In Beard Styles, goatee

What Is A Balbo

Similar to the Van Dyke, the Balbo represents a combination of a mustache and a goatee that wraps the mouth all-around, with a little break at the lip area. It should resemble an inverted ‘T’ but I always say that you should style your beard according to your face. That means that few adjustments are allowed as long as you enjoy the process.

In the links below you can find more info on how to start growing your Balbo beard.

Robert Downey Jr. As Tony Stark in "Iron man" wearing a Balbo styled beard

Robert Downey Jr. wearing a Balbo styled beard.

Who Can Pull It Off?

The Balbo beard style can accommodate almost every face type out-there. I would suggest it also to the ones who tried a Van Dyke style but weren’t successful in the making. It gives out a rough appearance so the lifestyle should match the beard style. I would say that square and oblong faces would benefit more from this particular style. The two lines descending past the mouth add some vertical direction to the face, making it appear longer. The diamond and triangular face shape are also acceptable.

Suitable face shapes for the handlebar mustache style


It was popularized by the Italian Marshal of the Air Force – Italo Balbo and was worn by many German and Italian military officials in the late 19th and the beginning of 20th century. Because of that it was known as the Fascist Beard and was quickly forgotten after World War II. But thankfully to Robert Downey JR, or better said Tony Stark it was reintroduced to the beard scene once again.

Fun Fact

According to Dixon and Vasey (2012) study:

Beards increase three things: Your age, social status and aggressiveness.”

How To Balbo Beard Guide:

Shaping and Trimming Your Balbo Beard

Depending on the desired length you will need to grow a full beard for about 2 weeks minimum, so you’ll have plenty of material to work with. The main tools that you will need are a trimmer and a razor if your trimmer doesn’t have an edge function.

Step 1

Trimm your mustache to a minimum of 3/32″ (3 mm) or longer. The whiskers should be the same length.

Step 2

Use the trimmer to create a straight line from the outside and inside corner of your lips to your chin. The line should be distanced about 3/16″ (5 mm) from your lips. You choose how thick you want to be your whiskers.

Step 3

Make sure the upper edge of your mustache is also nice and clean.

Step 4

When you are all done stylizing the mustache, you should shave the remaining facial hair on your neck and cheeks and start working on the goatee. Be careful around the mustache.

Maintaining Your Balbo

Keep in mind that this beard style requires regular maintenance. You should shave the neck, chin, and cheeks every few days to keep it clean. Also, don’t forget the regular oils and balms treatment.

Man with glasses with a Balbo beard style

Medium “Balbo” beard style

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