How to trim a beard

How to Trim a Beard: A Step-By-Step Guide for All Lengths and Styles

Did you know that the longest beard ever measured belonged to a Norwegian man and stretched over 17 feet? That's quite a commitment to beard grooming! But whether you're aiming for a world record or simply looking to maintain a stylish stubble, keeping your beard well-groomed is essential.

Maintaining a well-groomed beard is about more than just looking good too. It can make you feel more confident, contribute to a positive first impression, and even help to define your personal style. Plus, proper grooming can help to keep your beard healthy and comfortable, preventing issues like dry skin, itching, and ingrown hairs.

In this guide, you'll be armed with the knowledge and techniques you need to keep your beard looking its best, regardless of its length or style. So, let's dive in and start this journey towards mastering the art of beard grooming.

In This Article, We'll Cover:

Understanding the Basics of Beard Grooming

Venturing into the world of beard grooming, you'll quickly realize that beards are as diverse as the individuals wearing them. From the close-cropped sophistication of a 'Circle Beard' to the rugged charm of a 'Full Beard', there are countless styles, each with its unique flair and maintenance needs.

Remember, your beard type plays a vital role in your grooming routine. Straight, wavy, thick, thin - the texture and growth pattern of your facial hair could determine the trimming techniques and tools you require. Embrace your uniqueness, it's what sets your beard apart!

But how do you decide which style is best suited for you? Here's where it gets interesting. As part of your grooming routine, spend some time envisioning the desired shape and the desired length of your beard. Think of it like a mission statement for your facial hair: it gives you direction and a clear picture of your end goal.

But don't worry, you're not alone in this! We have an in-depth beard style guide that can help you in this exciting exploration phase. Our comprehensive guide dives into various styles, offering advice on how they complement different face shapes and personal styles. It's an excellent resource for you to pinpoint the look that best matches your style.

As a final note, let's remember patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to grooming a beard. Consistency is key, and with a clear vision of your desired style, you're already one step closer to achieving your beard goals.

Beard Trimming Tools

The path to a well-groomed beard is one best traveled with the right tools in hand. Here's your starter pack to begin that journey.

Your first and primary tool is a top-notch beard trimmer. Consider the Brio Beard and Hair Trimmer. With a ceramic blade that's 4x harder than stainless steel and creates less heat and friction, it's a versatile tool that will help you line up your beard and maintain uniform length.


Brio beard and hair trimmer

Next up, we have the precision of a pair of beard scissors. You can find a good pair like the ones below on Amazon. Scissors are excellent for the detailed work that a trimmer might not catch. They're particularly useful when shaping a longer beard and dealing with stray hairs.

Beauty and Craft mustache scissors

And lastly, a high-quality beard comb or brush is also a crucial ally in your quest. These tools help organize your facial hair, making sure each strand is in the right place and at the right angle, ready for a well-guided trim or sculpting session.

Chicago comb model 1

Last but not least, don't forget a good mirror. This may seem like an obvious tool, but a clear, well-lit mirror is essential for precise trimming and shaping. It allows you to see clearly and assess the symmetry of your beard as you trim.

Post-Trim Facial Hair Products

Now, let's talk about beard care products. A quality beard oil, such as Honor Initiative's LW or HW (lightweight/heavyweight) Beard Oil, is essential. It moisturizes your beard and the skin beneath it, preventing itchiness and promoting healthy, full beard growth. Plus, it gives your beard an appealing scent.

Add to that a beard balm like Honor Initiative's Beard Balm. It conditions, moisturizes, and softens your beard, while offering a light hold for styling, making it easier to maintain your desired beard shape throughout the day.

Monthly Travel Kit Giveaway

By gathering the right tools and products, you're setting yourself up for success in your beard grooming journey. Each item is an investment in the health of your beard and the refinement of your personal style. Choose a few tools wisely and remember that behind every impressive beard is a suite of quality tools and regular grooming. 

