Although Pointed beards are a close relative to the Full Beard family, they are best considered a different beast. Pointed Beards are treated in two sections where-as Full Beards that are usually groomed as an overall entity. The top part above the jawline is usually kept neat and trimmed. Secondly, the length below and on the chin is grown out and groomed into a point.
With that in mind, Pointed beard styles are far more commonplace than you’d initially expect. They’re a popular choice as a middle ground between an audacious Full beard and a well-groomed Boxed beard. Furthermore, many men will fortuitously opt for Pointed beard yet refer to it as a Full beard. As previously mentioned, this is not untrue but a slight misconception.
However, Pointed beards can easily be converted from a Full beard. In fact, the easiest way to grow a Pointed beard is to grow a Full beard then trim it accordingly. Although Pointed beards can be grown directly, it won’t be achievable with less than 2 months of growth. Pointed beards can be long and rugged as worn by Travis Fimmel as Ragnar Lothbrok in Vikings season 3. Alternatively, King George V of England sported it short and groomed into a faint point with a bold Hungarian moustache.
The Devil’s Beard
Like the Circle Beard, the Pointed beard can be associated with the inverted triangle theory. Dr Derrick Watson and Dr Elisabeth Blagrove of the University of Warwick studied the effects of shapes on human emotions.
By display triangles pointing in different directions, they concluded that inverted triangles cause anxiety and appear threatening. According to them, this explains why goatees and pointed features are associated with evil and the devil himself.
Whilst it is certainly true that the devil has been portrayed with a particularly pointy beard, we cannot ignore a cultural influence that has endured nearly two millennia. As described in the Circle beard guide, Christian artists and scholars appropriated key features from Ancient Greek and pagan mythology.
Pagan imagery was soon associated with evil creatures such as demons and the devil, which evolved over time. Pointed beards were a prevalent visual element of Roman gods such as Pan and Greek heroes, which quickly became victim to the purge. Considering that such iconography has nestled into our social conditioning for so long, it’s no surprise that simple geometric shapes can influence the human mind.
However, the psychological impact of a Pointed beard can be profoundly positive on the wearer. For instance, consider Gerard Butler and his portrayal as Leonidas. His Pointed beard was appropriated by imagery of the real King Leonidas I and conceptualised for the film.
Note that although he appears powerful, robust and threatening, he doesn’t appear evil. Although Gerard Butler is already a strong-jawed gentleman, Pointed beards build out a prominent chin, which denotes strong leadership.
The Ducktail Beard
The Ducktail is an elegant and refined beard reminiscent of Belle Epoque intellectuals as well as, inevitably, a duck’s tail. Both Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio adorned a type of Pointed beard in Django Unchained.
However, they were both a closer relation to the Extended Circle beard as they didn’t connect to the Sideburns. During his facial hair adventures, Mel Gibson at one point sported a greying and dignified Ducktail beard.
As is characteristic of Pointed beards, it features a medium cheek line and higher than average neckline. The moustache is kept relatively short, which blends into the cheek line. The moustache can feature a slightly wider than usual parting to account for the sloping contours. The soul patch area is well-groomed and sculpted to blend into the strong trail that rounds off into a point. Note that the end can even be curled slightly to truly simulate the aesthetics of a duck’s tail.
As the Ducktail sits low on the face, they’re are also something of a godsend for men who grow thinner hair on the cheeks. It’s usually groomed and brushed regularly to retain its form but can be forgiving to those who neglect it during short periods. Nevertheless, daily shaving will be required to touch up the contours as it can quickly appear disproportionate.
How To Trim a Ducktail Beard
- The beard is washed, blow-dried and brushed down into place.
- Holding the clippers only vertically, run them down from the cheeks towards the tip of the beard’s growth. This will taper the top and sculpt the undergrowth whilst ensuring a seamless blend between the two.
- It is best to trim the hair in steps on each side to avoid taking off too much and ensure symmetry.
- Regularly brush the beard to identify any stray hairs and ensure that it is being trimmed into the ideal shape.
- The cheek lines are then lowered or neatened and the neckline is carefully defined. Scissors are recommended for better precision when finishing.
- Although the tip can be pointed, it can be slightly curled by twisting or rolling it back on itself.
After at least 2 but ideally nearer to 4 months, enough beard growth will have been garnered. To sculpt a Pointed beard, the wearer will require guarded trimmers, hair scissors and a beard brush or comb.
Go slow but don’t fret if you slip up. The beard can be trimmed shorter for another attempt. A professional will surely have a steadier and expert hand so if you are apprehensive to try this yourself, a visit to the barber’s is encouraged.
The French Fork
The French Fork Pointed beard has a long and colourful history. However, contrary to the name, the beard style originated in the Middle East and predates the popular dining utensil. The Persians were particularly fond of elegant beards that curled and split at the chin. With the Byzantine Empire weakened after lengthy incursions by Arab States, Constantinople experienced a strong oriental enlightenment. Over the 8th and 10th Centuries, the diminished borders allowed cultures and influence one another through art, trade and religion. The osmosis between the intermittently warring states witnessed Arabic cultural traits being absorbed by Byzantine society and vice versa. Therefore, Arabic fashion became incorporated into Greek styles including facial hair, which included opulent forked beards.
