When they hear the word "goatee," many people immediately envision men who have facial hair under their mouth and around their chin with a clean-shaven upper lip and cheeks. This is the basic goatee style, but there are many goatee types from which men can choose. Other goatee types include the soul patch, the chin strip, the Balbo and the chin strap.
In the late 1950s, the soul patch became popular, especially among jazz musicians. The soul patch is a small patch of hair directly below the middle of the lower lip and just above the jut of the chin. Depending on preference and facial structure, the patch is trimmed into a small square, triangle or rectangle.
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Symmetry is the most important factor when sculpting goatee types of this style. It is very easy for the soul patch to be off-center. To keep this from happening, one can use the corners of the mouth and jut of the chin as a guide for alignment. A variation of the soul patch is the chin strip, in which the small patch of facial hair extends from the middle of the lower lip down over the chin in a vertical line.
The circle beard and the Balbo are two similar goatee types with one difference: the connection between the mustache and goatee. A circle beard is a full chin goatee attached to a mustache around the mouth. The Balbo has a distinct space between the end of the mustache and the start of the goatee, leaving the skin at the corner of the mouth clean-shaven. This goatee style was named after Italo Balbo, a famous aviator who wore this style during the 1930s.
In the late 1700s, the chin strap was very popular with many men in Europe. The facial hair is shaved down to a thin strip that follows the curvature of the jaw line and connects to the sideburns. This thin strip of hair can be trimmed to leave only a faint shadow of stubble along the jaw line or can be grown longer for a thicker, more defined line.
With all the goatee types, personality plays a lot into which one a man might choose to wear. Someone who wants a more edgy appearance might choose the soul patch or chin strip. Men who are seeking a more sophisticated look might choose to wear one of the more traditional goatee types.