How to Name Your Beard

Badass Beards

Are you a pogonophile or a pogonophobe? The answer depends on whether you love or hate (or are scared of) beards. Guys and gals tend to think they’re manly, maybe a little aggressive-looking; ladies would probably prefer if they didn’t prickle so much.

No matter where you fall on the spectrum, you have to admit there are some badass beards out there. And they have some pretty cool names, too.

Ready to see a bunch of hairy faces?

French Fork

A beard, indeed, named for a French eating implement. The first forks in France had only two prongs.

The French Fork is a full-bearded look, but once past the chin, the facial hair splits down the middle. A fork in the beard.

With Cap’n Jack Sparrow’s influence, it’s not only permissible for guys to sport black eyeliner, they can also turn their French Forks into Sparrows. Simply braid and bead your beard-forks.

Ducktail

The name Ducktail has us thinking more “waddle” than “wonderful,” as this beard gets its name from the posterior feathers of a mallard. Hair should be shorter around the cheeks and gradually lengthen to a pointy or rounded end.

Despite its name, proponents claim this style strikes a good balance between ruggedness and professionalism. If Brad Pitt can dig it, so can we.

Anchor

Folks who like this one swear it won’t weigh you down. The Anchor is a replica of the nautical mooring device. Longish hairs along your chin, hair-free under the lip except for a little pinched chin strip (soul patch, if you will), and a ‘stache.

This one comes with a few warnings. It only works on guys with square or oblong faces. You absolutely cannot have sideburns. And to truly achieve the seafaring stubs, you must grow a pyramid-shaped pencil mustache.

Balbo

Great for the man with a narrow chin. Perhaps that’s why Robert Downey Jr. grew his version of the Balbo.

To the untrained eye, the Balbo resembles the Anchor. Oh, but there are differences. A flatter mustache, a larger hourglass-shaped chin strip, and more pronounced hair along the chin and up the sides of the face. Totally different, really.

Don’t be dismayed by Balbo’s Fascist facial roots. Yes, the beard was worn by Mussolini’s pal Italo Balbo, but that’s all in the past. Now it’s one of the sexiest beards out there.

Friendly Mutton Chops

We examined the hairy roots of this beard’s bushier kin in another piece on fabulous mustaches. But those chops were downright devilish, growing forth from the poor wearer’s cheeks like the horns of Satan.

The Friendly Mutton Chops still involve growing slab-of-lamb-meat sideburns, but the look gains approachability with the addition of a mustache that connects to the chops.

If you want to get wicked again (or you’re too lazy to trim), keep the ‘stache and let your chops lengthen and wing out.

Verdi

Opera fans out there? The name of this carefully groomed form of facial hair was inspired by Giuseppe Verdi, the Italian opera composer who lived in the 1800s. A picture of the real Verdi will show that he had much wilder facial hair than the look we’ve got here.

Strict rules must be adhered to with the Verdi: the beard must be no longer than 3.9 in. (10 cm) in length from the bottom lip. A mustache must be cultivated and curled at the tips. It must not grow more than .59 in. (1.5 cm) past the corner of the lips and absolutely cannot become entangled with the beard.

Garibaldi

Another Italian name for a much less rule-abiding beard. The Garibaldi. Named for Giuseppe Garibaldi, a 19th-century general who helped unify Italy.

This beard brays boldness and machismo. A circular mustache dives into a full-on beard that broadens out at the bottom like the broad shoulders of the strapping man who wears it.

Don’t let it get too long or even close to pointy. Its mark of distinction is the in-between rounded look. Think of it as the bearded equivalent of a bulging muscle.

Dutch

Not the most creative name out there, but “American” would be more boring. The Dutch tags on perfectly with the Garibaldi, but it’s got a swagger all its own. Why? One significant detail. It is tee-totally, irrefutably, categorically de-mustachioed. This one’s got lumberjack chainsawed all up in there.

Bandholz

The Bandholz is the beard of choice for the "kombucha/beer-that-I brew-in-my-closet is the new wine” hipster.

It’s named for Eric Bandholz, founder of Beardbrand. He’s the perfect example of someone who loves beards so much he quit his corporate job and founded a company devoted to all things pogonotrophic: beard oils, combs, softeners, and other tools and elixirs too tantalizing to mention.

To achieve this look, be patient. You’ll go through a rough and patchy patch. Keep going. Let your beard grow as long as your hair follicles will biologically support. After about 7 months, you can start trimming up, but this look is all about controlled wildness.

Chin Curtain

Beards can camouflage all manner of unsightly chins and defects. But if you’re genetically blessed with chiseled good looks, the Chin Curtain is for you. It’s the barely-there hair that accentuates a sculpted jawline. Just like the rocky outcropping of rugged terrain…with some sagebrush. Howdy, partner.

Soul Patch

Mankind’s smallest beard. A perfect nest of testosterone below the lower lip. The Soul Patch is another form of facial hair groomed for good looks. Jazz musician Dizzie Gillespie popularized the Soul Patch in the 1940s and ‘50s.

If you’re feeling far out, go for the Zappa, after Frank Zappa: let your little patch grow into a small chin lawn and liberate your upper lip fuzz to form a thick draping mustache.

Klingon

Trekkies, this last one’s for you. The Klingon is basically the best way to merge science fiction and reality on your face. The beard was a signature physical trait of the character Worf in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The upper lip stays bald, but thin strips of hair start from the corners of the mouth and run down to the beard. A hefty soul patch completes the look.

Beard experts suggest a good diet of lean proteins, healthy oils and fatty acids to help your Klingon cling on. Good advice to follow if you want any of the beards we’ve covered here. May you grow out and prosper!