How to Trim Your Beard Like a Pro

—Josh Lawson
How to Trim Your Beard Like a Pro

You’ve finally grown the beard that you’ve always wanted. You’ve waited patiently, you fought through beard itch like a good soldier, and now your face is impressively covered with a thick, attention-grabbing beard.

Still, there’s something lacking. And there’s the other bearded gent in your office or at your favorite nightspot with a beard that’s no thicker or fuller than yours yet looks fantastic. It’s neat. It’s trimmed. While you may suffer a bad case of beard envy, here’s the good news: you, too, can have a beard like that if you use the proper techniques.

Like, for instance, the right technique for how to trim a beard. In this post, we’ll show you how to groom a beard with the use of essential grooming tools, such as a beard trimmer and scissors. We’ll also discuss how to comb and brush your beard, and even discuss choosing the right barber.

OK, let’s get the party started.

Shape things up

How to Shape Your Neckline

Let’s get started with your neck. Sounds simple enough, right? Not so fast fellas.

The thing about trimming the neck is that a lot of men do it the wrong way. Not that there’s a list of ancient rules that says, “This is how thou shalt shape your neckline,” because it’s your choice. We’re just convinced that there are better ways to do it beyond just a cursory trim now and then.

For one, your overall look is just better if you pay proper attention to your neckline. If your beard is short, like in the stubble phase, then it’s OK to let your neckline grow without intervention. But once you approach a month’s work of growth, it’s time to trim it up a bit.

A good way to find the line where your neckline should extend is by placing one finger on your Adam’s apple and another finger just above that. Your neckline should start just above your top finger. That’s where you start trimming.

As far as the sides go, find your line by placing a finger just under your jaw and then bringing it down so that it’s parallel with the line you created just above your Adam’s Apple. Shave to that line and be careful not to bring the line up any higher because it’s going to look weird, especially when someone is facing you from the front.

Trimming around your ears is a fairly straightforward process: you simply want to create a space between your sideburn and ear. And be sure to trim the neck hair just under your ear, as well.

One of the keys to trimming your neckline is to go slowly and carefully. Frequently check your progress in the mirror to make sure that you’re following an even line. Once you’ve established your neckline, you can go ahead and shave what’s left beneath the line, preferably with beard clippers. Using a straight razor isn’t necessary during this step.

There is a variety of reasons for shaping your beard in this way, including:

  • You don’t want to go too high or too low with your neckline. If you trim too high, you lose that perceived mass regarding the volume of your beard.
  • If you’re bald, the neckline helps to keep people looking at your face, and not the top of your head.
  • The proper shading of your neckline adds the illusion of a strong jaw.
  • Having a beard with a smaller jaw helps you to achieve the look of a wider face (and a fuller face overall).
  • The correct neckline adds balance to your face. Trust us, you don’t want your beard to end right along your lower lip, which is what you’re essentially doing by shaving to the jawline. The neckline helps elongate your face while also making you look thinner overall.
  • Shaving up to your jaw gives you the appearance of a smaller face. In turn, that results in a more feminine, emasculated look – which probably isn’t the look you’re going for, right?
  • When you shave right along the jaw it emphasizes your neck way more than you should. It’s like you’re saying, “Hey everyone, look at my neck!” Besides it looks fake and a bit weird, like a fake tan. Your neck looks longer, but not in a good way.

How to Shape Your Cheek Line

Ah, the cheek line – that part where your beard stops and the skin on your cheeks begins. Keeping it trimmed and neat only improves your overall look. But like the neckline, the cheek line isn’t the same for every man. And a lot of it depends on your genetics.

Let’s dig deeper into the how-to of shaping your cheek line, along with some things to consider during the process.

  1. Draw the line

Before you begin to shape your cheek line it’s important to define where it’s going to be. One technique is to draw a line from the last section of the sideburn where the beard starts pushing forward down to the point beneath the bottom lip where the growth begins there. If your hair growth goes right up to your bottom lip, then your line should end there – or at least to the little “hook” that’s between your beard and lower lip. But, again, every man’s cheek line is different. You can also create a line that goes to the top of your mustache while creating a curved shape that goes to the mustache.

