Beards have been intrinsically linked to masculinity and manhood since the dawn of time.
In ancient Mesopotamia, men devoted themselves to nurturing and developing their facial forests. It was not uncommon for them to use tongs and curling irons to create complex patterns.
The highest ranking officials in ancient Egypt grew their chin hairs out, and often dyed the resulting goatee a reddish-brown color, to signify that they were at the top of the food chain. In ancient India, a long beard was representative of dignity and of wisdom.
Fast forwarding a bit to 2016, the beard still holds a place in our culture. Although an epic beard still conjures notions of wisdom and power, the modern mane can also serve as an individual display of style.
When it comes to styling a beard, the possibilities are endless and only limited by how quick you can grow out your mane.
Even though there are countless styles to choose from, there are a few ways to sculpt your face forest that have not only withstood the test of time, but remain extremely popular as well.
In no particular order, here’s a few top ways to style your beard, with a little information on how to approach the style should you explore your heart and find that it is the only way for you to put your facial hair on display.
“The Standard” – One of the most common ways to maintain a beard is often referred to as the standard, and is also known as a circle beard. To achieve this clean, rounded look, combine a fully developed mustache with a wide goatee. The result is a classic look that allows you to present yourself professionally to any audience while maintaining the wild, free spirit that spawned your beard-quest.
“The Full Beard” – It’s one of the most common styles of facial hair, and for good reason. This beard shows that you are dedicated to the growth and nurturing of your mane through it’s well-groomed, thick and full appearance. If you’re going for this look, make sure you are giving you beard regular, light trimmings and are using oils and balms.
“Mutton Chops” – Not for the faint of heart, this classic style has been around for hundreds of years and spawns from a past definition for sideburns, which back in the day were epicly bushy and always went down to the chin. If you are wanting to channel famous Civil War General Ambrose Burnside by giving mutton chops a side, let your sideburns and mustache grow until the meet each other. Once that is achieved, shave the hair on your chin up to your lower lip.
“The Gandalf” – Pretty self-explanatory. You aren’t trying to fool anyone if you’re going for this look. You are a wise man who craves epic adventure and your long, vast beard showcases that. To get the look, just let it grow and don’t stop, even if you’re worried an all-powerful ring is about to destroy the world.
“The Chin Strap” – This style is very similar to mutton chops, with the exception of its size and required maintenance. A chin strap relies on sharp lines and not much width to accentuate your natural jawline. A smart rule to keep in mind when going for this look is to increase the thickness and width of your straps depending on how wide and round your face is.
“The Middle Ground” – As the name suggests, this beard is right in the middle of the road when it comes to beard. It’s not stubbly, but it’s not on its way to full wizard status. This beard showcases a cleanly trimmed neckline, with a cleanly kept medium level of hair.
“Stubble” – This is a look made famous by celebrities for its ability to give off the “I partied with models all night and did not have time to shave this morning” vibe. To achieve this look, simply don’t shave for a day or two depending on how quickly your beard grows out. Once you get the stubble you desire, use a trimmer to keep it at that length.
“The Ducktail” – This beard focuses outward with the chin hairs forming a solid point, often through the use of wax or balm. If you’re going for this look, simply cutting the hair near you lower lip like you would for a goatee is a great way to accentuate the tail you are trying to achieve. If you’re feeling particularly creative, braid the tail!