Mutton Chops

Mutton Chops – Hold the Chin Hair

The popularity of mutton chops seems to track with the release of every new X-Men movie; who doesn’t love the Wolverine Beard? Even if you thought the last sequel sucked, you might want to ready your MC ‘stache for the next Avengers movie. You know, Wolverine is a Marvel character, too.

The most common style of mutton chops are long, full sideburns that extend down to the corners of the mouth and are not connected by chin hair or a mustache. They are often wider at the ends than where they start. Some versions connect to a mustache, creating a solid line of hair. Mutton chops can be bushy or trimmed close to the face.

Thick chops!

Thick chops!

Who Mutton Chops Say You Are

Mutton chops are perfect for fans of 19th century politicians, as well as working class guys. They’re probably the biggest style statement you can make with your sideburns. A lot of other types of beards go in and out of fashion pretty quickly, but mutton chops only frequent men’s faces about every 150 years. Bikers seem to like them, and those guys are definitely secure in their manliness.

You Know Mutton Chops Are Right for You if…

  • You don’t mind being compared to a 5-foot 3-inch guy named Wolverine.
  • You don’t plan to wear a gas mask anytime soon.
  • You’re balancing your baldness.
  • You really hunger for big, bushy whiskers but still want to enjoy a good slab of ribs without a lot of clean up.

How to Grow Mutton Chops

  • Like most beard styles, you should grow a whole beard before carving out your mutton chops. That’s at least a four week commitment.
  • If you’ve never grown a beard before, bringing in a full set of whiskers will tell you where your facial hair grows well and where it doesn’t. For instance, if you don’t have much of a mustache, exclude mutton chop-styles that connect with the hair above your lip. It’s better than getting your hopes up for one style, and finding out your whiskers just won’t cooperate.
  • If your chosen mutton chop-style is more like a pair long but closely trimmed sideburns, you can get away with growing that specific hair-area and shaving the rest of your face. The full beard option is still the best way to start, but you can probably get away with just a week’s worth of growing time with the shorter style.

How to Groom Mutton Chops

  • This is definitely a style that needs some planning. You’ll have an abundance of shape options, and you’ll be able to experiment with your look pretty easily. Find a few pics that show the style you’re shooting for. If you’re going with a pretty complex set of chops, head to a good barber. He’ll know how to tame the four weeks of whisker-growth, and carve it into an artwork.
  • A common mutton chop style extends down your chin line in the shape of a “J”. A leaner version will have just a slight flare to the shape as it extends down the chin.
  • To maintain the style, you’ll need both a trimmer and a razor. A trimmer specifically designed for sideburns is really handy.
  • As always, when shaping your mutton chops for the first time, leave a generous whiskered area in case you make mistakes.
  • If you have a longer or thinner face, bushier mutton chops may go better with your look.
  • Take care of your chops the same way you would any beard growth. See the Trim Your Beard article for guidance on shaving, trimming and grooming.
  • Symmetry is critical, so closely examine your mutton chops, and make sure they look equal, particularly from a head-on view.

Similar Beard Styles

Friendly Mutton Chops – Take your mutton chops and add a connecting mustache.

Wolverine Beard - Full mutton chops with stubble on the chin and mustache.