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What is the Balbo Beard?

Style Guide: The Balbo Beard

The Balbo beard belongs to the family of the Inverted T beards. The name comes from the Italian commander and aviator Italo Balbo. 

There are no sideburns, it simply extends along the jaw on both sides. It’s accompanied by clean-shaven cheeks and a floating mustache, and its most distinct feature is the separation of mustache and beard. 

Balbo Beard Variations

Featuring a classy look focused on volume, there is usually not much room for wild creations with the Balbo Beard. Having said that, the length of the beard may vary somewhat. 

Mustache styles ranging from Handlebar to Pyramid have been spotted in the wild going with the Balbo. 

Balbo Beard Mustache Variations

What Face Shape Best Fits a Balbo Beard?

The Balbo Beard adds volume to the chin and suits different types of face shapes. Ideal fits are round and square shapes, with both diamond and heart shape working well too. 

Avoid this style if your face is oval, oblong, or triangle shaped, as a Balbo will elongate the face and highlight the large jawline. 

The Best Face Shapes For The Balbo Beard

Famous Wearers of the Balbo Beard

Hollywood loves a good Balbo - check out some of these all-time star actors who wear it. 

No. 1 on this list is Robert Downey Jr., rocking a solid Balbo in his role as Iron Man, although his style normally flip flops between a casual Balbo and a tighter style Anchor Beard.

Then there’s Christian Bale: Although clean-shaven in his popular role as Batman, he often sports a beautiful Balbo off-stage.

Last but not least - the guy who gave the Balbo his name. Shot down in 1940 by friendly fire in an attempt to land his plane, Italo Balbo’s legacy lives on.

Italio Balbo was the originator of the Balbo beard

How to Trim a Balbo Beard

  1. It’s good to have plenty of hair available to start out with, so let your beard grow for 4-6 weeks before doing anything. 
  2. Use a trimmer to remove excess hair, particularly in the areas you’ll shave clean (cheeks, neck, between beard and mustache). This helps reduce tug and pull while shaving. 
  3. Trim both beard and mustache to the desired length and shape. 
  4. Start shaving your cheeks inward as low down as you want, ideally in steps to make sure you keep it symmetrical. 
  5. Then, create the gap between beard and mustache, starting where you want the mustache to end. Shave to create the desired size of gap, continuing towards the middle along your lower lip. 
  6. Leave a small patch (soul patch) in the center, connected to your beard. 

Voila! You are now a distinguished owner of a Balbo Beard!

Summary

The Balbo Beard is a bit of a forgotten classic. It's not worn by many in current days, but those who do wear it do so spectacularly. 

Great for adding volume to the chin, it’s a good fit for both round and square face shapes, and variations thereof. 

It requires regular shaving, as you’ll want to keep the gaps clean, but otherwise if fairly easy to maintain with the help a high quality beard oil, balm or cream

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