It’s one of the least common beard styles of 2016. It’s warm, stylish, but also non-intrusive. You guessed it – it’s mutton chops.
Mutton chops is a bold fashion style to go for, but if you can pull it off it’ll go down like dynamite. Read on to find out everything you know about this in-your-face beard style.
What Are Mutton Chops?
It’s a good question and a really great place for us to start. Mutton chops – also known as sideburns, are stretches of facial hair expanding down a man’s cheeks, often forming a triangular shape that resembles a piece of meat. It sounds strange, but it’s what they are.
They’re typically grown from the ears down to the jawline, but they can also be mixed up and connected to other facial hair items such as a mustache or goatee.
History of Mutton Chops
From presidents to peasants and everyone in between, mutton chops – or sideburns – were worn by absolutely everybody. They were the height of fashion and a way of displaying class, intellect and masculinity above other competing males.
Nowadays, mutton chops are somewhat less fashionable, but they’re donned by a few brave males bold enough to pull the style off and make it work for them. Gone are the days of 1800’s civil rights activists in bowler hats and suits – it’s the modern man’s turn now.
There are those that believe that since Elvis Presley left this earth, mutton chops have been poised and ready to make a comeback. In the 70’s and 80’s, the disco era saw them donned by dancers, cops, hairy porn stars and hairy pornstar cops. Liam Gallagher from britpop band Oasis even brought them into the 90’s.
They’ve yet to surge into popularity yet, but that doesn’t mean they won’t. It also doesn’t mean that you can’t look seriously badass with a pair of them gracing your cheeks.
Wolverine’s Mutton Chops
How to Grow Mutton Chops
Like any beard style that we discuss on this site, mutton chops start with a period of continuous growing. Whether you grow out a full beard first and trim out is up to you. Fortunately, unlike most other styles, with mutton chops this isn’t necessary.
To secure a pair of mutton chops that’ll make any aristocrat envious, follow these simple steps:
1) Stop Shaving
Naturally, if you want to grow facial hair, you’re going to have to stop shaving. This is the first step and probably the easiest to do. What you don’t want to do, however, is dispose of your razor. For some other, full-face styles such as the Bandholz, throwing away your shaving instruments can be a great way of maintaining motivation for your beard.
It’s a long process and looking scruffy and itchy will cause many people to drop off along the way. With mutton chops, however, this doesn’t have to be the case. Since the style only occupies the side of your face, you can start shaving the centre areas, mustache, chin and neck whenever you feel like it.
By doing this, you’ll also help yourself to avoid the scruffy look that’s typically associated with growing a beard.
2) Set Clear Lines to Shave Around
You don’t want to shave too close to the mutton chops initially, as if you cut too close it’ll look scruffy whilst you grow them back to their original thickness. Mutton chops are characterized by their wide and bushy shape, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Leave yourself sufficient room for movement in the future, as what you want your beard style to look like may change.
3) Allow Time to Grow
Depending on your facial hair growing abilities, each person will need to allot a different period of time for this step. It can be easy to lose motivation during this part of the process, but it’s important to keep in mind your original goal.
When you stopped shaving, you did so on the basis that you wanted to craft a mighty beard style.
4) Complete Shaping
It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. Once you’ve been growing your mutton chops for a long enough period – usually 4-6 weeks, it’s shave time. Sculpt the final touches to your mutton chops by removing any excess cheek, jaw and central facial hair. A simple tip that people often don’t think about doing is to use clear shaving cream/gel so you can easily see where you are shaving ensuring that your lines are looking sharp!
5) Maintain Your Mutton Chops
Once you’ve perfected your beard style, it’s not quite over. Your mutton chops will require regular maintenance to ensure that they’re on top form. Although the style is characterized by its bushiness and broad structure, that doesn’t mean that your mutton chops have to be like this. In fact, the majority of all mutton chops styles are maintained regularly using a beard trimmer. With this – and a few other select products – you can seriously up your beard game.
Items You’ll Need
Just like any other beard style, you will need some specialized beard tools to achieve a decent mutton chops look. At the bare minimum, you should use:
1) A Beard Trimmer
This item is an essential for any well-respected and to-do gentleman boasting a bushy beard style. A top level beard trimmer, such as one from the Philips Norelco range, will cover everything you need. It’ll also be ideal for full-body grooming; in case you have other areas that also need taming. Also be sure to check out our massive guide on choosing the right beard trimmer if you don’t know where to start.