  1. Shave above the line

Once you’ve established your cheek line, shave any of the stray hairs above it. You want to get rid of any of those straggly hairs that poke above your beard and look sloppy. Like anything beard-related, a lot depends on your genetics; you want to emphasize the strongest part of your beard, and that may mean keeping as much of it as you can on your cheeks while just getting rid of the unsightly stray hairs.

  1. Experiment

There’s no hard-and-fast rule when it comes to how low you want your cheek lines to be. Feel free to experiment with how far you want to shave it down, or with not shaving it very much at all.

  1. Be patient

Here’s something else to consider as you’re determining how far you want your cheek line to go in either direction: how long you’ve been growing your beard. What looks sparse now may fill in nicely if you give it another month or so. Don’t mislead yourself into thinking “this is never going to grow in” because many beards look a bit thin in the beginning. Let it grow out a little, see how far it goes, and only then determine if it’s always going to remain thin there, or not. The bottom line is that it’s a matter of taste and preference.

  1. A word about threading

Threading is a process in which the entire hair follicle is removed without disturbing your skin. It works like this: a long strand of string (the thread) is twisted and looped in a way that traps hairs in the twisted thread and then yanks them out.

Does it hurt? Yeah, it kinda does, especially as you get used to it, but we’re not talking medieval torture device pain by any means. It’s a great way to get sharp cheek lines without shaving. Moreover, it takes the hair longer to grow out and you can usually go a couple of weeks before you have to repeat the process. It’s also an excellent way to rid yourself of hair between your eyebrows, on your ears, and those stray bad boys that spring up like steel coils in your eyebrows.

Sure, it stings a bit, but the benefits are great. Your skin will even feel softer.

Still not convinced? Check out this video from Carlos Costa.

Barber talk

How to Communicate Your Needs to a Barber

Most of us don’t know people who can truly read minds. Sure, your girlfriend or wife may be able to read yours, some of the time (but probably not as often as they think). And we certainly struggle at times while trying to read their minds.

Your barber is no different. He or she can’t read your mind, either, although the good ones will learn to anticipate your needs and evaluate your likes and dislikes, especially as they trim your beard and cut your hair multiple times. Even then, however, you bear some responsibility in the barber-client relationship in that you need to communicate with them while describing your needs as precisely as possible. It all starts with knowing what you want.

So, don’t leave that beard you’ve worked so hard on in the hands of a would-be mind reader.

  • Know what you want – ahead of time
  • Even a little bit of research before you settle into the barber’s chair will help avoid a bad experience. That said, determine the length and fullness of your beard, as well as what you want to do with your mustache and sideburns. Let your barber know what style you’re hoping to achieve.

  • Be specific about length
  • Always tell your barber whether you want him to trim the length of your beard or simply “shape it up.” Always, always do this so that a “trim” doesn’t become several inches lopped off of the bottom of your beard. Don’t give them a moving target when discussing how short they should trim your beard, but give them something to aim for specifically.

  • What about the details?
  • Do you want the sides of your beard tapered? Do you want sideburns? What is the texture you’d like your beard to have? By now you know the drill – the more details you provide, the better the trim.

  • Talk history
  • No, we don’t mean discussing specifics of the Civil War, but you do want to let your barber know the last time you had your beard trimmed. It’s more information to help him determine how your beard grows and at what speed.

  • There’s no such thing as a dumb question
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions or for their opinion of what style of beard best suits your face. Ask them for their recommendation of how to comb your beard. You may already be an expert, but it never hurts to talk to a pro.

    Let’s not forget your hair, either. You need professional advice, not some guy who pulls out a crystal ball or goes all mind-reader on you. Hell, no.

  • Discuss the general style you want
  • Even if you don’t know the names of all of the different styles out there, you should still have a general idea of the style you desire, whether it’s a crew cut, a more modern style favored by certain celebrities, etc. Just saying “I need a trim” doesn’t say much of anything, to be honest.

