The goatee is one of the most popular beard styles in existence, and has long been the facial adornment of many rock stars, poets and Renaissance man.
This type of beard derives its name from the billy goats who invented the style. Although goatees are insanely popular, they are often confused with other similar-looking beard styles such as the Van Dyke.
To be a 100% legit goatee, the only place the beard should appear is on the chin, i.e. the cheeks and jawline should be clean-shaven, and there is no connecting mustache or anything like that. Famous goatee wearers span a wide range of important figures, from historical icons such as Abraham Lincoln to cartoon hippies such as Shaggy on Scooby Doo.
As long as the goatee is regularly trimmed and well-kept, it can definitely enhance your appearance, but it is important to pick a goatee style that complements your facial structure and overall look. This means that you should take a decent amount of time to determine if your goatee needs to be short, long, thick, or relatively thin based on the proportions of your face. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with experimentation to these ends. You can grow that bad boy out a little bit and see what nature will bestow upon you by way of thickness and appearance, and then you can make your decisions from there; trimming and shaping your goatee accordingly.
To Start Off, Grow Your Goatee
Before you can learn how to shape a goatee beard, you will have to grow one first. The process is strikingly simple: Just start allowing the whiskers on your chin and directly under your bottom lip (i.e. the “soul patch”) to grow out for a couple of weeks to see what you’re working with.
Once you have some decent “shrubbery” in the chin area, you should be ready to shape your goatee. A typical beard length that works for shaping purposes is about a half-inch to one whole inch.
5 Easy Steps To Shape And Style Your Goatee
Okay, now that you’re ready to shape and style your goatee, here are some basic points to remember:
A typical goatee will be the same width as your mouth. If the outer edges of your goatee extend well beyond the corners of your mouth and begin to encroach upon your cheeks, you’re venturing into alternative beard territory. This isn’t a bad thing, but it can no longer be technically identified as a goatee.
One way to accurately measure the boundaries of your goatee is to flash a nice smile in the mirror and notice where your smile lines (a.k.a. dimples) are. This is usually a safe guide for determining where the outer boundaries of your goatee should be. Once you have identified these boundaries, shave all hair outside of those lines.
Achieving symmetry is very important when it comes to shaping your goatee. You will need to take your time as you begin to define the outline of your goatee on both sides of your chin. Work from the outside in, carefully shaping up each side with your ideal electric shaver, taking frequent breaks to closely examine what you’re doing. Check and double-check how things are shaping up, and frequently comb away loose hairs so that you can maintain an accurate estimation of how your goatee is developing during the process.
It is a very common thing to round off your goatee hairs on the bottom of your chin, so you can trim yours accordingly, but another common option is to shape the hairs into a point. This is really a matter of personal preference more than anything else. Keep your facial structure in mind as well; if you have a small chin, a longer goatee may suit you well, and vice versa. In addition, be sure that your “soul patch” is indeed a “patch” and not a jungle.
Look everything over one more time before you officially finish the shaping process. If the overall form is good and the symmetry is there, you’re doing great. Sometimes the mirror can deceive you. If it’s possible for you to take a quick selfie with your smartphone to see how your goatee really looks, do that as well to determine if your beard is really on point or not. Always remember that your own personal taste is the ultimate gauge as to whether or not your goatee will pass muster. That is, unless you have a significant other, in which case her opinion is all that matters.