Men's Grooming

Matching up hair and beard styles: A guide

2 min read
Matching up hair and beard styles: A guide

Find the perfect hairstyle-and-beard combination.


Matching your beard and hairstyle is an entirely personal decision, and for good reason. Just as a guy wearing a tux is sending a completely different message to his identical twin in a Hawaiian shirt, the various mustache, hair and beard styles drop their own unique hints about what you’re like. Here are a few helpful hints on how to find a combination that says all the right things.
Gable style

1) Think about what you want your beard – and hairstyle – to say

Start off by thinking about the message you want to send, and the hair and beard styles that fit nicely with it. For example, wearing a Clark Gable pencil ‘stache might hint that you’re sophisticated and suave, like the man himself. Rocking the scruffy beard can be a subtle way of saying you just roll out of bed looking this handsome. Hair past your shoulders? Metal … or groovy. One of those two. With this in mind, you can then …

2) Mix your messages with different hairstyle and beard combinations

Once you know what you want to say with your grooming, do some mixing and matching. You can go for facial hair that amplifies the message your haircut is already sending (see: cop ‘stache plus buzz cut) to build a strong uniform look. Or you can defy expectations with an edgier mismatch, like a sharp undercut with a classic old-timey handlebar mustache.

The only limit here is not to get too on-theme with your clothes, beard and hair, or the overall effect can get slightly character-in-a-kids’-book. Don’t go full Hagrid, is what we’re saying.

Still, experiment, and see what you get. Total transformation is just a trim away. You’ll likely have at least one disaster, but even then: it does grow back.

3) Take a look at the hairstyle and beard combinations available – and whittle them down

Long hair or short hair? Beard or mustache? Goatee or clean shave? There are a lot of options here. So it’s also worth thinking about which hair and beard styles are going to bring out your best features, and which are going to hide those areas you don’t like quite as much. You can, for example:

•    Balance the shape of your face. A full beard can help bulk out a narrow chin, while a textured fringe can disguise a high forehead. Try not to overdo it. You can use long hair or a stiletto beard to add length to a round face, but probably not both.
•    Keep things in proportion. While smallish, refined features may call for smallish, refined facial hair, larger features can be counter-balanced or even flattered by more dominant hair and beard styles. For example, a large nose is less prominent next to thicker scruff and tousled hair – and may even add to your roguish charm.
•    Show off. If you’ve got the square jaw of an old-school adventure hero, you can call it out with a style that essentially only you can pull off, like the chin strap or soul patch.
•    Draw the eye. At the same time, a more elaborate structured style like the Van Dyke can help pull round faces into focus, suggesting cheekbones that may or may not actually exist.

These tips aren’t necessarily hard-and-fast rules. Yes, it can help to take the shape of your face into account when deciding which beard and hairstyles to go for, but at the same time, it’s not worth taking too seriously. The final test is always going to be wearing the look.

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What you need

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Scruffy

4) Consider your lifestyle when choosing your hair or beard style

How much time are you willing to commit to grooming? If you’re the dapper type who doesn’t mind a thrice-weekly shave, the world is your oyster: no undercut, beard, goatee, mohawk or mustache will pose a challenge. If you’re generally a bit more low-maintenance with your grooming, you might want to go for something with more growing room, like a full or scruffy beard.

Meanwhile, independent, busy or thrifty types will value hair-and-beard combos that can be maintained easily at home. Just add clippers and a trimmer, and you don’t have to bother with the barber.

5) Try out plenty of different different hair and beard styles

We’ve said it before, but we’ll repeat: when there are hundreds of men's hair and beard styles to choose from, it doesn’t hurt to experiment. And (as with all things grooming-related) it helps to do your research. Check out our guides on the best beard styles available and matching your beard to your face shape next.

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