As we age and become more distinguished gentlemen, we might consider new facial hair looks to keep things fresh. The beard is the OG facial hair format that has withstood the test of time. Literally, cavemen were sporting beards before we became advanced enough to manscape.
While the beard might be timeless, some beard styles are not. Some beard stylings can be pulled off by more youthful men, while other types just don’t look good no matter how old you are. If you’re like a fine wine or whiskey and getting better with age, you might be wondering what beard style might be best for you.
There is a surprising number of factors that determine the beard that’s right for anyone man. Face shape, chin size, jawline, thickness, and coloring should be considered when deciding on a beard style. The following beards take all these factors into consideration.
The Heavy Stubble Beard
Older gentlemen with have sharp, angular faces don’t have to do much more than not shave for a few days to look good. The great thing about the heavy stubble beard is that it can accentuate a really thick beard or mask thinner beards that would be more noticeably thin grown out. Heavy stubble beards are also nice if you have a rich salt and pepper look.
The Short Boxed Beard
As far as beards go, the short boxed beard is the most common and easiest to pull off, no matter what face shape you have. It’s a step above the heavy stubble beard. Still, it’s low maintenance, can vary in length, and is excellent at masking a double chin—if that’s a goal of yours. However, if you have difficulty filling out your beard, the heavy stubble beard is probably as far as you should take your beard-growing journey.
The Full Beard
If you have beard thickness and patience, the full beard is excellent for the older gentleman. Although it might seem as simple as growing your beard as long as you can, the long beard lends itself to many ancillary styling options. Keep in mind that if your beard contains a lot of gray, the full beard can age you dramatically, if you’re worried about that sort of thing.
The Old Dutch/Verdi
These beard styles are both a play-off of the full beard with some mustache extravagance. Both types involve drawing your attention toward the thick handlebar styling of the mustache. The Old Dutch beard has a wide, unkempt flare, while the Verdi sports a full beard with a neater trim. The amount of time you’re willing to allot to beard upkeep will likely be the deciding factor between these two beard styles.
The Donegal Beard
The Donegal beard is also known as the Shenandoah, spade beard, the Lincoln, Amish beard, or chin curtains. Not to be confused with the chin strap (a beard styling we don’t suggest for anyone, young or old), the Donegal is a full or short beard sans mustache. Although many older men who attempt this beard style come off looking like a 19th-century fisherman, some can pull it off. The Donegal lends itself to guys with very wide, prominent jawlines and softer chins.
The Ducktail Beard
Ducktail beards are a hybrid of a short box and full beard. The sides, neck, and mustache are trimmed short, while the chin is left long to a point. When done correctly, the ducktail beard can look great on older guys. However, the ducktail can quickly turn into a scraggly mess if not regularly maintained.
The fork beard, or French fork, is the ultimate power move beard. These beards are another variation of the full beard and don’t really begin to shine until after several inches. Men with cleft chins or those who naturally grow less hair in the center of the chin than the sides are more apt at developing fork beards. However, most anyone can train their beards to fork or use products to help the process. Those who grow it must be worthy of the respect the beard demands.
The Balbo Beard
The Balbo beard is one of our favorite stylings for older and younger men alike because of its creative takes from all styles. Formed from a long or short beard, the Balbo sports a heavy mustache disconnected from the beard. The chin and jawline mimic a Donegal but are not connected to sideburns. This is another beard style that demands a lot of upkeep but looks great when executed properly.
Article written by Steven Johnson for The Manual