IBMC Articles

5 Popular Beard Styles: How Barbers Grow and Maintain Them

You don’t have to become a professional Barber to keep your beard well-groomed and healthy, but asking a Barber for beard advice is always helpful.

While beard growth can be as simple as avoiding your next shave, maintaining a sharp style requires a little more work. Learn how Barbers grow and maintain their own beards—and find the right style for you.



Otherwise known as the “3-day beard” or the “5 o’clock shadow,” stubble is a low-maintenance style for easy-going guys. And, it turns out that women love this bristly look. In a 2008 study, researchers found that light stubble was perceived by women as the most attractive facial hair style. Sometimes less is more!

Growing and Maintaining a Stubble Beard

  1. Start by growing your beard out to about a quarter of an inch.
  2. Use an electric trimmer to trim your beard down. If you’re new to using one, start with a guard that’s about twice as long as you think you’ll want.
  3. Use a razor to clean up any edges that may be asymmetrical on your upper cheekbones or upper lip.
  4. Once you find the right length of trimmer guard, trim your stubble weekly.
  5. A stubble beard is unique in that you can and should wash your face with the same frequency you would clean shaven.

Tip: Get a good night’s sleep. A 2011 study by the American Medical Association found that if you sleep for 5 hours or less, your testosterone levels decrease by as much as 15 percent, hindering beard growth.



Some men struggle with a patchy, uneven beard that grows thicker on the upper lip and chin. If that’s you, you’re the perfect candidate for a classic goatee. Though it requires more maintenance than most other styles, the goatee works for any facial shape, making it a great look that any guy can pull off.

Growing and Maintaining a Goatee

  1. Start by growing your beard out for a week, at minimum. If you have thinner facial hair, it may take longer to reach the desired length.
  2. Using a trimmer, work around the sides of your cheeks until you reach the shape you want. Focus on keep it symmetrical and make sure the length and width are balanced on all sides.
  3. You can continue to grow your goatee out over time, but trim it regularly. Also be sure to keep the surrounding area nice and clean shaven.
  4. Wash your beard just a couple times a week. Regular cleaning with shampoo and conditioner will keep your goatee healthy, and allow you to avoid facial acne.

Tip: Your diet affects your beard the same way it affects your body. Eat balanced meals for healthier, stronger facial hair.


Full Beard

Commitment—you’re going to need it. A full beard can take months to grow, but it’s well worth the wait. The style can convey masculinity, confidence and even wisdom. That may be why it’s one of the more popular beard styles of this decade, with men even participating in serious beard competitions all over the world.

Popular full beard styles include:

  • The Garibaldi: A full beard with a rounded bottom, named for a famed Italian general
  • The Yeard: The result of a full year without trimming, grooming or any real maintenance (more social experiment than an actual style)

Growing and Maintaining a Full Beard

  1. A full beard requires patience, but you can still trim it to avoid looking scraggly. Cut back any neck hair and stray cheek hairs with regular shaves.
  2. After it’s grown to a good length, begin to even out the beard with a trimmer to keep it looking uniform.
  3. Tidy up your neck and cheek lines. It can be helpful to use a photo of a well-groomed beard for reference.
  4. Shape your beard by slowly increasing the length guard size on your trimmer as you move from your cheeks to your chin.
  5. Wash your beard with shampoo and conditioner infrequently, then rehydrate it with a quality beard oil.

Tip: Brushing your beard is a great way to evenly distribute natural oils and stimulate hair follicles to encourage growth.


Short Beard

We can’t all pull off the big, full beard—especially if you work in a professional setting. But a short beard is an excellent alternative to a clean shave. Young men with a “baby face,” may find a short beard gives them a more distinguished look. The style is versatile, low maintenance and always fashionable.

Growing and Maintaining a Short Beard

  1. The first step is getting enough length. You’ll need at least 2 cm to work with in order to achieve this look.
  2. Next, use a trimmer to shape your neck and cheek lines. Be sure to clean up your lower lip area too.
  3. Trim your beard down to your desired length. Again, if you’re not sure which clipper guard to use, start with one you know is longer than you need.
  4. Comb the beard out and check for areas that could use a touch up.
  5. Shave your neck and upper cheeks carefully, without removing too much of the upper beard.

Tip: Consider using a beard oil to hydrate your skin and keep your beard soft to the touch.


Faded Beard

The faded beard is the perfect balance between manly and manicured. It’s a sharp, modern style, admittedly with a fair amount of upkeep required. A faded beard can be long or short, but the longer you go, the more dramatic the fade effect will be.

Growing and Maintaining a Faded Beard

  1. Trim your existing beard to your ideal length. Sharpen the neckline with a trimmer and use a razor to clean up both the neck and cheeks.
  2. Start tapering your beard by trimming an inch above your jawline at one guard length shorter than the rest of your beard. Trim this length for about an inch upward.
  3. Switch out your trimmer guard for a shorter length and trim another inch toward your sideburns.
  4. Repeat until your beard blends in with the sides your haircut.
  5. To maintain the look, repeat this process weekly or when your fade begins to become less pronounced.

Find a Barber You Can Trust

If you have questions or need help picking a beard style, you can always consult your Barber. IBMC College offers Barbering services performed by expertly trained Student Barber Professionals, including haircuts, shaves and beard styling in Fort Collins, Greeley and Longmont, Colorado.

Are You Passionate About Hair and Beard Care?

Consider a fulfilling career as a professional Barber. Learn more about IBMC College’s hands-on 13-month Barbering program now, or ask about it during your next Student Salon visit.

Already a Cosmetologist, but looking to expand your skill set? Evening Barbering courses are available to established Cosmetologists who want to add specialized male grooming services to their repertoire.

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