Top Goatee Styles and How to Groom and Grow Them
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It seems like almost every famous male celebrity has donned the goatee in one shape or another at some time in his career. Its versatility and ability to conform to so many different types of faces and personalities is one of the reasons that the goatee simply will not go away. It has also been around for the ages as well. Remember your high school English class? Even Shakespeare had a goatee.
The goatee has a mixed reputation. Close to a century ago, Edith Sessions, a columnist for the Chicago Chronicle wrote that goatees portrayed a man "who was selfish, sinister, and pompous as a peacock.” Many cartoons and artistic representations depict Satan himself donning a good ole satan goatee as he tends to the fires of hell. And surely you’ve seen movies where the good, clean shaven hero has an evil twin who is almost always depicted as having the malicious goatee as a sign of his evilness.
But the goatee isn’t only reserved for devils, demons and pompous peacocks. The Roman God called Pan was depicted as having a goatee and more modern day saints such as Abraham Lincoln even donned the goatee at times during his presidency. In more modern times, the goatee has been a symbol of painters during the Renaissance, bohemian free thinkers, and the post World War II beatniks.
Since the 1990´s, the goatee has made a tremendous comeback. TV and movie stars, sports icons, public figures, and even the causal Joe have all taken to the goatee as a way to express their unique personality and portray an image that is distinctive of their style.
So why choose to grow a goatee? Historically, facial hair gave men the air of masculinity and virility and goatees are no different. Yet in our increasingly “professionalized” world the clean shaven look has seemed to gain the upper hand. However, it would be mistaken to assume that any sort of facial hair automatically disqualifies you from landing your dream professional job.
The idea that a goatee doesn’t get along with a suit and tie is a thing of the past. One recent study of Human Resource specialists stated that employers tend to prefer well-groomed candidates. Well-groomed, however, has taken on a new meaning in today’s modern world. It is one thing to have a grizzly, uncared-for beard hanging wildly from your chin. It is quite another to have a goatee that you maintain daily and that exudes self-confidence and respectability.
In this brief article we will introduce you to a variety of goatee styles. Whether you´re going for the bohemian Van Dyke with a handlebar mustache and a pointed chin hair or the simple, but professional look of a well groomed and short goatee, we’ve got you covered.
What Does Facial Hair Say About You
What you wear on your face says a lot more about you than what you wear on your body. You can be forgiven for missing a button or having a coffee stain on your white shirt, but your facial hair is seen as your own personal trademark; something you have invested in and want people to notice. And notice they will.
So what does a goatee say about your personality? Luckily, it is not a black and white issue. Goatees have been worn by just about every type of person you can imagine. Vladimir Lenin, a prime example of the wild revolutionary had one while he was going about directing the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. So if you are going for the revolutionary, non-conformist look you have good historical company.
The growth of facial hair is a sign of testosterone in the body, thus the reason that women (thankfully) don’t have any hair growing above their lips or on their chins. Testosterone is usually recognized by us humans as a synonym for aggression, adventure, and boldness. Buffalo Bill, the famous pioneer that toured the American West was known for his goatee which he must have grown as an accompaniment to his free and adventurous personality.
Still others who grow out a goatee do so as a way to reaffirm their counter-cultural and artistic attitudes. Famous actors such as Johnny Depp and musicians such as Curt Kobain come to mind. Yet the goatee isn´t only for political revolutionaries, adventurous pioneers or counter-culture artistic types. The famous Colonel Sanders who founded the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise also grew out a goatee symbolic of the southern gentleman and businessman that he was.
The goatee cannot be claimed by any one party or group. It is has been worn by men from extremely diverse walks of life over the years and continues to defy stereotypes as men from every profession take their goatees with them to their workplaces. So if you worry that growing out a goatee will get you fired from work; if you fear strange looks from your neighbors or mothers hurrying their children to the other side of the street when they see you coming; we are here to tell you that your fears are misguided. The goatee can be a unique part of whatever image you hope to project.
Different Goatee Styles
In past centuries, the term goatee most often referred to a beard formed by a tuft of hair growing directly from ones chin, like the hair of a goat (hence the name). But as time went by, more and more styles became identified under the umbrella term of goatee.
Perhaps the most attractive part of growing a goatee is the versatility that it represents. By its most simple definition, a goatee is simply facial hair worn by a man that covers part of his chin and a mustache. There is no exact nature of style that a goatee must conform to, and every culture and historic time period has developed different styles that are referred to as the goatee.
We will walk you through a couple of the most popular styles of goatees and explain how you can best grow them. Remember, however, that your own goatee doesn´t have to conform to these styles but can take on a life of its own in order to become uniquely and exclusively your own.
Anthony Van Dyck was a famous painter back in the Renaissance days from Europe. His bohemian lifestyle as a painter was accentuated by the facial hair style he wore throughout his life and which eventually became his namesake: the Van Dyke.
´The Van Dyke is distinguished from other types of beard and goatee styles by the fact that all of the hair on the cheeks is completely shaved off. The facial hair is grown only as a mustache and as a beard only with hair directly under the lower lip and on the chin area.
