French Beard Styles

by Sara Gates ; Updated September 28, 2017

Johnny Depp has helped popularize the French beard in America.

Andreas Rentz/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Different styles of beards convey different looks; a man can appear rugged, sophisticated or wildly eccentric depending on the type of beard he chooses to grow. French beards are a family of beard styles; although there are a few different varieties, all typically include a mustache and a goatee of some kind. A few celebrities, including Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp, have popularized French beards in recent years.

Classic French Beard

The classic French beard is much like a full beard, but with the cheeks shaved. Sideburns extend to envelop the jawbone to the chin, at which point a fuller goatee takes over. It is almost always paired with a mustache, and the length of all the hair should be fairly closely trimmed, not loose or flowing. This is a standard French beard, and is similar to a "chinstrap" paired with a mustache.

French Pirate

Johnny Depp is almost entirely to thank for the popularity of the "French pirate" beard style; although this beard is also often associated with artists and actors. The French pirate always includes a mustache and a goatee ; occasionally a French pirate includes a soul patch, which is a bit of hair just below the bottom lip. The cheeks and jawline below the cheeks should be shaved.

Royale

The royale is a style of French beard that consists of only a mustache and a long, thin soul patch below the lower lip extending to the chin. Neater and more closely trimmed than a classic French beard, the royale looks cleaner since more of the face is shaved and left smooth.

Imperial

This is a more eccentric French beard, mostly due to the length of its whiskers. An imperial beard consists of a lengthy tuft of whiskers from the chin, trimmed to a point, coupled with a mustache and a soul patch. Some hold that the imperial beard should be specifically paired with a handlebar mustache, while other beard aficionados differ on this point. This is the least common and most eccentric type of French beard due to the length of the chin whiskers.

Photo Credits

  • Andreas Rentz/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

About the Author

Sara Gates has been a freelance writer since 2009. Her work has been featured at numerous online outposts, primarily in the areas of travel and finer living. After years of working in the hospitality industry, she loves to share her expertise and enthusiasm regarding travel, food and hotels through her writing.