
This is quite the distinctive beard for those men that are looking to express individuality. It gets is name for the shape of the bottom of the beard that is split into two sides and resembles the original French forts that only had two prongs. The French fork is easy to obtain as it is basically the Ducktail Beard with a little styling.
You want to grow out your beard and trim the sides and mustache so they remain fairly short. Some men opt to remove the hair on the cheeks and shape the goatee and mustache while others go for more of a full beard look. The hair along the jawline should be left to grow out so that it extends off the chin a few inches. From this point, you have two options. You can either use a good quality beard wax and style the hair into points or you can trim the hair into two points. We prefer using beard wax as it gives a more controlled look and more styling options. Make sure to brush the hair down before applying beard wax so the hair grows down rather than outward.
The 5 o’clock Shadow
Most men who clean shave their face regularly end up having this style by the end of the day or the next morning. As most men know, it is the appearance of a beard at its infant state. It is really easy to achieve as well. We suggest that you take the guard off of your trimmer and cut the hair on the face as low as the basic beard trimmer will. This will leave enough hair that the beard is seen but the hair is left really short (5 o’clock Shadow).
The Heavy Stubble
This style is pretty self explanatory. It is heavier than the stubble of a five o’clock shadow but not a full beard. Most men have this heavy stubble after two days of not shaving. This style looks better on men with darker hair than light hair as with light hair it is hard to see. To obtain this style, get the guard on the trimmer than has the lowest length setting and run it across the entire beard. This should give you the appearance of the Heavy Stubble.
The Light Stubble
Between the 5 o’clock Shadow and Heavy Stubble is what we call light stubble. This is the length of growth a day after shaving or a day and a half. The easily way to get this style is to shave and let the stubble grow until the next morning then find a trimmer with guard that keeps the stubble to this length that you desire.
The name of this beard comes from the fact that many actors during what was considered the “Golden Era of Hollywood” sported it. As a result, it has a throwback feel to it but has recently made a huge resurgence into popular culture. It is a basically a Chin Curtain with the removal of the sideburns and addition of mustache that connects to the beard and soul patch.
After letting your beard grow for a month or so, you are ready to shape your Hollywoodian. You want to begin by shaving the upper areas of the cheeks but leaving the hair on the jawline and goatee/mustache area. At an area around an inch below the ears, shave upward to remove the sideburns. You will leave the area that connects the mustache to the beard and trim it up a bit so that it looks controlled. Slightly trim the soul patch so that it looks square or hour glass like. The mustache should be disconnected in the dip just below the center of the nose so that it has two distinct sides. The hair on the jaw should be allowed to grow and be maintained at a length that is ½ to many more inches.
Several male celebrities that are considered masculine have began to frequently opt for this beard style (Brad Pitt, Mel Gibson). It gets its name from its shape that looks like, you guessed it, a ducktail. The shape of this beard is one with short, tight sides with longer hair on the chin that comes down to a point.
Grow out a beard for a few months as the base of the ducktail should be at least an inch or so down the base of the chin. While the beard is growing, trim the cheeks so that they remain short and controlled. As the beard gets to a good length, use the beard trimmer to taper the sides down the jawline so that they come to a point at the center of the chin. Most men use beard oil or wax to exaggerate the point. The mustache should left alone for the most part but trimmed so that it stays above the lip. The soul patch should be left in a natural hour glass looking shape.
The Corporate Beard
Some debate that this beard should have its own name as it is basically just the full beard that is cut short and groomed so that it can be worn in professional settings (hence the name). In years past, men were not allowed to wear beards to many corporate settings but that since has changed. Men who have opt for this style tend to give a lot of attention to their appearance and are notorious for applying oil and beard balms so that their beards are healthy and smelling nice.
It is worth repeating that if you don’t want to give daily attention to your beard, you should probably opt for another style. First, you must let your beard grow but give great attention to your neck and the top of your cheeks. You want to shave everything from above the Adam’s apple and below the chin so that the neck always looks clean shaven. Since this is a tame beard, you need to shave above the natural beard line on the cheeks so that no hair patches form high on the cheeks. They make beard shapers for this beard that go on the face so that the lines of the beard are smooth and even. It takes around a month to get the base needed for this beard.
The Short Boxed Beard
A beard that follows the same style and grooming standards of the Corporate beard is the Short Boxed Beard. It is the shorter version and the hair should not grow beyond ½ inch. You will trim it much of the same way and make sure that the cheeks are shaved so that the beard has nice curves and clean lines. Use a trimmer to keep it at the length you desire.
