Trimming your beard just right requires thought, time, and fine tuning. Trimming the beard correctly not only increases its appeal, it allows you to grow to new lengths without looking like a bum. A beard that’s rough around the edges can give the impression of a lack of grooming, while clearly defined lines showcase your beard as a well-considered addition to your overall appearance.
However, it is important to note that many men become very particular, almost obsessive, about their beard after they put in the time and care to grow it out. This is why many men become extremely apprehensive about letting other people trim their beard. This is why most men prefer to trim it themselves.
"clearly defined lines showcase your beard as a well-considered addition to your overall appearance"
If you do prefer to trim it yourself, one of the areas of beard trimming you will need to master is the beard fade. Depending on the length and style hair you have, it becomes increasingly important that you learn to seamlessly blend the sideburns, beard, and hair as one (See Step 3).
Beard Trimming Tools
- Comb or brush:for detangling
- High-grade clippers:for trimming
- Scissors:for detailing
- Beard oil or moisturizer:for softness and health
1. Trim your beard to your desired length
Determine the style and length you want the beard
- Determine the style and length of your beard. Do not rush this part.
- DO NOT FADE AT THIS POINT! Leave the fading until last.
Run a comb through your beard
- Run a fine-toothed beard comb or small hairbrush with flexible bristles through your facial hair from cheek to chin.
- Stroke the hair outward and away from your face. This will make it easier when trimming while helping to avoid costly mistakes.
Style your beard the way you want it to look
- Styling your beard first allows it to lay correctly while you trim it. Additionally, as you trim it, your beard will automatically begin to take shape making it easier to see where you need to trim more or less.
Trim Only to Length
- Trim the length only! We will shape it in the next step. DO NOT SHAPE IT NOW!
2. Shape Your Beard
In an attempt to avoid the dreaded and horrific neck-beard and to keep your beard looking full, you will need to add shape to your beard. Ideally, for a full beard, your neckline will curve down from under your ear to just above your Adam’s apple, back up to the other ear. At no point should the neck-line go anywhere near your chin.
Line the sides of your Beard
- Line the sideburns / sides of your beard closest to the ears as best as possible
Shape the Corners of your Beard
- Now that you have a sharp line intersecting the sides of your beard with the length of your beard it is time to start rounding the corners.
- How sharp may be determined by how sharp your jawline is.
3. Determine and Trim Your fade lines (Sideburns)
Sideburns are tricky since they can be treated as either an extension of your beard or your head hair. under cutting or over cutting can take away from the overall appearance of the beard as a whole.
Line the sideburns / sides of your beard
- Line the sideburns / sides of your beard closest to the ears as best as possible. This helps to keep it looking sharp as well as give you a point to trim from when shaping your beard.
Use Clipper or trimmers to create fade lines
- Start with the highest point and trim the whole area you want to fade.
- Move down in size from highest point to lowest point. Do not worry at this point if it looks like piano keys. This is part of the process.
Blend in Fade lines
- After you have created all your fade lines use clippers and/or scissors to create an angled line to blend in the fade lines.
4. Trim and Shape Your Neck Line
Trimming your neckline is a crucial part of the beard trimming process. The proper shape of the neckline will make your beard look more natural. However, not adhering to this can make your overall beard look unmanaged, sloppy and unprofessional.
Find Your Neckline
- Experts suggest that the neckline should be at about 1 to 1.5 inches above the midpoint of the neck. To determine where your neckline should be rest two fingers just above your Adam’s apple. Everything below your upper finger should be shaved.
Shave all the hair below your upper finger
- At this point you are just going to shave a straight line across your neck line. We are going to shape it next.
Shape your neckline
- Envision a curved line between both ears above the Adam's apple.
- For shorter beards you can use clippers to achieve this. However, if you are not comfortable doing this with clippers you can use a trimmer and a razor to achieve the same result.
Note: If your Beard is going to remain longer than your neck line after you trim – DO NO CUT YOUR NECK LINE. Worst case scenario, clean it up some if it looks unkempt.
5. Determine Your Cheek Line
Every mans beard is thicker at the chin more so then it is at the cheeks. However, this is one of those lines everyone will see first. That is why it is important to take time into cleaning this area up. People will notice length first, hard lines second. And then shape last.
Draw an Invisible Line from Mustache to Sideburns
- Find the point where your sideburns start to curve into your cheek line (Point A).
- Then find the point where the natural cheek line meets the mustache (Point B). If your natural cheek line abruptly drops off just before reaching the mustache, set point B at the spot atop the cheek line just before the drop-off.
Clean up the lines of your cheeks
- Take little bits at a time. Less can be more at this point.
Note: If your check is more rounded than straight just create a natural curve from Point A to Point B.