As more and more men continue to embrace facial hair, the goatee is slowly becoming an ever more popular option for guys who can’t grow a full beard. While the goatee style has had a few setbacks in the past – in part because of its association with evil characters in movies – men are now embracing it as a cool and stylish variation of the full beard.
Usually referring to a small tuft of hair on their chin, in recent years, the goatee’s definition has widened to include facial hair around the chin and under the nose, where a moustache would be. As long as the hair doesn’t encroach onto the cheeks, it can be considered a goatee – although, as we’ll find out in this article, you can include hair on the cheeks and around the extended jawline in certain instances.
How To Choose The Best Goatee Style
Just like when choosing a hairstyle, you need to consider your facial features and the colour of your hair when deciding which goatee to get. These may seem like trivial matters, but they make a lot of difference to how your goatee will turn out.
A goatee is a perfect fit for men with slim and angular faces – we’ll cover what to do for men with rounder faces in a moment – if you have a slim face, you should be careful not to let your goatee grow too long as it will make your face too lean.
For men with round faces, a goatee can also help to make your face appear slimmer, but the rules with regards to length and width will differ from those with slimmer faces.
Some men also struggle with uneven or patchy facial hair that tends to grow thicker around the chin and upper lips. For such men, a soul patch would be the ideal option as it will mask an undershot or weak chin by creating an illusion of fullness and shape, so your patch looks like a full goatee.
Types Of Goatees
1. Classic Goatee
The style that started it all. The classic goatee – also known as a pure or original goatee – refers to just a patch of hair on the chin. There is no moustache included with the classic goatee, and so achieving one is simple: shave all hair on your face and neck, aside from a small patch on your chin.
Looks best on guys with round faces.
2. Full Goatee
The full goatee has a strong case to be renamed the classic goatee, as it’s the most common style and the one that we imagine will immediately come to mind when you’re presented with the term, goatee.
The moustache makes an appearance here, as does hair around the lips, connecting the chin to the moustache. The full goatee can look good on practically any guy, but you’ll just need to experiment with various lengths to find something that you think works best for you.
3. The Van Dyke Goatee
The Van Dyke goatee – named after 17th-century artist Anthony van Dyke – is similar to the full goatee in that it features both a moustache, but the two aren’t connected around the edges of the mouth. If you’re someone who struggles to grow a proper beard, the Van Dyke could offer a perfect compromise.
You’ll be in good company if you do, with the likes of David Beckham, Robert Downey Jr. and Johnny Depp all having sported one at one point in their lives.
To achieve a Van Dyke goatee, you’ll want to shave your cheeks and jawline, and any stray hairs around the edge of the mouth. You want to leave yourself with a moustache (a classic Van Dyke goatee calls for a thin French style ‘tache, but you can fo full size if you want) a soul patch (more on that in a bit) and a small goatee beard on the chin.
4. The Anchor Goatee
The Anchor Goatee is similar to the Van Dyke in that it only features hair on the chin, accompanied by a moustache. No prizes for guessing where it gets its name: it looks like an anchor.
To trim your beard into an anchor goatee, remove all cheek hair and sideburns. However, you’ll want the chin hair to extend around the jawline a little way and be styled into a point (there is where it differs to the Van Dyke, as that style combines a landing strip with a moustache).
The moustache for the anchor goatee should be kept relatively thin, to help better resemble an anchor. This goatee style is particularly effective on guys with square or more oblong-shaped faces.
5. Goatee with Beard
This one is pretty self-explanatory, as it pairs a conventional goatee beard – similar to the full goatee above or the long goatee below – and pairs it with hair extending up to your ears. Where this goatee style differs from a regular beard is that the hair around the chin is kept longer than that on the cheeks and rest of the jaw.
6. Landing Strip
The male equivalent of the landing strip isn’t found near his genitals (unlike the female version). Instead, it refers to a straight strip found in the centre of the chin, under the bottom lip. A classic landing strip calls for no other facial hair, but you can pair with a moustache if you wish.
7. Extended Goatee
An extended goatee is one such goatee style that can be rocked by almost any man. It takes the full goatee style (beard and moustache) but sees the beard section extended beyond just the chin and into the jawline. Also known as a tailback, this style has proven popular with the likes of John Travolta and Leonardo DiCaprio.
8. Soul Patch Goatee
A soul patch is a small tuft of hair that grows directly under your bottom lip, at the top of the chin. Some guys choose to have just this piece of hair alone on their face, while others allow it to grow in unison with their full goatee.
9. Long Goatee
The long goatee is a hybrid of sorts, between a fully fledged beard and a goatee. The long goatee is defined as being a style that sees the moustache extend into the beard, which then grows long down from the chin.
As with most other goatees, you’ll want to remove all cheek and sideburn hair (if you don’t, you’ve got yourself a proper beard). The length to which you grow your goatee is entirely down to you, and could see you either looking something like Brad Pitt or a magical wizard.
