The beard is a cultural and primal signifier. From the days of hunter gatherer cavemen, to the reclaimed lumberjack look of modern hipsters, the beard is a hairy extension of a man’s sense of self, style and masculinity.

But the great thing about facial hair is that it’s yours to adapt, and groom to not just change your look, but change the signals you give off. A quick trim here and there, and different types of beards will transform the perception of the kind of man you are.

If you need some inspiration for reshaping that facial fuzz, here are 11 of the most iconic beard styles of all time.

The Corporate Beard

As worn by Chris Pine

t’s worth the effort though, especially if you’re looking to change your appearance via the wonder of facial hair. It can make a longer face look shorter, but also bring out those angles by contouring your face shape. For further proof of this style’s charm, see exhibits Affleck, Beckham and Clooney.

Stubble

As worn by John Legend

Getting the look might seem as simple as just not shaving, but there’s a subtle art to good-looking stubble. “You probably want a grade one on the clippers at the longest,” says Chapman. “Shape up the cheek bones, around the lips, and also just below the jawline to give a really sharp, masculine look.”

As with a full beard, it’s good to use product to keep both your skin and hair healthy. It’s still a beard – just much shorter – which means it will have the same drying effect on your face, so rub in a moisturiser or beard oil every day.

The Beardstache

As worn by Henry Cavill

Making it work for you is a waiting game. Grow a full beard first (see below), resisting the urge to trim anywhere until you have close to an inch of growth. Then trim everywhere but your top lip to grade one or two. Finally, get some scissors and carefully shape the moustache until you get the blend you’re looking for.

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