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The best short beard styles for men: Find the perfect look

Which short beard style is right for you?

The art of growing and caring for your facial hair comes down to personal preference and, yes, arming yourself with the proper grooming knowledge — particularly when it comes to the best short beard styles for men as not everyone can successfully rock the burly lumberjack look. It seems that over the past few years, more guys have been exploring tips on how to grow a beard, either for the first time or with a renewed interest after going clean-shaven for years.

That, naturally, has led to a boom in guys appearing on Zoom calls and in-person meetings with facial hair where perhaps, there once was none outside of the month of November for no shave or Movember. After all, if Hollywood’s leading men can rock facial hair for years, on and off the red carpet, why can’t well-dressed guys everywhere do the same by trying out one of the best men’s beard styles? Of course, it’s simply not as easy as letting your facial hair run amok: A long, ZZ Top-esque beard simply isn’t going to work for everyone, which is what makes short beard styles for men so appealing.

Guy with a beard.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

When we say short, we’re talking about a beard that more closely hugs your chin and cheeks with regular maintenance grooming to help it better shape your face. There are different variations among short beard styles for men, so it’s important to consider which one might look best on your mug — this is where tips on how to shape a beard comes in very handy. Common face shapes include round, oval, and rectangular, to name but a few.

You need to ensure your beard is properly trimmed, washed, and cared for, and you can nourish it along the way by using beard growth oil or other products. The same as if you were to keep your hairstyle maintained, all of this upkeep will help you end up with one of the best short beard styles for men. Here are a few styling options to consider right now.

What are the best short beard styles for young men?

Side view of a man with his beard outdoors.
Beard Resource

What you might call the short boxed beard is most common and fitting among guys with a round face, yet the length is appropriate for most guys and settings. This is a beard trimmed close to the face (think, a no. 3 or no. 4 setting on a set of clippers, with more length in the goatee) and looks clean and professional. The length through the goatee under your chin helps elongate your face, while the sides remain neatly trimmed and can be faded into your hair if you’ve got a shorter haircut.

In our opinion, this is one of the best short beard styles for young men and is a nice beard style to try if you’re new to the facial hair game. It also works well if you’ve got a more full, thick head of hair. Other popular short beard styles for young men include a beard of three-day stubble — think neatly trimmed stubble, rather than a sloppy look that seems as if you forgot to shave. The stubble look can be popular when kept at the same length.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could try what’s sometimes called a “circle beard, which consists of a mustache and facial hair on your chin. It’s more commonly a goatee, but this style is a bit more adventurous and generally requires facial hair that’s more full.

Short beard styles for bald men: Finding the best one for you

Losing your hair on the top of your dome doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the pursuit of growing a beard as a bald man. In fact, several prominent celebrities and style icons through the years, including actors like Jason Statham, have shown plenty of beard styles for bald men that should work quite well for you (even if his workout routine still feels a little bit out of reach).

Wearing tightly groomed stubble — either as a five-o’clock shadow or three to four days’ worth of stubble — seems to be one of the most common beard styles for bald men. This doesn’t overpower the rest of your face and creates a strong, defined look that can be neatly blended into a buzzed head.

A circle beard or goatee is also commonly seen on bald men, while others still will use a variation of the “short boxed beard” we mentioned earlier. We’re of the opinion that stubble or a five-o’clock shadow is an authoritative beard style that works well for bald men of any age.

Short beard styles for Black men

Bust shot of a black man with a long stubble.

The world of facial hair is as vast as the world of fashion at large, and just as everybody’s style needs are different, so too is every guy’s approach to facial hair. There are plenty of short beard styles for Black men that work handsomely and elegantly, though. The short boxed beard that works on most round face shapes is a solid bet here, but a neatly trimmed goatee — think a no. 1 or 2 length clipper setting — is also a distinctive choice.

And then, there’s what you might call the “classic beard.” With a full mustache and goatee, sideburns that connect with your hair, and an even length throughout, it’s an option that never goes out of style. This beard is a nearly uniform length throughout, so use the appropriate clippers to get a look that’s right for you.

Short beard styles for Black men can also incorporate a five-o’clock shadow, which can be easily maintained and cared for with nourishing beard wash and beard oil. Remember, a short beard style, versus a beard that’s down well past your chin, is a safe bet for most guys.

Upkeep is key

Regardless of how you decide to style your short beard, the key to its long-term success is consistent maintenance and proper grooming. Keep that up and you’ll have one of the best short beard styles in 2023.

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Beau Hayhoe
Beau Hayhoe is a freelance men's style writer, consultant and PR pro based in Brooklyn. Beau's menswear and gear writing has…
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