Why You Should Grow Mutton Chops in 2021

Mutton chops are long overdue for a comeback, and if you want to stand out from the crowd in 2021, they might just be your best bet.

Wait, just hear us out.

Look, there aren’t many ways for a man to differentiate himself from what’s popular right now. So, if you’re someone that likes to break-out from the status quo or be ahead of the trends, it’s time to give the mutton chops some serious consideration.

That’s right; we’re talking about mutton chops—the old all beard and no chin, the sideburns, a.k.a burnsides, side-whiskers, Wolverine beard, etc.

Wait, wait, wait—couldn’t I just grow a beard?

Not if you want to stand out. Beards are as popular as ever, especially after a year that saw more men put down the razor in favor of growing quarantine beards. Beards are everywhere, and more and more men are keeping them even as they return to the office.

What about the mustache?

As we predicted at the beginning of the year, 2020 would be the beginning of a new mustache renaissance.

Were we right?

You betcha—mustaches haven’t been this popular since the days of Magnum P.I. (the original, not the remake). We think we’ll see more and more men rocking mustaches and beardstaches in the coming years.

What about a mullet? Those are cool right now, right?

Mullets are very cool at the moment, and it’s no secret that we love them. But, mullets have already gone from being the deep cut, lo-fi, indie style of 2020 to being one of the most talked-about style trends of the year.

If you’ve stepped foot in your local dive bar during the past year—though, we definitely understand if you haven’t—you may have noticed that every white guy looks like some variation of 1990 Don Mattingly before the New York Yankees made him cut off his mullet.

In other words, mullets are everywhere. Celebrities, baseball players, football players, pop-stars, women, country singers, and hockey players (okay, no surprise there) are all sporting mullets these days. The mullet isn’t your ticket to edgy originality as much as it was in 2018 or 2019.

Sure, you could opt for a soul patch or neckbeard, but those aren’t really the best options, are they?

So, if you want to stay ahead of the trend, that leaves just one option—mutton chops.


Mutton chops are essentially a beard with the chin and mustache shaved.

So, they’re basically sideburns?

Yes, mutton chops are basically sideburns, but instead of being trimmed straight down along the side of the face, they’re allowed to grow further onto the cheeks to the edge of the mouth. The result is two large sideburns that resemble chops of mutton (sheep).

In other words, mutton chops are the meatier version of standard sideburns.

John Lennon rocked the chops in the late 60s, and Elvis dabbled in them later in his career. John Quincy Adams and Martin Van Buren both brought mutton chops to the White House, though they didn’t help either win re-election, and both served one term each.

The Marvel Superhero Wolverine famously sported mutton chops, as did a few other X-Men Mutants. Hugh Jackman brought Wolverine’s famous mutton chops to life in the live-action X-Men movies. And if we owe any credit to any semblance of a mutton chop revival, we have Hugh Jackman to thank—because frankly, he made mutton chops look badass.

If you’re going to grow chops, these are the ones to grow.


  1. Let your beard grow for one month.
  2. Grab your electric trimmer.
  3. Start by removing the mustache.
  4. Trim the hair under your lip, forming a triangular shape pointing down towards your chin.
  5. Trim your neckline to just under your jaw.
  6. Use a small detailer trimmer to finalize the shape of your chops.
  7. Keep a little stubble for a more rugged look.
  8. Apply Beard Oil or Utility Balm to keep mutton chops and skin hydrated and conditioned.

Check out the video below for a tutorial from Carlos Costa:


Take your regular old mutton chops and connect them with a mustache, and you’ve got friendly mutton chops, as seen on the likes of Ambrose Burnside, Lemmy, and Bill Murray that one time.

What makes them friendly? Hell, we don’t know—maybe they don’t bring up politics or religion at the dinner table.

Anyway, pair some friendly mutton chop with a mohawk and a rad motorcycle, and you’re well on your way to looking like one of the Biker Mice from Mars.

Okay, so the Biker Mice from Mars didn’t have mutton chops, but it was a rad show, and our boy Daniel makes the friendly mutton chops look pretty rad in this Beardbrand Barbershop Video.


  1. Let your beard grow as normal for four to eight weeks.
  2. Once you’ve got a good ½” to 1” in beard growth, you’re ready to trim.
  3. Use an electric trimmer to cut away the chin hair beneath your bottom lip.
  4. Trim the neckline of your remaining beard just below the jaw.
  5. Use a straight razor or safety razor to remove stubble from the chin and neck if desired.
  6. Apply Beard Oil or Utility Balm to keep mutton chops and skin hydrated and conditioned.
  7. You can let your chops grow as long as you like.

Check out the video below for a tutorial from Carlos Costa:


We hear you—aside from Lemmy, no one has unironically worn mutton chops in 50 years.

That’s the point.

All hair and beard styles go in cycles. After a style becomes trendy and cool, it hits critical mass. Everyone begins to wear the style and look the same. At this point, the style begins to lose its cool factor, and only late adopters wear it. From there, the style becomes more-or-less abandoned for a time. Eventually, people begin to wear the style again, but in a purely ironic way.< /p>

However, once a style is in the ironic stage, all it takes is a few celebrities, athletes, or musicians to move the style back into the trendy phase (see below).


A circular flowchart showing the hair and facial hair style lifecycle

So, where do mutton chops fall on this chart?

We’d wager that Mutton chops in stage 5 but moving towards stage 6. All it takes is a little celebrity push.

And hey, just this past summer, Premier League striker Andy Carrol was sporting mutton chops. We’ve seen soccer stars jumpstart trends before, like when David Beckham helped kickstart the mullet movement.

Okay, maybe Andy Carroll isn’t quite David Beckham.

Look, we’ll be honest—mutton chops probably aren’t ever going to really come back into style. At least, not like they were in the 19th century.

But, if you’re the type of person that wants to stand out from the crowd, mutton chops might be right for you.

It takes a ton of confidence and thick skin to pull them off. If that sounds like you, give them a shot. You can always grow the beard back.

As always, Keep on Growing.

Want to talk about mutton chops, or need some grooming and style advice? Shoot us a message at support@beardbrand.com, or Text "STYLE" to 512-879-3297 for a free personalized consultation. We’ll be happy to help you out.


Not sure what facial hair style is right for you? In this blog, we highlight 20 of our favorite beard styles and how to grow them.

Mustaches are back in a big way. Learn about all the different mustache styles in this definitive guide.

Looking for something in between a soul patch and a beard? Check out the definitive guide to goatee styles.


Beards, mustaches, and mullets are as popular as ever. So, if you want to stand out in 2021, the mutton chops and friendly mutton chops might be your best option.


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