Ok, we may be pushing the boundaries of short beards with this one but it is short minus its quickly recognizable beard tails coming off the chin. It has been a staple in Asian cinema but is most famous for its namesake, Captain Jack Sparrow. It is a Chin Curtain with a detached mustache and soul patch with two long strands of hair that run down the sides of the chin.
To get this beard, the “tails” will need to grow for at least a year as they should be at least 4-6 inches minimum. Once you have a beard in place, shave your cheeks and neck completely clean. Disconnect the mustache from the beard at a place that is just below the lower lip. This should leave less than a ¼ inch gap. Trim the soul patch so that it is a square or triangle shape that is around an inch long. Maintain the sides, mustache, and soul patch to a shorter length but let the chin hair grow as long as possible. This will take time and disciple. When the hair is long enough, part the chin hair into two separate strands and braid or twist them. Use beads or hair bands so that they hold their shape.
Also known as the Amish Beard by some, this a well known beard. It must be kept short because it it grows longer than 2 or 3 inches it is called the Old Dutch. Mostly known for its lack of mustache and full rounded chin hair, it differs from some other beards has it flares out like Mutton Chops more than most beards with shaved cheeks.
Starting with a full beard and shave off the mustache and hair that would connect the beard to the mustache. Shave the cheek bones but allow the hair to reach out a bit more than normal. This beard does not have a straight curve but more of have wave like line from ear to ear. The soul patch should be left alone so that the hair below the lips starts there and merges into the beard.
The Chin Curtain
A true Chin Curtain is around 1-3 inches in length. Anything less is considered a Chin Strap and anything longer is considered a Shenandoah. This beard is a nice hybrid being a little whimsical but, also, somewhat professional. The most famous wearer of this beard was the loved President Abraham Lincoln.
From a full beard, to obtain this style shave the neck and under jaw area. Then,remove all the hair on the cheeks and mustache. A true chin curtain does not have a soul patch either. The only hair that is left should be hair that runs along the jawline. It should be trimmed so that it looks uniform and limits fly away hairs.
The Chin Strap
This is an identical style to the Chin Curtain but the length of the hair on the jaw line is less than an inch. It can be achieved the same way as the Chin Curtain but find a trimmer with an appropriate guard to shorten the hair so that it is uniform and has very little length.
The Brett Beard
Take the Chin Curtain or Chin Strap and add a hourglass soul patch and you have the Brett Beard. Your guess to who the Brett beard is named after is as good as ours but it is a beard that has steadily grown in popular. Groom this beard from a full beard the same way you would the Chin Curtain but leave the soul patch. Shape it so that is flat on the top and wider at both the top and the bottom (hourglass shape). It should connect seamless into beard and the entire style should have nice, clean lines.
The Rap Industry Standard
This beard gets its name from, you guessed it, being the staple from many rappers in the 90s and 00s. 50 cent and Ali G have been known to wear one as well as many other big rap names. The Rap Industry Standard is a Chinstrap that is thin and has tight lines with a connecting thin goatee and mustache. Think the Chinstrap meets the Pencil Mustache and Goatee but in a style similar to the Van Dyke Beard.
While this is a style with minimal facial hair, it does require a substantial amount of detailing to master. When beginning with a full beard you should start at the ear and for a line of hair down the jaw line that is no wider than ½ inch.
This style was adopted by many rappers as a sign of success before it was so refined that a barber had to do it.
When doing this you should use the smallest head on the beard trimmer and go little by little on each side. Once you reach the area that connects the mustache to the goatee (an area near the center of the eyes on the jawline, shape your goatee and mustache to the same thin line. When doing the mustache it should have a decent size gap between the hair and the bottom of the nose and should lay just above the upper lip. Some men like to shape the soul patch into the style but complete removable is the norm. Make sure all the rest of the face, neck, and underjaw are clean shaven.
Trust us when we say this is a beard with a high degree of difficulty to do at home. It is a good idea to allow a barber to shape it then maintain it at home.
As you probably guessed, this beard gets its name from being worn by a group of people called the Klingons from the Star Trek series. In particular, it was worn by a character named Worf from Star Trek: The Next Generation. While the beard originated from a fictional character, this beard can be a showstopper when done correctly.
This is a beard that requires a steady hand and attention to detail. When looking to obtain this beard, grow out a basic beard for at least a month. Most men prefer to keep this beard short but it requires a layer of hair to shape and mold. As you shape the beard, start and the ears and remove the hair except that with runs down the jawline until you get to an area even with the center of the eye (use a trimmer with the smallest head possible). Here you want to shape the beard so that it has the basic Chin Strap (or Chin Curtain depending on length) but also an anchor shape that sits on top of the beard. You want to trim so that there is a gap between the beard and anchor shape that is around a 15 degree angle on each side. Allow the top points of the anchor to reach up to midway on the mouth. Shape the soul patch so that it has the traditional hour glass shape and connects to the rest of the facial hair. Remove the mustache and clean shave all the areas that don’t need hair.