In Advance, Beard Trim Rituals

Before wielding your trimmer or scissors, remember that pre-trimming rituals are as vital as the trimming process itself. Proper preparation sets the foundation for a well-groomed beard and an easier trimming process. Here are a few essential steps to keep in mind:

#1. The first step is cleaning your beard. It's like giving a fresh canvas to an artist. Using a gentle beard wash or a mild cleanser, thoroughly clean your beard to remove any dirt, oil, or loose hairs. Rinse well and then pat dry with a towel - avoiding harsh rubbing which might lead to hair breakage.

A useful nugget of wisdom to remember is that damp beard hairs tend to appear longer. To ensure you don't end up with a shorter trim than intended, allow your own beard hair to air dry completely before you commence trimming. It provides an accurate portrayal of how your beard will look post trim.

#2. Once your beard is dry, it's time to comb or brush it. This not only detangles the hair but also aligns them for a smoother and even trim. Combing highlights any inconsistencies in length which is particularly helpful if you're going for a uniform look. A comb or brush specifically designed for beards can make this process easier, avoiding and snagging or damaging of the beard hair.

#3. The last step of your pre-trimming ritual might very well be the most important one: visualizing the style and length you desire. It's a vital step because a clear image in your mind will guide your hands during the trimming process. Rushed decisions midway can lead to style regrets, so invest time in this step. If you're unsure about which style to choose, consider browsing the comprehensive beard style guide we mentioned earlier. It's a valuable resource to inspire and guide your beard style decision.

The rituals preceding your beard trim are as important as the trim itself. After all, even the most experienced carpenter measures twice and cuts once. In your case, visualize twice, and trim your beard once!

Knowing When to Trim Your Beard Hair

Beginning the journey of beard grooming might have you eager to get trimming right away, but it's essential to remember that good things take time. As a general rule, our suggestion to you is to let your beard grow uninhibited for the first month. Simply put, refrain from shaving and avoid making any alterations to your beard for at least 30 days.

Yet, an exception arises around the two-week mark. At this point, it's acceptable, even advisable, to start shaping your neckline. This early adjustment helps create a neat appearance even as your beard continues to grow.

After you've given your beard ample time to grow, which usually falls between 30 to 60 days, you can then begin the process of trimming your beard, cheek lines and mustache.

Here's the timeline we suggest for starting to trim different parts of your beard:

Neckline: Begin trimming after two weeks.
Cheek lines: Begin trimming after four weeks.
Mustache: Begin trimming after four weeks.

In the following sections, we'll dive into the specifics of how to handle each line appropriately. Stick with us as we guide you through these steps of beard trimming and shaping.

How to Trim Your Neckline

Crafting an impeccable beard neckline is an art. Let's take you through it, step-by-step.

Step #1. Locate Beard Trimmer

First, ensure that you have an electric trimmer ready at hand.

Step #2. Locate Proper Neckline

With your index finger and middle finger pressed together, place them on your neck, positioning the middle finger at the top of your Adam’s Apple. Your index finger should indicate the point where your head connects to your neck, forming the perfect guide for your neckline.

Step #3. Create a Bottom Beard Line

Armed with your electric trimmer, create a bottom beard line just above your Adam’s Apple, following the natural curve of your jaw.

Step #4. Trim Sides

When it comes to the sides, start at the back of your sideburns and trim straight down until you reach the already established bottom line.

Step #5. Shave Off Hair Below Neck Line

Finally, trim or shave any excess facial hair lingering below your freshly defined neckline.

However, while crafting your neckline, some things are best avoided. One of the most prevalent errors we notice among men is over-trimming, resulting in the beard climbing up to the jawline and erasing any trace of neck hair. Unless you're deliberately aiming for a 'chinstrap' look – an aesthetic that arguably peaked in the early 2000s – or a very tight looking beard, it's best to steer clear of raising your neckline too high.

It's essential to remember that your beard's fullness and length heavily depend on the hair in the neck area. An excessively high neckline can leave you with a less-than-ideal, wispy look that bears an uncanny resemblance to draping Spanish moss.

Now, what if you happen to make a mistake while defining your neckline? Keep calm and carry on! At this stage, your beard is still short enough to recover quickly from any minor missteps. An imperfect or slightly crooked neckline is not a disaster and certainly doesn't require you to shave off all your progress and start from scratch.

