When somebody mentions French beards, my mind always envisions one of Alexandre Dumas’ Three Musketeers. Although not originally a member of the initial three, the one that, in my mind, sports a perfect French beard is the fourth one – D’Artagnan.
But if you are not familiar with classic literature, there is a perfect contemporary substitute in Tony Stark, aka Iron Man. Actor Robert Downey Jr. who portrays Mr. Stark, has perhaps the best French beard that I have ever seen. He must have a high-quality beard comb at all times on his person, as that thing can be a celebrity on its own.
Even though this type of French beard may be the most popular, there are other ones and each one comes with its twist and unique features. Our article has all the information you need to create one if you want to try this style.
What Is a French Beard
A French beard is a style of beard that usually extends towards the apex of your chin. The French cut area characterizes this type of beard, but variations of it exist with added facial hair around it in different places. This style originates in France, as it was the style of men used there some centuries ago.
The French beard soon became popular in Western Europe at first and then started spreading worldwide. The main reason is that it looks good, but it is low maintenance and does not require so much grooming as other styles.
You may have also heard about it by its other names as it goes by the French Cut or the Goatee.
Benefits of Growing a French Beard
The advantages of growing a French beard have not changed since its inception. What was then is now, as the French beard is an attractive style that looks good on a man and is fancied by women. You can see a lot of celebrities sporting the French cut, which is more than enough evidence of this being a stylish type of beard.
Not only does it look fantastic, but it comes with different variations. It is not a flat style that will make all people who wear it carbon copies of each other. It is a style with which you can do a lot of exciting things. With so many variations, you can pick the one that suits you the most and keep going with it for a while until you decide to spruce things up a bit and go for a different one.
Let’s not forget that the French cut is one of the least demanding styles for maintenance. You don’t need all those fancy premium beard care products, although it wouldn’t hurt, to groom your beard.
How Does French Beard Work
The perfect French beard usually combines both the beard and the mustache parts into one. The mustache is supposed to curve down and connect with the beard on your chin (the goatee) but excludes the cheeks. Some styles even include the small patch just beneath your lower lip (the soul patch).
The French beard style is known for being a sophisticated and elegant look. It is usually worn by men that have delicate features and are well-manicured. You can easily create your style of a French beard only by using an electric beard trimmer as it is that easy to make.
Pros and Cons of a French Beard
- Really easy to stylize and create.
- Somewhat traditional but still a modern look if done correctly.
- Very easy to maintain.
- Has many variations allowing you room to experiment with your style.
- Never goes out of fashion.
- Not for everyone, primarily for fashionable and elegant men.
- Comes with a villain vibe if not fitted properly.
- Too traditional in some people’s opinion.
How to Grow a French Beard
Step 1 – Decide on the style
It seems that you have decided to try on a French beard. It does not take long nor any special effort to create one. But you will have to decide on a specific style as there are many variations. For the sake of argument, we decided to explain the most traditional way of doing it.
Step 2 – Grow a full beard
It starts in the same manner as with any style – growing a full beard. You can try beard vitamins to make the process faster and to get a stronger beard. Once all the parts of the beard that you want to keep have grown, it is time to trim down the excess ones. Shave off the beard on your cheeks and the jawline.
Step 3 – Trim the remaining hairs
To finish things off, trim down the part that is left and you are good to go.
How to Trim a French Beard
Step 1 – Shave of the stray hairs
The trimming part may not be as easy as the growing part. But it is still rewarding if you are patient enough. Once you are done shaving off the excess hair, you are left with the mustache and goatee parts.
Step 2 – Boil down on the style
This is where you need to boil down on a style. You can decide to keep things slim or wear a thicker beard. There is also the choice of disconnecting the mustache from the goatee part, which also looks pretty cool. Another choice comes with shaving off or keeping the soul patch.
Step 3 – Time for an electric shaver or razor
To keep it short, once you decide what looks good on you, stylize the leftover parts with an electric shaver or a razor. Also, you can use skin exfoliation as part of your grooming process. Don’t worry about things going wrong. You can always shave the entire thing off and start from scratch by growing another one.
How to Maintain a French Beard
A well-groomed French beard can look awesome; just like an unkempt one can become a disaster. There is nothing worse than letting yourself and your French beard go. The work does not stop once you make it; you need to keep it fresh and maintain it constantly.
Step 1 – Allow it to grow
A trim and a shave from time to time will keep the style fresh. Allowing it to grow out too long will defeat the purpose of a French Beard. You can even use a goatee mold which can help you maintain the perfect shape.
Step 2 – Use soap or wash
Also, you can use a natural and organic beard wash to keep the beard shiny and silky. This process is best suited after a shower.
15 Most Popular French Beard Styles
With the basics out of the way, it is time to double down on the actual French beard style that you want to try out. We mentioned that there are a few out there, so here are some of the picks you can try.
Hard Man Style
A French beard with an angular style. It comes with a thicker mustache and a thick beard. It outlines the face nicely and makes your chin look stronger—definitely, something a bodybuilder would wear. Think The Rock, for example.
French Beard With Chinstrap
A chinstrap beard style builds upon the existing French beard one by connecting it with the sideburns. This is perfect for someone who has a masculine jawline. You need to shave the beard from your cheeks and leave a small, thin strip that will connect with the sides of your face.
