A symbol of masculinity and power since the beginning of mankind, the Full Beard is often considered the Holy Grail of facial hair.
Unlike many of its contemporaries, which nowadays would lead to raised eyebrows... The Full Beard has not only passed the test of time but is actually embarking on a steady increase in popularity.
As the name implies, the Full Beard sets itself apart from most other styles by its fullness. With exception of some minor touch ups on the neck and the cheeks, none of the facial hair is removed or overly contoured.
Full does not mean unkempt though. Grooming, trimming of excess, and regular care with is a must for this style. Lots of hair needs lots of love - if you still want to mingle with other human beings, that is.
Full Beard Variations
The cleanest and purest form the natural Full Beard, hinting at minimal interference with your natural facial hair growth. If you simply sit back and let your beard grow for at least 6 - 8 weeks, that’s what you end up with.
It’s a bold, manly look, albeit one that is easily misunderstood by facial hair skeptics. A natural Full Beard needs extra love and care to prevent it from appearing unkempt and lacking style.
An interesting variation for guys who are after volume but not necessarily length is the Garibaldi. This beard, named after the Italian 19th Century general and politician Giuseppe Garibaldi, is usually around 5 inches long and features a rounded finish combined with a mustache brushed to the side.
Besides these 2, variations are mainly defined by length or time of growth.
At 6 months, you’re approaching what’s called a Bandholz, named after Eric Bandholz. He left the corporate world of Merrill Lynch because he disagreed with the company’s “no facial hair” policy, and went on to start his own beard grooming company.
If you make it to 12 months, a full year of beard growth, you’re now sporting a Yeard. Usually, you’re looking at around 6 inches by that stage.
The 2-year mark is territory few guys dare venture into - that’s called a Tweard. On average about foot-long at this stage, a Tweard is as serious as a Full Beard gets in the real world.
Think you can do better? Aim for the Terminal Beard. At roughly 36 inches (or 3 feet) after 6 years, this is where the average beard simply stops growing.
What Face Shape Best Fits a Full Beard?
If done right, the Full Beard is very forgiving, and suits most face shapes.
Ideal fits are usually Diamond and Triangle shaped faces. If your face is Round or Square, be mindful of the volume, as it can make your face look... Big.
Famous Wearers of the Full Beard
Full Beards are bold, beautiful, and worn with pride.
The American actor and producer Nick Offerman sports a beauty of a Full Beard.
Charles Darwin is usually depicted wearing a beard as full as it gets.
This list would be incomplete without Gandalf. Oh man - what a beard.
How to Trim (Grow) a Full Beard
- Patience, Young Padawan. This one takes time. Give it at least 6 - 8 weeks before you do anything.
- As soon as you feel comfortable, define your neckline. Do it sooner rather than later, as a hairy neck looks unkempt in the early stages of a Full Beard. Find your ideal line, and shave anything below it.
- Keep an eye on the sideburns and the mustache. Brush regularly to encourage shape and prevent curls. You want volume, not mayhem.
- After the initial growth, trim back an inch or so. Not all hair grows at the same rate, and this initial trim will set the baseline for a more even look.
- Play around with shaping. Squared, rounded, pointy… The sky is the limit.
- Don’t stop until you’ve found the length and shape you’re most comfortable with.
That’s it. You now wear the pinnacle of beards.
Pro tip: The overall length of your Full Beard should define the neckline. In the early stages, it’s wise to keep it high to avoid that unkempt look.
As you move along, a good rule of thumb is to keep the neckline at the bottom of your beard. This means at a certain stage, you won’t have to shave your neck anymore at all.
After about 4-6 inches of length, your neck hair actually adds nice volume to the Full Beard, especially when looking at it from the side.
The Full Beard is a bold statement, letting a beard do what it does best: Grow. If you’re after the Lumberjack look, there’s no need to do anything at al.
However, if you’re planning on wearing a Full Beard in modern society, consider shaving the neck. It does not take away any volume but makes it way neater.
And whatever length you go for, give it all the love you can. Massive volume means lots of maintenance.