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Ducktail Beard

Ducktail Beard Styles: Devilish, Rebellious, Manly

Of all the beard styles we cycle through, the ducktail beard is one of our favorites. It’s one of those rare looks that’s both masculine and playful—with a touch of sinister!—and it can actually change your appearance pretty dramatically: because of its odd shape, it can make you look thinner (it can make your cheekbones “pop”) while also making you look more masculine (it can make your jawline and chin look broader).

That’s pretty fantastic, and there aren’t too many beard styles that can do that. Yes, the ducktail style beard is a real crowd-pleaser.

Smiling Woman

So here we’ll provide some looks for you to try out, along with how to execute and maintain them, but first…

A Definition: What is a Ducktail Beard, Exactly?

We’ll be quick about this, because unlike many beard styles, it’s not too complicated:

A ducktail beard is a beard that shaped into a triangle facing downward. It gets its name from—you guessed it—the shape of a duck’s tail. It might be more accurate to call it a triangle beard, but that’s no fun.

All you need a medium-length beard—about six months growth—and then you cut the whiskers on your cheeks and sideburns very short, and taper the facial hair beneath your chin into a point.

And… that’s it! It’s pretty simple. All you need is long-ish facial hair, a beard trimmer, and maybe a pair of scissors (and we’ll get into that below).

That said, there a LOT of variations on the ducktail beard—and you probably want some pictures—so here we’ll walk you through all of them.

We’ll start with…

The Most Popular Ducktail Beard Styles

Here are the ducktail styles you’ll see most often. Here’s the “traditional” ducktail—that is, the one that’s most closely aligned to what a ducktail beard is supposed to look like. It is…

The Long Ducktail: The “Traditional” Ducktail

Here’s a great example of what a ducktail should look like, if you’re trying to get it exactly right:

Traditional Ducktail Beard Photo

As you can see, the beard comes about two inches past his chin, and collects into a point. The entire thing is sloping toward into a triangle shape, and there’s not too facial hair on the cheeks and jawline.

This would be a “medium-length” ducktail, and those are great to have, because they don’t take too much effort to maintain—you just need to trim it every once in a while, and you roll out of bed and start your day. That’s not the case with longer ducktails (and other very long beards), and we’ll talk about that in a moment.

Here’s an image of a long ducktail:

How to Grow a Ducktail Style Beard

This one doesn’t sharpen down to a point, but it’s another great example of a clean-cut ducktail.

Here’s one more:

Ducktail Beard

This is a great photo, because it sort of “normalizes” the look—the ducktail look can be pretty extreme, but this is just a regular guy drinking coffee.

Here are some more dramatic ducktail beards, like…

The Full Ducktail: Good for Guys with Thick Beards

Here you can see the same basic shape, but it’s a little fuller and denser:

Full Beard in Ducktail Style

This is a great ducktail look if you grow a LOT of facial hair—you can still shape it so that you get that upside-down triangle shape. Keep in mind, you don’t need to be able to grow this much facial hair, but it helps. 

It’s also a great look if you’re bald or balding, and we’ve happily listed it in our “Beard Styles for Bald Men” post.

The Short Ducktail: Easy to Attain

If you have “normal” facial hair growth, or just don’t want to wait around forever to grow a lot of facial hair for a long ducktail, this can be a good option. It’s a tight, clean, look, that mimics that downward-facing triangle of a ducktail beard:

Short Ducktail Beard

This can be a great look, because it’s very easy to attain. Technically, this is merging into “normal beard” territory, because a ducktail is supposed to be two or more inches long, but this counts.

Here’s another short ducktail beard, on a guy who looks sad:

Can You Grow a Short Ducktail Beard?

Is he said because it looks like he’s stuck in the hull of a pirate ship? No one knows. But his short ducktail is on-point—it’s nicely curated and downward-pointing.

Here’s a ducktail version for those of you who do have long beards:

The Straight Ducktail: Takes Some Grooming

Here’s a great look, if you have time to make it happen:

The Straight Ducktail Beard (grooming required)

You’ll see here that this guy’s beard tapers downward and he’s straightened all his beard hair. That’s not tough to do, but 1) it takes a little bit of time, and 2) you need a beard straightener to do it. It’s a great look, though, and straightening your beard is kind of a bonus—it can make your beard look longer than it actually is. You just need to make sure your beard is thick enough—it may not look right for guys with wispy beards.