2) Beard Shampoo
With long beard hair comes itchiness. It’s an unfortunate fact, but it’s definitely one that’s best tackled early-on. By investing in a beard shampoo, you’ll be able to subdue and directly treat any dry skin, avoiding the dreaded ‘beardruff’.
3) Beard Oil
Once you start to gain substantial length to your mutton chops, they’re going to start to get pretty prickly. This can easily be managed by a good beard oil, which will both soften your beard hair and promote future growth. We at Beardicure absolutely love the oil produced by Smooth Viking, so it’s well worth checking out.
Take these tips and products into hand and you’ll soon possess a wolverine beard that’ll even make the finest of bearded men jealous.
As a man, your beard is an extension of yourself. It frames your face, it keeps you warm at night, but it also does so much more – it defines your personality.
Beards are quickly growing in popularity and with this has come a rise in demand for beard styles that will get men looking their very finest. With so many different face shapes and personality types, however, how can you be sure to pick the right one for you?
Coming from a bearded man who’s made more than one facial hair mistake in his life, trust me when I say this – there is nothing more frustrating than biding your time for 5 weeks growing out your face hugger, only to cut it into a style that doesn’t work for you. More than once I’ve made this slip-up and have had to start clean again.
Don’t Make the Same Mistakes I Made!
Don’t worry though, I’m not about to let the same thing happen to you. In this article, I’m going to give you a round-up of the different top beard styles.
We’re going to go all the way from bushy beards to thin beard styles for the slow-growing gentleman. If you’re struggling to find motivation, I’m even going to give you a few reasons why you should explore different beard styles.
Strap yourself in and read on to find your perfect look this season.
Why Should You Explore Different Types of Beard?
Far too often, the bearded male grows complacent, settling for whatever look is gracing his face at the time. It’s understandable – growing a beard takes a lot of time and dedication and, as I’ve already mentioned, changing beard styles can be a pretty risky move.
If you don’t experiment, however, how are you going to know that you’re on the top of your game? A couple of trims and a bit of shaping could have you on peak form, after making only a few minor changes.
The perfect beard styles are out there and finding the one for you will boost your masculinity, improve your confidence and ultimately, make you irresistible to the opposite sex. Take a look at some of the beard styles that your face could definitely be rocking.
This Season’s Top Beard Styles
Created and aptly named by founder of BeardBrand, Eric Bandholz, this beard is an all-out war against clean shaven styles. Characterized by its bushy appearance and characteristic lack of trimming, this style is perfect for anyone looking to push their beard game to the max, without having to invest much time into maintenance.
Eric quit his job in the corporate world after receiving too many negative comments about his face mane. He’s subsequently dedicated his life to the bearded cause and has built a brand that focuses on products for bearded men.
This style is perfect for the nonchalant man with fast-growing facial hair, who also isn’t afraid to take risks. If you live in a cold area too, this one is definitely going to help you out during those chilly months.
Beard styles like this are particularly well-suited to men with diamond, oval, triangle, inverted triangle and oblong face shapes.
Achieve This Beard Style By…
Letting your hormones run rampant and throwing your razor in the trash are the primary steps to this style. A two-month stint in the secluded wilderness is also an option, as Leonardo Di Caprio was sporting an impressive Bandholz in The Revenant. Hopefully you’ll manage to nail this beard style minus the bears. It’d probably help to get those hormones pumping, though.
The Bandholz requires minimal maintenance, so it can be achieved by simply leaving your genetics to do their thing. If you struggle to grow hair quickly, you might be better off checking out some thin beard styles.
Do you often find yourself struggling to make time for a morning grooming routine? You’ve come to the right beard style. The Garibaldi is a truly stylish face bush that any man would be proud to bear.
This style is slightly better kept than the Bandholz, so it will need trimming once in awhile. As a result, it’s best to hang onto that razor for now.
Similar to the Bandholz, the Garibaldi is perfect for people who are time-poor but genetics-rich.
This beard style is perfectly suited for those with rectangular or oval faces.
Achieve This Beard Style By…
If you’re gifted with the power to grow, let your hormones do the talking and sit back. Minimal grooming is needed to keep this style in check, although the occasional trim will be required.
