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The Top Four Hair Styles to Rock with Beards

The Top Four Hair Styles to Rock with Beards

We invest so much time and energy making sure our beards look great that we sometimes forget the other part of the grooming equation: The hair on top of our heads. Your beard and your hair are really two pieces of the same overall package, Mother Nature’s way of framing our faces. That means you’re a work of art, y’know? And every museum curator knows that a great work of art is only as good as the frame surrounding it.

So you want both parts of the frame to work well together. Certain hairstyles perfectly match and complement different types of beards. Others… don’t. There’s no point in perfecting your beard but neglecting all the other hair that grows along with it, right? Why carefully shape and maintain your whiskers only to let them down by letting what’s up top grow out in an inappropriate or ill-matching way?

You've chosen the perfect beard style to match your face and your personality. Now you need to pick a perfect hairstyle to match the beard.

Shaping Your Style

Most guys fall into a pretty typical spectrum of hairstyles and history. They've either grown and styled their hair short their entire lives, buzzed it short (or lost it), or else they lurk along the borders of rock stardom by letting their mane grow.

Once you decide to add a beard into that mix, you’ll need to stop and take stock of how your hair matches your looks. Sure, just a grown-out flop of hair might have suited you in the past, but now? Now you're a stylin’ guy.

Complementary Looks

While there are many factors that can go into your look, we’re going to make things easy here at the start by simplifying your possible beard looks into a few categories. After all, no need to get bogged down with particulars before you even get started. The fine details can come later. 

To keep things straightforward, we’re going to divide beard types by length into three categories: Trimmed beards, full beards, and epic beards. By “trimmed” beard, we mean any look that ranges from one week to about three months. The others should speak for themselves! 

Now, let’s look at a few popular hairstyles and group these according to the beard types they match best.

The Undercut

Suitable for: Trimmed Beards, Full Beards

Bearded man with looking inquisitively

This hairstyle has become fairly popular recently, and it comes in many variants. The underlying principle behind the style: Shave the side, grow the top long, and pull the hair back.

The undercut also has the benefit of being a simple style to maintain. If you're in a hurry, you can even slick your hair back with some leftover Beard Wax or Beard Oil. Now that’s a pro tip.

The Topknot

Suitable for: Full Beards, Epic Beards

Man holding his dog on the sofa

Sometimes referred to as a manbun (please don’t do this), the topknot is another hairstyle that has recently exploded into popularity. Why only recently? Probably because this look takes so long to grow out. But good things come to those who wait.

The topknot is a natural extension of the undercut craze. As you let your bangs and other hair grow out, eventually it’s only natural to want to tie it back. But ponytails are a long way from being fashionable these days, so the only way to go... is up. A topknot can be especially helpful if you decide to let the sides of your undercut grow out, as pulling your hair up away from the sides of your face helps fight the tendency of longer hair to cause you to overheat.

Pair this look with a mature beard and what you get is a great-looking combination that will earn you some very flattering attention. The beard-and-topknot duo is a perfect mix of old-world manliness and new age sensibilities. You can also be daring and try to combine this with a shorter beard, but that’s a much more difficult look to pull off. The rising upsweep of the topknot demands fuller facial hair to really work and create a proper sense of stability—plus, if you try to pair the tight appearance of the knot with a close-cropped beard, you run the risk of looking too severe or uptight. And that’s never the attitude an enlightened beard pro wants to project.

The Bald Buzz

Suitable for: Trimmed Beards, Full Beards

Man in suit with a hand on his beard

Whether you’ve chosen to shave your head or Mother Nature has made this look unavoidable, don’t fret. A shaved or naturally bald head can be a perfect complement to your whiskers. Just look at Hollywood luminaries like Jeff Bridges and Sean Connery: Bald and bearded is beautiful.

If you’re truly daring, you can take a page out of the Allen Ginsberg playbook and go for the New Age shaman look. A massive, wizard-like beard worn in concert with a smooth noggin can go a long way towards helping you look wise and experienced. On the other hand, a bald head/shorter beard combo results in a rougher, no-nonsense look. And if your lack of hair is a choice rather than genetics, consider letting it grow out into a bit of a buzzcut—match it with a crisp beard and you’ll create a perfect business-casual style.

The Long Mane

Suitable for: Full Beards, Epic Beards

Jason Momoa with full beard emerged from sea

Want the length of a topknot but not the look? There’s always the more relaxed option. If you've managed to grow your hair past your ears while keeping it groomed enough not to fall into the trap of looking like a vagrant, congratulations: You've unlocked this style option. It takes work to cultivate a long, flowing mane of healthy hair, and keep it looking great! But the good news is that it opens up a world of possibilities for an equally impressive beard.

Long hair means the possibilities for style are endless. Pair your mane with a beard long enough to bring a tear to ol’ Gandalf’s eye and you've locked down either a heavy metal lead screamer or maybe Khal Drogo (start practicing your horseback skills!). Or maybe you’d prefer to invoke your inner ’60s rock idol, going for a look worthy of John Lennon or Jim Morrison at soundcheck. An epic beard combined with epic hair is a timeless look—plus, it shows you have the skills and courage to let it grow.

Remember, it’s like Uncle Ben said: With a great beard comes great style. We’re pretty sure that’s what he said, anyway.