If we asked you whether you wanted to look like a goat, you'd probably say no. Or maybe not. We don't judge. Either way, before you make any fast call, know that the goatee is much more than its name may imply. The goatee is a short, simple beard style that is suitable for the discerning gentlemen that appreciates his exposed facial hair and beard equally; you'll be able to show off those cheeks without letting your chin hang bare. It's a win-win.
What's A Goatee, Really?
But the goatee is not simply a scruffy tuft of hair meant to linger on your face with no thought about grooming or styling. In fact, there are many different goatee styles that suit different face shapes and style preferences.
In this guide, we'll help you learn all about the different goatee beard styles and provide practical tips for growing, trimming and styling your own goatee beard.
Goatee Beard Styles
The goatee has been popularized by a wide range of A-listers like Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Jr.. Great chaps with more than just a strong beard going for them. We don't know about you, but any chance to take style inspiration from Iron Man or Captain Jack Sparrow is a serious win for us.
To help you get a feel for the various types of goatee styles out there, we'll break down some of the biggest trends and looks that have been popularized by celebrities. You may decide to go with one of these goatee styles or personalize your own. Do what works best for you! After all, your beard is more than just some hair growing out of your face. It's a chance to show off your personal style and some personality.
Van Dyke Goatee
What's the difference between the Van Dyke beard and a goatee? At first glance, they may seem like the same thing, but there is a difference in length that makes the Van Dyke slightly more distinguished. A full goatee beard typically has longer hair around the chin, a circle beard and possibly a soul patch or landing strip goatee based on the partiular cut. There are many variations to how its worn, but in the most classic sense, the typical long goatee is a facial hair option for men who don't mind a little upkeep but are also okay with getting a little rugged now and again.
The Van Dyke goatee, on the other hand, is always trimmed more closely to the face and styled into a neat cut with sharp angles. For the dapper gentleman who wants to add a dash of refinement to his face, this is the best goatee choice. After all, its namesake is the 17th-century painter Anthony Van Dyck.
If you fancy yourself a jazzman, then you'll probably love growing a soul patch of your own. This 60s-era goatee beard can be worn solo or incorporated into other goatee styles. This tuft of hair, famously known as the "soul patch", grows directly under the upper lip and extends to the top of the chin. It might not be considered the most modern look, especially if the rest of your face is clean-shaven. However, the soul patch is coming back as a feature in many modern goatess, so if you want to grow one, there are multiple ways to style it. Think about combining your soul patch with statement facial hair like a chin strap and handlebar mustache for maximum wow factor. Style your gotee however you want. Yuo can always trim its length, reshape it or even completely shave it off and start over again.
An anchor goatee is one of the classiest trends in short goatee beard styles. An angled mustache rests clean above a chin beard that has been tapered on the sides and left full on the bottom. Guys who like sleek, sophisticated facial hair but don't want or can't grow a full beard will like this look.
If you want the to style your goatee with other beard styles, then the full goatee is the way to go. This is probably one of the best goatee beard styles for a man with a strong, square face, next to the Van Dyke beard. The maintenance will require a full routine as it combines a circle beard, mustache and chin goatee to create the final look.
You can keep this style full and balanced or decide to freshen up with a trim and style at any time. A lot of men who grow tired of maitaining a fuller beard in their long goatee decide to use a trimmer and just sport a soul patch instead.
Chin Puff Goatee
If you've been reading this list so far and thought, "None of these really look like a goat, though," don't worry. We've reached the final frontier. The chin puff is probably the most animalistic of all the goatee styles. In its early stages, its most reminiscent of the facial hair we sprouted in our adolescence. You know, the "beard" you were so desperate to cling to that you refused to so much as trim a single hair from your chin, despite your mother's pleas?
In today's lingo, the chin puff could refer to the hair that any man leaves on his chin when he's growing out his mustache. However, it's more prominent in the original meaning of the word, and it doesn't require as much grooming as other looks. The chin puff is a staple of all goatee beard styles that can give way to a full goatee or be combined into a circle beard or chin strap.
Mustache and Goatee
If you like a good mustache but would prefer a bit more fullness in your facial hair, there are multiple goatee styles that incorporate mustaches into the mix. You have room to grow (literally) here, and you can even vary the length slightly to combine your favorite looks. Classic mustaches, like the Dallas and Chevron, pair well with soul patches. A landing strip can be grown alongside a chin strap and topped with a Clark Gable or pencil mustache.
Play around with different looks until you find a balance that works well for you. Our guide on trending mustache styles is sure to help.
What Goatee Style Is Best For Your Face Shape?