Also referred to as the Hollywoodian, the goatee overflow is a prime combination of the goatee and an excellent mustache. If you’re looking to free up some real estate on your cheeks, this beard style is for you.
Originally made famous by Brad Pitt, this style has now left California and is being sported by men across the world.
If you’re looking for a beard style without the excessive cheek hair and mutton chops, this one is for you. It’s also one of the best styles for patchy types of beards.
This look is perfect for people with an oval or square face shape. You’re probably beginning to see the trend with face shapes here. If you’ve got an oval face, lucky you. You’re going to be able to pull the majority of these styles off without looking like a mix and match Lego character
Achieve This Beard Style By…
Leave your facial hair untouched for a couple of weeks, or until a medium length stubble has cropped up. After this, begin by sculpting a tight line fitted around your jaw. Next, shave down from your cheek line until the length meets that of your lower lip. It’s up to you, but it’s usually a good idea to make sure your cheek line is shaved parallel to your jaw.
Friendly Mutton Chops
Do you want to look fun and approachable, but with a quirky, masculine edge? The friendly mutton chops will nail it for you. Also known as the sideburns, the term was coined by American Civil War general Ambrose Burnside. What a name.
This beard style is perfect for those with an oval, square or circular face. It’s also ideal for men with strong chins that they don’t want to draw further attention to with facial hair.
Achieve This Beard Style By…
As with most beard styles, it starts with a period of continuous growing. Nail this style by letting your hair grow out for around 4 weeks, then shaving out your chin and lower lip. Depending on your preference, you can also trim and shave your neckline up to meet your jawline. Continue to grow your mutton chops and mustache until bushy.
Without a doubt the most masculine of the beard styles, the full beard is also the most popular. Whether you want to set yourself apart from the rest with a more unique style is up to you, but the full beard is a style that many can rock to perfection.
This beard style will work for pretty much everyone, as you will no doubt have seen from the sheer number of men sporting it. It is, however, best suited to men with a triangle, inverted triangle or diamond face shape.
Achieve This Beard Style By…
Your ability to command this style is, sadly, largely down to genetics. If you excel when it comes to growing hair pretty much wherever, this style isn’t going to pose too much of a problem. However, if you’re looking for beard styles for patchy beards, this one probably isn’t for you.
To get this look, stop shaving altogether for a period of 4-6 weeks. After that, style in clean lines with your razor on your neck and cheek lines. Depending on how quickly your hair grows, maintain a set length by trimming it as required. This will help to keep your beard stylish and looking tidy.
Coined by the popular painter Anthony Van Dyke, this beard style has surged in and out of popularity since his life over 300 years ago. Combining two popular elements of facial hair, the Van Dyke involves a high level of styling precision and maintenance to keep both the mustache and goatee on point.
Anthony Van Dyke
Current Van Dyke Style
If you have a narrow chin, this style is absolutely perfect for you. It’ll help to draw attention away from it and accentuate it, making it look larger, wider and more pronounced. Should you want to strengthen your jawline too, you can also extend this beard style with a chin strap.
Achieve This Beard Style By…
Grow your hair out until it becomes long, fine stubble. This can take anywhere from 1-3 weeks, depending on how quickly your facial hair grows. After you’ve got a good length to work with, slowly begin to sculpt your facial hair, removing it from both the left and right sides of your cheeks.
Without shaving your mustache, sculpt the soul patch under your bottom lip into the desired shape and leave the beard to grow until about 2 inches in length. Again, this is down to personal preference. If you want to become a bearded Rapunzel and push the beard length to the max, we say go for it.
Robert Downey Jr. has been rocking this style for years and for good reason – it’s awesome. Throughout The Avengers movie series, he’s maintained this style to perfection and shown the rest of the male world how it’s done. If you like his style, why not give it a go?
Robert Downey Jr.
Much like the Van Dyke, this beard style is perfect for those with a narrow chin who are looking to strengthen and pronounce it. The Balbo can also help to draw attention away from other features, such as a larger nose.
Achieve This Beard Style By…
Before beginning this beard style, you need a sufficient canvas to work from. Make sure you let your facial hair grow out for a good 4-6 weeks. If you have trouble growing hair on your cheeks and are looking for beard styles for patchy beards, the Balbo could work well for you.
