5 Anchor Beard Style Tips + Famous Celebrity Looks


anchor beard style

The anchor beard is a simple yet austere disconnected beard style variation. Named after its nautical anchor shape, this inverted-T beard style looks darn good while being easy to maintain.

This is one of my go to styles. However, styling the anchor shape is tricky at first, but I’ve put together this guide to expertly shape and trim it so that it perfectly aligns with your jawline.

How to Style the Anchor Beard

The main shape of this beard can be defined using this typical shape below, but if looking for modern trends, see the celebrity anchor styles at the bottom of this article.

Anchor beard shape is a timeless look.
The anchor beard resembles its name with curved chin hair and a typically short mustache.

You should decide the right beard length before you trim and style. The thickness of your anchor shape and how far you’ll shave down the jawline are also important.

What You’ll Need

1. Use a Fixed-Length Comb for First Trim

Pick a comb attachment that matches the length you want. I always like to start with a 3 or 4 mm, then go down to 2 mm if needed.

2. Trim Down Your Facial Hair

With most anchor beard styles, the trend is a shorter, neater shape, so you’ll trim your beard down using an electric trimmer before clean-shaving and shaping your anchor beard.

Trimming down first makes it easier to cut this unique shape without pulling on longer beard hairs that get in the way.

3. Create Your Anchor Beard Shape

The first step is to clean-shave all the hair around your cheeks and upper jawline. You don’t want any hair on the rest of your face besides the chin and mustache area.

As you get closer to your chin, go slower and think about the width and length of your anchor beard shape.

Take it slow when creating the anchor, as you want to match the width along the chin and jawline. It’s easy to fall into shaving away too much or having to shave it all off because of uneven lines.

A goatee shaper or beard shape guide can help create perfect lines, but you don’t have to get meticulous. The basic shape is a wider anchor that hugs the chin and connects facial hair to the bottom lip’s soul patch.

Some also shape the bottom edges of the anchor beard to curve upward on the left and right.

4. Tidy Up Your Anchor Beard Mustache

Another key feature of the anchor beard is a disconnected, neatly trimmed mustache that typically gets trimmed right at the corner of your lips. Again, be careful not to trim too much away trying to get symmetrical lines and evenness. Go slowly at first.

There are anchor beard styles without a mustache, as well as thin chin strap styles that have a handlebar moustache. So long as the chin hair lines and mustache don’t connect, it takes the shape of an anchor rather than a circle beard.

If you’re not sure about shaping your anchor beard for the first time, it may benefit you to get a barber to trim it the first time. Then you can maintain the shape.

5. Use a Precision Trimmer for Edges

After you define and shape your new anchor beard, you should clean up with a precision trimmer. This will give you sharper lines and a more definitive shape.

Anchor Beard vs Balbo Beard vs Van Dyke Beard

I’ve often wondered ‘what’s the difference between the anchor beard, Van Dyke beard, and Balbo beard?’ Are we using three different terms to describe the same beard?

If these beards look so closely related, it’s because they’re all a part of the inverted-T beard family. These beards grew popular among guys with patchy beards who have trouble growing hair around the lower lip and corners of the mouth.

Here are the slight differences between these three beards. See how to change up the style with our tips in the captions:

Anchor Beard

Anchor beard style vs Balbo vs Van Dyke
The anchor beard curves up around the chin like its namesake, but it doesn’t connect to the mustache. Christian Bale wore it perfectly for his British GQ interview.

Balbo Beard

Balbo vs Anchor Beard
Balbo beards are thicker and may have a unique outline under the bottom lip. You can use an electric trimmer or liner to create this shape.

Van Dyke Beard

Van Dyke vs Anchor Beard
The Van Dyke is a stylized short beard that doesn’t connect at all to the mustache. Rather than curve upwards, chin hair extends slightly up the jaw.

5 Celebrities with Anchor Beard Styles

1. Jeremy Renner

Jeremy Renner Anchor Beard
The slight curve upward on the left and right side of the chin turns Renner’s facial hair style into an anchor beard. Image courtesy of Men’s Journal.

2. Robert Downey, Jr

Robert Downey Jr. beard
Robert Downey Jr. shows how to style a short anchor beard with long lines that curve up from the chin. NOTE: RDJ’s anchor is a unique variation called the Tony Stark Beard.

3. David Beckham

David Beckham anchor beard
The deep clean-shaven areas below his bottom lip and curve upward of facial hair mark this as an anchor beard style, but it’s longer on the sides and jawline.

4. Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman anchor beard
Hugh Jackman’s beard is a custom anchor that curves outward instead of upward.

5. Robert Pattinson

Robert Pattinson scruffy anchor goatee
Robert Pattinson wears a scruffy beard with an anchor shape, allowing his stubble beard growth to cover his jawline. Image source: New York Independent

Check out more Celebrity Beard Styles.

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I'm the founder of Bald & Beards, an amateur barber and I've been obsessed with men's grooming, styles, and trends for over 20 years.