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Growing a beard is easy. Choosing a shape, length, and aesthetic for that beard? Not so much. Whether you like a rugged salt-and-pepper beard or are searching for something a bit more groomed-looking, the wealth of celebrity influences and options can make choosing a beard style that fits your personality a daunting task.
We’ve scoured the internet for the best and most relevant beard styles and facial hair types in 2018. If you’re seeking to update a style you’ve worn for years (here’s looking at you, guy who religiously trims his stubble every day) or refine a beard look you love, this is your new favorite point of reference.
Scroll down to see the beard styles taking over the hair world in 2018.
In the past decade, the world has undeniably become a more casual place. We wear denim to work, athleisure is a socially acceptable look, and tousled hair is all the rage. That means instead of growing a laboriously trimmed and shaped beard, you can embrace your natural texture and shape.
Allow your beard to grow out a bit between trips to the barber, but make sure you’re regularly moisturizing with a beard-specific formula and combing through your facial hair. The result will be a touchable, relaxed look that’s a fit for work or play.
Casual isn’t everyone’s forte. If you’d rather button up a collar than be seen in a t-shirt, the sharply trimmed beard made be a good fit for you. With an emphasis on crisp lines, the sharp beard is best on men who have no problem growing lush facial hair. The geometric shape makes any patchiness more evident, so you’ll want to be sure to fill in any blank spaces with a beard touch-up product.
If you’re interested in the sharp beard, have your barber sit you down for an in-depth tutorial on maintaining those all-important lines. You don’t want to accidentally dip your blade in too far and (yikes!) have to shave everything off.
Tapered haircuts dominate the world of men’s styling, so it only makes sense that those techniques would make their way into beards as well. Instead of directly connecting to your haircut, the taper beard subtly fades away.
While we love the look of a taper beard, it’s a style that’s more high maintenance than your average 5 o’clock shadow. To ensure you’re maintaining the shadowed effect, visit your barber regularly.
Everyone loves stubble. Men use it as a way to highlight their jawlines or bask in the glory of not having to shave every day. Stubble is a low maintenance way to try facial hair, one without any risks or commitment. If it’s your first time dabbling in beard culture, this might be your first step toward a full-on lumberjack look.
One note of caution: Although you’re not working with a Father Time beard, that’s no excuse to ignore the lower third of your face entirely. Even stubble should be regularly moisturized with a beard oil to help soften the feel of beard hairs while keeping them hydrated.
Hold your laughs, please. The chin strap has something of a comedic reputation, meaning barbers and clients alike don’t always take it seriously. However, we’re here to argue for the chin strap as a way of defining the jawline and avoiding overwhelming the face.
If you’re just starting to wear facial hair, consider a faded chin strap as a starting point. From there, you can graduate into whichever full beard style appeals to you most.
Not everyone can grow a full beard, so barbers have come up with creative solutions for even the most follicularly wanting to wear facial hair. Try the fade beard, which starts strong around the chin and mouth before tapering out. It’s an excellent next step after you’ve given stubble a try.
The goatee is yet another beard style that isn’t taken as seriously as we’d like it to be. In this look, the focal point becomes the mouth. A moustache above and some chin hair below frame it nicely, which is probably why so many romantic leads in the movies wear this exact style.
If you’d like to commit to some kind of a beard but get nervous about all the straight lines and trimming involved, the goatee may be right for you. With a little patience, anyone can keep a goatee in line.
There is something about the long beard that’s irresistible to men and women alike. It’s stereotypically masculine, but there’s still something intriguing about man growing out and caring for so much long hair. In other words: If you can, grow out a long beard at least once in your lifetime.
All that extra length doesn’t mean eschewing care, however. Use a beard oil and comb (from the L’Oréal portfolio of products, we love Baxter of California’s Beard Comb) to maintain your facial hair, keeping it feeling soft and looking orderly.
The full beard is another no-brainer, a universally flattering style that men have worn throughout history. If you often feel resentful of your baby face or just wonder what it would be like to have a beard, give yourself a few weeks free of the razor. You’ll be surprised how liberating having facial hair can feel.
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