Goatee vs. Beard | Which One Should You Rock?

Goatee vs. Beard | Which One Should You Rock?

By Daniel Broadley

Goatee vs. Beard | Which One Should You Rock?

You’ve decided that you want to keep your facial hair, but that’s as far as you’ve gotten. What do you want to do with it? Do you like the manly, grisly, outdoorsy look of a beard? Do you like the neater, cleaner, sleeker aesthetic of a goatee? 

There’s a lot you’ll want to consider before you make your decision. Some of them are aesthetic choices. Of course it matters which one will look better on you. Some decisions relate to the health of your skin, as well as what you can get away with at work. 

What’s the Difference Between a Goatee and a Beard?

“Goatee” actually gets its name from goats. Yes, the animal. Goats grow low, narrow beards right in the center of their small chins. To have a goatee is to have a beard similar to a goat’s beard. Most men incorporate their goatee with a neatly groomed mustache, but this isn’t a requirement for the look. You can have a plain goatee all by itself with no mustache in sight

A beard is the name for anything fuller than that. If you let your facial hair grow over your whole chin, extending to your cheeks, that would be traditionally referred to as the standard beard. 

The biggest difference between a goatee and a beard is the neatness of their presentation. While a beard can definitely be neatly manicured and well groomed, it’s always going to be a lot fuller than a goatee. 

What Shape is Your Face?

Since goatees are narrower and shorter, they’re going to show off more of your chin and jawline. If you’re very confident in these parts of your face, you probably don’t want to cover them up. A goatee will complement your favorite parts of your face.

A beard will have the opposite effect. If you aren’t very keen on your chin or your jawline, a beard will do a good job of covering them up. You can even shape your beard to give the illusion of a stronger jaw or a more prominent chin. It’s nature’s face augmentation. 

Just let your hair grow, and your features become malleable. Beards give men with round faces more options. Allowing the beard to grow from ear to ear, leaving it long, and squaring off the bottom can give an appearance of a box shaped jaw. 

How Thick Does Your Hair Grow?

A beard only looks really good if you can grow enough facial hair to have a substantial beard. Patchy or uneven growth will lead to a patchy or uneven beard. It’s very difficult to attempt to correct the appearance of a patchy beard. It’s so difficult that most men find themselves giving up. If you don’t think your hair will grow thick enough to sport a full beard, a goatee may be a better option.

Goatees work great for men who can’t grow much hair anywhere other than their chin. Everything else can be shaved down to bare skin. It’s very easy to shave around a goatee. All you do is bypass your chin, and you’re done.

How Much Time Do You Want to Spend Getting Ready?

Both beards and goatees require a little bit of maintenance. If you opt for a goatee, you’ll need to shave often to maintain the look. Most of your face will be shaved, and if your hair grows rather quickly, this means a shave every other day. You might want to trim up your goatee once a week or once every other week to keep it looking full and balanced.

A beard doesn’t require a substantial amount of shaving. Many men with beards don’t shave at all. They’ll still be spending a substantial amount of time maintaining their facial hair. Beards need to be washed and conditioned just like head hair. If you fail to properly cleanse your beard, it will either look too dry or too oily. It will also fly off in a dozen different directions.

Beards need to be brushed with a boar bristle brush to evenly distribute the naturally occurring oils and help them maintain their shape. They also need to be trimmed very carefully. It’s important to trim a thick beard evenly to avoid the appearance of a chunky or asymmetrical beard. 

A goatee will take a little bit of work every few days. A beard will need some work every day, especially if it’s long. Before you decide your shape, consider how much of a time commitment it will be for you and the way it might change your morning routine.

What Does Your Skin Feel Like With a Beard?

Some men can grow full beards, but they choose not to. It isn’t uncommon for beards to make skincare a little more difficult. Men with oilier skin find that their beards trap that oil, sometimes causing breakouts underneath their beards. Men with dry skin find that their beard makes their skin feel even dryer, as it prevents exterior moisture from reaching the skin. They’ll develop flaky dry patches beneath their facial hair that can be difficult to remove. 

These aren’t obstacles that can’t be overcome. You can exfoliate, treat acne, and moisturize your skin through your beard. It’s just a little harder than treating bare skin. If you have special skin care concerns, you’ll have to consider whether or not your beard makes it worthwhile to complicate your skin care routine. 

If you have normal balanced skin and typically don’t experience dryness or oiliness, you don’t have anything to worry about. Do whatever you want with your facial hair -- your skin will remain easy to care for. As long as you’re taking care of your facial hair and the surrounding skin properly, you’re unlikely to run any hangups as a result of your preferred groom.

What Does Your Job Allow?

Many workplaces are goatee-friendly. Some aren't as kind to unkempt to beards but will be more lenient if you keep it trimmed. If your employer wants you to maintain a neat, tidy, clean-cut appearance, you might not be able to get away with a scruffy beard. If you don’t have any coworkers with beards, chances are that it’s because the bosses aren’t preferable to them. 

Jobs that require protective equipment or involve heavy machinery also aren’t well suited to beards. Your beard can get stuck in a machine or prevent a protective mask from working. If you’re in doubt, ask your superior. He or she will let you know if you’ll have any workplace problems should you decide to grow your beard out. 


If you still can’t make up your mind, go ahead and grow your beard out. See how your skin reacts. Think about how it looks. If it gets to be too much, you can always convert your beard into a goatee. All you need to do is shave around your goatee and give it a little bit of a trim to neaten it up. 

Sometimes, the best way to learn is through experience. You might even find that a bare face suits you perfectly. Don’t be afraid to experiment.