  • Length
  • Be specific when it comes to length because what qualifies as “short” and “long” may vary from barber to barber. Saying you “want an inch” off of the top is much better than saying, “I want it to be shorter on the top.” If you don’t know, there’s no shame in telling your barber. In many cases, he’ll cut off a bit to see if that’s close to what you want. They can always cut it shorter, if you prefer.

  • Talk about your neckline
  • Men don’t always pay a lot of attention to the way the hair on the back of their neck looks, primarily because they rarely see it. But that doesn’t account for the vast numbers of people who walk and stand behind you during the day. By neglecting your neckline, a good haircut can suddenly look very unkempt. When it comes to your neckline, you have three basic options – blocked, rounded, and tapered.

    A blocked neckline means cutting a straight line straight across your natural neckline and can give you the appearance of a wider, thicker neck. A rounded neckline simply means taking the corners off from your blocked nape finish. The only drawback to a rounded neckline is that it looks untidy once the hair grows out.

    Last but not least, a tapered neckline follows your natural neckline and shortens as it gets closer to the bottom of your neck. A tapered neckline makes a thick neck appear slimmer. Even better, is that your neckline remains neat and tidy when your hair grows out.

    There’s plenty more that we could cover here, including texture, the space between your hairline and ears (a.k.a. arches), sideburns, etc. Have an idea what you’re looking for in all of these areas, but also be open to suggestions.

  • Talk history
  • Same as discussing your beard trim above – let your barber know when the last time you had your hair cut. They may have that info tucked away in a computer, but let them know, anyway. Men’s hair, like men’s beards, grows at different rates for each.

  • Talk product
  • Let your barber know what type of product you put in your hair and how often. It’s even helpful to tell them about your lifestyle.

    How to Find the Right Barber

    Here’s today’s Captain Obvious moment – you won’t get a good beard trim or haircut if you don’t go to a good barber. OK, that is blatantly obvious but you’d be surprised at the number of men who just pick a barber or salon, simply because of convenience, or a budget-friendly price. Don’t be that guy.

    It’s worth your time – and money – to make an effort to choose a good barber, and who may be good for someone else might not be right for you. Do some research, especially on social media, to find out who people like in your area. Post the question – “Does anyone know of a good barbershop around here?” – on your social media channels.

    Or, ask where the guy with the good-looking hair gets his haircut.

    Just to be clear, we’re talking about a barber here. Not a unisex salon where the barbers may know everything about how to create a woman’s perm but not so much about men’s hair. That’s not to bash salons, by any means, but you get the drift.

    A men’s only barbershop typically features barbers who have a broader range of male-specific hairstyles. They’ll have options, as well as understanding the unique issues men face with their hair. Whatever you do, don’t just a barber only because of convenience; if there’s a shop around the corner that always can get you right in, maybe there’s a reason for it. Barbers standing around with nothing to do should hoist a few red flags for you.

    Also, it doesn’t hurt to check out the barber’s hairstyle. Is it messy or disheveled? Would you trust a cook who won’t eat the food he prepares?

    So, how do you choose? For starters, a professional barber should know more than you do about hair. If you suggest a certain hairstyle which that doesn’t suit you, then they’ll tell you so – at least the good ones will. Maybe it’s just a slightly different style than the one you’re thinking of, but it will be one they think looks better on you. And they’re usually right.

    They’ll want to hear what you have to say, for another thing. A good barber asks if you have any special needs, like covering up scars, and asks how you want your hair to look in the back, how you’d like your sideburns, etc. They pay attention to the smallest of details.

    A good barber can also deal with issues such as a receding hairline. Let’s face it, hair loss is a kick in the ass (at least emotionally) for a lot of men, so make sure that your barber can help you get through the process. Good barbers know how to cut your hair in a way that draws attention away from the receding areas, and even make your hair appear thicker.

    You should also feel comfortable with your barber. You know he’s going to give you the right type of haircut, one that makes you look good and not like someone who just got in the way of a hedge trimmer.