You can take the “straight ducktail” in the other direction, though, and go for…

The Wide Ducktail: Great for Guys with Broad Jaws

If you like the inverted-triangle look of a ducktail, but you think that pointy end of it isn’t for you, you can go with a wide ducktail. Here, you get a sort of “blunted triangle” shape, that’s not exactly a ducktail, but close to it:

Broad or Wide Ducktail Beard Style

This can be a great look for guys with broad chins, who would have a hard time getting their beard hair to form a point.

The Thin Ducktail: Great for Guys with Pointy Chins

If your face naturally comes to a point—that is, your jaw is thin and your chin comes to a point—this can be a great look:

Thin Ducktail Beard

This guy has a narrow jaw and a pointy chin, and the facial hair that makes the ducktail beard broadens jaw and chin, while accentuating his cheekbones—which are correlated with attractiveness, and very common in male and female models.

The Rounded Ducktail: Takes a Little Work, But Very Unique

Again, this isn’t technically a ducktail, but it’s very close—it lengthens the face and can make you look thinner—so we’ll include it:

Rounded Ducktail Beard Style

Here, the general shape is downward-facing, and just like “The Wide Ducktail,” above, it can be great for guys with broad jaws and chins.

This, however, does take some grooming—you need to actually shape it—so it’s not a great option if you’re the kind of guy who rolls out of bed and starts his day.

OK! So those are your “typical” duckbeards, if such a thing exists. Now let’s switch it up a little and get to…

Ducktail Beard Styles: Variations

Above we covered the most common ducktail beard styles, and here we’ll go over some hybrids and variations. These are all ducktail beards, but each one has a little spin. First up:

The Wild Ducktail: Good for Those of You Who Don’t Like Grooming

Wild Ducktail Beard

Is it a ducktail? yes. Is it a well-groomed ducktail? No, not at all. It’s bushy and unkempt and we bet if you look closely, you’d find some twigs and leaves in there.

Does it count as a ducktail, and can it work for you? Yes! Yes, it can. It’s got a nice shape and true to the other ducktails in our list, it slopes downward much like a duck’s behind.

It is a good reminder, though, that an actual duck’s tail does look a little disorganized, so this counts.

The Dali Ducktail: For Flashy Fellas Only

Some looks aren’t for everyone, and if you 1) have time to make this happen, and 2) like getting stares from people, this can be a great look:

The Dali Ducktail

This is a fantastic style, and very unique. You’d need some mustache wax to make it happen, which we’ll discuss below, but if you’ve got the time—and a very long mustache!—this can be a winner.

The Ducktail with Shelf Mustache: A Viking-y Look

This looks like a regular beard, but if you take a look at this guy’s mustache…

ducktail beard styles

…you’ll see that he’s carved a very defined “shelf” into the bottom of his mustache. That’s a great look, and it’s related to the “Viking Beard” that’s a great look on… well, just about everybody.

Here’s a ducktail style that’s a little more “brainy,” but with great historical significance:

The “Freud” Ducktail: Surprisingly Fashionable

You’d think that a look mirroring the Father of Psychology, who has been dead for almost 80 years, would be somewhat dated, but it’s actually a really clean look, and very sharp:

Freud Ducktail Beard

This is very similar to the “Dali” ducktail, but the mustache isn’t as long, and it’s a little bushy at the ends. This is a great look if you’re going to a formal event and need to wear a tux or suit.

The Wavy Ducktail: Good for Guys with Curly Beards

This guy has a handlebar mustache—and we’ll talk about that in moment—but the real feature here is his wavy beard:

Wavy Ducktail Beard

It can be difficult to tame a wavy beard and/or a curly beard into a ducktail, because wavy beards tend to want to do their own thing, but if you can collect the whiskers into a point—perhaps with the beard balm or beard wax—it can be a really fascinating look.

Next up is one of our favorites:

The Van Dyke Ducktail Beard, aka, “The Van Dyketail”

This is reserved for genuine beard nerds, and we consider ourselves genuine beard nerds: the Van Dyketail:

Van Dyke Ducktail Beard or The Van Dyketail

Here you have the signature Van Dyke beard—the handlebar mustache, with a very thin goatee underneath—where the goatee is shaped like a duck’s tail. PERFECTION.

Teeeeeechnically, this is just a regular Van Dyke—the goatee part would need to be a little longer for this to be a true-blue Van Dyketail—but it’s close enough and we love it, so we’re keeping it.

Ducktail with Handlebar: Manly and Traditional but a Little Quirky

This another one of our favorite looks. It’s a ducktail, but with a thick mustache curled up at the ends:

Ducktail Beard with Handlebar Mustache

This takes a long time to grow, and you’ll need some beard wax to hold the mustache in place, but it’s a great beard look that’s part lumberjack, part St. Nick, and part fisherman. Very manly.

