Trimming your beard is scary. Especially when you've endeared all the awkward stages to get it to that special length. Needless to say you don't want to f*ck it up.
With that being said, trimming your beard is totally necessary. Even if you're going for a longer style beard, split ends inhibit healthy growth, and make your beard appear wiry and unkept. If you're not going for length, you might just decide you want to try a certain style that requires you to shape your beard.
Once you are able to convince yourself it's time for a trim, then the next big question/decision comes to the table. How are you going to do it, and what tools are you going to use?
The tools are simple, yet intricate in their own sense. Trimming clippers come in different shapes, sizes, and strengths. Not to mention they have a plethora of add-on clips and guards you have to sort through.
Scissors are a much simpler instrument. However, quality can not be overlooked when using them on your precious beard. a pair of cheaply made scissors can ruin a beard trim. If the handle breaks, or the blades become dull, you may find yourself stuck in the middle of an unfinished beard trim.
Which grooming tool should you use on your beard? Each tool has it's pros and cons. It's probably a good idea to set your goals for how you want your beard to look post-trim. Also take into consideration what your experience level is with both instruments before jumping the gun.
Clippers have skyrocketed in popularity amongst beardsmen. For a lot of guys sporting facial hair, it's a quick, efficient, and painless way to trim down the scuff and keep your appearance neat.
Although it's quick and easy, using clippers also increases the chance of screwing up. It takes the smallest muscle spasm or twitch to cut too much hair off your beard. A simple screw up can quickly lead to a completely shaven face.
This is not to scare anyone away from using them. Just be mindful, and never rush through a beard trimming.
If you're rocking a short (corporate) beard or stubble style, don't even bother pulling the scissors out of the drawer. Especially if your beard style is all one length. With clipper you have the ability slap on a razor guard that suites your need, and simply run it through your beard.
You can also use trimmers to taper your beard length. For example, if you like to keep your beard an elongated shape, you probably will need to taper your sideburns into the lower half of you cheek. You can learn more about how exactly this is done in a video from the Beardbrand Youtube Channel.
Clippers are also an excellent tool to map out your neck and cheek lines. If you're going for the hard line look, simply take the guard off the trimmer and cut your line using a downward motion. This Youtube Video will also lend a little guidance.
Grooming scissors are for the men who have a little more to lose when it comes to beard trimming mistakes. It is a little bit tough to have a huge screw up when trimming your beard with scissors. This is not to say it can't be done. Scissors still require caution and patience.
With a sharp pair of quality grooming scissors, you can take as much or as little length off your beard as you'd like, and achieve the shape you desire. Scissors are also great for targeting the stubborn split ends that grow horizontally out of your face.
Simply put, scissors are not not as fast, as easy, or as efficient as trimmers. It also takes a bit more finesse and technique. They key to success is to be patient and always take a little off at a time. Checkout how Eric trims his beard up with scissors here.
Another attractive aspect of scissors is you can take as much length of your beard as you'd like without making it appear thinner and less dense. If you are going for length, don't bother with your trimmers, use your scissors to maintain your beard. Snip away any visible split ends without taking length away from the beard.
Lastly, you can use both tools together when shaping your beard. Many barbers use trimmers to cut the shape they're trying to achieve. They also use them to taper the sideburns, and sometimes the neck and cheek line. Once the shape is complete, they typically go back with scissors to take aways any scrappy hairs. Scissors are also a great tool to maintain a large mustache.