10. Circle Beard
A circle beard is very similar to a full goatee, but at the name suggests, it’s far more beardy in style, meaning the hair is thicker and fuller than that of a full goatee. A circle beard sees the moustache grow around the upper lip, where it connects with and extends down to the chin. Whilst you will still want to remove hair from the cheeks and sideburns to make it a goatee as opposed to a beard, it’s not so important to be completely clean shaven, a little stubble is ok.
The circle beard is best suited to men with round shaped faces and its variations – such as oval and heart – and even those with square shaped faces will find they can benefit from the style too, using it to emphasis their rigid facial structure.
11. Chin Strap Goatee
Despite its ability to work with virtually all face types, the chin strap has often found itself on the receiving end of negativity. The chin strap goatee, however, is a style that is both flattering and stylish in the process.
Getting one isn’t that simple, however, as a well-defined chin strap is hard to perfect. you can alternatively let the hair widen out a bit, just as long as it follow your jawline and doesn’t cover your cheeks, it can be a chin strap.
You can choose to have a chin strap beard running from ear to ear, or as is more common, have a thin strip of hair around the mouth, connecting with a landing strip and a small tuft in the centre of the chin.
12. Stubble Goatee
Of course, just because we’re talking about beards and facial hair, doesn’t mean stubble can’t get a mention. Stubble has the genius nack of making all guys look good, rugged and handsome. You can, therefore, have the freedom to see if a full goatee will work for you, simply by achieving the same look with your stubble.
You should see enough growth after 5 days to be able to cut and trim to full goatee specifications, and you may find that the shorter length of stubble works much more in your favour.
13. Chin Goatee
Similar to the soul path goatee and the landing strip, a chin goatee refers to a small tuft of hair that grows out and down below the chin, as opposed to on the chin surface itself. You could say the chin goatee is the style most reminiscent of the hair seen on actual goats. This goatee style probably isn’t for everyone, but since the hair will be easy to grow, you have the opportunity to experiment.
14. Low Maintenance Goatee
A natural goatee could be considered the perfect goatee style for the modern man. It requires far less maintenance that some other goatees on this list, yet still looks just as stylish. In some ways, it has no rules, as it is simply naturally scruffy hair that grows on the chin, around the mouth and under the nose. You can choose to leave the rest of your facial hair too, just as long as you leave the hair around your chin more pronounced.
15. Grey Hair Goatee
Yep, the goatee does not discriminate when it comes to hair colour – ok, maybe blonde hair doesn’t look as good – as it can look great for those with grey facial hair. Whether it be full grey or two-tone, the older gent (or the gent who ages a bit sooner than planned) can still rock a successful goatee.
16. Goatee For Guys Who Can’t Grow A Beard
It’s no secret that not all guys can grow a beard, or any facial for that matter. In these instances, when only a few hairs poke through, you can still rock a perfectly fine goatee. It helps if you’re able to grow a slight moustache to balance out the ‘barely there’ look, but if you can’t, just make sure you keep the few hair centred around the chin.
How To Trim And Grow A Goatee
There’s no getting around it. If you want to rock a goatee, then you’re going to have to be prepared to partake in a regular grooming schedule.
Because a goatee looks best when it’s trimmed prim and proper, you’ll need to revisit the bathroom mirror every two to three days and stick to a strict grooming regime to remove any stray hairs.
You’ll need to arm yourself with the right tools for the job, which in this instance include an electric beard trimmer, a safety razor and even a straight razor. Using these tools will allow you to trim your goatee to the exact style you’re after.
How To Shave A Goatee
You’ll first want to remove all facial hair on the cheeks and neck, leaving just the area around the lips and on the chin. Then you can start tackling the goatee itself. If you have long facial hair – and therefore want to give yourself a long goatee style – then you’ll need to invest in some scissors to keep it pruned.
If not, you’ll want to keep your goatee to a consistent length all over, including the moustache. Revisit this every few days to ensure it remains tidy, and just like any other hair, you’ll want to make sure you keep it healthy by washing with shampoo and conditioner. You can even apply beard oil to really nourish it.
Goatee Styles FAQ
What is a goatee?
By its very definition, a goatee is a small tuft of hair found on the chin that resembles the hair found on a goat. However, it has since evolved to include many variations of facial hair style, all centralised around the chin and mouth area.
How to shape a goatee?
How you style your goatee ultimately comes down to personal preference. However, you will need a beard trimmer and a razor to help you achieve whatever look you decide upon, as they can be used to carve out straight, clean lines.
How to shave a goatee under the chin?
A goatee relies heavily on not having hair anywhere else on your face other than around the mouth and under the nose. Therefore, in order to shave the hair under your chin, you'll want to start with a beard trimmer if it is particularly long, before using a safety razor and some shaving cream to completely remove it.
Should I get a goatee?
The goatee style beard is one that has often been on the receiving end of jokes, but it is actually an incredibly stylish facial hair option. Fortunately, the goatee suits a wide range of face types, including round, oval, oblong and square, although the exact style goatee you'll want to adopt will vary respectively.