Goatee vs Van Dyke: Differences, Guides, Pros And Cons

Welcome to the Goatee vs Van Dyke debate!

There is a debate that has been here for many years.

The goatee has a long history dating back to Ancient Greece, where philosophers and thinkers often wore beards that were similar in style.

It was popularized in the 19th century and became a symbol of rebellion and individuality.

The Van Dyke beard, on the other hand, is named after the 17th-century Flemish painter Anthony van Dyke, who often depicted men with a similar facial hair style in his portraits

In this article, we will look at the similarities and differences between the 2 beard styles, tell you how to craft them, and carry off both styles.

By the end of the article, you will have all the essential knowledge that you need to have about both styles.

Goatee vs. Van Dyke: What Is The Difference?

There is often confusion between goatees and a van dyke beards as many people find It difficult to differentiate between the two.

But we are here to tell you that there is a distinct difference.

The Goatee

goatee vs van dyke

Like a goat’s hair formed on the chin, and hence the name Goatee, the goatee is a style of facial hair formed on the chin.

However, the distinct feature of a goatee is that there isn’t facial facial hair on the cheeks of the person sporting it. There is just a tuft of hair on the chin, and that is about it.

If there is a soul patch or even slight hair on the cheeks, it no longer qualifies to be a goatee.

The Van Dyke

van dyke vs goatee

If the name Van Dyke seems suspiciously like the name of a real person, you’re not mistaken. The beard style gets its name from the 17th-century painter Sir Anthony Van Dyck, who sported this look.

The Van Dyke style is a fully grown goatee along with a mustache.  The chin beard, the mustache are essential to the beard qualifying as a Van Dyke.

Because there is no hair on the cheeks in a Van Dyke, too, it can be considered a goatee as well, but its styling makes it different from a classic goatee.

However, the key feature that makes it a Van Dyke is that the mustache and the goatee are never connected. In case they are connected, they become what is called a circle beard or a full goatee.  

Thus, the key difference between a Goatee and a Van Dyke is that while the goatee doesn’t need the presence of a mustache or a soul patch, the Van Dyke demands the presence of both.

What to Consider When Choosing A Particular Style

choosing between van dyke and goatee

1. What You Need To Maintain It

Length and complexity will determine which style of beard you’ll choose.

Usually, the longer the length of the beard, the more maintenance is required – Brushing, oiling, waxing, combing, and more.

Secondly, the complexity of the style that you want to wear will sway your choice.

Now, let us examine the above, keeping in mind the goatee and the Van Dyke.

As far as length is concerned, both the full goatee and Van Dyke can be considered as equals because they work both when you have long or short beard hairs.

But in terms of how difficult it is to create the Van Dyke is way more complicated than the goatee.

The Van Dyke calls for a separation of the mustache and the chin beard. Only when this happens is styling for other variations of a Van Dyke beard possible.

2. Patchiness

A patchy beard is so common among men. It should not even be considered an issue at times. If you suffer from the problem of a patchy beard, there is nothing to worry about because you’re not alone.

In fact, patchy hair qualifies you as a prime candidate for the Van Dyke and Goatee style of beards.

If you have problems with hair growth to connect the chin hair, your beard, and mustache, relax. They don’t matter in the Van Dyke style.

And what about patchy hair on the cheeks? The answer is no; you don’t need them in either style. You need to shave off all your cheek hair in any case, so relax.

3. Adaptability

Does your beard style help you adapt to different everyday situations such a going to the office, going to the grocery store, attending a wedding, attending a job interview, and more?

Some men want and love attention on them all the time, but in general, most guys would not like to draw unnecessary attention to themselves.

You don’t want your beard to attract long stares and comments.

The bottom line is that your facial hairstyle should not put you in a spot.

Thankfully, both the goatee and the Van Dyke styles are universally accepted as regular styles.

However, out of the two, the Van Dyke would still be seen as the louder one.

It’s more fashionable, modish, and suitable for many occasions.

However, your personal choice should be yours and not dependent on what other people have to say about you.

When in doubt about what would be best, go for a standard full goatee and if you don’t like it you can trim it into a Van Dyke.

4. Love of mustaches

As the title says, if you love mustaches, you don’t even have to think. Just go for the Van Dyke.

The Van Dyke beard style is a style that highlights the mustache and gives it pride of place on your face.

If you love and revere mustaches, go for the Van Dyke style.

5. Getting More Attention

We have already mentioned earlier that some men love more attention than others.

While there is nothing wrong with a full goatee, and it is a perfectly standard style, its standard nature might mean that it is also seen as boring or commonplace by some men.

If you are one such person, you can definitely opt for the Van Dyke.

The Van Dyke is the more attention-grabbing style of the two, and especially if you have the handlebar mustache, it will be almost impossible to miss.

Having stated the above, we also feel that the personality of the person involved will have a role to play.

If you are a shy person by nature who doesn’t like to be in the limelight, a full goatee might be more suitable for you.

If you’re trying to change the image of shyness, then go for the Van Dyke by all means.

However, if flamboyance is your middle name, the Van Dyke is what you want to sport.

