What You Should Know Before Growing a Goatee

beard, goatee

A goatee | Source: iStock

With a great goatee comes great responsibility — and usually a bit of criticism for growing one. Think you can pull one off? You need a certain amount of confidence, more so than a regular beard, in order to truly grasp the style.

Allan Peterkin, a pogonologist (aka a beard scholar), Dove Men+Care facial grooming expert, and author, told Huffington Post his expert opinion about what sporting a goatee — as opposed to any other choice of facial beard — really says about you (we can’t all be Brad Pitt after all). Peterkin says, “This [facial hair style] hit in the mid-1990s. It was a bit of a statement then, but it’s sort of become the overly done expression. Some men still wear it, but one guy I interviewed said, ‘If your dad and your dentist still have goatees, it’s time to change your look.'”

So gentlemen, if you’re considering growing a goatee, heed some of this advice.

You’re going to need to put the time in

Growing and grooming a goatee takes some attention, a lot of practice, and a heavy dose of confidence. If you don’t have these qualities, skip it.

Know exactly what a goatee is

We know that you know what a goatee is, and here’s a fun fact: If you ask anyone to describe one to you, it’s close to impossible not to touch your face when explaining it to someone. A traditional goatee is the hair you grow under you chin. A Van Dyke is a goatee with a disconnected mustache, and a circle beard is a goatee connected to a mustache. The goatee we’ve all grown to love and hate is a combination of all three. Other defining features of the goatee include cleanly-shaven cheeks, and that connective line of facial hair from mustache to chin.

You have to try it to determine if you can pull one off


A goatee | Source: iStock

Unless you’ve experimented with faux-facial fur, it’s tough to know if you can pull it off beforehand. GQ says that it really depends upon your face and chin shape, as well the color of your facial hair and your complexion. If you have pale skin and dark hair, a goatee can look severe, whereas if your facial hair is closer to the color of your skin, then it will give you a less standout look. Similar to what a beard can do to your facial features, it can add strength to a weak chin, as well as help to define a round, less-sculpted face. Make sure you do your research beforehand, so you can figure out who you want to model your goatee after — think: Kanye West, Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, and Idris Elba.

OK, you’re ready to go

You’re doing it. Start by letting your facial hair grow. Goatees need to be cultivated, and you must pay special attention because just knowing how to grow one isn’t enough. It’s within the first few days that you stop shaving that will determine whether you can grow it and if it will suit you. Once you have a short beard, shave the area from your sideburns to about half an inch outside the corners of your mouth. The traditional dimensions of the goatee should never extend past the smile lines of your face, continuing down to your chin.

Remember to move the razors or clippers every which way — hair grows in every direction and you want to catch all of the strays. To prevent it from looking too cookie-cutter, try shaving with electric clippers instead of using a razor, which will leave just the right amount of stubble as the bridge between the goatee and your skin. To shape the goatee, use a nose hair trimmer for finely shaping the edges.

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