The Right Beard Shape for Your Square Face

The Right Beard Shape for Your Square Face

Guys don’t usually covet each other’s … proportions. Well, at least not openly. But in the facial hair department, one face shape is heads above the rest. Barbers and stylists agree that square-faced men with healthy hair can sport whatever facial hairstyle they want -- within reason, of course. No ZZ Top monster bushes allowed -- unless you’re actually in ZZ Top.

“Men with square faces have so many options,” says Jeffrey Yabut, master barber at Hommage Atelier in New York City. “So I usually start by asking other questions. Can you grow a full beard, or does your hair come in patchy? And I think it’s good to ask about personality and where the person works. I like to combine all that info with the shape of the client’s face to determine what kind of facial hair to give that person.”

Square Advice

To determine if you have the coveted square face, look at your jawline. “It’s a good way to decide what shape face you have,” says Yabut. With a prominent jaw, square and rectangular facial features such as forehead or cheekbones, chances are you have a square-shaped face, like Matt Damon or Arnold Schwarzenegger.

As with picking a style for other common face-shapes, balance is key. (See Round Face here  and Long Face here ). To balance the proportions of a square face means to add a bit of roundness and soften the edges.

“You can lighten up the jaw to be less square,” says Yabut, “with a shadow -- a five o’clock shadow, but groomed. Let your beard grow for a couple of days and then trim it with a clipper and a No. 1 guard. Keep the check lines rounded. I like a half-moon shape for the temple to the upper lip.”

Square-faced men can also wear a style of beard called the Chin Strap. It’s a linear beard, usually a thin and short line that outlines the jaw and wraps around the mouth. “I like clean lines,” says Yabut. “The style can actually soften up a square face.”

Grooming Tips

Once your facial hair has grown in, take care of it. “Treat your beard like you do the hair on your head. Use shampoo and conditioner to keep it clean and soft.” Yabut also recommends facial wash and moisturizer. This will keep the skin from becoming dry and itchy.

“Leave the neck out of it,” says Yabut. “Finish any beard above the Adam’s apple and keep the neck clean.”

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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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