So, you've decided to grow a beard. Congrats! But – that's the easy part.
What kind are you going to grow? Beards, after all, like the faces they sprout from, come in all shapes and sizes. But while the color and thickness of your beard are largely a matter of genetics, the overall shape of your beard is something you can control. Especially with the right grooming products.
And that's a very good thing. It's a good thing because you can use your beard to balance out your face shape, and give the impression of greater symmetry, which studies have shown is linked to overall attractiveness in both women and men. How you do this, however, will be slightly different depending on your particular face shape.
Read on to find out to put your best beard forward, whatever your face shape.
1. Square Shape (think Justin Timberlake)
If your face is square in shape, with strong horizontal lines and a wide jaw, then congratulations: square faces tend to be quite chiseled. However, the wrong beard shape can make them appear squat – and that's a definite no-no. If you're a square shape, you'll want to use your beard to lengthen the face some. Keep the sides more closely cropped, and emphasize the fullness of the chin area. A beard wax like our Scruffy Jack's Beard Wax can be useful here: comb through the sides to train them to lie flatter against the face.
2. Round Face (think Leo DiCaprio)
If you've been described as baby-faced, chances are you have a rounder face shape. But never fear: roundies should keep their sides shorter, and emphasize length along the bottom/jawline. The idea here is that round faces, similarly to square ones, already have a strong horizontal line, so preventing the sides of the beard from becoming too bushy helps to places the emphasis on the vertical, elongating and harmonizing the features. Again, a beard wax can be helpful in controlling the beard so that it maintains fullness only where you want it.
3. Rectangular (think Ben Affleck)
What about faces that, although they do have a strong jaw and/or cheekbones, are still longer than they are wide? Rectangular faces benefit from their beards' being kept relatively short, with greater fullness on the sides – the opposite of the square shaped face. A good beard brush is invaluable here. Use it to brush out and add volume where needed. The idea is not to grow wildly long whiskers and close-crop the chin, but merely to keep the beard from becoming too vertical. There's no need, after all, to overemphasize what are already the predominant lines of the face.
4. Oval (think Ryan Gosling)
God damn it, ovals! You guys have nothing to complain about. The oval face is generally considered the most balanced shape, and tends to wear any beard style well, so feel free to experiment. Many men with oval faces have features that lean towards the long-and-tall side, though, so if anything remember not to overemphasize the length of the beard too, too much. But all in all, ovals can play it a bit freer than their geometrical brethren. Depending on the length of your beard, you can probably get away with a little Scruffy Jack's Beard Oil, and call it a day.