After you’ve got your beard to a good length, begin to shave off any cheek, jaw and neck hair on around the center of your chin. Then, carefully shave the gaps between your mustache and goatee.
Products You’ll Need
Although beards are free and grow on their own, they unfortunately don’t groom themselves. This means that there are a few items you’re going to need to help your style along the way.
In fact, there are even some items listed below that’ll promote fuller and faster beard growth. Take a look to find out what you’ll need:
1) A Beard Trimmer
In order to perfect any of the beard styles mentioned above, you’re going to need to invest in a purpose-built trimmer for your beard. This doesn’t necessarily have to be the most expensive model on the market, but you should look for one that comes with a warranty and will last you for several years. You can usually get a good one for around $20.
One of our favorites is the Philips Norelco Multigroom. At that $20 mark you’ll get a beard trimmer from an industry-leading and widely recognized brand who produce reliable and high-performing products.
In the kit, you’ll receive the main trimmer, a travel case and several length attachments to contour your beard and get it looking its best.
2) Beard Balms and Oils
During the beard-growing process, especially if this is your first serious facial hair, your skin isn’t likely to take a pounding. In order to promote a healthy complexion, we suggest you invest in a good beard balm or beard oil.
Once again, these aren’t going to break the bank. In fact, you can pick up a good beard oil or balm for around $15. For that money, they’re well worth the purchase.
Beard balms and beard oils will help to moisturize the underlying skin on your face, reducing your chance of developing the dreaded ‘beardruff’. They’ll also reduce the chance of you developing ingrown hairs and can even work proactively to promote hair growth.
3) A Beard Brush
This one might sound a little strange, but a beard brush is a piece of kit you don’t know you need until you don’t have one. Trust us – by that point, you’re really going to need it.
In unison with beard oils and balms, a good beard brush will help with even product distribution and will massage the underlying skin to promote a healthy complexion.
On their own, they’re an essential tool to make sure your beard remains knot-free and is looking its finest at all times.
For an in-depth look, check out our review of the top 5 beard brushes. My personal favorite from the list is Smooth Viking beard brush. It’s made with 100% boar hair and works better than any I’ve seen before.
Keep It Clean
It might seem obvious, but be sure to work a good beard wash into your daily washing routine. Beards can help to stop any infections or viruses from entering your body, but for a short time they’re still going to be stuck within the hairs. To start with, a regular sensitive hair shampoo will work fine for your beard. If you start to experience any dry skin, it’s time to invest in a proper beard shampoo.
If this is your first beard grow, check out our guide on growing a beard. You’ll find some useful tips on how to grow a beard the right way, which will no doubt save you time and effort down the line.
As with your dress sense, beards are a great way of defining what kind of man you are. Whether you’re going for longer or patchy beard styles, you’ve got the power to make it happen. Pick your look and start growing!
So you’ve heard of Movember, sure. It’s the time of year where men across the world band together and grow awesome mustaches for an even awesome cause. But what if you’re not ready to kiss goodbye to your facial hair for just a month of mustache growing? If only there was a way for you to keep your beard and still raise money for a great cause?
Enter No-Shave November. Cousin to Movember, No-Shave November is a way that you can raise awareness of male-related health, including cancer and mental health issues. It’s also a fantastic excuse to keep your beard on the grow.
Where Did No-Shave November Start?
In 2007, a gentleman by the name of Matt Hill tragically lost the fight to colon cancer. It was after this that his 8 children – 4 of them boys – decided to do something in his honor.
That something was No-Shave November. In an interview with today.com, the family described the thought process behind setting the event up:
“A lot of cancer patients undergo chemo and they lose hair. So we grow our hair for those that are losing it,” said Christine Hill, one of Matt Hill’s daughters. “And then, the money that you would have spent on hair removal is donated to the cause.”
In 2009, the oldest sister of the family Rebecca, officially launched No-Shave November as a non-profit organization. With the help of one of her friends, they raised $2,000 for the cause. Since then, it’s grown a bit – last year, they raised over $1 million.
Today heard that even Thomas, who is the youngest of the siblings at just 16, is committing hours of his life to helping out. Although he’s hardly shaving as it stands, he gets involved in other ways.
