The Right Beard Shape for Your Long Face

The Right Beard Shape for Your Long Face

Long-faced sounds so … well, sad. But not every man with a long face is melancholic. Check out long-faced celebs such as Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine, and movie stars Johnny Depp and Cuba Gooding Jr.; they all have prominent foreheads, slender cheeks and strong, angular jawlines, the telltale signs of a long face -- and not a one looks morose.

Maybe we should just call it a “long-looking” face. The silhouette is mostly an optical illusion anyway. And this is where carefully chosen and cared-for facial hair can help. The right style can break the illusion and recast your face.

Do I Have A Long Face?
“Knowing the shape of your face tells you what you can or cannot do,” says Martial Vivot, founder of Martial Vivot Salon Pour Hommes in New York City. To figure out what shape your face is, first look at your jaw, says Vivot: “Most of the time, the jaw is what is defining the face. If it is round, then you have a round face (see last month’s Style and Tech for Men post on facial hair for men with round faces ). If it is wide and leads to a point at the chin, then your face looks longer. But there is more to it than that.

If your hairline is receding or your forehead is just naturally big, your face will look longer by the simple fact that there this is more of face for the world to see. If you wear a buzz cut, that illusion is even furthered.

And if your cheeks look somewhat gaunt (not unhealthy, mind you), that too will add to the length of your face.

Getting Started
First, consider something horizontal, like a moustache, to break up the length of your face. No, moustaches are not just ’70s throwbacks. James Franco and Brad Pitt have both recently worn lean-but-wide moustaches and looked great.

Tips: Keep it trimmed, not bristly. Nothing covering the the lip, and nothing down past the mouth on the sides -- otherwise you will look like Tom Selleck in “Magnum P.I.” Look to Franco for an A+ moustache. He kept it neat, and it worked as an exclamation point to his warm smile.

If you think mustaches are just for old geezers, then try what Vivot calls a “five-day shadow,” which is longer than the typical five o’clock shadow, but clipped short.

“A shadow is always good for balancing,” says Vivot. “With an oval face or a skinny face, a long face, it’s always a good look. It adds depth and evens things out.”

Make sure you can still see the skin of your cheeks through the stubble, though. Trim the edges with the edge of a clipper. Don’t let scruff creep down your neck. Stop the hair just under the chin and completely shave the area under your chin and down your neck to enhance the horizontal line of your jaw.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Aaron Krach, former grooming editor of Cargo magazine, is a writer and editor based in New York City. His work has appeared in InStyle, Out, and TimeOut New York, as well as on Aaron is a frequent contributor to Style and Tech for Men.


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