How Easily Can You Pull Off Tom Hanks’ “Castaway” Beard?

Nov 11, 2023

Illustration of Tom Hanks with a large beard

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Tom Hanks is one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood. He can assume any role, bring the character to life, and pull off any beard style that suits the character’s persona. Throughout his career, from Forest Gump to Cloud Atlas and Cast Away, he has managed to capture the essence of the characters he played — and one of the ways he did it was sporting the signature Tom Hanks’ castaway beard. From short stubble and a pencil mustache to a full white beard, he effortlessly aced the looks every time. 

In his iconic role as Chuck Noland in the movie Cast Away, he wore two types of beard — medium stubble and long scruffy beard. Learn how he was able to pull it off and how you can do the same with the castaway beard. 

Face Shapes and Suitable Beard Style

tom hanks castaway beard - face shape

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

One reason Tom Hanks’ castaway beard was a hit and he could wear various styles effortlessly was partly due to his face shape. Faces come in roughly seven shapes. To know your face shape, you need to measure the following: 

  • Face length from the top of the head to the chin. 
  • Forehead or the space between the outer edge of one eyebrow to another.
  • Cheekbones or the measurement from the outer corner of the left eye to the opposite end passing across the bridge of the nose. 
  • Jawline or the sharpest upward angle of the jaw to the chin. Multiply the result by two. 

Once you’ve got the numbers, your face shape can be the following. 

  • Square: You have a broad and sharp jaw and other face measurements are similar. 
  • Round: Your jawline is softer and the face length and cheekbones have nearly the same measurements. 
  • Rectangle: Your face length is greater in measure than your jawline and cheekbones. 
  • Oval: Your jaw is round and the face length is longer than the cheekbones.
  • Diamond: Your chin is sharp and the width measurement from the top of the face to the bottom decreases.
  • Heart: Your forehead is wider than your jawline and cheekbones and your chin is pointed.
  • Triangular: Your jawline is greater than the cheekbone width.

The medium stubble or sleek short beard style will look good on the triangular and oval face. Meanwhile, a short goatee style would look complementary on heart, diamond,  square and round face shapes.

Medium Stubble

tom hanks castaway beard - stubble beard

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

The moment Tom Hanks was washed ashore on an isolated island, he could be seen wearing a stubble beard, which looked great on him — except that his situation was a nightmare. 

While this type and length of beard seem the easiest to pull off, facial hair is much like scalp hair — you must first find out if the look will look great on you. How can you do this? The first step is identifying your face shape to know which beard style complements the look. Another alternative is to get advice from an expert barber. 

How to Pull off Tom Hanks’ Castaway Stubble Beard?

Assuming a medium stubble style will suit you, you can achieve the look in roughly three days. On the third day, facial hair grows from 1 mm to 3 mm long. This length will make you look professional, and more importantly, it doesn’t require much effort to maintain. It’s the same reason many men prefer this style as it’s the look that women find the most attractive out of all the other beard types.

How to Maintain Stubble Beards

Maintaining the medium stubble beard is as easy as achieving the style. You can effectively sport the castaway beard with these tips.

1. The first step is to grow your beard from scratch. Since facial hairs have an uneven growth rate — some hairs in the jaw area may grow faster than in the chin or neck area — you’d want to let them grow for three to five days first. 

2. Once your face has enough fuzz, get a beard or stubble trimmer and cut them from 1 mm to 3 mm in length. You may style it however you want, like shaving the neckline. 

3. Depending on how fast your facial hair grows, you need to continue trimming often, perhaps every two days or more, to keep the look. Investing in a beard trimmer with a guard comb or a setting to adjust the length is essential for grooming and maintaining a professional look. 

Medium stubble beards are an excellent choice for those who wish to have attractive facial hair but only have a few minutes daily to maintain it. This style is easy to achieve, pull off and care for. 

Bold Long Scruffy Beard

tom hanks castaway beard - long beard

Photo by Christian Buehner on Unsplash

In the last half of the Cast Away movie, Tom Hanks wore a bold, long, scruffy beard. This castaway beard was a result of not shaving for four years while stranded on an island. Wearing a long, scruffy beard has both advantages and disadvantages. While it may look unkempt, it keeps you warm, protects you from sun damage and makes you look powerful. 

How to Achieve Tom Hanks’ Castaway Scruffy Beard

Unlike a stubble beard, it’s harder to maintain a long, scruffy Tom Hanks’ castaway beard. If you don’t clean it well, yeast can grow and cause dandruff and clogged pores, resulting in acne. 

To get the look, you’ll only have to let your facial grow. Proper and extra care is vital when growing a beard to ensure hairs are moisturized and healthy. Once you reach the desired length, you can trim some parts to achieve a uniform size. 

How to Maintain a Long Scruffy Beard

You must commit to proper beard hygiene to ensure your facial hair grows healthy without causing other problems. Follow these maintenance tips if you want to try it. 

1. Let It Grow

It can take a month or more for the beard to grow. Be patient and comb it frequently. It helps hair to grow in the same direction.

2. Shampoo Your Beard Regularly 

Use a gentle facial hair shampoo to wash your beard. Dirt, oil and debris can trap in the hair roots, so shampoo it often. 

3. Moisturize Your Beard

Use a good quality oil to hydrate the face underneath and the hair follicles. Like scalp hair, moisturized hairs grow healthier.

4. Set a Schedule for Trimming

While the goal is to have a full beard, you also need to trim it once in a while to polish the look and avoid giving the impression it looks dirty and unkempt. Visit your barber if you need help with trimming and styling your beard. 

Choose the Best Style of Beard That Suits You

You must first know your face shape to pull off Tom Hanks’ castaway beard. As stubble beard and long scruffy styles don’t compliment all face shapes, learning what will suit your overall look is essential.

A medium stubble beard is simpler to maintain than a full beard. If you go for the latter style, you must commit to proper beard care to avoid skin problems like clogged pores, acne and dandruff. The right beard style can make you look more manly, trustworthy, attractive and put together, so only wear something that lets you achieve this. 

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Jack Shaw is a senior writer at Modded. Jack is an avid enthusiast for keeping up with personal health and enjoying nature. He has over five years of experience writing in the men's lifestyle niche, and has written extensively on topics of fitness, exploring the outdoors and men's interests. His writings have been featured in SportsEd TV, Love Inc., and Offroad Xtreme among many more publications.