    In many ways, finding the right barber is like finding the right girlfriend. There will be some awkward encounters along the way, some of them pretty bad, but when you find the right one you’ll know it. And it’s a great feeling.

    DIY Trimming

    How to Trim Your Beard With Trimmers

    If you don’t already have a beard trimmer it’s time to purchase one. It’s an extremely valuable tool to have in your grooming kit, one that’s used in a variety of ways, and there are many options when it comes to your beard trimmer-buying decision. But we’re not going to get too deep in choosing the right trimmer for you, because we want to focus on the techniques needed to make the best use of it.

    While trimming your beard with a trimmer isn’t rocket science (and bearded rocket scientists may have more questions about trimming their beards than we think), there is a method to the madness. Let’s take a closer look:

    1. Getting started

    A couple of things to consider before you flip the switch on your beard trimmer: first, know what the right beard length for you is. It will not only help guide you through the trimming process but also will help you choose the right trimmer. For instance, if you prefer a shorter beard, such as the stubble or 5 o’clock shadow look, you don’t need a trimmer with a ton of options or excess power.

    If you like a longer beard, however, a trimmer with multiple guard settings plus the ability to go from 0 to 60 mph in a big hurry is never a bad option. By the way, one trimmer we think you’ll like is the Brio Beardscape. It has ceramic blades, which are four times stronger than stainless steel and give a close cut without the tugging and pulling of other trimmers.

    OK, so once you’ve settled on the beard length that you think is right for you – and don’t be afraid to ask for the opinions of others, including your barber or significant other – it’s always a good idea to wash and dry your beard. A clean beard is easier to trim and the finished result usually looks better. Just make sure that you’re using a quality beard wash or shampoo – your beard will look good and give you a hearty pat on the back.

    1. Gentlemen, start your trimmers!

    Let’s get down to the business of actually trimming a beard. You’ll need trimmers and a good beard comb, and perhaps a pair of scissors. Start by combing the beard on the sides in a downward motion. This will help guide your facial hairs into the shape you want them.

    Now fire up your trimmer. Starting with the beard on the sides of your face, use your trimmers in a downward motion (as you did with the comb) to get rid of some of your beard’s bulk. This is an important point: unless you want to chop off a significant portion of your beard’s length you should primarily focus on trimming down your beard’s bulk.

    Hold the blade and guard as straight as possible as you trim the sides. Besides reducing the bulkiness of your beard, you also want to get rid of those wispy hairs that stand out from the rest (literally). Generally speaking, you’ll use a shorter guard on the sides of your cheeks and a longer one around the chin, but for our purposes, we’re using the same guard for the cheeks and chin. Or, you can use a longer guard around the chin to get more shape. It’s up to you. The neck is a different story, but we’ll get to that in a second.

    Continue to use the same downward motion as you trim your chin until you got both the sides and the chin to your preferred length. Once you have that, use your trimmers to get rid of some of the bulk under the jaw and chin. You can sharpen up those spots by using an upward motion that will help rid your beard of any “stragglers.”

    Also, make sure to make a final pass or two with your trimmers after you’ve completed the entire process – including your neck. It’s better to be safe than sorry regarding any leftover hairs as well as if you need to get rid of some more bulk

    1. On to the neck!

    We talked earlier about shaping your neckline and we also want to talk about trimming it. To do so, take the guard off of the trimmer. Again, you’re looking for the happy medium when it comes to your neckline. Cut it too close to the jaw and you’ll look like you have a double chin. If you let it wander too far down your neck, however, you’ll look like, well, not all that great. Trust us.

    So, once you’ve established that line just above your Adam’s apple, you’ll want to trim the neck to get rid of excess hair below the line where your beard ends. If you prefer, use a regular razor to get rid of any hair that’s below the line. But trimming above the line, on the areas where your beard covers your neck, your goal is to get rid of some of the bulk without going too short. The trick is to blend your neck and your beard in a way that looks natural.

    1. What about the ‘stache?

    Just a word about your mustache, although our focus in this piece is on your beard. But some men like their mustaches longer and messier, while others prefer something shorter. You can trim your ‘stache with the clippers – it’s best to remove the guard first – but mustache scissors may be your best option.

