The Right Beard Shape for Your Round Face

The Right Beard Shape for Your Round Face

Trimming and shaping your sideburns, moustache or beard can keep you from looking like Tom Hanks in the film Castaway. But if you want to grow out your whiskers and still aspire to make People magazine’s annual “Sexiest Men Alive” list (as every man should), you have to choose the right facial hairstyle for your type of mug.

Fact: All men can grow facial hair. Fact: Not all types of facial hair look good on all men. Fact: The key to finding a facial hairstyle that will help you look your best, and hide any unsightly flaws you might have (and everyone does), lies in the shape of your face.

In this blog series, we will examine the different types of facial structures (round, long, square, large, small, and oval) and identify what facial hairstyle or styles are best suited for each. That way, if you choose to grow out sport whiskers, you can groom them into the right shape so you look like a rock star, instead of like you’re going live in your parent’s basement for the rest of your life.

It’s All About the Jaw
“The shape of your jaw is the shape of your face,” says Nick Burns, grooming guru and co-author of The Bearded Gentleman: The Style Guide to Shaving Face.

He recommends looking in the mirror and asking yourself a couple of related questions: Does my chin come to a point, or is it softer and less defined? And when I look at my profile, does it stand out or sort of disappear into my neck? If your answers tend to lean towards the latter, then you have a round face.

Recommendations for Round Faces
Strategically coifed facial hair can be used to enhance desirable facial features and hide weak ones. There’s two ways to go:

Create balance: For men with round faces, the more subtle option is to grow sideburns. Not lamb chops, but something strong enough to give your face some added length. “It’s a game of geometry,” says Burns. “Sideburns will narrow the face and give you a boundary, a vertical border, and give your face a frame.”

Exaggerate: The bolder option involves growing a beard that accentuates your jawline, giving it more prominence. A good style for this is the “short box.” It’s all about strong lines. The whiskers are limited to the cheeks, upper lip and chin, and should extend an inch or two beneath the chin. Not only does this style highlight your cheekbones, it can also camouflage a second (or third) chin, if need be. Remember to keep the goatee area around the chin square, hence the name “short box.” The hair from ear to jaw should be narrow, exposing the cheeks. And everything should be trimmed short using a No. 2 guide.

Photo: Getty Images

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Tags: Shaving , Style

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.