The Best Goatee Styles For Bald Guys (And Two To Avoid!)

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As a bald man, it can get boring having the same look all the time. The bald and goatee look is a great way to mix things up a little.

But which goatee style looks best with a bald head? Be careful here – it’s easy to get this wrong. The best goatee style to pair with your bald head depends on a number of factors.

The shape of your face and the thickness of your beard both play a part. But there are definitely some goatee styles that shouldn’t be seen on anyone, bald or otherwise.

What are the best goatee styles for bald men?

Let’s take a closer look at the top four goatee styles for bald men, and some to avoid altogether!

The Van Dyke

Sadly, I can’t pull off the Van Dyke due to the barely-there section in the center of my chin hair. Otherwise, I’d be all over it.

Also, when I shaved a Van Dyke into my own beard, my wife threatened me with divorce if I kept it. Judge for yourself!

Characterized by the separation between the mustache and chin hair, the Van Dyke is fancy. It has big-time hipster vibes, which allows the wearer to be a little more adventurous with his fashion choice.

Be aware that the Van Dyke doesn’t work on everyone. It particularly suits ‘oval, triangle, or diamond-shaped faces’ according to the Well Groomed Gentleman.

It also works better on those with thick facial hair. Wispy beards and mustaches are difficult to pull off, and this style relies on tight lines and a definite contrast between a thick, dark beard and the surrounding skin.

Styling your beard into a Van Dyke at home can be tricky, so take it slowly. According to “it helps when you work in increments.

‘As a pro tip, you can start trimming a small area on one side of your face, then immediately trim the same area on the opposite side of your face.’

One excellent style tip from this Reddit discussion is to keep the ends of the mustache at or above the horizontal lip line. This can be achieved either by styling a floating mustache upwards or trimming a shorter version.

Speaking of trimming, you’ll need a good precision trimmer to keep it neat while maintaining the gap between the mustache and chin hair.

Philips Norelco Series 9000 Precision Beard Trimmer

  • Winner of the GQ grooming award for best all-in-one trimmer
  • 30 length settings at 0.2mm increments
  • 100% waterproof for easy use in the shower

Once you’ve shaved your beard into the perfect Van Dyke goatee, you’ll need to consider maintenance. Train it to sit how you want it with a beard comb, and keep it in place with a good quality beard wax:

Honest Amish Extra Grit Beard Wax

  • Tames Unruly Beard Hairs
  • All natural and organic ingredients
  • Hand crafted in the USA

As a final word of warning: if you’re not particularly fashion-conscious, then consider something less daring. An extravagant goatee like the Van Dyke will look odd with sweats and a baseball cap.

The Balbo

Similar to the Van Dyke, the Balbo includes a soul patch and the chin section extends outward along the jawline. There are no sideburns in sight, meaning it still qualifies as a goatee.

I tried this one too, and while it still wasn’t popular with my better half, I don’t think it looked too bad…

Here’s how to get the perfect Balbo goatee:

  1. Trim your facial hair to the desired length
  2. Use a good precision trimmer to trim the rest of your facial hair down and shape the beard
  3. Prep for a clean shave by wetting the face and beard with hot water (not too hot!) and applying a pre-shave oil to lubricate the skin.
  4. Apply shaving cream and shave gently and carefully, especially when close to the edge of your Balbo
  5. If your razor has an edging blade, use this to fine-tune the edges of your Balbo (Gillette Fusion5 razors all have an edging blade – see below)
  6. Rinse
  7. Soak a towel in boiling water and press it to your face – as hot as you can stand it without burning yourself. This will soften up the pores so it’s easier to clean out any buildup of dirt and excess oil.
  8. Moisturize

Gillette Fusion5 Men’s Razor

  • Precision trimmer on back for styling facial hair
  • Lubrication strip (fades to indicate when to change blade)
  • Includes one blade refill

If the Fusion5 isn’t for you, there are plenty of others to choose from. If you’re looking to pair a goatee with a bald head, you might want to take a look at the best razors to shave your head bald.

The Anchor

The anchor differs from the Van Dyke in that it has more of an outward extension at the points of the ‘anchor’, but not as far extended as the chin strap on the Balbo.

With an anchor, the mustache still doesn’t quite connect with the chin hair, but the anchor points do reach up toward the sides of the mouth. In contrast, a true Van Dyke only has hair on the bottom of the chin rather than coming anywhere near the lower lip.

Although not a baldie, Robert Downey Jr. gave us a fantastically neat anchor in Iron Man. It’s a style that goes well with a suit (fabric or titanium).

While the shape is different, the preparation and shaving process are the same as described in the Balbo section above. Make sure you prep your face using hot water, use a beard oil to lubricate your face, and moisturize after shaving to avoid irritation.

