Inverted T or disconnected beards such as the Balbo and Anchor are stylish and extravagant varieties of facial hair. Disconnected beard styles are defined by combining a floating moustache and high chin hair growth, which resembles an inverted T. This goatee beard family is a close relation to the Circle beard. However, as the name suggests, Circle beards don’t feature the break between the chin and the moustache. Inverted T beards come in many shapes and sizes. They’re not uncommon among younger men who struggle with patchy growth by the corners of their mouth. However, they are also popular among older gentlemen for their avante-garde intellectual connotations. Iconic wearers of Inverted T beards range from Vladimir Lenin to Johnny Depp. Even David Beckham, Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale sported a form of Inverted T beard at one point in their life. The beard family often comes with a well-defined finish and requires a steady hand to trim. However, the Balbo is more forgiving to the novice beard owner.
The Balbo owes its name to Italo Balbo. He was one of the March on Rome’s principal architects that brought the Italian Fascists to power in 1922. Balbo was known as the only fervent opponent of Italy’s legislation against the Jews and Italy’s alliance with Nazi Germany. Italy’s Air Marshal and Governor of Italian North Africa, he was also a flamboyant public figure in the USA. In 1940, his plane was shot down in friendly fire when attempting to land. Unlike the toothbrush moustache, the Balbo has succeeded in overcoming its bleak past to become a celebrated and stylish beard. It is the most iconic variety of Inverted T beard styles. The cheeks are kept clean shaven aside from the potential addition of Sideburns. The chin hair growth includes a soul patch beneath the lip and the sides can sometimes be extended along the jawline. The moustache can be customised into various styles. However, it usually falls into the Handlebar category by extending beyond the mouth. However, it can sometimes also be a Pyramidal moustache too. With an accent on volume, the Balbo can be permitted to grow naturally and requires fewer trims than Anchor beards.
With Robert Downey Jr’s incarnation of the brash Tony Stark in Marvel’s Avengers, the Anchor beard has recently surged in popularity. It’s a bold and flamboyant style that exudes self-confidence and charisma. The Anchor sets itself apart from the Balbo in that it is a trimmed and well-groomed variant of the Inverted T beard. Furthermore, the floating moustache is often a minutely trimmed form of Pencil or Pyramidal moustache with an angular finish. Although Downey Jr’s interpretation includes two points rising up the chin’s sides, it can be achieved with modest hair growth. The chin’s hair can be angular with intersections along the soul patch or with a rounder finish. The growth rarely extends far beyond the cheek width.
Growing and Trimming An Inverted T Beard
- Trim with unguarded clippers starting from the ears.
- Remove hair in an inward motion towards the chin until symmetrical.
- It is best to remove in steps on each side to avoid taking off too much beard.
- Trim down excess growth to an adequate and uniform length.
- Shave at least a quarter of an inch (0.5 cm) for a the break between beard and moustache.
- Trim downwards the lower-mouth and soul-patch areas, removing in steps to ensure symmetry.
- Trim & neaten the moustache’s hairline.
- Carefully sculpt the contours with an electric trimmer or straight razor.
The Balbo has an emphasis on volume. Therefore, requires at least 4 weeks of beard growth in order to be properly trimmed and styled. However, an Anchor can be achieved with 2 weeks worth of stubble.
Will An Inverted T Beard Suit My Face Shape?
An Inverted T beard’s emphasis on jawline hair growth offers considerable potential for those seeking to concentrate volume on their chin. Furthermore, the versatility between the two main styles allows it to be adapted to the majority of face shape requirements. We cover 7 individual face shapes when assessing how well styles suit different men. If you don’t yet know your face shape, we strongly recommend you quickly follow our identifying guide.
Oval Face Shapes
Oval shaped faces have a great range of flexibility with this beard style as their proportions can carry its particular growth distribution.
Square Face Shapes
Square shaped faces can adopt both styles but should ensure sharp contours so to not overly soften their angular features.
Diamond Face Shapes
Diamond face shapes use an Inverted T beard to soften their angular features. Instead of opting for a full Balbo, a rounded Anchor beard can be adopted to achieve this effect.
Heart Face Shapes
Heart face shapes benefit the most from Inverted T beard styles as they will reinforce their weak or narrow chins. The extra volume of a Balbo will create a more pronounced and wider chin without compromising their cheek width. A narrower floating moustache will also provide more emphasis on the chin and redistribute their facial proportions.
Round Face Shape
Round faces can use Balbos to build volume and sculpt themselves a larger chin. Furthermore, the use of angular contours can also make the face appear squarer.
Oblong Face Shapes
Oblong faces, best steer clear of regular Balbos as they risk elongating the face. However, a short trimmed Anchor will provide definition that could flatten the chin and widen the face.
Incompatible Face Shapes
Triangle Face Shapes
Triangle shaped faces are advised to steer clear of Inverted T shapes as this will only highlight their large jawline.