Remember, when in doubt, aim for a neckline that's slightly lower than you might initially think it should be. This approach often leads to a more flattering result and allows for more comfortable adjustments during your next trim.

How to Trim Your Cheek Line

Creating a clean cheek line to frame your beard is a skill worth mastering. Here's how to go about it.

Step #1. Locate Your Beard Trimmer

First, ensure your electric trimmer is within reach.

Step #2. Locate Where Sideburn Intersects With Cheek Line

Identify the spot where your sideburn blends into your beard line, marking the start of your beard's curve onto your cheek.

Step #3. Map Cheek Line

Now, envision a straight line running from this point right to the corner of your mouth. Congratulations, you've just mapped out your cheek line. Another helpful way to create an accurate cheek line is to take your comb, lay it flat against your face and place one end where the top of your ear meets your head and the other on the corner of your mouth. Use the edge of your comb as another way to identify a natural cheek line.

Cheek line trimming diagram

Step #4. Trim Hairs Above Line

With your trusty beard comb in hand, use the flat backside to guide your trimmer, making this line your personal beard boundary. Then, trim everything that dares to grow above this line.

The cheek line is pivotal in shaping the look of your beard. Depending on your beard growth pattern, you may need to put in more effort in maintaining the cheek line. Some men may prefer a more natural cheek line, while others may have to manage hair growth that could almost reach their eyeballs if left unchecked.

Now, here's a nifty trick to get that perfectly rounded top line for your beard. When you're ready to tackle your cheek line, simply use your free hand to pull the skin from your cheek upwards. This stretching of the skin can help to expose the lower-lying hairs and give you a clearer view of the line you wish to achieve.

As you run your trimmer over your cheek, do so in gentle, steady strokes. You'll notice that this technique allows the trimmer to follow the natural curve of your face. When you release the stretched skin, you're left with a well-defined, perfectly rounded top beard line that harmonizes beautifully with the contours of your face.

Trick to round off top cheek line

In any case, a clean cheek line is essential in presenting your beard at its best.

However, while trimming your cheek line, avoid going too low unless a chinstrap is the look you're aiming for. Try to keep the shape as close to your natural line as possible.

If a mishap occurs and you happen to trim the cheek line too low, don't fret. Your beard, still being relatively short at this point, can quickly recover. Avoid the temptation to over-correct by further trimming each side, which could result in a significantly lowered cheek line.

Reminder: it's best to wait until you have at least a month's worth of growth before embarking on the cheek line trimming journey. This period allows your natural line to be more pronounced and easier to follow. Much like the neckline, it's always safer to aim for a cheek line that's slightly higher than you might initially think.

How to Trim Your Mustache

Trimming your mustache properly is a crucial part of overall beard maintenance. To keep your mustache looking its best, follow these steps.

Step #1. Comb, Ensuring Hairs Are Lying Flat

First, grab your fine-tooth beard comb and your handy electric trimmer. Comb through your mustache to remove any tangles and ensure the hairs are lying flat. The comb is your friend here, helping to straighten and order your mustache hairs.

Step #2. Trim Upper Lip

Next, trim the mustache along the upper lip. Be careful not to cut too high, remember you're aiming for neatness not bare skin. This step is where your trimmer shines, making swift work of any unruly hairs. Remember, it's easier to take more off than to put it back, so trim conservatively to start with.

Step #3. Taper Upper Lip Hairs

If you're going for a more styled look, trim the hairs longer on the sides and shorter in the middle to create a nice tapering effect. Keep in mind that balance is key - both sides of your mustache should mirror each other.

Mustache trimming diagram

Step #4. Clean Up With Scissors

For those pesky hairs that hang over your upper lip, you might consider using a pair of facial hair scissors for more precision. This can also be helpful for getting rid of any stray hairs that the trimmer may have missed.

Be aware that over-trimming is a common mistake. It can be all too easy to keep cutting, but remember, a well-groomed mustache still needs to have some substance.

And most importantly, don't get discouraged if you make a mistake. Trimming your mustache is a skill that improves with practice. It might take a few tries to get your desired look, but don't give up. A well-groomed mustache is within your reach.

