Men's Grooming

How to find the best mustache and beard styles for your face shape

2.30 min read
The best beard styles for your face shape mobile

Tips on choosing the right mustache or the best beard for the face shape you have.


The great thing about the abundance of hair on the male form is that there are so many ways to alter the way you look. This might mean a change of hairstyle, new facial hair or – ahem – simply tidying up your body hair. The important thing is to find a grooming routine that works with what you have, be that picking a haircut that works with your natural sense of style or the right mustache or beard for the face shape you’ve got. Let’s start with the latter.

How to find good beard styles for your face shape


Choosing a good beard style can be hard, especially if you’ve never experimented much in the past. Your first step is to look at your face and figure out the shape it actually makes: is it round, oval, square, rectangular/oblong, triangular (where the jaw is wider than the forehead), or heart-shaped (the opposite to the triangular)? No wishful thinking here: know thyself, then get to know your beard.

Once that’s sorted, it’s time to choose between the best beard styles for the face shape you have:

Beards for round faces

The round face is flattered by beards and goatees that add length and/or definition. The stiletto beard (full, but with with a pointed tip) and the Van Dyke are both good options.
Beards for oval faces

Beards for oval faces

Congratulations, you’ve won the face shape lottery: pretty much anything goes for oval face shapes. Just stay away from pointed beards, like the stiletto, which can upset the balance of your face.
Beards for square faces

Beards for square faces

A clean, square jaw is the envy of all, so we won’t be surprised if you want to show it off with a clean shave, or one of the more sculpted goatees (chin strap, soul patch, etc.). The full beard, stiletto beard, scruffy beard, and stubble are also good beard styles for this face shape. That said, keep your beard jawline rounded or pointed: you can be too chiseled.
Beards for rectangular faces

Beards for rectangular/oblong faces

You want to avoid lengthening your face, so avoid long beards that end in a point. Instead, try beards and goatees that draw the attention upward, like the Van Dyke or Balbo beards.
Beards for heart-shaped faces

Beards for heart-shaped faces

Aw, cute. The heart-shaped face calls for a beard that adds greater weight to your jaw. Short or full beards are therefore good options, but a good layer of scruffy beard can do you a world of favors with less commitment. 
Beards for triangular faces

Beards for triangular faces

The opposite problem. Here you’ll want to add as little weight to your jaw as possible, so closely-cropped styles are a good bet. Try maintaining some designer stubble with an (optional) mustache for added character. 

See more below ↓

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Beard styles

How to find good mustache styles for your face shape

Mustaches bring a lot of character, so they can be tougher to choose than beards. So here’s some advice on on how to choose a style that suits your features from mustache expert Dr. Allan Peterkin*:

 

“When choosing a facial hairstyle, consider the size of your facial features … The right style should complement your face without overpowering it or being overpowered by it.”

 

So when it comes to the ‘tache, finding the best facial hair for the face shape you’re working with is essentially a matter of balance. Dr. Peterkin has the following (essential) tips:

  • “If you’ve got large facial features (mouth, nose, eyes, and chin), go for a larger, bushier mustache or beard style. It will balance out your facial features and provide a softer look.” 
  • “If you have a prominent nose, consider a larger, thicker mustache such as a Chevron, Painter’s Brush or Handlebar, but steer clear of thinner designs.”
  • “A long, narrow face requires a narrow-to-medium-sized mustache that’s not too heavy in length or design. Stick to shorter styles and skinnier lines, such as the Clark Gable, Chaplin, or Military mustaches. Stay away from styles with vertical lines – such as the Horseshoe – that will only accentuate the length of your face.”
  • “If you’ve got an extra-large mouth, choose an angular style such as the Pyramid mustache, that’s narrow at the top and wide at the bottom. The variety in length and angles will minimize the size of your mouth.”
  • “Don’t overpower a smallish mouth with a big, bushy mustache. Instead, go for a shorter style. Growing the ‘stache a little past the corners of your mouth will make your mouth appear a bit larger.”
  • If you’ve got a wide mouth with a big upper lip, consider a large, bushy mustache with a parting that divides the mustache into two sections.”

* Reprinted with permission from the book ‘The Bearded Gentleman: The Style Guide to Shaving Face’ by Allan Peterkin and Nick Burns (Arsenal Pulp Press)

Find out more 

For more tips on finding good mustaches and beards for face shapes ranging from round to square, check out our guide to mustache styles here and our list of the best beard styles here

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