The Mature Ducktail: For Mature Gentleman

We realize that most of our models so far have been younger guys, but we don’t mean to convey the message that ducktail beards are the property of young men. They’re not, and in fact, mature guys who can grow a full beard can grow FANTASTIC ducktails—in fact, ducktails tend to look best on guys in their 30s, 40s, and beyond!

There’s this guy, sitting down for some tea with a friend of his:

Ducktail Beard for Older Men

…and then there’s this guy, who’s made a commitment to both ducktail beards and ring-wearing:

Ducktail Beard for Middle Aged Man

And… there you have it! That’s as in-depth a guide to ducktail beards as we can give you. Hopefully there’s something here that suits your fancy!

We realize that we went a little bit light on instruction, so before we wrap it up,

How to Maintain a Ducktail

Ducktail beards may require more or less work depending on the way your facial hair grows. Many men have faster-growing, thicker hair on their chins, and that makes the ducktail a natural beard style to slide into. Regardless, maintaining the angle and point of the ducktail itself will require at least some grooming.

When you first start, you can skip the beard trimmer. Give your beard four or five months to reach a good length before trying to form it into the ducktail shape. If you grow your facial hair very quickly, you may not need to wait so long, but usually it takes that much time to have enough facial hair to trim down into an upside-down triangle.

Once the hair on your chin has reached the length you want for your ducktail, you should be good to go, so you can try to shape it. This will mostly involve trimming on the cheeks. The difference in length between your cheeks and chin is up to you, just make sure that it blends with a consistent angle starting at your sideburns.

Scissors are great for this kind of thing, as are beard trimmers, but we’d urge you not to use a waterproof beard trimmer in the shower, because it’s tough to trim a longer wet beard. It can be done for shorter beards, but not longer ones.

On your neck, the length should at least match the length of the hair above it. That is to say, the neck hair under your cheeks should be shorter and the neck hair under your chin longer. That said, many men choose to shave their necks altogether with the ducktail. That’s up to you.

After you’ve trimmed your ducktail into its final shape, you’ll need to do regular maintenance to keep it that way. That mostly means trimming, but some men will have harder times keeping the point of the ducktail uniform than others. If that’s the case for you, beard wax can help.

Even if you don’t have trouble keeping the ducktail shape, beard oil and/or balm can keep it healthy—they can keep the hair soft and healthy and allow for full volume and uniform growth throughout the beard.

And… there you have it! There are a lot of beard looks that require a lot of maintenance, but ducktails aren’t among them—once you get it into shape, you only have to do some trimming here and there to keep it looking right.

Why Would You Want a Ducktail Beard, Anyway?

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably on board for a ducktail, but if you need a little bit more convincing, here are—what we consider!—to be the advantages of a ducktail beard. It’s one of our favorite looks, and it has a lot going for it, namely:

1. It’s one of the easiest ways to give your beard a “striking” look. Many men end up with a ducktail beard simply because their hair naturally grows that way, the chin being thicker and having faster growth than the sides, and a ducktail beard can look well-groomed and stylish without requiring the same aggressive styling as some of the more complicated beard styles out there.

2. It can help reshape and accentuate your face. This is the real advantage of a ducktail beard—because the beard is shaped into a down-facing triangle, it creates a sort of illusion that makes your cheekbones “pop.” High, broad cheekbones are almost universally seen as an attractive feature on men, and… well, if a beard style can make your cheekbones pop, why not?

3. It can make your chin appear longer and more prominent, and many men with otherwise round or rectangular faces go for this style because it adds a point to the bottom of the face. If you’ve got a square jaw, a boxy-shaped head, or not much of a chin, it can be a great tool to change the appearance of your face.

4. They look stylish and a little devil-ish. Most beards make you look manly, and it’s a little difficult to add some “flair” to a beard. The pointy beard was to go-to beard for ne’er-do-wells of all stripes, from pirates to devils to sorcerers to a whole bunch of other rogues. A ducktail can make you look masculine and strong, while also signaling a bit of wildness or rebelliousness.

Quack Quack, Amigos

We hope there’s something here that helps you. Of all the beard looks we cycle through, the “ducktail beard” is one of our favorites, both because it’s stylish and debonair, but also a little uncouth and flirty. If you have any questions, jump over to our “Contact” page and drop us a line, and in the meantime—be good, have fun, and happy ducktail!

Michael Morris is the head writer here at Rough and Tumble Gentleman. He's got a ducktail beard and loves Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He's married to the woman of his dreams and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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