If eyes are the window to your soul, beard styles for men can be the window to your…something. Interesting mustaches, unusual types of beards, sideburns and other facial hair styles are more popular and prominent than ever. In fact, psychiatrist and author of One Thousand Beards: A Cultural History of Facial Hair, Allan Peterkin,says, “We are living in the hairiest time ever and the most permissive.”
Beard styles can say a lot about your social status, your masculinity, personality, how you view yourself and how you want others to perceive you. Just to make sure you’re not sending the wrong message, here are 15 facial hair motifs and what they say about you.
1. Full Beard
You appear scholarly and serious. You could be seen as an alpha male or, if worn with Buddy Holly glasses, a breed of “Urban Amish” hipster.
Read Related: A Brief History of the Beard
2. Perma Shadow
You want to look low maintenance, but you’re actually a pretty high maintenance kind of guy. It’s cool though, we won’t let on that we know how hard you actually have to work to get that perpetual 5 o’clock shadow look (which is actually quite sexy).
This is one of the beard styles that makes many of us cringe. Believe it or not, it qualifies a deal-breaker for many ladies. Unfortunately for you, this look is just too 90’s to be taken seriously. You’re either seen as stuck in the past or evil like Jafar in Aladdin. Just don’t.
4. Horseshoe Mustache
This somewhat disastrous look says that you either own a Harley, or you want to own a Harley.
5. Chin Beard
You’re most likely intense, rowdy and you like metal music. You definitely play air guitar three times a week.
You’re seen as playful and fun, if not manly and somewhat retro. If they are too scraggly though, you just look lazy.
7. Soul Patch
One of the iffier beard styles — you like to think of yourself as funky, probably creative and maybe a teeny bit unreliable?
8. Side Chops
You’re either an Elvis impersonator, or you’re just trying too hard.
9. Full Mustache
We see you as confidant and think you probably have an affinity for 70’s porn. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you.
10. Fu Manchu or the Pencil Mustache
You’re an outrageous hipster and we’ll pretend we don’t know you because you look silly.
11. Handlebar Mustache
You probably have a pleasant personality but might have some trouble with the ladies. We’d bring you along for a night out as our wingman because you’re great at starting conversation.
12. The Dali
Since you sport the most famous mustache in the world, we gotta hand it to you. You’re flamboyant and creative—but we’re not dying to get into the sack with you.
13. Chin Strap
Since this takes meticulous grooming, you are often thought of as high maintenance; but this look is more popular with younger men, so you may appear youthful and tough.
14. Mutton Chops
You’re old-fashioned and committed since it can take forever to get those things right. Plus, anything with the word “mutton” in it that describes facial hair styles for men requires some attention for sure.
You’re seen as uptight, preppy, or an avid watcher of Mad Men, which we really can’t blame you for.