The Balbo is a beard style made popular by Italian Dictator Mussolini. But in the last 50 years, the Balbo has certainly transcended its questionable beginnings, with many celebrities sporting handsome variations.
The Balbo is easily identified by its look, the mustache separated from the beard. It is a versatile beard style with many variations. It can work on nearly any face shape but is especially flattering on men with a weak chin in that it camouflages that area and adds fullness.
Whether you like a long beard, full beard, sparse beard or neatly trimmed beard, there is a Balbo for you.
Try These 10 Balbo Beards
Growing and shaping a Balbo beard style isn’t terribly complicated. Let your facial hair grow out, especially your mustache.
This beard style is distinctive in that the mustache has some delineation from the rest of your facial hair, so depending on how short you want the rest of your beard to be, let it all grow long enough so that you’ll have plenty of fullness in the mustache and trim the rest to your desired length.
This can be done easily at home with a beard trimmer, although it may be more convenient to allow a professional to trim and shape for you the first time and maintain it on your own from there.
#1: The Classic Balbo
Here, we see a classic take on the Balbo. Although Mussolini wore less hair on his cheek area, the classic Balbo is marked by hair on the chin, the “soul patch” area below the lower lip and a mustache that is visually distinguishable from the remainder of the facial hair.
This Balbo is relatively low maintenance and works for many face shapes and styles. It’s handsome, masculine and not overly-groomed looking.
#2: The Balbo With a Shaped Mustache
You can take your Balbo beard to the next level by pairing it with a more shaped mustache and trimming the cheek area. This makes the Balbo distinct from a full beard and mustache.
Also, don’t be hesitant to let it grow long and full if that’s the look you desire. Here we see a mustache that is thick, adding a sense of whimsy to a classic style.
#3: The Balbo with a Waxed Mustache
If you wear your Balbo beard with a shaped mustache, go ahead a break out the wax. You can shape your mustache into a charming handlebar style, bumping up your look to a new level.
Although this is not an overly professional look, simply omit the wax for weekdays at the office and bust it out for nights on the town. It’s a way to add versatility to your look without having to shave or reshape.
#4: The Office-Friendly Balbo Beard
If you need a more professional, office-friendly look, the Balbo can still work for you. Wear both your beard and mustache neatly trimmed, but make sure the mustache is separated from the rest of your beard. This gives you a beard style that is Balbo but also works appropriate all at once.
#5: The Mid-Length, Natural Balbo
Maybe you are more of a full, natural beard guy. The Balbo can still be tweaked to suit your style. Let your beard and mustache shine in their naturally full glory, while maintaining a delineation between the two.
#6: The Natural, Full Balbo with a Mid-Length Beard
Some men look great in a mid-length to a longer beard style. Don’t be afraid to let your beard, especially the area on your chin, grow out to a full mid-length style. Even longer can work. As long as you keep that mustache visually separate, you’ll still have a handsome Balbo style.
You may want to keep the facial hair on your cheeks trimmed a bit shorter than that on your chin area to maintain a style that is a bit more true to the traditional Balbo, but you can truly take this beard style in nearly any direction that suits you.
#7: The Balbo With a Longer, Full Beard, and Shaped Mustache
A shaped mustache is a way to emphasize that your mustache is distinct from the rest of your facial hair, which is really what defines a Balbo. An intentionally shaped mustache, worn with or without wax, is especially stunning when paired with a full mid-length beard. This look reads as vaguely hipster without going too far.
#8: The Neat and Clean Balbo
Maybe you aren’t ready to be totally clean-shaven but need a look that presents as neat and clean. Trim all your facial hair to a very short length, again keeping the mustache distinct rather than letting it blend in. You’ll have a Balbo that gives you a very clean look.
#9: The Mustache Matches The Beard
Although to have a Balbo, your mustache should be distinct from the rest of your facial hair, you can certainly wear everything at the same length. This creates an easy, effortless style, one that requires relatively little daily maintenance.
#10: The Jawline Balbo
This handsome Balbo retains very little facial hair on the cheeks, just enough to emphasize the jaw. This style creates the illusion of a defined jawline, even on men whose jawline is relatively weak.
The Balbo is a classic beard style that can be updated in many ways. No matter your sense of style or face shape, there’s certainly a Balbo for you.