The Forked Beard Comes To Europe
Throughout the Early 14th Century Renaissance, the beard style soon travelled to Western Europe via Italy. The Greek and Oriental culture was particular influential and artists such as Paolo Uccello were known to adorn Forked beards. Nevertheless, the Forked beard were seemingly not unknown among the Northmen. The first Viking king of England was Sweyn Forkbeard and William The Conqueror has been portrayed with a Forked beard. However, the William’s portrait in question was dated to have been painted at the turn of the 17th Century.
Like the beard itself, forks emerged around the 11th Century from Persia in the Byzantine Empire as two-pronged cutlery. The innovative utensil would travel to Italy and become popularised in France by Catherine de Medici in 1533. France quickly became associated with the fork’s introduction to Western Europe and is thus accredited to the name. Therefore, the fork, and thus the beard of the same name, were not French innovations.
The French Fork’s popularity dwindled after the Renaissance but experienced a comeback throughout the 19th Century particularly among Germanic aristocracy. For instance, Prussian-born Grand Admiral von Tirpitz who modernised the German Imperial Navy was reputed for his French Fork.
The French Fork Today
With its distant origins and intriguing history, the French Fork is an exotic beard, which exudes romanticism. It’s an ideal beard for intellectuals and artists alike and wouldn’t look out of place on early 20th Century vintage enthusiasts. The French Fork is not dissimilar to Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pointed beard in Pirates of the Caribbean. However, his is braided into shape and garnished with beads, which is an everyday rarity to say the least. Furthermore, the French Fork’s Gothic flair with a Nordic touch has rendered it a choice beard for Heavy Metal aficionadi.
The French Fork looks best when well-groomed but can be left rugged and unkempt. It can equally be grown out as a long beard or simply kept short. Nevertheless, it is best achieved with at least three months of beard growth given the level of detail underneath the chin. The cheek line usually sits higher than on a Ducktail. It can curve from the Sideburns into the moustache or rendered straight and geometric to highlight the angular finish below the chin. The neckline is standard and trimmed along the hair’s natural growth.
How To Trim a French Fork Beard
- The beard is washed, blow-dried and brushed down into place.
- Holding the clippers only vertically, run them down from the cheeks towards the bottom of the beard’s growth. Taper only slightly to form a trapezoid beard shape whilst blending the sides and bottom.
- It is best to trim the hair in steps on each side to avoid taking off too much and ensure a symmetrical finish.
- Regularly brush the beard back into place to check that it’s being trimmed correctly.
- The cheek line is then lowered or neatened and the neckline is carefully defined.
- The tip is then brushed down the centre to part the beard and create two symmetrical points.
- Using scissors, carefully trim the points into the desired shape. They can be coned, rounded or even shaped like two trapezia with flattened ends. Brush regularly to make sure the hair is correctly in place.
- Once finished, running matte wax or oil through the beard can help retain its shape and nourish the trimmed hairs.
The steps to achieve a French Fork is not unlike those for a Ducktail beard. Nevertheless, there are discrepancies so to take into account the beard’s unique finish. Similarly, the French Fork will require between 2 to 4 months of beard growth. Likewise, guarded trimmers, hair scissors and a beard brush or comb will be necessary.
Will A Pointed Bear Suit My Face Shape?
Despite the Ducktail and French Fork being part of the same family, the resulting redistribution of facial structure is entirely different. Whilst Ducktail beards will elongate and render a gentleman’s face narrower, the French Fork provides bulk and squares the jawline. The low cheek lines are equally beneficial to men who struggle with patchy hair growth.
We’ve listed 7 individual face shapes, which play a vital role in determining to what extent styles are compatible with different people. If aren’t familiar with yours, we strongly recommend you quickly follow face shape identifying guide before you read below.
Diamond Face Shapes
Diamond shaped faces can exploit the Ducktail beard’s form to highlight their angular features for a distinguished look. A French Fork can also highlight their features and safely expose their pronounced cheekbones.
Oval Face Shapes
Oval face shapes can enjoy styling the Ducktail as they please given the versatility of their bone structure. Similarly, French Forks can provide a square finish to their chin and jawline, which renders the face more angular.
Round Face Shape
Round shapes can benefit from the way the Ducktail beard extends the face length and builds an oval-shaped jaw. Furthermore, the finish of a French Fork can be angular to square off the proportions and provide bulk to their chin.
Triangle Face Shapes
Triangle face shapes can enjoy the way a Ducktail style beard narrows the jawline and uses the point to balance out the forehead. However, they face difficulty with French Forks as the width created by its finish may expose their jawline. Nevertheless, if the taper is narrow, there is a chance of blending their strong jawline to balance out with the forehead.
Heart Face Shapes
Heart faces will have difficulty in succeeding with the Ducktail. Their wide forehead and already narrow chin will likely be emphasised by a long beard shaped into a point. However, A French Fork can spread out the chin’s proportions with an angular finish to square it off.
Square Face Shapes
Square shapes will struggle to blend their strong cheeks and jawline into a Ducktail’s point. Alternatively, a French Fork could safely be used to highlight their strong and angular features.
Incompatible Face Shapes
Oblong Face Shapes
Oblong faces run the inevitable risk of severely elongating their face with either pointed beard style. Even if the taper remains wide on a French Fork, the offset length will render the face even more elongated.