Your beard can do many things. It can protect your skin from sun damage, keep you warm in cold weather, and even boost your confidence by making you feel and look more attractive. But, did you know that your beard can also help cure cancer? Who knew that putting down your razor for 30 days could have such an impact? No-Shave November is a month-long, hairy adventure in which people refrain from shaving and grooming to save lives and raise cancer awareness.
As a tribute to No-Shave November and those battling cancer, Zenore highlights beard styles for men based on three different factors. From the bold and beautiful to the subtle and sublime, sacrificing your shave to help others doesn't mean you have to walk around for a month looking like a patch of porcupines took up residency on your face. Look good and feel great by trying one of these styles on for size. Who knows? No-Shave November may be the catalyst for a more permanent transformation of your look!
Related Article: Why A Daily Skin & Beard Care Routine Is Crucial for Black Men
There are a few crucial factors to consider when deciding on a beard style that best suits you, the most important being the shape of your face.
Not all beard styles are created equal. Any style can look great on one guy, but not so much on someone else. This is often due to the shape of the face. Not sure what shape your face is? Grab a notepad and a tape measure and follow these easy steps:
- Measure Your Forehead – Beginning at the top of one of your eyebrow arches, measure across to the peak of your other eyebrow arch. This is the broadest area of your forehead. Write down your measurement.
- Measure Your Cheekbones – Record the distance between each of your cheekbones' crests, which is usually under the furthest corner of your eyes.
- Measure Your Jawline - The widest area of your jawline is typically an inch below your earlobes). Measure from there down to your chin, double the measurement and write it down.
- Measure The Length of Your Face - Stretch the tape measure from the center of your hairline to the point of your chin. Write down your measurement.
You can now take the measurements you've recorded and compare them to the characteristics of the seven most common face shapes. Focusing on the largest measurement will help you quickly figure out your face type, and once you know your face type, you can choose a beard that compliments your shape.
If the largest measurement you recorded was your forehead, with your cheekbones and jawline incrementally smaller, your face shape is triangular. Triangle-shaped faces will vary in length.
When matching a facial shape to a beard style, the goal should always be to achieve balance by emphasizing the weak characteristics and highlighting the dominating ones. Because of the narrowing jawline of the triangular-shaped face, the ideal beard styles for it are those that offer a little width and definition to the sides of the jaw, which helps balance out the pointed jaw and makes your face look more oval.
However, you don't need to distinguish or hide anything about the triangular face because it already has well-defined and angular features. Its crisp features mean you don't need well-shaped facial hair to balance out any softness or roundness. Because the triangular face shape is also noted for its attractive defined angles and sharp edges, a nice heavy stubble with beard growth of approximately ten days, can occasionally suffice as a beard style. The stubble look provides the jaw some definition while not hiding the inherent characteristics beneath.
If your forehead, cheeks, and jawline have equal measurements, your face shape is rectangular or oblong. More than anything, the oblong face form is distinguished by its length, which is significantly greater than that of any other face shape. From the tip of your (usually inclined) chin to your hairline, your face height is typically nearly twice as much as the breadth of your face. For comparison, the length of an oval face is 1.5 times that of a round face, and the height and width of a round face are equal. It's worth noting that if you have a long face with a sharp chin and wide cheekbones, you no longer have an oblong face shape; instead, you have a diamond face shape.
Facial hairstyles that are long and sharp at the chin should be avoided by men with oblong faces, as they will just stretch your already long face and make it appear utterly out of proportion. An oblong face shape is better suited to stubble beards of varying lengths. A stubble doesn't add any length to your already long face but instead adds some scruff and roughness.
The heavy stubble look is often voted the sexiest beard style, so if it's a good fit for your face shape, you might want to give it a try. You can decide which stubble style is best for you. A light stubble (also called a 5 o'clock shadow) measures 0.4mm in length and grows in a day. A medium, designer stubble is typically 2-3mm long and grows in 3-5 days. And a heavy stubble typically grows in 10 days and is 4-5mm long. If you have an oblong face, any of these will probably look great on you.
