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Goatee vs Beard: 5 Ways To Distinguish One From The Other

Last Updated on: April 10, 2024

When it comes to facial hair, men have endless possibilities. The ability for guys to grow their facial hair comes with several choices, including different beard and goatee styles. Plus, you can create a masterpiece with the right beard trimming gear.

After all…

The right facial hair styles can change your appearance and give you confidence. But do you know the difference between a goatee vs. beard, or which facial hairstyle is ideal for you? Well, you’re not alone; for more details on this, please read on.

Main Differences

The main differences surrounding goatee vs. beard are:

  • Goatee features hair on the chin but not the cheeks, whereas beards include both cheeks and chin hair.
  • Goatee doesn’t include sideburns, whereas beards include a wide range of facial hair, including sideburns.
  • A goatee is comfortable to grow and ideal for guys with patchy beards, whereas beards are not ideal for guys with patchy beards.
  • Goatees are very low-maintenance; you’ll need a razor and a trimmer, whereas full beards are high maintenance.

Goatee Vs. Beard: What Is Uncommon Between The Two?



Generally, the distinguishing point between the two is that goatees only include chin hair and no facial hairs on the cheeks. On the other hand, a full beard includes hair on both the cheeks and chin.

Unlike a full beard, a goatee has evolved over the last few decades; for example, until the 1900s, a goatee only featured a pointed, small beard on the chin.

But by the 1990s, guys had started incorporating a mustache in their goatee, and some even connected the mustache and the chin beard.

Therefore, the key difference between a goatee/ circle beard with a pointed beard and a full beard is the absence/presence of hair on the cheeks.

Unfortunately, the presence of a mustache with a goatee, also known as a circle beard, is quite controversial. Some people still refuse to refer to them as a goatee as they only acknowledge the purist type of goatee.

But in some popular cultures, folks have already accepted that a goatee can also include a mustache a few decades ago.

On the other hand, a full beard can only be considered a beard if it is over 5mm long.

Anything short is considered stubble, be it heavy, medium, or light stubble. But a goatee can be a stubble beard that’s sculpted into a goatee; therefore, the length of the hair is not relevant — after all, stubble goatees are a thing.

Luckily, there are several styles you can try, including faded beard and short boxed beard.

How To Pick Between A Goatee And Beard?

When it comes to grooming, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. But certain factors are more crucial to some folks than others. For instance, some guys prioritize comfort while others prefer looks. Therefore, here are a few factors to consider when deciding between the two:

1. Face Shape

Face Shape

A goatee can greatly affect the size of your chin; it can easily add strength and even length while altering the shape of your face in the process. So here are a few face shapes ideal for a goatee:

  • Guys with a round face shape can benefit from a triangular beard style like a goatee beard; in fact, more hair on the chin and less on the cheeks can give you a glorious illusion.
  • A square face features a wide jawline; the facial hair on your cheeks can draw attention to your jaw. A goatee can help soften your looks.
  • But guys who are in luck are the ones with an oval face shape. After all, an oval face is a unique face shape that can work with a wide range of styles, and a goatee can work perfectly on your sharp jawline.

Goatee can work with many facial shapes, but this hairstyle may not be a good idea for guys with diamond-faced or rectangular faces.

A goatee can make a rectangular face shape look longer, but a full beard featuring thick hair can leave your broad jawline looking balanced.

Diamond-faced and triangular-faced guys have longer faces and pointier chins. So a goatee can draw too much attention to your chin; therefore, a full beard may be a great idea.

2. Patchy Beard

Patchy Beard

Patchy beards are quite common, and most guys have experienced this at some point in their lives; unfortunately, some guys can’t grow facial hair. And in most cases, the cheeks are the culprits.

Luckily, some firms have taken advantage of this facial hair growth problem and produced miracle cures for patchy and scruffy beards that helps facial hair grow.

But the cheapest solution for patchy cheeks is growing a goatee; after all, a goatee doesn’t necessarily include cheek hair.

In fact, some hair growth products can help improve a scruffy beard while helping you achieve your desired beard style.

3. Maintenance Requirements

The longer the beard, the higher the maintenance; therefore, we can say beards are high maintenance, but this will depend on the beard style you pick.

With a beard, you’ll need a beard comb, beard brush and even start using some hair products, including waxes, pomades, beard oils, and balm, which means you may end up paying more to maintain a more complex beard style, including hipster beard.

But there is no denying that a goatee style is easier to maintain; after all, you will be dealing with less facial hair.

With beardless cheeks, you will be doing less goatee trimming every day before leaving the house. Plus, it can help you hide your receding hair.

4. Comfort

The longer your facial hair, the higher the probability of discomfort and itching. Luckily, some grooming habits can help you deal with this problem, including applying beard oil, combing, and brushing your hair.

On the other hand, goatees feature a small amount of facial hair, which can be very easy to maintain and comfortable. 

You can even forget that it’s on your face.

5. Easy To Achieve

Full beards may be very rewarding, but growing them can be stressful. You can go through a patchy phase, an itchy phase, and an awkward phase of weird beards. For example, you may trim too much hair and have to start from the beginning, or your barber may cut more than what you like, leaving you with a weird beard.

In some cases, parts of your beards may not connect as well as you would expect them. Some hairs will never stop sticking out; growing your beard to perfection can be quite challenging. On the other hand, growing a goatee is quite easy; you don’t need fancy grooming or trimming skills to maintain and grow a goatee.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Considered A Beard?

A goatee is a type of beard, with the main difference being the absence or presence of facial hair on the cheeks. A beard is considered a full beard if it includes sideburns, chin, and cheek hair. In some cases, a beard is any facial hair whose length exceeds 5mm.

Is A Goatee An Attractive Beard Style?

The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the shape of your face. A goatee can look attractive on guys with oval, square and rounded facial shapes. But if you have a pointier chin, you should stay away from a goatee. A goatee can help complement a bald head.

Are Goatees Out Of Style?

This beard style has waned and waxed in popularity over the last few decades, but after the Covid-19 pandemic, most men have been seen with a goatee. In fact, in the 21st century, you have a high likelihood of seeing a goatee on the red carpet just the way you would see it in professional sports games.


Goatees and beards are some of the most common styles that have trended for decades among men who dislike the idea of shaving off their beards. But since, they both include beards on the chin and a mustache, the main difference being cheek hairs.

A goatee is referred to as a circle beard in some circles, but with the above details, you can pick the right facial hair style that can complement the shape of your face. But your facial hair growth rate will play a key role in the final decision.

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