Making Sense of Beard Terminology

Have you ever socialized with the company of real men who were sipping on brandy, smoking fine cigars and discussing the adventures of bearded life? If so, this might have left you wondering exactly what they were talking about and what the terms they used actually mean. Some of the terms may seem self-explanatory, but it is likely that at least a few of them made you scratch your head in wonder. Fortunately, we have compiled a list that will get you up to speed with your fellow beardsmen.

  • Beard– Hair that grows on certain areas of the face, including cheeks, around the lips, chin and neck.
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  • Moustache– Facial hair that grows above the lips.
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  • Sideburns– Hair that grows in front of the ears and connects the beard to the hair on your head
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  • Facial hair– This is the broad term for all hair that grows on the face. Facial hair includes beards, moustaches, sideburns, eyelashes and eyebrows.
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  • Texture– Beard hair can be curly, straight, coarse or soft. Texture is used to describe which of these categories each beard falls within.
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  • Pigment– This is the color or colors that are visible in your beard.
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  • Density– In technical terms, density describes the number of hairs per square centimeter. If a beard has a higher density, it is usually referred to as thick.
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  • Configuration– The configuration of your beard encompasses where it lies on your face, and it can be altered by shaving and grooming. Alternatively, the configuration can be left alone in its natural state.
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  • Cheek line– The line on the top of the beard which lies on the cheek is known as the cheek line. If someone chooses to define the lines of their beard, they will definitely need to pay close attention to their cheek line in order to maintain a sharp and tidy appearance.
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  • Neck line– The line on the bottom of the beard that lies on the neck is called the neck line. The type of beard growth that each man has will have an impact on how they decide to maintain their neck line. Some people shave a clean line to give their beard a more precise appearance, but it is also common to let the neck line grow naturally.
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  • Side– As simple as its name, this is the hair that grows on the cheek or side of the beard.
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  • Front– This term refers to the hair that grows on the front of the beard. The front area includes everything below the lower lip down to the chin.
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  • Full beard– This is a specific style of beard that involves growing out every possible component, including a moustache, sideburns, front, sides and the neck line. A full beard can be trimmed or groomed as desired, and the lines can be shaven and shaped. Ultimately, as long as facial hair is present in each area, the full beard designation is applicable, regardless of how the beard is maintained.
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  • Vellus– Hair in your beard that is lighter and softer than the majority of your facial hair is known as vellus. You might currently have some individual hairs that are blonde or lighter than the rest of your beard, and they are also likely to be thinner and softer. This is very common, and vellus is actually the first facial hair that grows during adolescence. Many men retain some of this hair throughout their entire bearded life.
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  • Terminal hair– This is another type of hair that is darker and more course. As a man matures, his facial hair thickens and darkens to replace the soft vellus hair. Terminal hair is stronger than vellus, and it allows your beard to grow longer and thicker.
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  • Yeard– This is one of the hottest new trends in the bearded world. A yeard is simply the combination of the words year and beard, and it is also known as the one year beard.
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  • Tweard– Many men feel inspired to keep going after they achieve a yeard. Making the decision to grow facial hair for two years will result in a tweard.
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  • Terminal beard– A terminal beard is also known as a permanent beard or a grandfather beard. This type is truly the beard of all beards because it will be left untouched until it can naturally grow no further. When beards finally reach their longest point, the ends will begin splitting and the hair will fall out. This process prevents the beard from growing to a longer length. The maximum beard length is different for everyone, just like the natural type of beard that each person has is different. However, if you have been yearning after the iconic Gandalf beard look, you will definitely want to grow a terminal beard.

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