How do you know if you look better with a beard?

Okay I’m not going to hide any bias here – I think everyone that can grow beard would look better with a beard! And that’s because everyone who can grow beard can grow a beard that suits their face, their growth pattern, the way they dress, and more. The term beard incorporates so many different types of styles, lengths and cuts that I think anyone can find a beard style that suits them.

However, some people do not like the idea of growing a beard – and that is their personal choice. The thing that makes you know if you would look better with a beard is your face shape, if other people in your family have beards and how they look, importantly – you have to put in the effort – are you willing to look after your beard daily? And, ultimately, the only real way to know if you’ll look better with a beard is to grow it out.

Sometimes, people are not willing to put in the effort with a beard despite the fact they have got excellent growth coverage, density, and style. And that is completely okay. Every man can grow some version of a beard and it is the combination of these things which determines whether or not there beard will make them look better:

  • their face shape
  • their genetics which includes their ability to grow a beard with even density and thickness
  • their willingness to maintain their beard every day
  • their willingness to spend money on their beard
  • interest in fashion and style

There are very few people in the world who can grow a beard and have it look awesome all on its own. Despite what game of thrones and other mediaeval type programs will have you believe, having a beard is a very deliberate decision that requires regular maintenance and care for it to look great.

In this article we are going to have a look at the important aspects of how you can now if you look better with a beard. The first aspect is face shape.

Face shape

The first thing in determining what beard style would best suit you is the shape of your face. If you want a full run down on all of the different types of beard styles that you can choose from take a look at my super long and informative post – beard styles, a comprehensive review of everything you need to know! – Click here to be taken to article.

When you are considering growing a beard you need to factor in the sorts of beards that’ll look good on your face. When you’re trying to figure out the shape of your face, these are the three factors that’ll help you distinguish exactly what your face shape is.

  • The widest part of your face.
  • The shape of your jaw.
  • The length of your face.

Have a look at the beards that will best match your face based on the three metrics above and click the links in the list below to navigate between the different face shapes.

  • Square face
  • Round face
  • Heart face
  • Rectangle face
  • Oval face
  • Diamond face

I have included the faces of famous actors to help you decide on your face shape.

Square face

People have a square-shaped face if the widest part of their head is close between their chin and their forehead. The face is also quite equal in height and width. These people tend to have angular jaws.

The best and most famous example of someone with a square face is Brad Pitt:

Beard for square face: The best beard styles for square faces are ones with skinnier sides and fuller jaws and chin. The beard could be rounded slightly to make sure that you distract a little from the squareness of the face. However, not too much! After all, your strong square face could be considered an asset and we don’t want to take too much away from that!

Round face

You have a round face when the cheeks are the widest part of your face. The height and width of your face are close to being equal and all of your features are soft and rounded!

The most famous man with a round face is Leonardo DiCaprio.

Beard for round face: People with round faces should look at beards that are short of the sides. As not to add to the weight of their face at that point. The chin should be grown out a fair amount and can be a little more angled at the sides and front to give the illusion of more of a chin.

Heart face

People with heart-shaped faces have a pointy chin. The widest part of their face is the top. It can also be considered an inverted triangle. We don’t care about whether there is a widow’s peak or not – we are only looking at the overall shape.

The most famous person with a heart-shaped face is Ryan Reynolds:

Beard for the heart-shaped face: Because of the relatively weak jawline people with heart-shaped faces will benefit from being strategic about their beard growth. Quite large dense growth all over will balance the lower part of the face with the top. If you don’t want to go for a full beard a decent amount of stubble will also help balance the face shape.

Rectangle or oblong face

You have a rectangular face if your forehead, cheeks, and jawline are nearly the same widths. The chin of a rectangle face is only slightly curved and a more oblong face is a rectangle with slight curves. Overall, the same rules apply.

A recognizable face with a rectangle/oblong shape is Hugh Laurie.

Beards for rectangle-shaped faces: People with rectangle faces should consider slightly longer sides and shorter chinned styles. You don’t want to make your face any longer – unless you are going for the wizard length beard.

Oval face

People with an oval-shaped face have a very similar shape to those with a rounded face. The only difference is that the length of the face is more than the width. The chin is still rounded but there is a likelihood that your forehead is only just the widest part of your face.

A male celebrity with an oval face shape is Jude Law:

Beards for people with oval faces: If you have an oval face almost any beard shape or style looks good on your head! Congratulations, you have won the genetic lottery. If you are lucky enough to fall into this category you have a license (and some say an obligation) to play about with as many beard shapes and styles as possible!