The Van Dyke can be styled in a number of ways. A long, curled mustache (think handlebars if you are brave enough) is one possibility while keeping the mustache pencil thin to complement lines of the goatee on the chin is another option. Van Dykes can also be worn as a mustache with nothing other than a soul patch (that small patch of facial hair directly under the center of the bottom lip and above the chin) and a mustache.
The ability to model your Van Dyke in any number of ways makes it a great option to turn an antiquated facial hair style into something novel, hip, and innovative. Your imagination is the only barrier here.
This style of goatee is for those men who are looking to adopt more of a masculine, rough and tough type of image. Also known as the “tailback” or the “Hollywoodian”, it is fast becoming one of the most popular and well renowned goatee styles.
This type of goatee is basically a mustache that is completely connected to a beard that is grown under the chin and along the jaw bone. The cheeks remain free of facial hair as does the neck. One of the most compelling aspects of growing out this type of goatee is the ability to play with different levels of thickness of the lines of the goatee.
For example, the lines connecting the mustache to the beard could be razor thin or full and bushy. The beard line running along the chin line can also be adapted to fit the facial features of different types of people. The extended goatee can remain short stubble or also be grown out to different lengths as well.
Some men simply don’t want elaborate and bushy facial hair, while at the same time the clean shaven look has become rather boring for them. If that is you, then the minimalist goatee might be the look for you.
The minimalist goatee maintains the mustache and facial hair under the chin but is defined by straight, ordered lines connecting the mustache to the beard. The facial hair length is usually maintained short and well groomed and the cheeks and neck are maintained clean shaven on a daily basis.
This look naturally goes with the man who wants to convey professionalism and neatness. However, the minimalist goatee will separate him from his clean shaven office brethren perhaps giving him the edge he needs to be perceived as a different, innovative, and creative.
This is about as easy as it comes. Simply let the facial hair on the chin grow out and keep the rest of the face well shaved. This goatee foregoes the mustache though the chin hair may be connected to a soul patch underneath the lip. Again, keeping the goatee trimmed so that the hair doesn´t grow scruffily down the neckline is important with this style.
This type of goatee isn´t all that well-recognized by name, but many, big time Hollywood stars have excelled at growing the Balbo. It was named after an Italian air force pilot though today it is popularized by the iconic actor Robert Downey Jr.
The Balbo combines a mustache with chin hair, but also extends the beard part way up the chin line. It doesn´t go as far up the chin as the extended goatee but definitely is wider than a classic goatee. The facial hair usually doesn´t extend up the cheek very far.
Goatee with a Chin Strap
This style of goatee is one of the least popular, but still an option for certain looks. It resembles, in a sense, the rat tail that some men wore on the back of their heads back in the early 1990´s, but this time on the chin.
The chin strap addition to the goatee is nothing more than a strand of hair grown longer than the rest of the goatee usually at the point of the chin.
How to Take Care of Your Goatee
Whatever style of goatee you do choose, there are some general rules that all bearded men need to follow. With a goatee, you can run the risk of creating a pretty ridiculous mess of hair on your face if you´re not sure what you´re doing.
When you’ve committed to growing a goatee and decided on a style, the first thing you’ll need to do is grow out a light beard slightly longer than the stubble beard look that is so popular in today’s world. This will be your canvas, in a sense, upon which you’ll draw the goatee style you have envisioned in your head. Trying to start a goatee without a full batch of facial hair can cause difficulties.
Once you’ve got your beard started, a good beard trimmer will be your most handy tool for the rest of the job. Set the beard trimmer to its lowest setting and start to give your goatee the shape you’ve desired. A good place to start is by shaving a direct line down from the corner of your mouth to however far down you want your goatee to go. You can decide later whether or not you prefer to keep the mustache and chin hair connected or separated.
Goatees don’t combine well with neck hair, so once you’ve got the shape you’re after, you’ll need to keep it nice and closely shaved from your chin/jaw bone down. After the beard trimmer has given you the initial shape, it’s time to take the shaver to clean it up and make your goatee a permanent part of your look. You’ll need to keep the cheeks and neck shaved on a daily basis otherwise you’ll have to explain why you’ve got a stubble beard growing bizarrely around your goatee. That’s most likely not the look you’re going for.
As with any facial hair, keeping your goatee well groomed and clean is a necessity. Longer goatee styles might warrant using beard oil and/or a beard comb to keep the goatee soft and flowing in the direction you choose.
Some Final Words of Advice
Whatever goatee or beard styles might draw your interest, it’s important to consider beforehand how your facial hair will balance the appearance, look and demeanor you´re trying to exude. If you want to be seen as a professional, hard working businessman, having a goatee that hangs several inches below your chin might not be compatible with your end goal.
On the other hand, if you want people to notice you as a rough, masculine and adventurous type then a well groomed, minimalist goatee with perfectly straightened lines connecting the mustache to the beard will probably clash with the image you want to create.
Taking the time to grow out a goatee and properly maintain it will be a great addition to your appearance and one that allows the versatility to try out new styles until you find the look that is uniquely yours.