Van Dyke vs Anchor Beard: What Are the Differences?

In the realm of men’s beard styles, the anchor beard and Van Dyke beard frequently make their way into discussions. These two styles are often confused due to their similar features.

However, upon detailed examination, one finds distinct differences between Van Dyke vs. Anchor Beard that set them apart.

This article will provide a comprehensive comparison between these styles, helping individuals make an informed decision for choosing between van dyke and anchor beard styles.

FeatureVan Dyke BeardAnchor Beard
MustacheTypically styled in a handlebar styleNot connected to the beard
Chin BeardPointedExtends outwards along the jawline
Soul PatchOptionalRequired
Overall StyleClassicModern
Best Suited ForMen of all ages and face shapesMen with strong jawlines
Table: Van Dyke Beard vs. Anchor Beard

Anchor Beard

jeremy renner anchor beard style

An anchor beard is named for its distinctive shape that resembles a ship’s anchor. It is a short beard that traces the chin, paired with a mustache that does not connect to the beard. The beard form the shape of an anchor. This style requires precision in sculpting and maintaining.


Here are the main characteristics of an Anchor Beard:

  • Shape: The Anchor Beard consists of a stylized mustache and a beard that traces along the jawline, coming to a point at the chin. Together, these elements form a shape reminiscent of an anchor.
  • Mustache: The mustache in an Anchor Beard can be of any style. Typically it is kept short that covers the upper lip. Though it is not mandatory.
  • Beard: The beard part of the Anchor Beard runs along the jawline and extends to a point below the chin. Unlike full beard styles, the cheeks are typically clean-shaven or very closely trimmed in an Anchor Beard style.
  • Disconnected: One of the key characteristics of an Anchor Beard is that the mustache and the beard do not connect. There is a noticeable gap between them.
  • Precision: Given its defined shape and lines, the Anchor Beard requires precision in both shaping and maintenance. Regular trimming is necessary to keep the style looking neat and well-defined.

Van Dyke Beard

van dyke beard

Named after the 17th-century artist Anthony Van Dyck, a Van Dyke beard is a style of facial hair that consists of a separate mustache and a pointed goatee on the chin and mustache. The cheeks are typically clean-shaven in this style.


Here are the main characteristics of a Van Dyke Beard:

  • Shape: The Van Dyke Beard consists of a mustache and a goatee, with the rest of the face typically clean-shaven. The goatee (beard on the chin) is often styled into a point, while the mustache is usually curled upward.
  • Mustache: The mustache in a Van Dyke Beard is commonly styled as growing out the ends of the mustache. Some of the most popular styles include Handlebar Mustache, English Mustache, etc.
  • Beard: The beard part of the Van Dyke Beard is focused on the chin and does not extend along the jawline like the Anchor Beard. It is often grown in a way that it comes to a point, similar to a goatee.
  • Disconnected: Similar to the Anchor Beard, one of the key characteristics of a Van Dyke Beard is that the mustache and the beard do not connect. There is a noticeable gap between them.

Van Dyke Beard vs. Anchor Beard: Key Differences

Van Dyke Beard vs. Anchor Beard
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From the characteristics here are the highlights of the difference between an anchor beard and Van Dyke Beard


  • Van Dyke Beard: The Van Dyke beard style typically features a handlebar or walrus mustache. This means the mustache is fuller, often extending beyond the corners of the mouth, with the ends either turned up in a “handlebar” style or hanging down in a “walrus” style.
  • Anchor Beard: Unlike the Van Dyke, the mustache in an Anchor Beard style is not connected to the rest of the beard. It usually takes on a petit handlebar style, where the mustache is distinct but doesn’t extend far beyond the corners of the mouth.

Chin Beard

  • Van Dyke Beard: The beard portion is confined to the chin area where it is grown to a point, akin to a traditional goatee. This creates a more focused and pronounced look around the chin.
  • Anchor Beard: In contrast, the beard in an Anchor Beard style extends outward along the jawline. It gives an impression of a stylized anchor, with the chin beard forming the base of the anchor and extending up towards the ears.

Soul Patch

  • Van Dyke Beard: The presence of a soul patch (a small patch of hair under the lower lip) is optional. It can be included or excluded based on personal preference.
  • Anchor Beard: The Anchor Beard style requires a soul patch. The soul patch plays an integral part in creating the anchor shape, connecting the chin beard and adding a defining feature to the look.

Overall Style

  • Van Dyke Beard: The Van Dyke beard is considered a classic style. It carries a sense of traditional elegance and artistic flair, reminiscent of the 17th-century Flemish painter Anthony Van Dyke from whom the style derives its name.
  • Anchor Beard: The Anchor Beard represents a more modern style. It combines traditional elements of facial hair grooming with a contemporary edge. It’s a bold and stylish choice for the modern man.

Best Suited For

  • Van Dyke Beard: This style is versatile and well-suited for men of all ages and face shapes. It can add sophistication to the wearer’s appearance and works well for those seeking a classical, artistic look.
  • Anchor Beard: The Anchor Beard style is best suited for men with strong jawlines. The design of the beard, which traces along the jawline, can emphasize and compliment this facial feature, giving a striking and fashionable appearance.

Celebrities with Van Dyke or Anchor beard

Here are some celebrities known for rocking the Anchor Beard or the Van Dyke Beard:

Celebrities with Anchor Beard

Jason Momoa

jason momoa with anchor beard

The actor, known for his role as Aquaman, often sports an Anchor Beard style, accentuating his strong jawline and adding a rugged touch to his appearance.

Chris Pratt

chris pratt anchor beard style

This versatile actor has been seen sporting an Anchor Beard, which complements his facial features and adds a modern edge to his look.

Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr. with anchor beard

Robert Downey Jr. aka Tony Stark the Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universehas been seen rocking an Anchor Beard, giving him a suave and sophisticated appearance.

Idris Elba

idris alba anchor beard style

The actor has been spotted with an Anchor Beard, which adds to his already charismatic and distinguished look.

Celebrities with Van Dyke Beard

Johnny Depp

johnny depp with van dyke beard

Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean, Johnny Depp has often been seen with a Van Dyke Beard. This style complements his artistic persona and adds a touch of classic elegance to his overall look.

Pierce Brosnan

Pierce Brosnan van dyke beard

The old actor with a beard, recognized for his role in the “James Bond” film series, has been seen sporting a Van Dyke Beard many times. It enhances his refined features and adds a sense of sophistication.

Robert Pattinson

Robert Pattinson with van dyke beard

The young bearded actor, famous for his role in the “Twilight” series, has experimented with a Van Dyke Beard style. It adds a dash of old-world charm and highlights his chiseled jawline.

David Beckham

david beckham van dyke beard style

Known for his remarkable performances, David Beckham has been seen sporting a Van Dyke Beard, which complements his classic and polished style.

These celebrities showcase how the Anchor Beard and the Van Dyke Beard can be tailored to individual styles, enhancing their overall appearance and adding a touch of uniqueness.

So, now you can take an informed decision on the best beard style between Van Dyke and Anchor beard for you.

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