Diamond face

Men with diamond-shaped faces will have high cheekbones and pointy chins. The main difference between this face shape and the heart shape is that the forehead is slightly narrower. This face shape is slightly less common in males.

A male celebrity with a diamond face is Peter Andre:

Beards for people with diamond-shaped faces: Much like the heart shape, the beard should be kept neutral as possible and steer away from any hard angles or edges. Care should be taken around the cheeks as they tend to recess a fair bit. Stay away from low cheek lines as it can give a gaunt look.

All these styles are only suggested, and personal preference is what comes into play as each person grows a beard. Don’t let anyone tell you what you should do. It is your face and you can do what you want with it!

Other people in your family

Besides your face shape you can also have a look to see if you look better with the beard by looking at the men in your family and if they look better with or without a beard.

Interestingly, for me, I saw a photograph of my dad when he was younger and sporting a full beard. The good news is that the beard was full and thick. The bad news was that he didn’t really look so great with it. This is potentially because I’m so used to my dad having no beard that seeing him with a beard was strange.

But, what it did show me is that the growth pattern was strong enough for me to be able to sport a variety of different beards. This information, combined with what I knew about my growth density, allowed me to proceed confidently with my beard and journey.

Another very important aspect of growing a beard that will make you look better is the amount of time that you have or are willing to put into your Beard maintenance schedule and routine.

Are you willing to put in the effort?

There is no doubt that having a beard is not a passive activity. Sure, the act of growing the beard is relatively passive but the maintenance and daily grooming routine is far from passive.

The longer a beard gets it looks worse and worse if it is allowed to “do what it wants”. This is where people who only want to think about their facial hair once every few weeks have to stick with short styles or stubble length beards.

Owning a beard that will make you look better will require more effort than a cleanly shaven face but, in my experience, it has been well worth the time that I put into it. And, as you get more and more used to grooming your beard, you have to spend less and less time actively engaged in grooming. You will come up with systems and find products that streamline your daily grooming routine.

Paying for products

Beard growing can be free. After all, you have everything you need on your face to start growing a beard. Because it is relatively easy to grow a beard once your body has access to a significant amount of testosterone, there are many beards which grow because the owners priority is not their face.

However, once your Beard gets to a certain length you will need to use products (whether commercially bought or made in a DIY style) to control and maintain your beard.

This is because beards need to be well hydrated to stop them from becoming frizzy and damaged. Dehydration comes from a combination of beard oil, leave in beard conditioners, a dedicated beard soap – and many more products like that.

The good news is that beard products aren’t necessarily expensive.

You can pick up a relatively good brand of beard soap beard oil for less than US$20. Each one of these products should be used sparingly and so last a surprising amount of time. Having and growing a beard is not an expensive process but it does require a little bit more money than if you were to be clean shaven.

The basics of beard growing can soon add up. From hairdryers and trimmers to beard oil and wax everything costs a little bit of money – maybe money that could blow out your budget.

At a minimum you will need:

  • A comb or brush – $6 – $20
  • A hairdryer – $15 – $50
  • Beard trimmer – $20 – $110
  • Scissors – $7 – $30
  • Beard oil – $12 – $20
  • Shaver and blades – $10 – $30
  • Optional:
    • Beard wax – $11 – $23
    • Travel comb – $8 – $13

This means that growing a beard could cost you $70 – $260 to start and then a quarterly payment for beard oil and wax etc. Getting your beard cut by a professional will all cost somewhere between $60 and $150 per trim. It can soon add up over the course of a year.

Daily maintenance

Arguably, the most effort at beard takes is in the morning. This happens every morning irrespective of how I’m feeling or what I want to do that day.

Every other day I wash my beard with beard shampoo but I get my beard completely wet every single day. I then blowdry the beard to how I wanted to sit and use beard oil and wax sparingly until I get it to stay into the shape that I wanted to stay in.

If there are any hairs which are very hard to control I will use a pair of scissors to trim the flyaway hair is so that the lines of my beard remain fresh and even. Here is a YouTube video of my morning beard grooming routine.

If you are not willing to put in this level of effort your beard not look as good as you wanted to.

Monthly maintenance

Monthly is when I take a bit of time on a Saturday or Sunday to make sure that my beard is trimmed to how I want it. Every month I do a harder trim under my chin and shape up anything that throws off the line of my beard.