How to Trim a Medium to Long Beard

Now, let's dive into trimming a medium to long beard. Perhaps it's been a few months, and your beard has grown out thick and full, but it might be just a tad longer than you'd prefer.

Here's how to tidy up a full beard, for that neat, well-maintained look.

The techniques for trimming a medium and a long beard are pretty much the same, so we've consolidated the steps to avoid repetition.

Step #1. Get Ready to Trim Your Beard

First step, get ready to trim your beard. You don't necessarily have to hop in the shower, but it is vital to start with a clean, naturally-set beard. Moisture helps your beard lay down more naturally, so at a minimum, give it a good rinse before initiating your beard trim. Grab your Beard Comb or Beard Brush to style your beard. The goal here is not to make it fluffy, but to style it the way you typically wear it. This allows you to better see where your beard needs trimming.

Step #2. Reduce Hair From Your Cheeks

Next, time to tackle the bulk from the cheeks. As your beard grows longer, it tends to expand away from the cheeks, creating a rather wide profile. But remember, your full beard shape should enhance your jawline, not give you the look of a winter-prepping chipmunk.

It's time to use your beard trimmer and all the guards that come with it. The idea here is to avoid accidental excessive trimming, so start with a bigger guard than you think you might need. Starting from the sideburn, glide the trimmers down the side of your face, extending straight down beyond the jawline. Be careful not to curve inward towards your neck.

Depending on your settings and if you notice that the clippers aren't cutting any hair, then switch to a guard that is one size smaller. Repeat this process until you reach the preferred length. Remember, trimming your beard is a patient process, so take your time to get it just right.

Step #3. Trim Beard to Desired Length

Let's move on to the third step, reducing the length of your beard. You need to decide the right length you want your beard to be, and then determine how much to trim off.

Here's a trick: grab your electric trimmers and make small, slow cuts across your jawline, then move from the front of your beard towards the neck. Remember, the process requires a light touch, as you are aiming for a gradual, subtle trim.

If clippers aren't your thing, you can also use scissors for this step. You'll be surprised how much precision and control a good pair of scissors can provide.

Step #4. Refine Newly Cut Edges

Next, it's time to refine the edges. After trimming your beard, you might notice that your beard hair looks more square-shaped than you'd like. It's time to soften up the edges, specifically at the points where the back edge of your beard meets the bottom, which is just below your jaw hinge. The goal here is to slightly round off the corners of your beard, giving it a more natural look.

Step #5. Clean Up Neckline

Fifth, let's address the neck area. Here, you can follow the steps mentioned earlier in the guide under "How to Trim Your Neckline."

An important point to remember: as your beard grows longer, you can afford to have a slightly lower neckline. The aim is to have your neckline at or just above your Adam's apple.

Finally, when your beard gets long enough to cover your neck, you can stop maintaining the neckline altogether. It won't be visible, and you can focus on maintaining the visible parts of your beard. This is one of the perks of having a longer beard!

Step #6. Clean Up Stray Flyaways

Moving onto the sixth step, it's time to deal with those pesky flyaway hairs. Use your beard comb or brush to groom your beard, encouraging it to lay naturally. After you've done this, assess your beard for any strays that are visibly standing out.

This is where your beard trimming scissors come into play. You aren't making big cuts here; just small snips to any hairs that have decided to grow longer than the rest of your beard. After you've made these adjustments, comb and brush your beard again to find any outliers you might have missed. Rinse and repeat until you are content with the result.

Just a tip: be careful not to get overly enthusiastic with trimming these flyaways as it's easy to get carried away and end up trimming too much.

Step #7. Texturize Bottom of Beard

Step seven involves point cutting the bottom of your beard. This is to ensure that your beard doesn't look too manicured with sharp, blunt lines.

With your scissors, point cut along preferred length of the lower edge of your beard. Hold the scissors vertically, facing upwards towards your chin, and make tiny snips using the scissors' tip. Remember, you're not reducing length, merely softening the lower edge of your beard. Approach this as you would shading in an art class.

Step #8. Trim Mustache

Moving on to the eighth step, it's time to attend to your mustache. The manner in which you trim your mustache is entirely up to you. At the very least, you may want to use your scissors to trim any mustache hairs that are hanging over your mouth. If you prefer the walrus look, then perhaps you'd want to leave it as is. Feel free to the style chart below for inspiration!