One of the reasons men opt to go a grow goatee instead of a full beard is that it's just easier. Men who tend to struggle with beard fullness can typically muster a fuller looking goatee, whereas their full-face beard would be sparse and even patchy in some areas. A lone chin puff or long goatee isn't flattering if it's left ungroomed, but you can learn how to style your goatee in a way that looks put-together and makes you feel more confident about your facial hair.
When deciding what goatee types work for you, there are several goatee styles for men and one for every man's face shape. Remember these tips: men with a rectangular face might prefer a Van Dyke goatee or anchor goatee, which leaves the cheeks exposed and jawline visible. However, if your face is long and you have a pointed chin, then you'll want to trim your goatee to avoid exaggerating any features that are already prominent.
Men with an oval or round face shape should consider the thickness of their sideburns and how some goatee styles accentuate their cheeks. A full goatee can add fullness, but it can also make your face look chubbier than it actually is if it isn't trimmed properly. Men should choose their ideal goatee style based on the level of upkeep they're most comfortable with, their face shape and hair type.
How To Trim And Style A Goatee
Now that we've covered all the possible ways you could style a goatee beard, let's get into how you can go about trimming your own facial hair. First things first, we always suggest you start by building a decent collection of beard products. We're talking beard oil, beard balm and a quality beard wash that moisturizes your skin and leaves your hair strong but soft. No one wants wiry goatees, and trying to trim a goatee that feels like steel wool is no easy feat. Believe us.
The Bearded Chap's all-natural beard products are made with organic ingredients and essential oils that leaves beard hair healthy and chaps happy. Once you've gotten the right products, you'll need some tools, too. A beard comb and trimmer, like a razor, will be part of your repertoire if you decide that a goatee is the look for you.
If you currently have a full beard and no idea how to go about styling a goatee, take it slow. Start small, only removing little snips of hair at a time. Length is key here because you can always remove excess hair, but there's nothing you can do if you get overzealous with a razor.
Unless you have surgical precision, you'll want to use a goatee outline or shaving template to style your beard hair with a straight-edge razor. This is the easiest way to get the look you desire without turning your face into a modern art project.
You'll want to use beard oil and mustache wax to keep your goatee looking smooth and sleek throughout the day. Just apply a little in the morning before you head out and touch up as needed.
Also make sure that your goatee doesn't gradually descend into neckbeard territory. Keep your facial hair styles neat with beard scissors and a trimmer, gentlemen.
How Do You Pull Off A Goatee?
Confidence and grooming are the only two things you need when growing a goatee. You can rock any facial hair styles you want, but you should focus more on what beard types are suitable for your face and hair style. What is your growth like? If your beard hair is too thin to support a full beard or you have a patchy beard around your cheeks, then a goatee could be a viable alternative to going bare-faced.
With so many different goatee beard styles to choose from, all men really need is a willingness to experiment before finding their best look.
History Of The Goatee
The goatee is one of the oldest beard styles out there, dating all the way back to Ancient Greece and Rome. Although it has had serious goatee style changes throughout the decades, it wasn't prominent in Western culture until the 90s when men started to sport mustaches and chin beards in tandem. Of course, there were trends, some more memorable than others, for example the Van Dyke goatee type. The trademark soul patch and landing strip goatee also had their place, especially among college students.
Throughout the 90s and 2000s, Hollywood heartthrobs like Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio made the goatee considered one of the sexiest beard styles around. From 2010 onward, it began to fall out of fashion. It wasn't until more recent years that we've seen the goatee beard come back into the spotlight, though contemporary goatee styles tend to be much more refined and fuller, unlike the soul patch.
The Modern Goatee
Modern looks for the goatee are typically full and short to mid-length. You don't catch most men rocking anything less than a mustache and goatee, and some decide to accentuate theirs as part of their full beard's look. There are a few goatee styles that are sparse on purpose, like a pencil mustache, thin chin strap and landing strip goatee style.
Celebrity Goatee Styles
Idris Elba sports a full goatee that always looks classy and well-groomed. Sometimes, he's grown out the hair on his cheek as well, but the most prominent part of his circle beard has always been the chin goatee.
Leonardo DiCaprio has worn a goatee beard in several styles over the years. He sported a long goatee in 2012's "Django Unchained." In more recent times, the actor has worn a more elegant goatee style with a subtle soul patch and double mustache.
Johnny Depp often has one of the most classic and contemporary chin goatee styles. He places more emphasis on his mustache and leaves the goatee thin.
Should You Grow A Goatee?
Goatees have history in beards, all the way back to ancient civilizations. Goatee styles were popularized in the 90s and faded out of fashion until the late 2010s. At this moment, these goatee styles are making a full comeback so you can be sure that your new goatee will be perfectly on trend!
Need more ideas for beard styles? Our guide to 23 top beard styles has all you'll need to know.