Different kinds of beards and mustaches. Van Dyke – Everything You Need To Know About This Imperial Beard Style The Beard Wave Co.

What do P. Diddy, Viggo Mortenson and King Charles I of England have in common? Besides fame and fortune, if you guessed a Van Dyke beard, congratulations! You really know your beard-history! Pointy mustache.

The Look

The Van Dyke beard style adds a classic mustache to a goatee, while keeping the mustache and chin beard separated at the corners. Both the mustache and chin beard are pointy, giving this beard style its distinguished, sharp look.

A Brief History of the Van Dyke

The Van Dyke is a classic style that has been around since the 17

century, when the Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck came up with the brilliant idea to combine a goatee and classic mustache into an inspiring new style that either he or an admirer dubbed the “Van Dyck”.

Over time, the style has been spelled with some variation, leading to the contemporary spelling, “Van Dyke.”

Famed Historical Figures with Van Dyke Beards

The Van Dyke was a popular style in the 17

How to pencil mustache

century, garnering the prestige of an imperial status in style after King Charles I of England was painted by the inventor himself, Anthony van Dyck, sporting the dashing mustache-goatee style.

As time passed, of course, other beard styles grew in and out of fashion. But famous historical figures who have been known for daring the Van Dyke include American Civil War legend General Custer, Russian revolutionary and controversial figure Vladimir Lenin, and the king of the fried chicken chain, Colonel Sanders.

Clearly the Van Dyke is a beard sharp and distinct enough to grace the visages of some major political and imperial figures.

Clean and Contemporary

The last couple of years, the Van Dyke has been resurging as a beard style. With its clean edges and sharp trim, it is quickly becoming a preferred look amongst distinguished contemporary figures, from P. Diddy, to Viggo Mortenson, Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale, and Johnny Depp.

The Van Dyke is #8 on our list of 20 trendy and popular beard styles for black men, and while it’s a sharp look for any face shape, it’s especially a choice style for men who have rounded baby-faces.

Singham style moustache

How to Van Dyke like Viggo

If you want to go for a royal style like the King of Gondor himself, then there are a few items you’ll need to make sure you have handy before embarking on your bearded journey.

As with any journey, preparing your face for the Van Dyke journey will require preparation. About a week before you shave and trim your way to the Van Dyke, you should shave your face clean and let the hair grow back in consistently for that week.

You can start with a full beard, but it’s better to start with new hair because that will make it easier to style as you are trimming. You will want about a ¼” of beard hair.

Once the week of prep work ends, you’ll be ready to learn how to grow a Van Dyke:

For the un-steady-handed, we have a guide with tips on how to trim a beard with scissors. You can also use an electric trimmer instead of scissors, but if you know how to handle beard scissors like a pro, you’ll be better able to get the sharp points and clean lines that the Van Dyke is famous for.


At this point, you should be looking in the mirror and seeing an imperial visage, dignified by a Van Dyke style, with pointed mustache and goatee. It’s a style fit for royalty.

Photos from: Lisa Young © 123RF.com and mackoflower © 123RF.com.

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