If your cheekbone and facial length are nearly the exact sizes, where both are larger than the forehead and the jawline, you have a round face shape. The challenge of a round face is its lack of height at the forehead and jaw, which, when combined with wide cheekbones, creates the appearance of a basketball. If your round face lacks angularity in your jawline and facial features, this will amplify the roundness and give you a boyish-looking face.
Round-faced guys should always start with beard styles that add length, not width, to the face.
In addition to using things like glasses and certain hairstyles, you can make it appear longer and more oval-shaped with a beard style that adds balance to your round face shape.
When looking for the best beard styles for a round face, go for a style that emphasizes the jaw and chin. The beard should have adequate length at the bottom to give the impression of a longer face, giving the illusion that your face is oval rather than round.
Faded beard styles are also an excellent fit for round-faced guys since they begin with relatively short lengths at the upper sideburns and gradually expand in length as the cheeks get lower and lower. This lengthens your face and helps to detract attention from its roundness.
Many beard styles can look great on a round-shaped face as long as the sides are kept short. The more length you add, the less round and more oval your face will appear. It's also important to remember that no matter your face's shape, you won't do your face any favors by allowing your beard to grow scraggly and unkempt.
If your facial length is longer than your cheekbones, sometimes with the jawline being less than the forehead, you have an oval-shaped face.
Because oval faces are often considered to be the most symmetrically attractive, guys with this shape can try almost any beard style without worrying about how it would influence the symmetry. Short sides and a broader length are frequently just as appealing as bushy sides and a shorter length. Most beard styles will complement your bone structure as long as you don't cut harsh angles into it. This versatility stems from having both square and round elements, so you don't have to worry about balancing anything.
What you can focus on is keeping whatever beard you choose in good shape. Then, you might want to experiment until you find a timeless, classic look that every other face shape dreams they could achieve. The beard you want is squared at the jaw, with crisp lines on the cheeks, short on the sides, and clipped underneath. This style combines the weight of a full beard with the definition that a hipster beard frequently lacks.
While face shape is important when deciding which beard style to choose, the thickness of the beard you can grow should also be considered. Before settling on a beard style, you should grow your beard out to see what you're working with. Allow at least a month for things to grow out. After a few weeks, you can predict what kind of beard you will be able to grow just by looking at the texture and density of your facial hair. Some men will have thick, full beards, while others will have patchy beards. What beard styles are available to you will be determined by the thickness of your beard growth.
You have additional style options if your beard is thick. If your facial hair grows thick and full, you can choose a style that is closely clipped to your face or one that is grown out.
Your beard styling options will be more limited if your beard grows patchy and sparse. If that's you, keep your beard short. Trying to grow a long beard will just make it look stringy and unkempt. This isn't to say that you can't have facial hair. You will just want to consider options like stubble or neatly clipped beards. Chinstrap beards, which were fashionable in the late 1990s, were popular among men with patchy beards because they make it difficult to grow facial hair on the cheeks. However, you should probably consider other options unless you think you have the mojo to bring back a style that was short-lived and never really looked that great.
Another thing to consider before choosing a beard style is your facial features. While the shape of your face is undoubtedly a facial feature, these are things like weak jawlines, double chins, and hairlines. Any beard you choose should complement your entire appearance, so it is important not to think one-dimensionally when considering your choices. Regardless, if you're dead bent on sporting a specific beard style, don't let your facial features or face shape stop you. Your face – your beard.
As you consider your options for growing your beard this No-Shave November, remember that the beard style you choose is not one you're stuck with forever. You'll still have plenty of options to choose from if the result isn't quite what you had in mind. If you don't like what you've grown out, shave it down to the skin and start over. Your face will always be your canvas as long as your whiskers are still growing. Have fun with it, learn a little, and help a worthy cause that has touched all of us throughout the years.