Van Dyke Beard

Van Dyke Beard – Ultimate Van Dyke Style Guide

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The Van Dyke Beard is a style that has made a revival of sorts in the last 30 years. Some people think of this style as something from the old west or the 17th and 18th century, but we think its back and here to stay. It started its comeback around the 90’s when some rock musicians such as Eddie Vedder and Kurt Cobain were sporting the style. Today it’s quite popular with notable celebrities wearing the style the most popular being Robert Downy Jr. and Johnny Depp.

The Van Dyke Beard originated in the 17th century and was named after a Flemish painter named Anthony van Dyck. He was known to paint many self portraits with himself wearing the beard style as well as paint other gentleman that were wearing the style.

Check out this great overview of all our top beard styles for more inspiration.

Looking for another unique beard style, check out our Ducktailchin strap beard and mutton chops guides.

Don’t like wearing a mustache? Check out our Beard Without a Mustache Guide.

For a more simple style check out our Sideburns Guide.

What is a Van Dyke Beard?

The Van Dyke Beard is a style that has a pointed goatee  that’s not connected to the mustache. This point in the goatee can vary in length and how pronounced it is. A soul patch can be included and can either connect to the goatee or not depending on your preferred style. When it comes to the mustache it can sit natural or have wax in it to give it a different shape. There are also other takes on the style where the goatee does come all the way up to the mustache but in this case the mustache would be groomed. As long as the essence of the style is there people see to call it a Van Dyke these days.

Van Dyke Beard VS Goatee

The main way a Van Dyke Beard differs from a goatee is that the mustache doesn’t connect to the goatee. At least an inch or so of skin needs to be between the mustache and goatee and this is what defines the look. You don’t want it to be almost connected or it will start to look like a circle goatee or other style of goatee. Another main identifying feature is the point in the chin section.

Different Types of the Van Dyke Beard



As the name suggests the shape is almost like an anchor. The soul patch is connected to a goatee that’s pointed and curves up towards the mustache but does not connect. This style can also be pulled off with stubble as long as the shape is still defined and clearly visible.

Johnny Depp Beard


Johnny Depp has been wearing this style for a long time and is really know for pulling it off well. In his Van Dyke Beard he keeps his chin hair quite short and you could say a little patchy and is paired with a soul patch. The mustache is nice and pronounced and comes down past the lower lip slightly.

Robert Downy Jr. Style


This is a very notable style because of the popularity of Iron Man and the Marvel universe in general. In this style of Van Dyke Beard the mustache is quite long and almost touches the chin section that’s paired with a soul patch that connects similar to the anchor style. Then there is an extension to the goatee section that runs an inch or so up the jawline to create a cool looking angle.

Conned Goatee With Perfect Mustache

Conned with Perfect Mustache

This style is more of the classic style people think of when Van Dyke is mentioned. In this style the Goatee is grown out quite long at around 2 inches and is shaped aggressively into a cone or point. This is paired with a nice full mustache that is groomed with Mustache Wax or Beard Oil to make distinct shapes.

The Van Dali

The Van DaliCredit to Flickr Kordite.

The Dali mustache is one that has been waxed into a straight out shape. Typically its quite long and sticks out quite far off the face. The Van Dali is when you pair up this mustache with the Van Dyke style goatee and soul patch. Definitely a unique and cool style.

Texas Van Dyke Beard

Texas Van DykeCredit to Flickr Kordite

To achieve this style of beard the chin hair should be grown quite long around 2 inches or more and be as thick as possible. Then its shaped into a point but not too sharp as to be conned shape. The mustache is very bushy and groomed and waxed out to the side.

The Colonel


The colonel as the name implies is named after Colonel Sanders of the KFC chain. This style has a nice full mustache groomed out to the side paired with a thick stripe goatee. This look can be kind of dated so if you’re trying to pull this one off think of putting a modern flare on it.

Special Trio With Thick Chin


The special trio is a trifecta of awesome. It starts with a medium full mustache and a soul patch that’s trimmed quite small as not to connect to the chin hair. Then the chin hair is the thickest part and is trimmed into a point to complete this Van Dyke Beard. The chin hair can also be a bit more tame if you don’t want a full point, see pic above.

Flashy Moustache with Long Haired Chin

This style of Van Dyke Beard has a prominent mustache preferable groomed a bit fancy with some beard wax or beard oil. Then this is paired up with a goatee shaped into a point with no soul patch.

Van Dyke Beard Face Shapes

There is a lot of literature that says that round faces are best for the Van Dyke style with the pointed Goatee helping to balance a round face with some angles, and give more maturaty . We think that a Van Dyke can work with many different face shapes. There are so many styles of the Van Dyke Beard to choose from it’s easy to pick one that suits your personality and Style. For example the anchor style works best with round and oval face shapes because it can bring attention to the jawbones. The pointed beard style works best wth heart shape faces, while the Texas Van Dyke Beard works best with round and heart shaped faces.

If you want to dive deeper into what face shapes work best with a Van Dyke here is a great article.

How to Grow a Van Dyke Beard

This beard style takes a bit of effort to grow, shape, and maintain. Don’t be intimidated though since this can be a fun look to try out and you might just love it. Follow the steps below to help you get started with the Van Dyke Beard.

Step 1

The first step is to grow your beard out for 2 to 4 weeks depending what kind of style you’re looking to achieve. If you are trying to have a longer cone shaped goatee or a bushy mustache it may take longer. Also everyone differs so just do what works for you to get the needed growth.

Step 2

Now you’re ready to start trimming and shaping. Make sure your face is nice and dry if your using beard trimmers and comb your beard and mustache so its as straight as possible and not tangled. Then you can start shaping with your trimmer. Slowly trim away hair to start achieving the style you want and disconnecting the mustache from the goatee section of your beard.

Step 3

Next take your trimmers and trim away the neck and cheek hair that you don’t  want. Once its trimmed down you can take a regular razor and use shaving gel and shave these areas nice and clean. Of course what areas you shave depends on the look you have chosen, so use that as a guide.

Step 4

Finally use your beard trimmers to fine tune your Van Dyke Beard, go slow and get the lines exactly how you want them according to the style you have chosen. Now you’re ready to be awesome and rock your new Van Dyke.

Maintaining the Van Dyke once its shaped is not too difficult. Just use your beard trimmers and keep it looking shaped and clean according to your style. Certain styles will require more attention such as the conned goatee with perfect mustache look.

Celebrities to Sport the Van Dyke Beard



Many celebrities have been know to wear this style of beard such as Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Robert Downy Jr., Christian Bale, Jeremy Renner and many others. I think because of this the Van Dyke style is still popular in 2020 and has stood the test of time.

The Van Dyke beard is a great choice if you want to stand out from the crowd a little and look hip and classic at the same time.

Watch the video below for a beard cleanup into a Van Dyke.

Drop a comment below and let us know what you think of the Van Dyke Beard.


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