“I come home from school, I check online for all the bracelet orders. I pack all those up, have to go to the post office, ship them out,” he said. “Then later, I’ll go online and check for support emails because I also respond to those, help people out. Make sure the donations are still coming in, no-one’s having issues. And I also help my brother design the website.”
They’re all getting involved and you should too. It’s for a fantastic cause.
Movember vs No-Shave November – What’s the Difference?
This one has confused us before, so we don’t blame you if you’re not quite sure. Two facial-hair themed charity events that both have month-pun-based names. Not the easiest to differentiate between.
The Movember Foundation claims to be “the only charity tackling men’s health on a global scale, year-round.” If you ask me, it sounds like there’s a bit of competition.
The point of Movember is to throw in the facial hair towel at the start of the month, shave clean, and grow a badass Mo alongside your fellow bros. Through doing this, you’re meant to raise funds towards various partner-charities that help with male illnesses such as prostate cancer.
The Movember Foundation was founded back in 2003 when two Australian dudes by the names of Luke Slattery and Travis Garone decided to club together for a good cause. By 2015, they’d raised over $710 million. They operate in 21 countries (and counting), so their claim of tackling men’s health on a global scale is definitely founded.
No-Shave November, however, is a “web-based, non-profit organization devoted to growing cancer awareness and raising funds to support cancer prevention, research, and education.”
As opposed to shaving clean and starting afresh on your quest for an awesome mustache, men worldwide are encouraged to get involved by throwing the razor aside and letting the hair grow wild. It’s a convenient opportunity for me, as I’d already set aside November for a full-on grow period. Now I can do that whilst raising money for charity. It’s a win-win.
Women are even encouraged to get involved. Let that body hair grow out for the entirety of November in the name of charity and goodwill. You’ll probably even save a bit of money on those waxing appointments.
Although No-Shave November might be the easier option for bearded gents reluctant to shave clean, both charities are not-for-profit, so it doesn’t really matter which one you do. It’s entirely down to personal preference, as the money will go to a good cause no matter what.
How to Keep your Beard in Check During No-Shave November If you’re not shaving, that doesn’t mean you can just leave your beard to its own devices. If it’s out there on its own in the cold winter months, it’s going to let you know about it. These complaints will come in the forms of beardruff, split-ends and general unattractive frizz.
Don’t worry, though, there are several inexpensive ways you can keep on top of the mountain of hair that’ll soon be exploding from your face. Take a look at the following products and learn about their benefits:
As you probably already know, beard oils are a great way of keeping your facial hair in line. They’ll moisturize the underlying skin, preventing outbreaks of beardruff, as well as keep your hair soft.
Unless you’re looking to pay mad money, you’ll do well to find a better oil than that produced by Smooth Viking. It looks great, smells great, and trust me – it’ll make that beard of yours feel great.
Let’s take it back a step. Before you apply your beard oil, you’re going to want to work a good beard shampoo into your daily shower routine. Although it might look rugged, beards require a lot of care and attention to keep them in top condition.
When washing each morning (or whenever you do it, nobody’s judging), massage a small amount of beard shampoo into your facial hair, then rinse it out. By doing this, you’ll be able to exfoliate the skin underneath your beard, removing any dead cells and particles of that burrito you destroyed on Saturday night.
The shampoo you buy doesn’t need to break the bank. Check out this option from Beardsmen Spirit – the refreshing fragrance of their all-natural US oils will leave you feeling chilled and refreshed.
If you really feel like splashing some cash and treating yourself a little, you should definitely take a look at some beard balms. Considering you’re not going to be shaving for a month straight, it’s understandable that your beard might get a little out of control. That’s where beard balms come in.
Think of them as the lovechild of beard oils and beard waxes – they’ll give you all of the conditioning nourishing benefits of oil, with the style and control of a wax. They’re basically the hair spray of the beard world, except they’re good for you and the environment, too.
If you’re in need of a good beard balm, check out the likes of Brooklyn Botany. Not only are you going to catch all of the fantastic benefits a beard balm has to offer, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the incredible scents of jojoba, orange, and argan oil whilst doing it. This isn’t one to be missed.
So there you have it – everything you need to know about No-Shave November, including a couple of essential product suggestions to help you get through the month.
For information on how you can get involved with No-Shave November, take a look at their website.