How To Achieve These Beard Styles?

How to Grow And Style a Van Dyke Beard

how to trim a van dyke beard

Now that you know what a Van Dyke beard is, it is time you also learned how to style one for yourself.

To start with, you’ll need to grow your facial hair and your mustache. Make sure that your hair is at least one inch long.

Step 1 – Ready your face before shaving

Hydrating and moisturizing your skin before shaving is always a good idea as it softens up the skin for a smoother shave.

Wash your face with warm water or apply a towel soaked in warm water to your face. This will hydrate the hair before shaving.

Apply a clear shave gel to those parts of the skin that need to be shaved clean completely.

The shave gel can help protect your skin from irritation, cuts, and nicks.

Step 2 – Trim your facial hair

 As we told you earlier, keep your hair length even. It is at this stage that following this advice will come into use. Trimming your facial hair will prevent the occurrence of clogged blades later on.

Step 3 – Define the shape of your beard

Use your trimmer without the comb to outline the Van Dyke beard shape. We advise that you first create the shape of a circle beard and then do the additional trimming from there.

No need for a precise circle at this juncture; a rough approximation will do.

Step 4 – Keep uniformity in mind as you trim

If you’re not a professional, it can be difficult to trim evenly, so go slow if need be but keep the uniformity of your beard in mind. Pay particular attention to the hair below your jawline. Ensure that it connects as a straight line along the neck.

Step 5 – Rinse and Moisturize

Congratulations on your Van Dyke beard. Wash your face with cold water and apply a moisturizing aftershave lotion. You’re done. Sit back and show off your new look to the world.

How to get a classic goatee

How to style a classic goatee
Step 1. Trim

Let it grow for a few days to make it around half an inch long. First, attach the comb to trim the whole beard, including below the neck.

This makes the length of the beard even throughout.

Step 2. Shape your goatee

Remove the comb from your razor and fix the trimmer instead. Now with this trimmer, to outline the shape of the goatee.

Start by trimming the neck, followed by the cheeks, and finally look at the area above the lip.

Read Also: The Correct Position of The Goatee Neckline

Shave carefully as you near the edges of your chin hair so that you don’t end up shaving off a lot of hair accidentally.

Step 3. Prepare your skin

After outlining the goatee, you now need to prepare your skin for a smooth shave.

First, wash the area that you need to scrub with a facial scrub.

This is important for any shaving exercise because it cleans away any dirt, oil, or dead skin that can block the razor’s path.

Rinse the scrub off your face.  Splashing your face with warm water is another way to hydrate the hair on your face. Another way is to soak a towel with warm water and hold it to your face for 2-3 minutes.

Now you need to use a clear shave gel to coat your cheeks, neck, and upper lip. This is preferred over a white shaving foam because you can see the lines and edges of your goatee.

Step 4. Add definition by shaving

Now it is time to add the blade to your razor for getting a close shave.

Many men mistakenly believe that it is always necessary to shave in the same direction as the direction of hair growth. However, since facial hair grows in different directions, you need to shave in a direction that you’re most comfortable with.

You can allot more time for the shave gel to get absorbed in the sensitive neck area so that the hairs get more time to be softened.

Step 5. Tighten the edges

You can tighten the edges around your goatee with a single-blade razor. You can create a clean line on both sides by turning a single-blade razor with strokes in the direction of your ears.

Similarly, create symmetry for your jawline with downward strokes.

Rinse your face with cold water, and you’re done.

Read Also: Long Goatee Tutorial

Is A Van Dyke Still Attractive?

Yes, despite it being more than four centuries old, the Van Dyke beard has surprisingly stood the test of time.

While there have been periods in history when it had ceased to remain popular, but such has been its enduring nature that it has always made a comeback.

It was almost forgotten in the 18th and 19th centuries, but towards the end of the 20th century, it was brought back in vogue by rockstars such as Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder.

Today celebrities such as Johnny Depp sport the Van Dyke beard, and it is a mainstream beard style.

Currently, the goatee is more popular than the Van Dyke beard, although both styles have their fans. Some famous celebrities who have sported a goatee include Robert Downey Jr., Johnny Depp, and Brad Pitt.

Meanwhile, the Van Dyke beard has been worn by notable figures such as David Beckham, George Clooney, and Hugh Jackman.


Overall, both the goatee and Van Dyke beard can be stylish and attractive options for men looking to experiment with their facial hair. When choosing between the two styles, it’s important to consider your personal preferences, facial features, and lifestyle.

If you have a strong jawline and angular features, a Van Dyke beard may be the perfect choice for you. However, if you prefer a more simple and classic look, a goatee may be more your style.

Regardless of which style you choose, regular maintenance and grooming are essential for keeping your beard looking sharp and well-groomed.

And at the end of the day, you won’t still have a dilemma between a goatee and a full beard.

Either you pick a full goatee, a goatee, or a Van Dyke just remember that these beard styles have been worn by millions if not billions of men.

And that’s it for today’s article. I really hope you found what you were looking for.

Are you ready to rock your favorite beard style?

Take action!

Until next time,

Stay safe and..let it grow!


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