The Ducktail beard style is a fairly recent style of choice, but it’s one that’s showing a lot of staying potential.
It’s a simple variant of the full beard style, incorporating the trimmed appeal of the boxed beard with the stylization of the Van Dyke. The Ducktail beard style has a sophisticated, well-groomed appearance with a bold shape. The beard has a rebelliousness founded in that contradiction, daring its manicured nature with its rugged look.
The ducktail beard style gets its name from its general similarity to a ducktail. The chin comes to a rounded point that isn’t so sharp as the Van Dyke, but it is distinguished from the natural shape of the full beard. Despite how recently this beard has gained popularity, it’s reminiscent of the Belle Epoque intellectual elite of late-1800s France.
The look is founded in its basic contradictions. While it doesn’t work with every face shape, it is also more forgiving towards those with patchy beards. It’s a fantastic alternative for men who want the full beard look but whose beards don’t grow in at the cheeks or mustache.
What is the Ducktail Beard?
The ducktail beard style comes to a point at the chin. However, the ducktail beard does not come to a sharp point, which is what differentiates it from the other pointed beards.
The ducktail beard style is a sharply stylized and manicured look. Traditionally, the mustache is kept short, often blending into the cheek line. The cheek line itself is also trimmed. This can be trimmed either to clean up the natural cheek line or trimmed lower. The soul patch is also trimmed or sculpted to specifically define it on the face or blend it into the surrounding hair.
There is no set length requirement for the ducktail beard. You have some flexibility depending on how thick you want your beard, or how well your facial hair grows in. You can theoretically have a ducktail beard as short as 2-inches if you trim the hair on your cheeks shorter.
The ducktail beard style is traditionally a part of the full beard family, but there’s a lot of variability in crafting the look.
How the Ducktail Beard Defines Your Personality
The ducktail beard style shows off a boldness mixed with care for your appearance. The pointed beard is daring enough to push some boundaries, but it’s so well-manicured that it keeps the look professional. It shows that you want to take risks, but more of a calculated risk.
There’s still the essential rugged, manliness that comes from having a full beard, but it’s toned down due to how stylized it is. However, these work in conjunction with each other by amplifying their effects. Men who are in touch with their style and willing to manicure and maintain their appearance are far more comfortable with their masculinity. The confidence exuded from that is an incredibly appealing trait.
What Face Shape Works with the Ducktail Beard Style
The ducktail beard style does not work with all face shapes, but it can be adjusted to work with most of them.
The ducktail beard works best with men with diamond, rectangular, triangular, and round faces.
Diamond and triangular faces benefit from having their jawline defined and their point chins accentuated. Rectangular faces have their strong features accentuated by the beard’s groomed appearance.
However, those with round faces benefit from having their jawline defined, and by having their face lengthened because of the point.
Men with oval and heart-shaped faces can pull off this beard with some effort. It can overly elongate their faces while making their cheeks seem disproportionate.
Oblong faces should avoid this look, as it will make their faces seem bottom heavy due to the length the pointed beard adds to their face.
Growing a Ducktail Beard
The Ducktail beard is a full beard style and will take 3 to 5 months before your beard will be long enough to style into the ducktail beard. Beards will generally grow ½-inch every month on average. At least 2-inches of beard growth is necessary before you can shape it.
Your beard will look rugged and unruly at first, but it’s important to let your beard grow unimpeded during that time. Taking steps to keep your beard healthy and moisturized will make your experience more comfortable.
Tools to Shape Your Beard
The ducktail beard is all about how it’s styled. Having high-quality tools will make your life a whole lot easier to style your beard properly into a ducktail beard.
Invest in quality beard combs. These are available in sets and are larger than the standard comb. It’s difficult to shape the ducktail beard free hand, and the combs will make it easier to properly shape your beard.
A nice set of barber shears is also important. For the ducktail beard, you want full-size shears, like those used to cut the hair on your head, as well as a smaller pair of scissors for the mustache.
An electric trimmer and shaver are essential to shaping your beard initially. Trimmers will make trimming your cheeks go a lot faster.
Shaping Your Ducktail Beard
Once your beard is at least 2-inches long, you can shape your ducktail beard.
You want to start by trimming your cheek line and neckline.
Trim a line along your cheek, leaving your goatee intact. Imagine a line from the center of your ear to the top of your mustache, then trim everything above that line.
You’ll also need to trim a clearly defined line along your neck. To do so, tilt your head up and inspect the area on your neck. Next, you’re going to imagine a line from your left ear to your Adam’s apple, then to your right ear. Trim a line across your neck, then trim off the hair beneath that line.
Clean up the edges of your jawline too. You don’t want the edges of your jawline to extend beyond the line your sideburns grow into.
You can purchase beard shaping tools that will make this process go a lot more smoothly. These will strap onto your head to create a line that you can trim along, protecting the beard you’d like to keep.
Trimming to a Point
Once your beard has been shaped generally, it’s time to trim it to a point. This can be done with either scissors or electric trimmers.
Wash your beard and comb it so all the hairs are uniformly pointing downwards. Use your comb and set it in your beard at the line you would like to trim, then either snip or shave the hairs extending beyond the comb. Do this on both sides until your beard is symmetrically a point.
Trim your cheeks, as well. This can be done using scissors, or you can use the guards on your trimmers. Trimmers may be easier, as well. Select or set the guard size you want, then trim slowly and incrementally, alternating sides as you do to keep your beard length symmetrical.
Use your smaller scissors to trim the mustache so that it is short and neat.
Once your beard is shaped and uniform, it’s time to clean up your look with a traditional razor. Clean your face to wash away any loose, recently cut hair.
Then apply your shaving cream or gel to the areas trimmed bare and shave them smooth. Be careful along your cheeks to not cut any remaining beard. If needed, make a second pass with the razor to keep a smooth, close shave.
Variations in Style
The ducktail beard is traditionally part of the full beard family but play around with the style to find the look that suits you best. Your face shape is unique, and you won’t know what works best for you until you try it.
If your cheek hair is thin, trim it lower either into a goatee or down to a stubble look. Because the beard is concentrated on the chin, it’s forgiving to those with cheek hair that does not grow in.
Alternatively, you can grow out your mustache, either as a handlebar or a simple waxed look. This strays more into the style of the Verdi beard, but you can draw inspiration from both for a combined beard style.
Maintaining Your Ducktail Beard
It’s also incredibly important to keep your beard healthy and moisturized. Invest in quality beard shampoo and conditioner (not the stuff you use for your head) and wash it regularly. Also, apply beard balm or beard oil to keep the hair softer.
Shave the edges of your beard every other day to maintain its sharp look and trim the beard every 1 to 2 weeks to keep it from getting unruly.
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