Goatees are a fairly popular beard style that can make you look masculine, stylish and even edgy at times, but also awkward and ridiculous if done the wrong way. There is a very thin line between these and, sadly, too many men out there don’t know how to make their facial hair look admirable. For this reason, we will show you how to trim a goatee so that it looks great on your face. Let’s start with the basics.
How to actually grow your goatee
If you decided you want a goatee, you must have the prime material it requires – that is well grown, thick, dense, even hair. It makes no sense to style your facial hair if you can barely see it or it’s got a strange and uneven growing pattern.
Firstly, give this some time – about a week or two, to see what your body is actually capable of doing. At some point, you will have to trim it lightly. For this, use nothing other than a beard trimmer. Set the length accordingly ( or adjust the guard ), so it doesn’t take too much off and ruin your efforts thus far.
Should itching and dandruff appear, the solution is to use beard oil and actually massage it into the skin underneath, which is in need of daily conditioning. Also follow our guide on stopping beard itch if it really becomes a problem.
We do recommend that for first time goatee growers to actually go out and get a gentle trim from your barber, especially if you feel unable to do this yourself. Pay attention to the way he trims it and you will know exactly what to do by yourself in the future. Scissors might also feel like an appropriate replacement for a trimmer, but we do not advise it unless you are very skilled. It’s been proven to do more harm than good to goatee preparations.
Choosing the shape you want
At this point you may choose your future goatee beard shape. The first dimensions to set are: how far back it goes ( towards your neck ) and how far on the jaws and towards the sides. Go in front of your mirror and look at yourself from the front, as well as from the sides. What looks great from one side may be very uneven when looked at from a different angle. One of those makeup mirrors can work wonders for getting an accurate look at multiple angles.
A good rule is to never extend your goatee beyond the corners of your mouth. Just keep it as wide as your mouth is itself. One great tip is to use a washable marker and actually draw the shape on your face because you will then be able to follow the line’s like you’re tracing.
The most popular styles are also the safest and are recommended to first-timers. They are:
- A straight vertical line from under your lower lip and to the bottom of the chin.
- A wider rectangle, with either short or longer hair.
- An almost square patch that covers the entire chin.
- A full chin patch of the ( hair ) length of your choice.
Some say that a real goatee has no hair on the sides of the cheeks and it doesn’t connect with your mustache. Others advise that it’s best to choose whatever compliments your face and personal style and is, at the same time, easier to maintain. Perhaps the last bit is the most important right now especially if it’s your first time.
Shaping the goatee and maintenance
Whether it is closely cropped or bushy, your goatee has to look neat. You should never try to go around this rule. Let’s learn how to actually shape it now.
Take your trimmer and start with small strokes, remembering that there’s no hurry as you determine your goatee’s ideal shape. Create it bit by bit from the outside, slowly and carefully closing in. An electric beard trimmer is by far the optimal choice because it allows you to close in on the goatee very accurately.
If you used the washable marker tip, you can just simply trim within the lines. For the rest of your face, you may use any safety razor that you have to just shave cleanly. Be careful with the edges however as these are what gives the goatee definition.
To brush your newly grown goatee, use a comb with fine teeth. Always brush downwards. Should any wild hair stick out, you can use a scissor or your trimmer to cut them off. Tweezers are a decent choice for getting those straggly hairs as well.
Pairing a goatee with a mustache
This is now the most popular style, but it should be noted that you should probably obey this one rule: Don’t let the mustache grow longer than the beard. It should only be equal or shorter, otherwise it looks weird and awkward almost all the time. You must pay close attention to the length of your facial hair at all times. This style does require more maintenance but it can look great if you don’t slack around.
One thing that may occur is that you will feel like you might trim too much on one go. To avoid this problem, use a two pass plan when trimming. Adjust your guard or length settings to a bigger length, and with the first pass take less than you plan to remove before. You can then adjust the length settings for the second pass to get that perfect length.
A great length for a goatee is usually 4-5mm and make sure to apply a mustache wax if you go this route.
Combination styles and trends
You must always keep an eye on the latest trends, it’s easy to look old-fashioned with an outdated goatee shape. For example, the perfectly square beard + mustache combinations are looking rather weird these days but were once an upward trend.
Instead, a rather casual combination between a classic goatee and a short mustache are highly desirable nowadays. Think of how Johnny Depp wears it, for example. That small patch of hair right under the lower lip is a solid style that looks great if you are pairing it with a mustache.
Of course you can be creative here, but a general rule of thumb is to keep the beard matching your style and attitude. If it’s too much of a contrast, it will only ruin your image!