There are beards. There are mustaches. And then, there are goatees.
Named after the tuft of hair on a goat's chin, the humble facial hair style is often overlooked in favor of a full beard or a solo mustache. But as you'll see below, the right goatee beard style can be incredibly suave.
What is a Goatee?
A goatee beard is defined as a facial hair style with cleanly-shaven cheeks and hair along the upper lip and chin. While a traditional goatee features a connective line of hair between the two, some modern variations go without.
By removing all cheek hair and sideburns, goatees can be used to emphasize or draw attention away from certain features. In general, they help to slim and elongate the face. Keep the angle of your jaw and the shape of your chin in mind when picking a goatee style.
How to Find the Right Goatee Beard Style for Your Facial Hair
Goatee beards can vary widely by shape, hair length, and overall styling. Nailing the subtle differences between variations can be the difference between looking like a spy movie villain and looking like a red carpet-ready star.
Below, we've highlighted popular goatee styles to help you find the best one for your face shape and aesthetic aims. Not sure which one is right for you? Ask your barber to help you find your most flattering shape at your next appointment.
Best for Slim Faces
The original goatee features hair along the chin and soul patch but not the upper lip. Without a mustache, it accentuates slim faces by drawing attention to the chin. Plus, it's an excellent option for men who struggle with hair growth above their upper lip.
Most Universally Flattering
When most people envision a goatee beard, they think of a full goatee. Sometimes known as a circle beard, the style features facial hair covering the chin and upper lip connected by a thin strip of hair reminiscent of a handlebar mustache. A clean shave along the cheeks creates a defined look, while a bit of stubble lends a more lived-in feel.
When it comes to length, the circle beard can be as long or short as you'd like. Grow it full like Hugh Jackman, or keep it short and stubbly like Leonardo DiCaprio.
Best for First-Time Goatee wearers
As the name suggests, a disconnected goatee features a mustache, soul patch, and chin hair— minus the connective strips of other goatee styles. Each part can be adjusted in length and width to suit most face shapes and create a wide variety of end results. Their versatility makes them an excellent option for men who struggle to grow full, even facial hair.
Best for Heart-Shaped Faces
The anchor goatee is named for the nautical anchor that resembles in shape. Its inverted T-shape features a pointy mustache and a soul patch connected to a chin strap beard highlighting the jawline. Celebrities like Robert Downey Jr. and Johnny Depp prefer to keep their mustaches short and pencil-like.
Van Dyke Goatee
Best for Diamond-Shaped Faces
The controversial Van Dyke Goatee is named after a 17th-century painter who sported the style. Today, it's a statement-making style popular with hipsters and facial hair aficionados. The T-shaped goatee features a long, pointed mustache with a disconnected soul patch and chin beard.
For a subtler take on the goatee beard trend, try a stubble goatee. The nearly clean-shaven look boasts the same shape as a full goatee with a far closer shave. Leaving a hint of facial hair accentuates the wearer's bone structure and makes them appear effortlessly suave and sophisticated.
The soul patch— a small chin beard patch below the lower lip— needs no introduction. It's a timeless goatee style that can easily be adapted to suit your bone structure and desired look. Wear it solo, or pair it with a beard or mustache.
Best for Oblong Faces
Dubbed "The Hollywoodian," the extended goatee is a popular style among A-Listers like David Beckham and Leonardo Dicaprio. The style pairs a classic goatee and mustache with an extended line of hair along the jawline. Different looks can be created by adjusting the angle and overall shape of the beard hair.
Best Goatee style for Round Faces
The chin goatee (often called a chin beard) is a variation of a traditional goatee, where the soul patch and chin hair are grown long. This added length allows for greater creativity when it comes to styling. Adjusting the length, width, and overall shape can help flatter, rounder faces.
Best for Patchy Facial Hair
A chin puff is precisely what it sounds like: a small patch of hair right under the chin. The cheeks, neck, and upper lip are given a clean shave, and the hair on the chin is trimmed as short or as long as its wearer would like. It's an excellent option for men who struggle to grow the full, even facial hair required for a true beard.
The fashionable Balbo beard is named after a famous Italian military leader Italo Balbo. It features a floating mustache paired with a small soul patch and a beard extending along the jawline. Neatly trimmed, the style exudes old-school sophistication.
Tips: To keep up with whichever style of goatee beard you choose, a weekly trim with a guarded beard trimmer is recommended. For a chin beard, it's better to use trimming scissors instead of a beard trimmer. Be sure to finish off with a blob of beard balm or beard oil to condition and moisturize your hair.