The Complete Guide on How to Trim a Beard

You’ve finally grown the beard that you’ve always wanted. You’ve waited patiently, you fought through the 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.

In this post, we’ll show you how to trim a beard neckline, trim a beard cheek line, and how to trim a beard with clippers and with Beard Trimming Scissors.

HOW TO TRIM A BEARD 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.

A few more things to keep in mind about trimming your neckline:

  • 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. This becomes more apparent as your beard gets longer since a bulk of a beard’s length and thickness comes from the neck.
  • 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.
  • 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.

For a video tutorial on trimming your neckline, check out this video on How to Trim Your Neckline at Home.

HOW TO TRIM A BEARD 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 - Draw a line from the last section of the sideburn where the beard starts to the point beneath the bottom lip. 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 scraggly hairs that poke above your beard and look sloppy.
  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.

For a video tutorial, check out this Beard Cheek Line Guide.

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 of Carlos Costa getting some cheek threading done.

HOW TO TRIM A BEARD WITH CLIPPERS

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. There are many options when it comes to your beard trimmer-buying decision, but we’re big fans of the Brio Beardscape.

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.

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 Beard Wash & Softener and not regular hair shampoo and conditioner – your beard will look good and give you a hearty pat on the back.

TRIMMING YOUR BEARD WITH CLIPPERS

Let’s get down to the business of actually trimming a beard. You’ll at least need clippers and a good Beard Comb.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. 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.
  2. Now fire up your trimmer. Starting 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. 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.
  3. Continue to use the same downward motion as you trim your chin. Use your clippers 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.”
  4. If you are going to use clippers to trim your mustache, opt for clippers that have a narrower mustache attachment. It’s really easy to take off too much ‘stache if you’re not careful. Focus on following the shape of your upper lip when trimming the mustache. You don’t want to go completely horizontal or you’ll look like Ron Burgundy.

Maintaining your Beard 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 can be washed with tap water.

How to Trim A 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 Beard Trimming 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.

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TL;DR

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.

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