Full Beard With Thick French Section
You can grow facial hair on other parts of your face and still call it a French beard. As long as you keep the parts that characterize the French cut (mustache and goatee) long and complete while at the same time growing some parts on your cheeks and jawline, it could look very cool and exceptionally appealing.
Heavy and Tight
Keeping things heavy and tight does create a tough guy look. This style will show off the bone structure of a person’s face. Just shave off everything except the goatee and the mustache. Keep them connected but keep them thick and full.
Salt and Pepper
Going grey is not the end of the world. It can be pretty appealing if you manage to pull it off just in the right way. Combine the greys with a neat French beard and you will get that serious, elegant, experienced male look that you’ve been craving for. Denzel Washington doesn’t seem to mind it.
Braided Fork Beard
A somewhat extravagant look, but the Braided Fork beard style is a modern twist on a traditional French beard. It involves letting the lower parts grow and braiding them up. Let them lose and show off your unique flair. I think one of the System of a Down guys has a great one.
Sparse French Beard
Some guys can’t grow a thick and heavy beard. It does not mean that they shouldn’t create their beard style. A Sparse French beard might be perfect, especially for guys with a rounded face, as it will create an appearance of an elongated and symmetrical one instead.
Clean French Beard
You can shave off the mustache and still call it a French beard. At least people in the fashion industry refer to it as a Clean French beard. It is a youthful look and will brighten up your face. It shows off your facial structure and draws attention to your face.
Beard With Handlebar Mustache
You don’t see a lot of men wearing Handlebar mustaches unless they are one of the crew members of the Peaky Blinders. But this quirky mustache can be combined with a French beard to create a unique look that will make you stand out in the crowd.
Long French Beard
The long French beard style is perfect for guys that have rounder faces. If you have a stronger beard that you can quickly grow out of, why not go for a longer look. Keep the mustache, shave the cheeks but keep the goatee part longer.
The Anchor Style is just what it sounds like. The beard resembles an anchor with the parts between the mustache and the beard detached. You don’t have to be a sailor to wear it. It instills luxury and elegance and it does look good on Tony Stark.
Thin French Beard Style
I can’t think of a better example of a thin French beard than Will Smith. He has made this look his own and I hate those movies where he grows it out or shaves everything away. Keeping things thin is a very fashionable style for a sharper look.
Thin and Wispy
Making your French beard thinner and wispy brings an artsy look to it. If you want to make people think you are an artist, this is the way to go. Unless you are an actual artist, that way, you better start sporting this one.
Sparse Beard for Ginger Hair
I feel for the light hair guys, as it is tough to grow a thick beard. But it doesn’t have to be unattractive, as a sparse beard does look good on men with lighter hair. Grow it where it is the thickest, at the base of the chin. Your jawline will look sharper and your look will be much more defined.
Long French With Thin Trim
Too much facial hair could seem unappealing. So keeping the beard long but making the trim thin will enunciate your jawline. The same thing goes for your mustache. Keep it thin and simple and it will only add to the overall appearance of your beard.
French Beard vs Van Dyke
A common misconception is thinking that the French Beard and the Van Dyke beard are the same things. You are excused for doing so, as both terms have been used to refer to the same style in the past. But as things evolved, distinctions have been made between the two styles and appearances.
It was settled that a beard that encircles the entire mouth will only be referred to as the French beard style. The term French beard should be used separately from the mustache.
But what you can do is to use an unscented beard moisturizer for both styles.
Do’s and Don’ts With a French Beard
Whether you want to experiment with a French beard or make it a part of your permanent style, some things can and others that shouldn’t be done. You don’t have to use the world’s best beard balm to make it work, but it doesn’t hurt to try.
- Try out different styles before you decide on the best one for you.
- Treat your beard with some essential oils in shaving creams.
- It is more than fine to emphasize the mustache.
- Trim your beard as much as you can.
- Don’t make drastic changes.
- Avoid making the mustaches and the beard too long.
- Dying your beard is too much.
FAQ About a French Beard
Why is it called French beard?
The origin of the name of the French beard derives from its historical background as its roots go back to France.
Is French beard good?
Yes, it is. Even though it is a traditional type of beard, it allows room for many variations and never goes out of style.
What French beard style is most attractive?
It depends, as there are many different shapes and styles of the French beard. Each person may have a personal preference and it will also depend on the face structure and the shape. Therefore, the most attractive style is the one that best suits a person.
Do French people have beards?
Yes, they do, as is the case with men in the rest of the world.
What celebrities grow a French beard?
There are a ton of celebrities that sport a French Beard. Robert Downey Jr. might be the most famous one, but you’ve probably seen Johnny Depp wearing a great one as well.
If you’ve been thinking about getting a French beard, we advise you to go for it. You can’t miss this one. But what you can do is experiment a bit before you decide on the right style for you. Once you find the right one, put on some sunglasses, splash a bit of some amazing woodsy cologne and you are ready to hit the town.
Photos from: kues / depositphotos.com, photography33 / depositphotos.com, logoboom / depositphotos.com and oocoskun / depositphotos.com.
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