    1. A few words about your trimmer

    It goes without saying that your trimmer isn’t much good if it’s not working well. However, you can keep it in tip-top shape and increase its longevity with a few simple maintenance steps:

      • Oil it
      • If your trimmer needs oil to continue working properly, give it a few drops of oil after several uses. Just put a few drops on the blades and then run the trimmer for about 20 seconds.
      • Clean it – Any beard trimmer worth its weight comes with a small brush that you can use to whisk away the hair that gets caught in the trimmer. Remove the clipper head from the handle, give the trimmer a good brushing, and then use a cotton swab to clean between the blade grooves. Put the blade head back on the handle one you’ve finished and let the trimmer run for a few seconds to get rid of any excess hair.
      • Many trimmers are good for wet & dry use and, hence, able to be washed with tap water.
      • Trimmers either come with a power cord or are cordless. A huge advantage of using a cordless trimmer is that you can use practically anywhere. And most of them provide up to an hour of cutting time before needing a re-charge. Corded trimmers often – but not always – have more power than cordless trimmers. They also provide the peace of mind of knowing that your trimmer isn’t going to run out of power in the middle of your trim. You are limited by the length of the trimmer’s cord, however.
      • Many beard trimmers are suitable for other uses, such as on your hair and other parts of your body. Multi-use trimmers come with a wider range of length settings.
      • While the blades aren’t “everything” when it comes to trimmers, they come pretty damn close. We’ve mentioned ceramic blades – such as those found on the Brio Beardscape trimmer – and how they’re sharper and longer-lasting than most other blades. Chromium, titanium, and stainless steel are other materials commonly used to make blades. Many quality trimmers come with duel-edged blades that provide extra cutting precision.

    How to Trim Your Beard With Scissors

    Let’s move on to the next step of how to trim your beard at home, specifically, trimming your beard with scissors. Not just any scissors, mind you, but a pair of quality scissors specific to the job, such as Beardbrand scissors.

    Sure, we’re pitching our product – which we think is a cut above, no pun intended – but if you’re not convinced, go ahead and buy a cheap pair of scissors from your local supermarket or mass retail outlet. After you’ve had enough of the pulling and tugging that come from using the el-cheapos, go out and make a real investment in a pair of scissors that are harder, sharper, and up to the task.

    Let’s start where we began in the section on trimming your beard with beard trimmers, i.e., by washing your beard and then drying it enough so that it’s not wet in the middle. Next, grab your beard comb and run it through your beard with a downward motion and then use your hands to “fluff” it out. Fluffing is something you’ll want to do a lot of through the trimming process because it separates the hairs while making the strays stand out (before they head to the chopping block).

    You may want to trim the length of your beard first. Decide how much you want to cut off and then use your scissors to cut it evenly in the front.

    Note: It’s at this point where you may start to freak out. You’ll look at how much you’ve trimmed off and yell, “What have I done?” You’ll startle everyone else in your home but, more importantly, may raise your blood pressure to unhealthy levels.

    Not to worry, however.

    For one, even if you’ve trimmed off more than you intended, you can rest easy in knowing that it will eventually grow back. For another, even if you do cut off too much (in your estimation) you can still neaten it to make it look its best. So, don’t panic. Time and the proper styling techniques are on your side.

    Continue fluffing and combing and fluffing to separate the hairs, and then move to your chin and jawline. The technique you want to use here involves pointing the scissors straight up as you trim because those hairs are growing vertically. It creates a more natural-looking beard.

    An important point to remember through the entire beard trimming process, and not just when using scissors, is to take your time. Patience is your friend and beard trimming is not simply a one-and-done process in which you achieve perfection in one sitting.

    Chances are, after all, that you’ll notice more stray hairs, and perhaps a bit of unevenness after you wash it the next day. But that’s no problem at all; you just need to use your scissors to clean it up over the course of a few days.

    Cutting off too much of your beard is an issue with scissors, or any beard grooming tool for that matter, but being clear about your goal before you get started will make things a lot easier. In other words, are you just looking to tidy up your beard, or are you looking to take off some length? That’s your call, of course.