The Hollywoodian

Leonardo DiCaprio has made the Hollywoodian his own since his role in Django Unchained.

The style just barely qualifies as a goatee due to the length of the chinstrap, which extends much further out than on the Balbo. However, as the sideburns don’t connect to the beard, I’m going to let it slide.

I’m no Leo, but I gave this one a try anyway. I shaved a little too low and it’s almost a Balbo, but here’s my effort:

According to, the Hollywoodian is suited to a square jaw and chin, with high, prominent cheekbones. It can look great on the right bald gentleman, who can maximize facial hair in the absence of any on top.

It’s best worn slightly longer than the other options described above, by someone with a thick, full beard. If you have empty patches, it might be best to steer clear of this one.

Photo courtesy of Reddit user greatonejr9

Be prepared for a weekly trip to a professional barber for a trim. If left to grow it will quickly look unruly, but it’s also easy to make a mistake when trimming your own Hollywoodian. Many a good goatee has been lost to careless trimming when men are forced to give up, shave and start all over again.

Goatee beards to avoid for bald guys

The goatee can take many forms, not all of them as stylish as the four described above. If you choose the wrong style, you can easily make yourself look older than your years, with the fashion sense of a middle-aged dad.

Here are two bald head and goatee combinations to be avoided at all costs:

Classic goatee

The classic goatee features hair on the chin, but with no mustache. It almost looks like the beard is dribbling out of the mouth, like some kind of hair vampire feasting on an unfortunate mammal.

There’s a slightly more acceptable variation that features only the chin hair, with no ‘handlebars’ reaching up to the corners of the mouth. This is more subtle, but if we’re doing this to freshen up our look, is it really subtle that we’re going for?

Circle goatee

The circle beard is the most common type of goatee. It’s the easiest to achieve and sees the mustache connecting to the chin hair to encircle the mouth, hence the name.

A popular choice in the 90s, the circle beard was the trademark of everyone’s favorite bald badass at the time – Stone Cold Steve Austin.

If it’s the beer-swilling brawler image you’re going for, then knock yourself out. Similarly, if you’re styling yourself on Walter White then grab your pork pie hat and trim it down to a circle goatee. 

However, as cool as Bryan Cranston’s character was in Breaking Bad, I’m not sure he was ever meant to be a style icon (especially given his choice of y-fronts).

I gave it a go, and couldn’t wait to shave it off again!

Bald celebrities with goatees

We’ve already mentioned a few bald celebrities above who have rocked the goatee (successfully or otherwise), but here are some honorable mentions:

Jason Alexander

The man who brought us George Costanza has been seen with a circle goatee, and while we’ve warned against this above, Alexander has never styled himself as a fashion icon.

Terry Crews

Terry Alan Crews may be a former Washington Redskins linebacker but he was born to play Captain Terrence “Terry” Vincent Jeffords in Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Jeffords’ thinly-trimmed circle goatee is a crucial element of his masculine image.

The Rock

Possibly the only man mentioned here who could claim to be more manly than Crews, Dwayne Johnson rocked a goatee in Fast Five.

Like many bald celebrities with beards, Johnson changes his facial hair quite often, for different roles or just because he’s The Rock and he can do what he likes.

Kevin Youkilis

Youkilis spent most of his baseball career with the Boston Redsox, pairing his bald head with a bushy goatee for most of his career.

If you’re interested in more of the same, here are 67+ bald athletes and sports stars.

Louis C.K.

One of America’s funniest men, Louis C.K. is the poster boy for the ‘hair at the sides, bald on top’ look. He’s also firmly in the ‘dad goatee’ camp regarding facial hair.


When it comes to looking good bald, a beard of any kind is one of the staple elements of your look.

A goatee can be a great way to complement a bald head, but not all goatees are equal.

Stick to the more sophisticated Van Dyke, Balbo, or anchor styles and make sure your wardrobe is suitably stylish. Avoid the classic and circle goatees, unless you want to be slapped with the ‘dad’ label.

If you’re still not sure how to about it, or you’re considering a full beard, here’s a guide to pulling off the ‘shaved head with beard‘ look.

In order to maintain a neatly-cropped goatee, you’ll need the right tools for the job. Make sure you have a good quality precision trimmer, like the one below, before you get started.

Philips Norelco Series 9000 Precision Beard Trimmer

  • Winner of the GQ grooming award for best all-in-one trimmer
  • 30 length settings at 0.2mm increments
  • 100% waterproof for easy use in the shower

This post was written by Matt:

I've been shaving my head for nearly 20 years. I'm here to share that experience, good and bad, help you embrace your hair loss, and live your best bald life.

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