How to Maintain Your Perfect Beard Length

—Wil Mouradian

Greg is back for another episode with Beardbrand, and this time he’s going to teach us the best trimming methods to maintain your beard length. It can be an intimidating task, right? Once you get your beard to its optimal length and shape, maintenance trims suddenly become scary because you don’t want to mess up months of patience and beard care. Thankfully, Greg’s had plenty of trimming accidents in his day so we don’t have to. Let’s get to learning!

Greg did a social media survey a couple weeks ago about how often guys trim their beard. He found out that 53 percent of the respondents trim their beard once a month. On average, a guy’s facial hair grows about a half inch in length each month. So if you’re looking to maintain your length through monthly trimming, you only need to take your beard down a half an inch (the width of your pinky finger). Now that you know how much to trim a month, let’s get started.

Pro Tip: Even if you’re comfortable doing scissor trims at home, go to the barber once every few months to make sure you’re keeping your lines even. Barbers give your beard a great foundation to trim from!

The Pinky Rule

To trim a specific amount of your beard, first you’ll want to wash, style, and thoroughly dry it so it’s evenly brushed for an accurate trim. Do not start trimming until the beard is completely dry! When your hair is wet, it actually gives the impression of the length being “longer” due to the weight of that trapped water. When your hair is dry, it springs back into its natural texture of curves and waves, so all that precision work will have been for nothing.

Greg uses the “pinky rule”. The pinky’s width is a half an inch, so use that special digit when measuring the amount of beard you want to trim off in this process. Start with the very front of your beard. Collect a portion of the hair you wish to trim using your comb and fingers, then snip a pinky’s width worth of hair off the ends (image will demonstrate). When  Greg reaches the corners of the goatee area, he trims them just a bit higher to give a rounded, balanced appearance to the beard shape.

Pinky
Continue along the jawline of your beard, carefully collecting small sections of hair at the end of your beard using your comb and fingers. Once the edges of your beard are finished, raise your chin to give a symmetrical trim along the underside of the beard, utilizing your mirror to maintain symmetry. Be careful and patient - the first few times you do this it’ll be challenging, but like any skill, mastery comes with repeated practice.

Jawline

Adding Texture to Your Beard

You’ll notice that the edges of your beard are sharp, precise lines, so we have a specific technique to use for softening up those edges. Collect your hair outward from the front of your beard, rather than from the bottom. You’ll still use the pinky rule and a uniform cut, but this technique (which was lifted from barbers and hairdressers) adds some texture to reduce the appearance of that hard edge.

When the hair is brushed back into place, you’ll notice that the edges appear much more natural. Use this technique in your cheek area and sideburns, too - that way your beard doesn’t grow straight out from your face.

As always after a trim, wash out your stray hairs in the sink or in the shower so you can touch up where appropriate, then use your favorite beard oil or utility balm to condition.

Pro Tip - Trim a touch too far in one area? No need to panic or trim it all down - a little bit of styling balm and a boar’s hair brush can help you hide it in no time.

Wrap-Up 

Now you know how to maintain your beard at home using only a comb and scissors! Remember, the techniques we discussed today were primarily for monthly maintenance trims. It's wise to continue visiting your barber from time to time to get a solid "reset" on your beard's shape and length.