Lesson One: don’t confuse it with a Goatee. Goatees and Chin Patches are beard styles that live south of your mouth, not on top. They offer a tempting way to start growing a beard, and then before you know it, they’ve linked up with your mustache. Hello, Circle Beard.
Not that it always forms a perfect O. Sometimes a Circle Beard starts off that way and then mutates. Curves are all very well, but they can make you look fat. That’s why the Circle Beard is often curved on the top and bottom, but straight on the sides. The one defining factor about this beard style is therefore not its curves but its continuity. The beard goes all the way round your mouth in an unbroken line of pure hairiness.
But for some men, a simple circle will never be enough. They fill the tempting inner circle of bare skin with an extra style statement, such as a Soul Patch. They play around with different widths at the top, bottom and sides. They customize their Circle Beard by shaving interesting shapes into the area below their lower lip. The joy of a Circle Beard is that you can have anything from a totally clean center surrounded by thin lines to a full bush, plus all the options in between: Soul Patch, vertical central line, hairy X-shape, you name it. Creative freedom, here we come.
Of course, there’s also a hidden agenda. By shaving off everything but a circle (or whatever) of manliness around their mouth, men draw massive amounts of attention to this small area. The Circle Beard is designed to invite your eyes down to explore this focal point. “Kiss me! Kiss me! Kiss me!” this beard silently screams.
No wonder singers love the Circle Beard. Everyone from Robin Thicke to Kurt Cobain has had a Circle Beard. It’s a cute size for cameras to zoom in on, and it gives the audience something to concentrate on if they can’t stand the lyrics. In fact, the smallness of a Circle Beard is a great advantage for non-celebrities too: it’s an acceptable size to wear into the office, it offers a nice contrast between rough and smooth areas, and the beard still gives you lots of space to grow your sideburns.
So go circular. Or square. Or multi-faceted. But keep it short, and just remember not to let your Circle Beard grow into a thin little point under your chin. This beard style is meant to be a kind of circle, not a hairy lollipop.