What Are the Best Beard Styles for Older Men?

Thick grey beard on an older man

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Keeping up with the latest fashion and style trends gets more difficult with old age. Fortunately for men, we have one highly versatile fashion accessory at our disposal: our beards. A new beard style can change our entire appearance. Check out these beard styles for older men and see if any of them fit your personal preferences!

Short-boxed Beard

Lance Reis with a trimmed Short-Boxed Beard
Lance Reis with a trimmed Short-Boxed Beard (Unsplash)

The short boxed beard is great for men of all ages and styles. It gives you the fullness of a complete beard without unnecessary shagginess. You will certainly have to trim your cheeks and neckline at least once a week to keep the neat boxed look, but this small chore is a small price to pay for having a well-kempt beard.

You might not be able to pull off the short boxed beard like George Clooney, but it will greatly refresh your appearance. This beard has enough volume to make your facial hair stand out, but it’s also short enough to blend in with the rest of your facial features.

Garibaldi Beard

A shopkeeper with a thick Garibaldi beard
A shopkeeper with a thick Garibaldi beard (Unsplash)

It’s no secret that your skin wrinkles with age. If you’re still not comfortable with the wrinkles around your mouth and neck, you can cover them up with a thick garibaldi beard. The growing process is pretty simple for this one — just let your beard grow for a couple of months and brush it regularly so it grows downward.

The goal of the garibaldi beard is to create as much volume below the chin as possible. The thicker, the better. It might take several years to achieve the look that you’re shooting for, but the results will be worth the wait.

Gray Anchor Beard

Johnny Depp is famous for his iconic anchor beard
Johnny Depp is famous for his iconic anchor beard (Wikimedia Commons)

If your facial hair has already gone completely gray, the gray anchor beard is a perfect choice. This beard’s name comes from its resemblance to the anchor of a ship, featuring very little (if any) connection between the mustache and the chin. This choice is also good for men who can’t quite grow a full beard but have no issue growing a mustache and chin hair. 

Van Dyke Beard

Christian Bale with a Van Dyke beard
Christian Bale with a Van Dyke beard (Wikimedia Commons)

The Van Dyke is a classy beard style for older men who want to look like gentlemen or high-profile individuals. The main attraction is obviously the mustache. You’ll have to let your mustache grow longer than usual to achieve the proper Van Dyke look. You will also have to shave your cheeks to make the mustache and chin hair stand out.

This style is also perfect for guys with soul patches, or a singular patch of hair underneath the bottom lip. This patch is a natural centerpiece for the Van Dyke, providing a bridge between the mustache and chin hair. 

Classic Goatee

A man with a well-trimmed classic goatee
A man with a well-trimmed classic goatee (Pexels)

Goatees are also great beard styles for older men because they’re easy to grow and maintain. No cheek hair is required. Cheeks tend to have the patchiest facial hair and are the most problematic areas for men’s beards. If you have a problem with patchy cheeks, the goatee is the perfect beard choice for you.  

Goatees are also highly versatile and look different on each person. Sometimes the mustache is the point of emphasis and sometimes it’s the chin hair. This beard style truly fits all types of hair genetics. 

5 O’Clock Shadow

The 5 o’clock shadow never goes out of style (Pexels)

Contrary to popular belief, your beard doesn’t get fuller as you age. Once you reach your mid-20s, your beard stops filling in. Some guys are stuck with incomplete beards for their entire lives. If you’re one of these people, the 5 o’clock shadow is your most logical beard style. Even a short layer of stubble can make a big difference.

The 5 o’clock shadow and other short beard styles for older men are great at covering up wrinkles and making you look younger. These styles tend to be more popular among young men who are just starting to grow their beards. You might not be young anymore, but you can still look the part.

Balbo Beard

Balbo beard
A Van Dyke beard growing out into a Balbo (Tom Marvel)

The Balbo beard is often what happens when you let a goatee or Van Dyke grow out. The cheek hair is still absent, but the mustache and chin strap have much more volume. This beard style for older men is an excellent alternative for guys whose chin hair doesn’t connect to their mustaches.

Men who rock the Balbo beard prove that you can pull off an attractive, high-volume style with less-than-ideal facial hair genetics. It might not have the same presence as a full beard, but it’s arguably more impressive because you’re getting the most out of your limitations.

Mutton Chops Beard

Hugh Jackman famously brought back the mutton chops in the 2000s
Hugh Jackman famously brought back the mutton chops in the 2000s (Gage Skidmore)

Mutton chops were all the craze in the mid-1800s thanks to prominent politicians and military men. This beard style has made a resurgence in the 21st century thanks to celebrities like Hugh Jackman pictured above. It’s all about creating as much volume from the cheeks as possible. Chin hair is totally optional.

Beard styles for older men are supposed to rejuvenate their masculinity, and no style does that better than the mutton chops. You’ll look like a Civil War officer and a 1980s WWE wrestler rolled into one. This beard exudes masculinity.

Try New Beard Styles as You Age

Men naturally care less about their appearance as they get older — especially if you have a partner and don’t need to romantically attract anyone. Still, you should try new beard styles as you age. You might discover that one of these beard styles for older men suits your facial features very well. What do you have to lose? Give one of these styles a shot!

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