    Remember, comb each side of your beard, as well as the hair below your jawline, after you’ve finished using the scissors. This will help you to see your progress and know when you’ve achieved the look that you want. As far your mustache goes, many men use scissors primarily to cut some length off of the ends, as well as to trim hairs that get into your mouth.

    Trimming around the chin requires lots of patience, as well. Comb against the grain of the hair to separate the hairs and then use your scissors to give it a look that blends well with the rest of your beard. You can also use a beard and scissors together, with your comb serving to lift hairs up so that your scissors can reach them.

    And please don’t just use the same comb you use on your hair – especially not one of those inexpensive plastic ones you can pick up at any supermarket or pharmacy. At the least, your comb should be made of wood or composite material and have one end with wider teeth.

    Some other tips to keep in mind:

      • Focus on trimming the ends of the hairs. Doing so will prevent you from over-cutting and alarming your family with the ubiquitous “What have I done?!” Focus on the surface of your beard, at least at the start.
      • Wash your hair after you’ve finished the trimming process to get rid of any of the stray ends stuck inside your beard that will end up on your clothes and pillow.
      • If you’re a newbie when it comes to trimming your beard with scissors, cut your beard in stages while focusing on not taking too much off at the start. You can always take off more if needed. But, with practice, you’ll soon be wielding those scissors like a pro.

    Comb v. Brush

    How to Comb Your Beard

    It’s just a comb, right? We all know how to use a comb and it seems like every man has a natural instinct for running a comb through their glorious mass of facial hair. While that may be true, there’s still plenty of technique involved in combing your beard and knowing what you’re doing is half the battle in making the most of your grooming experience.

    We’ve already covered how to comb your beard in our guide on “How to Maintain a Beard,” but it’s worth going over again. Besides, a comb is a key part of your arsenal if you want to trim your beard properly.

    It all starts with the tool itself. Whatever you do, don’t just grab any comb off of the supermarket or drug store (or gas station) shelf, especially not one of the poorly-made plastic ones that doesn’t cost much but doesn’t do you any favors in the grooming department. Unless you prefer a comb that pulls and tugs and tears at your hair. Not a lot of fellas do.

    So, make sure your comb is made of quality material, and that it has both wide and narrow teeth. You’ll need the wide teeth for your beard because it allows the comb to glide through thick beard hair to make the combing process that much easier. Meanwhile, you’ll use the narrow teeth for your mustache.

    Now, for the combing process:

      • First, the grip. The grip is more important than you think – you don’t want to hold the comb too loosely that it will fall out of your hand at the first tug or snag, but you don’t want to hold it so tight that your knuckles turn white, as if you’re holding onto the edge of a cliff. Instead, use a relaxed grip, as you would use with your toothbrush, which gives you the proper amount of control.
      • Point the teeth of your comb upward and begin combing in an upward motion on the sides of your beard. This will fluff out the beard, which separates your beard hairs so that they can lay on each other evenly while getting rid of the bed-beard look.
      • A head’s up: you’re more likely to run into snags during the combing process. Snags are a fact of life for many men. But snags aren’t necessarily knots in your beard, but the result of strands of hair going in different directions and crossing over each other.
      • When you come to a snag, don’t try to force it out (unless pain is your thing). Instead, gently pull it until it loosens up and disappears.
      • Combing your beard isn’t a race. There aren’t bonus points awarded to the guy who combs his beard faster than you or everyone else. So, take your time and enjoy the process.
      • After you’ve combed out your beard and all of its layers, comb it back down. Remember, you always start out with fluff and then comb it down. You can even use your hands to apply the finishing touches after you’ve combed it down.
      • For mustaches, start in the middle and comb outwards to fan the hairs away from your mouth.

