It has grown in popularity over recent years but is still quite uncommon to come across. This makes it an interesting one to wear if you were looking for a way to stand out. But what exactly is the goatee with stubble?
It’s a fantastic combination of a goatee and a stubble beard. A typical goatee is sculpted with hair on the chin and mustache.
However, instead of shaving everything outside of this outline, surrounding hairs are trimmed down to stubble instead.
Due to its uniqueness, the style often turns heads and draws attention. It’s simple, yet stylish and intensely rugged. Men who adopt it also have the added benefit of not having to shave as much as regularly goateed men.
What I wanted to do is get into this style a little deeper. First, I’ll go into what the style really consists of in more detail. I don’t want there to be any confusion here.
Then, I’ll go through a concise, step-by-step routine on how you can trim this style for yourself.
What Is The Goatee With Stubble
As I said earlier, the clearest way to visualize this style is to see it as a combination of a goatee and a stubble beard.
A goatee historically refers to hair on the chin, but not on the cheeks. Since the 1990s, goatees have routinely incorporated mustaches as well.
The typical “goatee” nowadays consists of hair on the chin connected to a mustache. In this way, it appears to encircle the beard.
Of course, there are goatee variants that don’t match this description exactly. For example, “anchor” goatees, and the Van Dyke. In these styles, the mustache doesn’t connect to the chin beard.
But in all of them, there is never any hair on the cheeks. It’s always shaved off.
Putting these two styles together would result in a goatee beard with surrounding stubble on the cheeks.
For the style to work, the goatee beard would have to be longer than the surrounding stubble in order to make it more prominent and visible.
Here’s what it looks like:
So, instead of shaved cheeks, you simply have stubbled cheeks instead. The stubble adds intensity and masculinity to the style that would be difficult to achieve with a regular goatee.
It’s important not to confuse the “goatee with stubble” with a “stubble goatee”. They definitely aren’t the same thing. A stubble goatee is simply a goatee beard that is shorter than 5mm long. The hair on the cheeks is shaved, and not trimmed down to stubble.
How To Trim The Goatee With Stubble
What I love most about this style is how straightforward it is to achieve. I’ve created a brief, step-by-step tutorial on how to trim it. Here it is:
Step 1. Exfoliate
All trimming sessions should start with a quick exfoliation. Although it isn’t essential, it does often improve results.
What it refers to is the physical removal of dirt, oil, and dead skin cells from the skin. Unfortunately, this layer of filth isn’t usually even visible to the human eye.
However, if it isn’t removed, this layer would otherwise obstruct the blade, cause uneven cuts and irritation during the trim.
An exfoliating scrub is cheap to buy, and a quick rub-down before your trim would probably only add on 30 seconds to your routine. It’s highly recommended.
Step 2. Trim the whole beard down to goatee length
I’m talking about everything – the goatee area (mustache and chin), as well as the cheeks and neck.
You will need an electric trimmer to do this. Ideally, a stubble trimmer that gives you more intricate control over length. For example, the Philips Norelco Oneblade QP6520/70 – check it out on
The goatee length is the length you eventually want the goatee area to be. Remember, in order for the “goatee with stubble” style to work the goatee hair needs to be longer than the stubble on the cheeks.
The difference in length between the goatee and the stubble can be something you experiment with. However, having the goatee 5mm longer than the stubble should always produce the desired effect.
For this example, I’m going to have my “goatee length” at 8mm, and my cheek stubble at 3mm. This stubble length is typically referred to as medium stubble.
If your trimmer doesn’t trim this short, just use the lowest setting you can achieve for the stubble component, and adjust your goatee length accordingly.
So, set your trimmer’s adjustable comb (or attachable guard) to your goatee length and trim your entire board down. In my example, this would be down to 8mm.
Keep the skin taut to catch the more difficult hairs, and vary the angle of the trimmer. Unfortunately, beard hair has a habit of growing in all sorts of different directions.
Your entire beard should now be 8mm long. Consider this almost like creating the canvas. Now it’s time to start outlining the goatee itself.
3. Define the goatee outline
In this example, I’m going to trim the typical goatee consisting of hair on the chin, connected to the mustache. I’ll also be leaving a little soul patch just immediately beneath my bottom lip.
This specific goatee shape has a couple of different names. Some call it a “full goatee”, and others may call it a “circle beard”.
So, I’ll now want to create a rough outline of the goatee by trimming around it. The surrounding areas (cheek and neck) will be trimmed down to the stubble length. In this example, that would be to 3mm.
Set the trimmer length to 3mm, and start outlining the goatee and trimming down the cheeks and neck.
Remember, the goatee won’t look very precise by the end of this step. Don’t worry – we’ll be defining it in a later step.
This is just to get the shape outlined, as well as to trim the cheeks and neck down to your stubble length of choice.
