With many shapes and styles of facial hair, what is commonly known as a neck beard is often considered one of the least flattering. Essentially, a neck beard is when there is a minimal amount of thin or spotty facial hair located around the jaw, side burns and mustache of a man's face. Simultaneously, there is a thicker, more uniform amount of facial hair located around the man's neck. This usually occurs in young adults who have not completely reached maturity, and whose beards are not fully developed.
To fully understand a neck beard, one must first realize the differences between it and a regular beard. On a grown man, a regular or full beard is typically comprised of uniform whiskers that cover the entire face. This will encompass the upper neck, jaw and sides of the face. It also includes a full mustache that blends in with the rest of the beard.
A neck beard is different because the upper part of the beard from the jaw line upward lacks thickness and uniformity. Often the mustache will be extremely thin or nonexistent which ultimately creates an unbalanced look that most people find aesthetically displeasing. The problem with this is that there is an overall lack of symmetry, which tends to create an awkward appearance.
Often, having a neck beard is viewed as unflattering because it means that the man is incapable of growing a full beard, which is thought to be a sign of lowered virility and masculinity. In general, it's mostly younger males that have neck beards because their facial hair has not yet reached its full potential. Sometimes, however, this condition occurs in older men who are incapable of growing full beards.
A man might have a neck beard for a few reasons. The first is because he thinks that it looks good and makes him feel manlier. Sometimes when a young man first develops any semblance of facial hair, he will be so enthusiastic that he will allow it to grow even if it is sparse. Some men choose to keep the small amount of facial hair they have, instead of waiting until it has developed further.
The other reason is simply because the man does not want to keep shaving. Many times, neck beards are associated with those who are less sensitive to style and or care less about their appearance. They may view the act of shaving as a nuisance, and as result, choose to let a neck beard grow.