I have a full guide available on what I do with photos – click here.

Taking the time once a month allows you to rebalance the beard that you have to the beard that you want.

The question is – when do you need a professional to look over your beard and take it to the next level of style?

Paying for a professional barber

To make your beard look better you should consider paying for a professional barber as often as you can afford it. I have only been to a professional barber twice since growing my beard.

There are just some times where your beard needs extra attention from a professional. The professional stylist will be able to give you all of the insider tricks and solve all of your specific Beard problems because they have seen them all before.

If you are willing to pay about US$50 per visit to a barber then that’s how you will know if you are able to afford that professional touch to your beard.

Ultimately, there is only one real way to know if your beard will make you look better and that is to grow it out.

Grow it out for at least 3 months

Beard growing requires a load of patience and you need to be able to grow your beard without trimming it for at least three months before you can decide whether or not your beard makes you look better.

The things to look for during those three months are:

Things to look for:

Even coverage

If your beard has an even distribution of hairs from your sideburns, cheeks, chin, moustache, and jawline then you can be assured that you can grow a full style beard and trim it up into whatever shape you desire.

Density

The density of your beard growth will determine how thick it looks and if you can support longer styles of beard. You are looking for an even density and the denser the coverage the better.

Colour

Take note of the different colours in your beard. It is very unlikely that your beard will be one colour and will be a mixture of oranges, brown, black, greys, and blonde hairs. As long as there is not a significant deviation in hair colour in any particular part of your face your beard will be perfect to grow out. By the way, even if your beard hair deviates significantly as long as you are comfortable with the shades on different parts of your face that is all that matters.

Direction of growth

Also, pay close attention to the direction of growth in the first three months. You may notice things like cowlicks, swells, and weird growth directions which go completely against every patch of hair surrounding it.

Being aware of your growth directions means that you can choose styles which will cover up, or support, areas of your beard where growth direction may cause gaps and other issues. Beard cowlicks are a common feature in people’s beers and as long as you are aware of them, there are a lot of things that you can do to make them less obvious.

Curliness

The curliness of your beard will also determine what sort of beard you can grow. A very dense curly beard will suit people who want medium to longer length styles as there is enough hair density to make it not look thin.

All of these things will enable you to determine whether or not you will look better with a beard. Being aware of each of these factors is the first step in determining the best beard shape and style to suit your growth style and density et cetera.

Choose a style that’ll suit your growth pattern

I think this is the number one issue when people grow a beard – they do not grow a beard that supports their growth pattern but rather that they grow a beard that someone else has.

Each person has very specific growth patterns and no two beards are the same.

You can use other people’s beers as inspiration for your beard but you shouldn’t they will almost certainly have a different face shape to you as well as different strong and weak points about their beard.

In short, you should grow a beard that highlights the best parts of your beard whilst hiding or minimising the obviousness of the weaker components. If you are lucky, you will be able to grow a full beard with no issue and your face shape may be able to support a range of different beard styles.

Look at people’s reactions

As you are growing a beard you can also judge whether or not you look better with or without a beard by monitoring people’s reactions. However, you have to be aware that a beard brings out the worst and best comments from people.

This is probably one of the worst ways to determine whether or not you look good with a beard because my beard has comments ranging from “it looks horrible” all the way to “you have an awesome beard, dude”. It just depends on whether or not the person likes beards.

Unless this person is your significant other, boss or manager, you really shouldn’t care what other people think about it rather judge your beard on how you feel about it. I love my beard because I enjoy the process of trimming it up and I think that on its good days it really does look great. And that is what growing a beard is all about…

Summary

In this article we have looked at how to work out if you would look better with a beard. Ultimately, you have to be very aware of your beard’s strengths and what would best suit your growth pattern and density. I am in no doubt that, if you have the time and interest in maintaining a beard, you can look awesome with a beard!

The great thing about growing a beard is that within as little as three months you can start to decide whether or not you look better and, importantly, if you feel like it is the right thing for you. If not, you can shave it off within a matter of minutes and return to your clean shaven self.

You really have nothing to lose – give it a go!

The Author


Andy Stapleton

Andy is a writer and YouTuber with a PhD in science. He has written and/or produced videos for Science Alert, COSMOS magazine, and Australia's Science Channel among others. He is an avid beard grower and after many years of growing and trialing different beard styles, he started this blog to share the tips, tricks, and science that he has learned along the way!