Does A Beard Make Your Face Look Fatter

The Science behind Do Beards Make Your Face Look Fatter

There are many theories surrounding whether having a beard or not causes your face to appear larger or slimmer, but the truth of the matter is that the answer to this question depends on the texture and style of your beard, as well as your facial features.

Facial hair is a natural phenomenon, however the centuries-old debate continues – does a beard make your face look fatter? Several studies and research have been done to tackle this question, starting from scientific studies to anecdotal theories.

According to “New York” magazine’s “A Guide to Beards,” after being groomed, a beard can visually minimize the size of facial features. Furthermore, when the beard is kept neat and properly groomed, it can provide structure to soften the appearance of a hefty jawline.

Additionally, the magazine’s study also shows that using different product can also affect the face’s size. Products that are oily and sticky will only contribute to making the face look chubbier. This is due to the oils acting as a type of a sheath, as they round up and in turn ‘add’ more weight to the face. Therefore, for a beard to appear slimming it needs to be managed with product to give the face a crisp and defined silhouette.

While the general consensus among experts answer ‘yes’ to the question of whether a beard makes the face appear bigger – this opinion is contented by celebrity facialist, Joanna Vargas and aesthetician Isa Beheshti, who both agree that beards when groomed correctly can actually work to slim down a more bulky face structure. Both experts are in agreement that facial hair, when kept thick and long facilitates in making the face look bulkier and can be a contributing factor in making it appear fatter.

It seems evident, therefore, that clean shaven or a well managed beard both have the potential to affix an optimal look depending on the individual styling and the way in which the beard is managed. Thus, beard maintenance plays an incredibly critical role in proving if beards can give the effect of slimming down the face or making it appear bigger.

Length of Beard Affects Facial Structure

In addition to the texture and length of facial hair, there is evidence that supports the idea that the length of a beard can also affect the appearance of facial structure. Generally speaking, longer beards have been known to effectively slim down the face; whereas beards that are shorter have the tendency to have the opposite effect and making the face appear bigger.

In an article for “Men’s Health” groomer, Jon Reyman believes that when properly manipulated and groomed, a short beard can help to strengthen the jawline and create an illusion of a slimmer face. On the contrary, having a long beard can actually make the face look fuller, as the facial hair covers both the sides of the face. As a result they help to cover up the hard angles of a chubby face, thereby giving the impression of a slender face.

Furthermore, Harvard Medical School dermatologist, Dr. Michelle Henry says that beards that are kept at medium length have the capability for the face to appear more balanced and slim, when compared to those with longer facial hair. This is because, short beards create shape and structure to the face; whereas, medium length beards give the face an illusion of higher and sharper cheekbones.

Growing and Groomng beards

Regardless of allowing a sense of style or fashion, growing and maintaining a beard can greatly benefit the overall appearance of facial structure. The key is to make sure the facial hair is being managed and groomed on a regular basis.

In his article for “GQ” beauty editor, Sarah Kinonen states regular upkeep is pivotal when it comes to facial hair. Growing a beard is a complex process that requires great dedication, patience and practice. Furthermore, the beard should always be manicured and take care of in order to help “define and sharpen” the jaw-line as well as facial angles.

Furthermore, there are other factors to consider when it comes to grooming and shaping a beard. As Dr. Theodore L. Diktaban from WebMD states, the shape of a beard is dependent on the style chosen and the facial structure of the individual.

Your Genetics

Ultimately, facial structure and genetics should always be kept in mind when choosing the type of style and when it comes to growing out a beard. The same facial features that determine the amount of body hair a person has, mainly in the chin area, will play a prime factor in the growth of a beard.

These features include hormones and DNA, as some people are genetically predisposed to grow facial hair quicker than others. Thus, some might only need to groom the beard or use a few products while others may require extensive care and routine haircuts and maintenance.

According to a study conducted by the Department Of Dermatology at Duke University, genetics play a major role in the growth and styling of any beard. It was concluded that for most men, depending on their genetic resources, the amount of facial hair appears directly related to other body areas such as the chest, back and leg hair.


As it is evident from the key points discussed and experts’ opinions, a beard can have both a slimming and plumping effects on the face depending on the texture, the length and the style of the beard and the genetics of the individual growing it.

Conservative styles and lengths can form a neat outline and make the face appear slimmer, while long fly-away strands will only add width to a fuller face. As a result, some beards can be just as effective in achieving a slim look as keeping a clean-shaven face.

Theresa Norton is an award-winning author and blog writer who specializes in the art and science of manly beards. Her articles cover topics such as styling, shaping, maintaining, and even growing beards. With her extensive knowledge on facial hair, Theresa has helped countless guys to look their best and feel confident in their daily lives. She loves researching the history of beards, exploring new trends, sharing insightful tips, and writing about her own experiences.

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