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What is a Dutch Beard?

The Dutch Beard Style

The Dutch Beard - also called the Old Dutch, Chin Curtain, or Shenandoah - is one of the most old-school styles out there. These days its rare to see one in the wild, but when you do it can be spectacular!

Based on a Full Beard, the Dutch Beard is both large and long. It flares outwards at the bottom, giving it an edgy shape, and there is no mustache. 

Unmistakeable and big, this style works well for adding volume if you prefer no hair above your mouth. It’s a bold statement and comes with a distinct “I know what I want and don’t care what you think” kind of attitude. 

Dutch Beard Variations

Even though it’s known under at least 4 different names, the Dutch Beard is well defined. It therefore only allows for minimal variation. 

It’s always long and big, but how long and big is up to you. As long as the mustache is shaved, your Dutch Beard could be 4 inches long or 10 inches long. 

The only common variation is the absence of the Soul Patch. While the classic Dutch Beard leaves the Soul Patch intact, there are some popular wearers who have chosen to shave it. 

It’s important to mention that the Amish Beard is not a variation of the Dutch Beard, and not the same thing. While very similar in style, the Dutch Beard is kept neat and clean. Meanwhile the Amish Beard is allowed to grow all over the place and look unkempt. 

Variations of the Dutch Beard

What Face Shape Best Fits a Dutch Beard?

The Dutch Beard adds volume - that’s the most important thing to keep in mind. So whatever your face shape is, be prepared for it to look significantly bigger with a Dutch Beard. 

The other factor to consider is length. The longer it’s kept, the more it will elongate your face. So if your face is Oval or Oblong, you’d want to keep it short-ish. On the flip side, if your face is Square or Round, you can use a longer Dutch Beard to hide that shape a bit. 

The beard style is an interesting one for Diamond-shaped faces. The jaw shape requires a fair bit of extra work (growth) to achieve the classic Dutch Beard look with the bottom flares. However, if your goal is to hide that pointy chin, this might be worth a try. 

The Dutch Beard Works With All Face Shapes

Famous Wearers of the Dutch Beard

Few recent men are bold enough to wear a Dutch Beard, but there are some great examples in the past. 

Abraham Lincoln might be the most prominent example. 

Abraham Lincoln wore a Dutch Beard

Lincoln’s Attorney General, Edward Bates, rocked an even longer version. 

Edward Bates rocked a marvellous Dutch Beard

Spanish poet and activist Álvaro Pombo usually wears what can be considered a Dutch Beard. Note though that he tends to keep a very low cheek line.

Álvaro Pombo wears a unique Dutch Beard Style 

How to Trim a Dutch Beard

  1. Relax and let it all grow for a week or so. 
  2. Shave your upper lip. 
  3. Define your cheek line: not too low, but straight enough to make for a neat look. Leave the sideburns intact. 
  4. Until you reach at least 4 inches, shave your neck to maintain a clean look. 
  5. As you grow, trim the center of the beard but leave the sides intact. This creates the flare effect this style is famous for. 
  6. Stop shaving your neck once the length passes your natural neckline - you want that volume. 
  7. Experiment with the length of your beard - anything beyond 4 inches is a legit Dutch Beard. 

Here you go - you’re now part of a select group of guys who rock a Dutch Beard!

Summary

The Dutch Beard is a classic old-school style that these days we don't often see. A neat Full Beard with trimmed cheeks and a shaved upper lip, it’s a look often associated with Abraham Lincoln. 

Big and large, it certainly stands out and can add massive volume to your face without surrounding your mouth.

It’s important to keep it clean and neat - this is the Dutch, not the Amish. Regularly shave the cheeks and upper lip, and trim excess and curly hair as required. A beard of this volume needs good care, so be sure to test and try different beard products to see what feels best for your face and beard.

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