When trimming a goatee, a common rookie error is to trim the sides vertically downwards from the corners of the mouth. The sides of a goatee should have a natural curve.
Make the goatee slightly wider than you’d first expect. If you overshoot, you might make it too narrow. Making it wider to begin with gives you the option of carefully narrowing it down afterward.
The easiest way to trim the sides is to visualize lines that follow the natural curve of your mustache down toward your jawline on either side.
These will be the sides of your goatee. Doing this should lead to these lines meeting your jawline approximately 1cm either side of your lips.
This outline is natural and effective. It almost creates a triangular shape for your goatee leading from your nostrils down to your jawline.
So, trim everything outside this outline using your 3mm trimmer setting. Trim your cheeks and neck down to this length as well.
When doing the neck, remember to leave enough of the goatee’s neckline to look natural. The neckline should lie two finger-widths above the Adam’s apple.
You’ve officially just established the “stubble” part of this glorious style.
Step 4. Shape the goatee more precisely
You may not feel that this is necessary. You may feel as though your goatee as it stands is precise enough. If that’s the case, it’s fine. Move on to the next step.
But if you want to sharpen up the goatee outline, this is the best way to do it.
Your trimmer may come with a specific precision or “edging” blade – use this if it’s available. I use the naked blade of my trimmer (with no guard attached).
Using very short and gentle strokes, lightly trim the outline of the goatee with this blade. In this way, sharpen up the top and sides of the goatee.
You have to be very careful here. The strokes should be tiny, and outward. Trim too far in and you risk disrupting the shape you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Also, use very light strokes. If you press too hard with the blade when outlining here, you risk forming tiny gaps between the goatee and the stubble surrounding it.
Remember to define the soul patch by carefully trimming any stray hairs either side of it. I find that keeping the skin taut here often helps.
Step 5. Define the neckline further
You’ve hopefully made a point to leave enough of your goatee neckline as per step 3.
It’s now time to define that neckline further by getting rid of that “neck stubble”. Neck stubble never looks tidy and should always be removed in order to make that style look intentional and not accidental.
The quickest way to do this would be with a razor or an electric shaver. Simply define that neckline further by shaving any neck stubble that lies beneath it.
Remember, the neckline should look natural. Leave it at two-finger widths above your Adam’s apple, roughly following the angle of the jaw to either side. It should consist of goatee hair in the middle and stubble hair to either side.
Step 6. Moisturize
You’ve officially carved out the style. All that trimming and shaving is likely to have made your skin quite irritated. Irritated skin is desperate for moisture.
Once you’ve rinsed any excess hair off, towel-dry your face and neck. Then, generously apply some moisturizing cream to soothe and hydrate.
Finish every session with this crucial step, and you’ll be thanking yourself for it later.
Benefits Of The Goatee With Stubble
The style has plenty going for it. But three features stand out more than others.
1. It’s great for patchy cheeks
The number of men who give up on their beards because of patchiness in the cheeks is alarmingly high. Unfortunately, it is a very common problem.
Hair just tends to run thin over the cheeks. In contrast, the mustache and chin beard are usually blessed with density.
The reason this style is able to compensate for this weakness is that it emphasizes the thick areas while masking the thin areas.
The typically thin cheek areas are trimmed down to stubble. Patchiness is often less obvious when the hair is trimmed down so short.
The thicker mustache and chin areas comprise the main part of the goatee, and so are left alone to shine front-and-center.
In summary, if you’ve got a patchy cheek beard – try the goatee with stubble style.
2. You’ll have to shave less
Goatees are great. They’re neat, compact, and versatile. However, many men find that the amount of shaving necessary for its upkeep is a downside.
In a “normal” goatee style, the cheeks are shaved and not trimmed to stubble. This shaving will also have to be done at least every couple of days to keep it looking tidy.
A lot of men dislike having to shave this much. It’s either too much effort, or it’s too irritating to the skin.
The beauty of the goatee with stubble style is that the cheeks are trimmed, not shaved.
3. It’s intensely masculine and stylish
Stubble will always be considered rugged. It’s been called the most attractive beard length and for good reason.
Neatly groomed stubble is difficult to beat in terms of versatility and universal acceptance. People love it.
For people who find a usual goatee too plain, surrounding it with stubble is a fantastic way to add a hint of masculinity.
Following on from that, men who usually wear stubble often look for ways to spice things up without having to commit to a full beard.
Adding a goatee into the mix could be a great way to do it.
Its uniqueness is always going to turn heads. If you’re looking for a style that works but isn’t very common, this one may be well worth considering.
Blending two well-established, distinct facial hairstyles is always going to produce interesting results. This hybrid is an especially effective one.
Hopefully, you’ve got a much better understanding of what it really is. You’ve gotten a taste for what it looks like, why it works, and how to achieve it in the most stylish way possible.
If you’re tempted, even just a little bit – try it out for yourself. You may regret never giving this one a trial run.