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 head with 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 several 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.

Why do goatees work well for bald men?

Goatees work well for bald guys because they draw the eye to the center instead of up to your shiny bald dome. They don’t need as much maintenance as a full beard, but can also look more professional if well-groomed.

Bald men look great with facial hair in general, as a completely hairless head and face can look very plain. But the goatee might just be the best beard option for us baldies.

What are the best goatee styles for bald men?

Let’s take a closer look at the top four goatee styles for bald guys, 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 thebeardstruggle.com: “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.

Here’s my trimmer of choice. I use the Brio Beardscape with the fantastic ‘Zero Blade’ attachment:

Trimming my beard with the Brio Blackout Beardscape
Trimming my beard with the Brio Beardscape

Brio Beardscape Beard Trimmer

Brio Beardscape beard trimmer
  • Precision beard styling
  • Multiple length settings
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Ultra-quiet operation
  • Durable ceramic blades

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.

But overall this is my favorite bald goatee combination.

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…

How to shave a 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 the 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.

It’s a bald-head-goatee combination that requires plenty of maintenance, but the results are worth it.

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
  • 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 maleambition.com, 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 – I was just the generic ‘bald man with goatee’. So boring.

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.

It just happens that the bald and goatee look is what The Rock is cooking right now.

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.

FAQs

How do I choose the right goatee style for my face shape?

Each goatee style complements different face shapes. For instance, the Van Dyke works well with an oval face, while the Hollywoodian suits a square jaw and prominent cheekbones. It might be helpful to consult with a barber to determine which style works best for you.

How long does it take to grow a full goatee?

On average, it takes about 4 to 6 weeks to grow a full goatee, although this can vary depending on your rate of hair growth. Make sure to maintain it regularly for the best look.

Do I need any special tools to maintain a goatee?

A quality precision trimmer is a must to maintain a goatee. You might also want to invest in a beard comb, beard oil, and mustache wax for shaping and maintenance.

How often should I wash my goatee?

Ideally, you should wash your goatee with a beard shampoo 2-3 times a week. Over-washing can strip essential oils, leading to dry and brittle hair, but you do want to keep it clean and free of food grease and debris.

Will a goatee make me look older or younger?

A goatee can potentially make you look older, especially if it’s gray or not well-maintained. However, a well-kept, stylish goatee can also give you a modern look.

Summary

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.

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

Not convinced the goatee is the one for you? There are lots of other beard options for bald guys, too.

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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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