We know it might seem a little overwhelming choosing a Tier for your Santa beard, so we’ve put together a short guide to help you!
The single biggest differences between Tiers is the overall scale, length, density and fullness of the beard.
The differences are related to the size and scale of the beard, not how it is styled (ie, wavy, curly or straighter).
Our Style Guide has visual options for wig, beard and mustache styles. It’s a great tool to help you decide what “look” you want no matter which Tier you choose.
You can have almost any style of mustache with any Tier of beard and you can have a short wig with a longer beard, or vice versa.
Wigs aren’t grouped by tier, they are categorized as short, long and extra long. Generally, any tier of beard can be worn with any length of wig.
How do I know which Tier is right for me?
Most Santas select their Tier for aesthetic reasons. They want a long and full beard or they want a short, realistic beard, for example.
But one other factor to keep in mind is your height and frame size. The same Tier 2 beard will have a different proportional appearance on a Santa who is 5’8 versus one who is 6’2. Larger, taller Santas may want to consider a larger Tier to ensure the proportion of their pieces is right.
Tier 1 Santa Beards
Tier 1 beards are the smallest scale we create. The beards are similar to the length and fullness a Santa might grow naturally. A Tier 1 beard is the perfect choice for a Santa who wants a beard that is very realistic in scale or that is a close match for his own whiskers.
Edmund Glenn’s beard in Miracle on 34th Street is one great example of the general look and feel of a Tier 1 beard.
Tier 1 might be right for you if any of these apply
- you want a beard that’s nicely filled out but not long enough to rest on your chest or cover your entire throat
- you are a real-bearded Santa who wants a glue-on beard that is a close match to his whiskers
- you prefer whiskers with very natural, realistic appearance and texture
- you like the look of beards like Edmund Gwenn’s – full, with a coarser texture and defined shape
Tier 1 beards are available in the widest range of hair textures. Beard can be made with white hair or in silver or grey blends.
The gallery below some of the Tier 1 Santa beards we’ve created.
Tier 2 Santa Beard
Tier 2 beards are longer and fuller than Tier 1, often just touching the chest, though that will vary depending on Santa’s height and build.
Tier 2 might be right for you if any of these apply
- you want your beard to touch your chest or fur collar and cover most or all of your throat
- you like a fuller, longer beard that still seems possible for Santa to have grown (we call this scale ‘Magical Realism’)
- you want a nice, full beard and you are under 5’7″
A Tier 2 beard can be styled in a many ways – see our Style Guide for some options.
Our Tier 2 gallery has photos of some of the custom Tier 2 beards we’ve made.
Tier 2.5 Santa Beards
This is a newer category, based on feedback from our clients. Although it’s a recent addition, it’s our most popular tier.
If you like the general look and scale of our Tier 2 sets, but want just a little more length and a little more volume, then 2.5 is your Tier!
It’s not nearly as large as our Tier 3 sets, but has more hair than our Tier 2 beards.
A Tier 2.5 beard is also a great choice for taller Santas who like the look of a Tier 2 beard and want a similar proportion.
Tier 2.5 might be right for you if any of these apply –
- you want a very full beard but don’t want them to be overwhelming
- you want like the look of our Tier 2 beards, but you are over 6’2 or have a large build
- you want your wig hair and your beard hair to form a continuous “mane” that frames out your face
A Tier 2.5 beard can be styled in a many ways – see our Style Guide for some options.
Tier 3 Santa Beards
Tier 3 is for Santas who want a very long or very full beard. This is the tier for Santas who want something similar in scale to the Charles W. Howard yak sets or a traditional Father Christmas look. A Tier 3 beard can be the same length (approximately) as a Tier 2 or 2.5 beard but significantly fuller OR it can be both longer AND fuller.
Tier 3 Characteristics
Tier 3 is the most open-ended of the three Tiers simply because there are so many different large scale looks. If you know you want a large beard, you’ll be happy you picked a Tier 3.
We also recommend Tier 3 for Santas who are very tall or who have a large build.
Tier 3 Fullness vs. Length
An important thing to know about Tier 3 beards is that they can by super full OR super long but not both. You can have a Tier 3 beard that is very full and curly or wavy or a beard that is very long (greater than 14″, typically) but you can’t have a beard that is super long and super curly or wavy.
The more curl or fullness a beard has, the more length is “eaten up”. Likewise, hair that is very long will not take and hold curl as effectively. That’s not to say you can’t have a long and full, curly beard. It’s just that there’s an intersection where the length and fullness meet. After that, a choice will need to be made to prioritize length or fullness.
A great way to understand this is to look at the very long Father Christmas beard on the left, and the very curly beard on the right.
Both are Tier 3 beards, and were in fact built for the same Santa. While the Father Christmas beard has some curl, it’s concentrated at the ends. That’s because if we curled the entire length, the weight of the long hair would pull the curl loose and the curls would eat up the hair length, making the beard look shorter. If we combed out the curly beard until it was nearly straight, it would be quite a bit longer, because the curls would no longer be making the strands of hair shorter.
This gallery will show you a few of the Tier 3 beards we have built.
If you’re still not sure which scale will suit you best, consider going for a Tier 2 or 2.5. It’s easy to trim and restyle a set to be smaller in scale, but much more challenging to make it larger later.
And keep in mind that while the construction of each tier is consistent, the size of the Santa wearing the beard can affect how full or long a beard looks. The same Tier 3 beard may look quite different proportionally if worn by a Santa who is 5’8 and a Santa who is 6’4.
Now that you’ve picked your tier, it’s time to place your order!