How To Trim A Goatee

Over the years, facial hair trends have come and gone. In the 19th century, massive Civil War-style sideburns were considered manly and fashionable, as were bushy beards. In those days, the beard was actually considered to have health benefits, as a filter for incoming breaths and for insulation that could protect against sore throats and infections.

In the 70s, it was the big Saddam Hussein-style mustache, and before that there were thin pencil-line mustaches, Van Dykes, Imperials and various combinations of facial hair and sideburns.

Through all those trends and fashions, though, one style of facial hair has stayed fairly consistent and has never really gone out of style: the goatee.

Unfortunately, since the goatee is isolated at the chin, it can be maddeningly difficult to how to trim a goatee properly. Many a man has snipped away at the goatee on one side, then the other in an attempt to even it up – and has then looked in the mirror and seen that the sides are still uneven. More snipping, and more snipping, and before long the goatee is about ½” long.

So, who knows how to trim a goatee, anyway?

Pick the Style You Like

A goatee is a good choice for a man with a round face or a weak chin. It helps fill out the face and features if your chin’s a bit weak, and can add more of a point to your chin if your face is rounder.


Van Dyke

Often mischaracterized as a goatee, the Van Dyke style is actually chin hair with a mustache that’s not connected. While this is a great style for a lot of guys, it’s also something that looks best when it’s carefully trimmed and the goatee part is kept shorter and well-defined. It can definitely be more labor-intensive to trim regularly, and of course your cheeks and throat should be clean-shaven with this style.


Circle Beard

This what most people call a goatee – a mustache and chin hair that grow together and are connected. The circle beard is a good look for a softer jaw line or a squarish face. Many men find that this style looks good grown out to a length of four to six inches, while others prefer to keep theirs close-cropped.



Musketeer Goatee

Dashing and daring, the Musketeer features a longer, flowing goatee that’s waxed to a point, along with a longer mustache that’s shaped with wax as well.




 The true definition of a goatee is just chin hair, with no mustache or anything else. It’s a look that’s not for everyone, but some guys like it.

How Big Should That Goatee Be? 

This is a matter of personal preference, but many men like to trim their goatees to about an inch above the Adam’s apple. Others prefer the goatee to be confined to the chin itself, but a goatee that’s trimmed farther back under your chin can grow more hair and present a fuller look. When it comes to how to trim a goatee, shape it symmetrically where the jaw line starts, and its trimmed width shouldn’t be much wider than your mouth.

When it comes to regular maintenance, many men find that electric clippers can help keep that thing trimmed and neat-looking and are a lot easier to use than a pair of barber’s scissors. What you don’t want is wild hairs going in odd directions – the scissors may be good for keeping those under control, but clippers are better for shaping. Most clippers have several settings for length, making the job easier.

When you’re researching how to trim a goatee, you’ll find it’s also a good idea to take your scissors and do some fine-tuning on the mustache hairs directly under your nose. Having those hairs tickle your nostrils is no fun, so keep them trimmed. Also, you may want to take the scissors and your razor and trim back the mustache hairs right above your upper lip. The mustache shouldn’t be a flavor-saver or a filter for your food, and many women don’t like to kiss a guy with a shaggy mustache.

Take Care of That Goatee

Whether you keep it trimmed or let it grow out, it’s a good idea to take care of it. Facial hair that’s manageable is a lot easier to keep looking good and to keep trimmed and neat.

  • Watch your diet and eat lots of green leafy vegetables and lean protein. Not only is that good for the rest of your system, it’ll help your hair and facial hair’s health.
  • Shampoo it regularly and use conditioner (and watch out for food bits). Consider using a beard oil and brush – argan oil is a great choice.
  • Exercise regularly – hard, vigorous exercise boosts testosterone, which is great for beard health.

What’s the Best Goatee for You? 

Now that you’ve found out how to trim a goatee and learned about some popular facial hair styles, figure out which one’s best for you and start growing it! Tip: many guys just grow a full beard and then trim it down to whichever one suits their preference best.



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