Full beard, short beard, medium beard, stubble, which one of these beard styles is right for you? A wide variety of men nowadays want to give the bearded look a shot. So, if you’re one of those men, chances are you’re curious as to what length of beard is going to be right for you. This article is for you! Ultimately, we here at Volt want to give you an easy and no-nonsense guide to help you pick out the perfect beard length that suits you best.
We’ll be going over these main categories:
- Clean-Shaven (we all have to start somewhere)
- Stubble (0-3mm)
- Short Beard (4mm-15mm)
- Medium-Length Beard (16mm-7.5cm)
- Long Beard (7.5cm+)
So, before we begin, don’t forget that Volt has an awesome YouTube video on this same topic, you can watch it below or continue reading for the full info! And Subscribe to Volt by clicking HERE!
We all already know what it’s like to be clean shaven. At the very least, you’ve likely spent 16 years with a clean-shaven face. Being clean shaven is the most traditionally clean and “tidy” look, but that’s not what we’re here for today.
At Volt, we can’t lie, we’re partial to our beards. As a beard grooming and beard product company, our beard care is important to us. But chances are, if you’re reading this then you aren’t interested in being clean shaven anyways. So, let’s move on!
Clean shaven Pros:
- Always “in style.”
- No worrying about beard styling, shaping, or beard products.
Clean shaven Cons:
- Constant and unending shaving.
Certainly, any man’s first experience with facial hair is with Stubble. After all, you have to go through some stubble to get the beard regardless.
Stubble is easy to define. Essentially, stubble is when facial hair grows past the surface of the skin, but not so long that the individual hairs overlap themselves. Skin is still very visible underneath a stubble beard, which can take between 1 and 7 days to grow out evenly.
Stubble is a particular favorite among men who may have “baby faces.” This is because stubble breaks up the roundness in the face and helps define particular lines and angles in the face. Originally, stubble was seen as an “unkempt” facial hair style, but has transformed to become a much more fashionable way to wear one’s facial hair in a variety of situations.
Practically anyone can rock a stubble beard nowadays. Below are some cool images of ways to rock some stubble!
So, what are some benefits of a stubble beard? Firstly, stubble is easy to grow and can be grown quickly and without much difficulty. However, the disadvantage of a stubble beard is patchy and thin spots in your beard become increasingly noticeable. This is because the stubble has not grown out long enough to cover spots of little hair growth.
When it comes to a stubble beard, you really don’t have much maintenance to uphold. Just let it grow for a week or less, and trim consistently to maintain that length. Beard oil is going to be your friend for a stubble beard, and potentially some beard color if you’d rather get rid of your grays or make your beard appear fuller.
- Easy maintenance
- quick to grow
- Can look “dirty” or “dissheveled” if grown unevenly.
- Patchy areas ar noticeable.
Short Beard Length (4mm-15mm)
What is probably the most popular beard style nowadays is the classic and understated short beard. This style of beard occurs a ways past the stubble phase of beard growth. A Short beard is characterized as having minimally overlapping hairs, but overlapping enough to cover most of the bare skin underneath. These beard styles are low in maintenance, but have lots of character and customizability to them.
If genetics permit, all men can sport a short beard. These beard styles are great for a more formal and “business” look.
Fun beard fact: multiple studies have shown that men with beards in general have a higher earning potential, especially in service-based jobs. This has been attributed to a higher level of trustworthiness that men with beards subconsciously portray.
Since beards tend to grow at a rate of approximately .5 inches/month, most men can grow a short beard within 10 and 30 days. Beards of any length and style are going to be a better fit for men who struggle with patchy or thin areas of facial hair growth. This is because beard hairs are long enough to hide thin or patchy spots, as opposed to stubble beards.
In order to keep your short beard the right length (whichever length in the “short beard scale” that works best for you) you’re going to have to invest in a quality electric razor. Preferably a razor that has adjustable or replaceable guards of various lengths.
Most men find that a short beard of roughly 10mm is a perfect length, not too short and potentially “stubble” territory, but also not too long and difficult to keep its shape.
Short Beard Pros:
- Hides patchy areas.
- More acceptable “business” look (when kept clean and tidy).
- Grown relatively quickly
Short Beard Cons:
- Susceptible to the “awkward growth phase.”
- Requires consistent maintenance and products.
