Colin Farrell. Samuel L Jackson. Edward Norton. Brad Pitt. These are the kind of men whose facial hair choices are almost automatically respected. They are also all goatee wearers. It's no wonder it's seen such an emphatic return to fashion.
And that rejuvenation is no mistake – there's a lot of scope to craft a goatee into something that will truly grace your face. Most of us just don't realize that since there are so many different goatee styles for men to choose from, it’s simple enough to find one that works for you. Here are some of the best.
6 of the best goatee styles to try
1) The goatee with soul patch
Get your beard 'training wheels' A soul patch is a small hair tuft connecting a wearer's goatee to their lower lip, and it's a pretty easy style to achieve and maintain – indeed, soul patches have even been described as 'training wheels' for a full-on beard, although some more advanced goatee wearers may be a little offended at the accusation.
An emblem of '50s chic... Goatee beard styles that also incorporate a soul patch pay handsome homage to the 1950s artists and beatniks who made this low-maintenance facial hair option so popular, not to mention the jazz trumpeters who are said to have first introduced it out of rather more practical considerations.
... that remains relevant to the present day Of course, there's not much functional purpose to a soul patch now, but then, the same can be said of most goatee types. So fill your boots – and remember to regularly shave the rest of your face and reshape your patch with a stubble or precision trimmer. Keep your overall goatee and soul patch looking sharp.
2) The goatee with handlebar mustache (or ‘Balbo’)
A goatee beard style for the ruling class of hipster Among all the different goatee-and-mustache styles, this one might just be the holy grail of aristocratic hipsterdom: the goatee with a handlebar mustache, also known as the Balbo beard. We've written previously on the handlebar mustache, which somehow manages to exude both 19th-century upper-class sophistication and a hint of cowboy. Combining this 'tache with a goatee, however, helps to offset that slightly elitist look.
But it isn't actually that hard to achieve It takes a lot of diligence to grow a handlebar mustache, even when you don't have a goatee to worry about. But that doesn't necessarily make this combo the sole preserve of hardcore beardists. Quite the opposite – in the first week of 'tache-growing, also grow out a standard '90s goatee for a nicely complementary look.
Join the legends with this fabled mustache and goatee style The end results will be more than worthwhile – a lovely bushy handlebar 'tache that Wyatt Earp himself would have been proud of. Also, a goatee that he quite possibly wouldn't have been. Don't forget to invest in wax for the daily shaping of your mustache once it has grown in.
3) The chin puff
Not a goatee for shrinking violets Some goatee styles are shy, sitting on the face but not really putting themselves forward. The chin puff, though, is an entirely different beast. A thin, slightly elongated U-shaped beard that starts at the lower lip and extends down past the chin, there's a certain amount of dedication needed to actually grow and maintain it.
The steps to your dream chin puff The first step is to simply grow a conventional beard, which can then be shaped into any of the different mustache and goatee styles around. For the chin puff, shave inwards, starting at the ears and switching sides periodically. Once you get to the chin area, shave from side by side to achieve a nice central position for the chin puff itself, finishing off with a trimmer. An ideal facial hair pairing... When the chin puff is combined with a handlebar mustache, the result is a look that might have observers wondering whether you are a 19th century courtier who has just been teleported into 21st-century Britain. But of course, why should this combination be such a surprise? After all, the handlebar 'tache and the chin puff are both very proud styles.
Dip your toes in the water of goatee-dom This upside down teardrop number starts just beneath the lips and extends slightly beyond the chin. As the name suggests, it is a smaller, partial goatee that you might fancy trying if you are still indecisive about your longer-term participation in goatee-dom, or if you just struggle to achieve the facial hair growth required for larger goatee types.
A goatee that demands maintenance Like many other goatee styles, the petite goatee needs to be carefully groomed and manicured in order to maintain its subtle appeal. Nonetheless, a well-kept petite goatee can be a fine facial hair addition, giving you that touch of class without the need for a more substantial full beard.
But creating one is simple enough Your chin hairs need to be at least half an inch in length in order to be styled into a petite goatee, so you should resist shaving your chin hair during the early growing stages. Indeed, the process of growing a petite goatee basically involves spending two weeks growing a normal goatee before you get to work on shaping it into a petite goatee.
5) Goatee with connected mustache – also known as the circle beard
The goatee that breaks the sacred rule It is the mortal sin of goatee-dom: attaching it to a mustache. Goatee purists won't thank you for this one, constantly reminding you that any goatee that blends seamlessly with a 'tache simply isn't a goatee. And yet – it does look good.
Attack of the name game Also referred to as a circle beard, this trespasser into the world of mustache and goatee styles has been confused with 'true' goatees since at least the 1990s. This 'tache and goatee beard combo should also not be confused with the Van Dyke, which involves growing your goatee up towards your mustache without the two actually meeting.
Don't be afraid to experiment Circle beards offer plenty of scope for experimentation. Some are round, others are square, yet others are hexagonal – but in many ways, the most impressive thing about any circle beard is how neatly shaved its various angles are. Keep it well under control, or you’ll soon have a full beard on your hands.
6) The sparrow goatee
A goatee with true Hollywood appeal Johnny Depp has a lot to answer for in the goatee world, the least of which is this style named after his Pirates of the Caribbean character, Captain Jack Sparrow. You can achieve a Sparrow by shaving your face entirely except for your soul patch, before growing out the hair at the bottom of your chin until you are able to make two plaits.
This one has to be seen to be believed! The result is surely the most spectacular goatee of all, and definitely not the sole preserve of pirate fans. The full Jack Sparrow look isn't just about the goatee, however: it effectively combines multiple facial hair styles, including the goatee, chin strap and handlebar mustache.
Keep your Sparrow in tip-top shape Maintenance of this goatee style involves regular trimming, shaving and daily grooming, including the use of wax to help preserve the shape. Like other beards, the Sparrow can attract random bits of food, so keeping your goatee both clean and shaped is essential.
Find out more
Still on the fence about growing a goatee? Check out the best mustache styles and beard styles to review your options. And for tips on nailing your first goatee, our guide on how to grow a goatee is a good start.
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