Can a Beard Make You Look Fatter? (With Important Style Tips)

Nobody wants to hear they have a fat face except for maybe Santa and Sumo wrestlers. Can your beard add some extra weight to your look? Yes, but there’s a solution!

A beard can make you look fatter if the style is wrong for your face shape. On the flip side, a beard can also make you look thinner. The key is finding the right style for the shape of your face and keeping it well-groomed.

Read on to learn why your beard makes you look fatter and how to fix it!

How a beard could make your face fatter

reasons why a beard can make you look fatter

Round. Oval. Triangle. No, we aren’t in geometry class. We’re talking face shape. Faces come in all different shapes – 7, to be exact. There’s no perfect shape, but if you have a round face adding bulk in the wrong bearded places can make it appear even plumper.

A beard can make your face appear fatter if it is unkempt, in the wrong style, adds bulkiness in the wrong places, or doesn’t complement your face shape.

Let’s look at the factors that can add more weight to your face.

  • Unkempt beard
  • Wrong beard style
  • Bulkiness in the wrong places
  • Doesn’t complement your facial shape

Unkempt beard

If your beard is dry, scraggly, and messy, it can bring unwanted attention to your face. When the cheek area isn’t trimmed regularly, hair sticks out and adds extra volume to the broadest part of your face.

Keeping the sides and cheeks trimmed will take out unwanted widths and add more definition. Keeping your beard brushed downward will train the hairs to grow vertically instead of haphazardly. Need grooming tips? We’ve got you covered here.

Wrong beard style

You probably have a target look you’re shooting for when you grow a beard. If you’re also trying to minimize your face, there needs to be some strategy involved. Avoid any beard styles that are full in the cheek area.

The goal is to elongate your face, not make it look wider. This can be achieved with more hair in the chin area. Sharp lines and angles can give the illusion of a slimmer face.

Bulkiness in the wrong places

We’ve already touched on the importance of playing down the hair on the cheek area when the goal is a thinner face. Hair adds bulk, so keep the cheek and sides trimmed.

Another area where bulkiness isn’t your friend is under the chin. If you’re wearing a longer beard style, keeping the under chin area trimmed up and thinned out will prevent the bulk from pushing out your beard on either side of the chin, making it look wider. 

Doesn’t complement your facial shape

We can’t help the face shape we are born with, but men have the unique ability to camouflage or accentuate certain areas with facial hair. Determining your face shape can be done with quick measurements of your face length and width, or, for the lazier population, there’s an app for that.

The round face shape is characterized by the vertical length of your face and the same width at your cheekbones. To thin out your face, the trick is to make it appear more elongated and balanced. This can be accomplished by adding structure to the chin and jawline, thus bringing the eye down instead of out.

Fun fact: The Westmore brothers, two Hollywood studio makeup directors, developed a face shape analyzer system in the 1930s. They identified seven popular face shapes so they could recommend hair and makeup styles to flatter each type.

How do I make my beard look less fat?

beard style to make your face look less fat

If you hear yourself wondering, “Does my beard make me look fat?” Don’t fret. It doesn’t have to! Beard hair is the male equivalent of a woman’s contour makeup.

You can make a beard look less fat by choosing a beard style that complements your face shape, and keeping it trimmed, groomed, and brushed.

Here are some tips to make your beard look less hefty:

  • Keep it trimmed
  • Keep it groomed
  • Brush it
  • Pick a look that complements your face shape

Beard styles to keep your face slim

You could just let your facial hair grow without a plan, but that strategy is counterintuitive when trying to slim down your face. Some beard styles are just more flattering than others. 

Common beard styles that keep your face looking slim are the goatee, boxed beard, and a v-shaped or squared-off full beard. These popular styles bring attention to the thinner parts of your face and draw the eye downward.

Let’s look at some popular beard styles that will downplay a fat face:


The goatee is an excellent choice because it brings the eye to the smallest part of your face – the chin. Even if you have a double chin, you can let the hair grow to cover it. Depending on how you style it, a goatee can give your face an oval or square look. These shape changes help even out the proportions of a round face. You can even add a mustache for a Van Dyke look.

Boxed Beard

The boxed beard adds lines and angles, which helps to define a round jawline. This makes your face appear more chiseled and slim versus soft and chubby.

Boxed beards keep the apples of the cheeks free of hair, but you can choose to trim the sides high or low or the jaw, depending on your preferences. Boxed beards require regular upkeep to keep them looking sharp.

Full beard with some tweaks

It is possible to wear a full beard and look thinner at the same time as long as you do a little maintenance. Natural full beards can get out of hand in the cheek area, so it’s best to keep that area trimmed up and adequately groomed.

Also, clipping the length in either a v-shape or squared-off shape will contribute to a slimming look.

Bonus beard tips to flatter every face shape

  • Square face? You can show off your rugged, chiseled jaw with short stubble or a goatee. Adding a mustache can add softness to break up the hard angles.
  • Triangular face? You can soften a pointy chin by adding width to your chin area. Full beard styles will look great on you but avoid the goatee.
  • Heart-shaped face? Round out a pointy chin and jaw by growing a full beard or Girabaldi style.
  • Oval face? Lucky you! Stubble, short and medium styles look great. Super long beards might stretch out the face too much, but you can pull off mutton chops.
  • Oblong face? Beard styles with more cheek coverage, like the Garibaldi or a full beard, are your friends because they bring attention up instead of down. Avoid long, pointy styles that can make your face look even longer.
  • Diamond face? Your cheekbones are prominent, so you can get away with adding volume in the cheek area to balance your look. Opt for styles like the chin beard to soften up your jawline.

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