Medium-Length Beard (16mm-7.5cm)
Medium-length beards represent the point of diminishing returns when it comes to the amount of time required for proper beard maintenance. Longer beards not only need to be trimmed, but also shaped in the proper way and consistently gone through with smaller trimming scissors to get rid of all the flyaway hairs.
Take the difference between a short and longer beard for example. A shorter beard can get away with some consistent trimming and not much else in order to look neat and tidy. Longer beards, however, are not only going to require trimming and shaping but also beard products like beard balms and waxes in order to keep the longer hairs in check.
That is not to say that medium-length beard styles aren’t worth the trouble. The key to sporting a medium beard is to keep it as neat and simple as possible. It’s all about coverage, so if you’re already lucky enough to grow a beard this full, then chances are you’ll enjoy having this longer, and slightly edgier beard style.
Medium length beards are awesome at giving your face some definition, specifically around the jawline. This is because the hair is grown out long enough to allow you to shape an entirely new jawline in the first place, unlike shorter beards which, to some degree, require your natural jawline to help give it shape.
Shaping the perfect jawline with a medium length beard helps give your face definition, shape, angles, and an overall more masculine appearance, assuming this is what you’re going for. A medium beard also allows you to shape the beard to make your face appear symmetrical, and therefore, more attractive as well.
To grow a medium length beard, you’re going to have to be patient with your beard growth for anywhere between 1 and 2 months. Pro tip: in order to keep your beard looking more tidy while you’re letting it grow throughout this “awkward beard growth phase,” make sure to keep your neckline trimmed and occasionally get rid of the stray rogue flyaway hairs.
When you’re growing out a medium length beard, you’ll want to keep your beard trimmed, but with the longest possible guard you have available on your electric trimmer, that way, all of the wild flyaways can be taken out while keeping your beard healthy and growing.
Medium Beard Pros:
- Best for shaping jawline.
- Makes a round face more symmetrical and angular.
Medium Beard Cons:
- Requires the most maintenance.
- Medium beards get “out of shape” easily.
Long Beard (7.5cm+)
And finally, we arrive at the long beard section. I think it’s about time to get rid of any preconceived notions about long beards out of the way. Firstly, yes, you can grow out an awesome and clean longer beard without looking like Gandalf from lord of the rings. Want proof? Just take a look at Dan C Bearded for example. No, longer beards are not only for bikers or ancient greek philosophers. And also, no, longer beards interestingly don’t require the same amount of maintenance that medium beards do.
So, what is the long beard all about in todays day and age?
First of all, “long” is a completely relative term. Long to me may not be long to you, or vice versa. So, to define it, a longer beard to me is one in which the individual hairs are longer than 7.5cm (or about 3 inches). Keep in mind, depending on your beard hair style (straight, curly, etc.) this may make two people with 3 inch beard hairs appear to have vastly different overall beard lengths.
Many beards go beyond that length, but that’s about where the normal person might consider a beard to be passing medium-length territory.
Alright soldier, in order to pull off a long beard, you will have to keep your face shape in mind. A longer beard is going to affect the perceived shape of your face, as well as the visual length. Keep in mind, a longer beard style hasn’t been as commonly appropriated into the corporate business world or “professional” world yet. Now, that’s not to say we think these beard styles can’t be professional, but that’s the unfortunate truth of the modern day working world.
Longer beards are going to take an average man roughly 6 months to grow, especially if we are defining a longer beard as one with greater than 3 inches of length. That being said, everyone’s genetics are different and it may take up to a year or so for some men to grow a “long” beard. And after about a year of growing, most men will hit a plateau and their beard length won’t grow quite as quickly.
When it comes to maintaining a long beard, the only thing your electric trimmer is going to be doing is shaping up your cheekline, and potentially blend areas of your beard into thin sideburns or other areas that require a more progressive fade. This is why a medium length beard actually requires more maintenance than a long one does.
The rest of your beard will likely have to be maintained with scissors, which can be used to trim off flyaway hairs.
Long Beard Pros:
- Requires little maintenance.
- Looks awesome.
Long Beard Cons:
- Can make you look older (potential pro).
- Hides the jawline.
Ultimately, the beard style you choose to rock is going to be reliant on what “look” you’re going for and what you can realistically achieve considering your genetics and willingness to maintain your facial hair. Get some good beard grooming products to help you along the way and the whole process will be much easier.
Remember, the beard that you choose will not only say something about you, but also help you define and accent your natural facial features. Don’t let the maintenance of a beard scare you, they are absolutely worth it! and we hope you find the style you really enjoy.
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