The Winnfield is a combination of the Mutton Chop and the Fu Manchu. It was made popular by the character, Jules Winnfield, portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson in the movie, Pulp Fiction. It has the horseshoe mustache associated with Fu Manchu and long sideburns. To get this style, grow out or groom your Mutton Chops as described above and grow out or trim out your mustache. Allow the mustache to grow down the face were it would connect to beard but the beard hair from the base of the Mutton Chops, on the cheeks and below the lips should be removed. Trim the mustache so that the hair rests just above the upper lip and keep the remaining hair at a length that is less than ½ inch.
Most men have some form of sideburn regardless of having facial hair or not. Sideburns are considered facial hair when they extend beyond the length of the ear. While the name comes from a Civil War General Ambrose Burnside, his “sideburns” more resemble the modern day Mutton Chops than what we consider sideburns. Sideburns, today, come down from the hair and have straight lines on each side and are shave straight across at the bottom.
Getting sideburns are easy. When growing a full beard to begin, find a spot that is below the ears and shave downward from their removing all the remaining hair. This includes the mustache, beard, neck, and underjaw area. You should use a beard trimmer to trim the sideburns so they don’t get bushing and look unmanaged. Brushing them down helps the grow in the direction that is optimal, so use a beard brush them regularly.
The Mutton Chops
It is best to consider the Mutton Chop the anti-goatee. It basically removes all the hair that would be left with the Classic Goatee and leaves all the hair that would have been removed. This is a style that has been embraced by manly men like Classic Rock Musicians and the like. It looks rugged and less refined than other styles.
We have an article all about the Mutton Chop on our site so further instruction can be found there but we will give a brief how to guide here. From a full beard, remove the mustache, soul patch, and chin hair to a point that is even with the outside edges of the lips. Remove the cheek hair from the nose to just beyond the cheekbone. Get rid of the neck and under jaw hair and this should leave you with two “mutton” shaped chops on each side.
The Friendly Mutton Chops
Lemmy from Motorhead is long been a wearer of this style. It is just like the Mutton Chops but has the added look of a mustache. You should groom the same way as the Mutton Chops but do not remove the mustache and allow it to grow down the face until a line of hair that is around ¼ inch connects the mustache to the Chops. Some men separate the mustache in the center but that is optional based on style preferences.
Another variation of the Mutton Chops is the Wolverine. Like the Mutton Chops, it does not have a mustache and can be obtained much of the same way. The only difference is that a thin strip of hair is left on the base of the chin so that the Mutton Chops are connected. Hugh Jackman brought this style back to prominence with his depiction of the namesake of this style, Wolverine. For more information on Mutton Chops, check out our article that focuses on chops specifically.
If we are speaking technically, a style called the Hulihee is actually the closest to the style Ambrose Burnside actually wore. In a rather rare occurrence, the name, Hulihee, came from a Hawaiian palace rather than an aristocrat of years past like most other beard styles. The Hullibee is known for its thick, full chops and that run down the jawline and connect at the mustache. This is an extremely interesting facial hair style that is not for the average man. It is a style that almost slaps who ever views it in the face and tell everyone that the wearer is not to be messed with.
It is best to begin with a full beard that has been left to grow for at least four months when trying to obtain the Hullibee. Each side of this style typically extends at least four inches down so it takes time to get the needed facial hair. You want to start below the lips and remove all the hair below until you reach an area that is around the center of the eye. Make sure to shave the neck and under jaw as well. Lastly you want to remove all cheek hair so that the only hair left is what touches the jawline. Trim the mustache so that it rests just above the upper lip. The hair should be left so that the mustache connects to each side. When done correctly, the hair should look like giant hair earrings connected with a mustache when looked at straight on.
For those that want to throw caution to the wind and counter the normal beard trend, look no future than the neck beard. Instead of shaving the neck and under jaw area, you leave that and shave everything else. The face will look neat and tidy while the neck looks rugged.
Some men opt for this style so we will let them have at it (we think we will stick to shaving our necks).
A few final thoughts
It is worth repeating that men who want a shorter beard have numerous options. These beards range from professional to quirky to heavily styled.
We hope our list serves as a guide for you to choose the best style for you and wish you great bearding days ahead. Thanks for reading.
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