    Here are some other things to keep in mind when combing your beard:

    1. Choose the right time

    You can comb your beard anytime of the day if you like, and many men do as they straighten any hairs that have gone astray during a hectic day. But the best time to do it – as it is with many grooming processes – is in the morning, preferably after you’ve showered, washed your beard, and let it dry for a bit. The other thing is, you can “over-comb” your beard, too, causing damage to those magnificent facial hairs. You can comb more than you brush, but don’t comb your beard unless it really needs it.

    However, don’t comb your beard while it’s still wet from the shower. Doing so can lead to a loss of hair and less density, especially if you don’t have thick growth to begin with.

    1. Why combing your beard is a good thing

    There are obvious reasons for combing your beard, not the least of which is getting the look you desire. If you’re still not sure, just go without combing your beard for several days and see how unmanageable and out of control it looks. Combing your beard is essential for achieving your desired look.

    Combing also gives your beard the appearance of being fuller and healthier. Your beard will look denser because its hairs are perfectly aligned after you’ve combed them. Essentially, you’re training your beard hair to grow in the desired direction.

    As mentioned, combing is the best way to keep the hairs around your mouth from intruding inside your mouth. In turn, this reduces the number of food particles that get trapped in your facial hairs.

    Combing your beard also prevents the formation of ingrown hairs that curled upon themselves and began growing back into the skin. A daily combing keeps these hairs growing in the right direction instead of becoming an ingrown nightmare.

    1. When you should start combing your beard

    There’s no hard and fast rule here, but you won’t reap the many benefits of beard combing until after your beard is beyond the stubble phase. Of course, the rate of beard growth can vary widely from man to man, but you’ll know when your beard will truly benefit from combing it.

    How to Brush Your Beard

    Brushing your beard is an aggressive form of grooming. Not “aggressive” as in you get in a three-point stance and rush the quarterback with a brush in hand, but certainly more forceful – if that’s the right word – than using a comb.

    That said, you don’t need to use a brush more than once a day unless you absolutely, positively feel the need to do so. It’s kind of like most things in life in that you don’t want to overdo it. Too much brushing may damage your beard. So, keep things in balance.

    While there’s not a ton of technique involved with brushing your board, there are some rules of the road to keep in mind:

    1. Use a boars bristle brush. We highly recommend it, unless you’re a vegan (in which case you’ll probably want to use a beard brush made of synthetic material, such as nylon). A boars bristle brush has several advantages over synthetics, including: it evenly distributes sebum, the natural oil produced by your hair follicles that coats you beard and keeps it healthy; it exfoliates the skin to get rid of beard flakes and skin that’s shedding underneath your beard; and, it improves circulation to your skin, which also promotes a healthier beard. A nylon brush, on the other hand, is more likely to produce static and cause damage to your hair follicles.

    2. The best time to brush your beard is first thing in the morning, even before you shower. Why? Because brushing loosens the grime, dirt, and dead skin cells lodged in your beard, which you can rinse out in the shower.

    3. Follow similar technique for when using a beard comb, i.e., start by brushing it out to separate the hairs, and then brushing it straight down or in the direction you want your hairs to go. If you have a shorter beard, like 1 to 3 months growth, you probably don’t need to brush it out first, but use your judgment.

    4. Be careful using a beard brush on a short beard because you may irritate the skin. However, don’t hesitate to use a beard brush once your beard has reached its full growth.
    It’s worth repeating: brushing your beard is an aggressive form of grooming. Too much brushing will create split ends and cause other damage to that facial hair you’ve spent so much time and effort to grow.

    5. Only after you’ve brushed the beard outward to get rid of the tangles should you brush it downward and in the direction of where you want your hairs to go.

    6. You can even use your beard brush on your mustache. One method is to start at the center of your mustache and brush outward toward the tips. This technique also helps to coax stray hairs away from your mouth


    That pretty much covers it all regarding how to trim a beard, as well as how to shape a beard. It all starts with the right tools, trimmers, scissors, combs, and brushes, as well as a bit of technique that you’ll soon master through practice. Trimming your beard is like any other skill – you get better with repetition and by listening to the advice of others. We hope you found this guide helpful and that it will enable you to transform your beard into something you’ll proudly look at in the mirror every day, as well as one that is the admiration of others. Beard on.