Mustache Styles

Step #9. Brush and Style Beard

Finally, in the ninth step, you'll brush and style your beard. Apply some beard oil or utility balm, and then use your beard brush to style your beard.

This is your moment to evaluate the work you've done. If you're pleased with the look, you're all set. If not, fix any glaring spots that need attention.

After you're done, take a breather and give it a day before making any further changes. Often, after a shower and styling your beard, you may find that you're happier with the result than you initially thought. Taking this careful approach helps prevent over-trimming.

One final word of advice: Remember to regularly comb and brush your beard throughout the trimming process, and always use small, measured movements, favoring trimming less over more.

Weekly Maintenance Beard Trims

With your well-groomed beard in place, it's important to maintain it on a regular basis. Regular upkeep is essential not only for maintaining a neat appearance but also for the health of your beard and skin. It helps prevent split ends, keeps your beard from becoming tangled, and encourages more uniform growth.

Given that the average beard hair grows at about half an inch per month, an ideal maintenance routine would involve trimming your beard around one-eighth of an inch every week to maintain your desired beard shape and length.

Let's break down how to trim a beard with these steps for a weekly routine:

Step #1. Start With a Clean, Dry Beard

Before you begin, wash your beard with a gentle beard shampoo, then pat it dry. Remember, damp beard hairs are longer, so always trim your beard when it's completely dry to ensure the hair is an even length.

Step #2. Comb Your Beard

Use a beard comb or brush to detangle your beard and make sure all the hairs are pointing in the same direction.

Step #3. Touchup Your Bottom Edge

Use your beard trimming scissors to freshen up the lower edge of your beard, making sure not to remove more than one-eighth of an inch.

Step #4. Attend to Any Flyaway Hairs in Your Beard

Beard trimming scissors are the preferred tool for this task as they reduce the risk of removing too much hair.

Step #5. Keep Your Mustache Neat

Trim away any hairs that have grown into your mouth.

Step #6. Make Sure to Maintain Your Cheek Lines

A trick here is to ensure your beard's upper edge blends smoothly into your facial structure, providing a more refined look. Remember, your beard should add to your look, not distract from it.

To maintain the shape and health of your beard between major trims, here are some tips:

  • Use beard oil daily. Beard oil moisturizes your beard and the skin beneath, reducing itchiness and promoting healthier growth.

  • Comb daily. Combing helps distribute the natural oils in your beard, promoting a fuller and more even growth.

  • Avoid over-trimming. If you notice a few stray hairs, it might be tempting to trim your beard again. But remember, it's best to wait for your next scheduled trim to avoid overdoing it and potentially messing up the shape.

Remember, grooming your beard is not just about appearances; it's an act of self-care. Maintaining a regular trim schedule will keep your beard looking and feeling its best.

Beard Trimming Video Tutorials

Visual aids often make the process of learning a new skill much more intuitive, and how to trim a beard is no exception. Let's now delve into a few carefully selected video tutorials that will guide you through the practical aspect of beard maintenance:

General Beard Trimming

Our first recommended watch is "How to Shape Up Your Beard (4 Step Tutorial)". This video provides a comprehensive guide on general beard trimming, starting from the basics and gradually building up to more intricate detailing. A thorough understanding of this tutorial will equip you with the knowledge to maintain an impressive beard with confidence.

Video link: How to Shape Up Your Beard

Top Beard Growing Mistakes to Avoid

To help you navigate the tricky areas, we recommend watching this helpful video tutorial, titled "8 Beard Growing Mistakes You Need to Avoid." It offers clear guidance on how to steer clear of these common pitfalls and achieve a sharp, well-groomed beard.

Video link: 8 Beard Growing Mistakes You Need to Avoid

Weekly Beard Maintenance

Lastly, for those committed to maintaining a well-groomed beard, "My Weekly Beard Maintenance Routine - And Why You Should Have One" is a must-watch. This tutorial from Greg Boswell provides a simple, effective routine to follow on a weekly basis, ensuring that your beard always looks its best.

Video link: Weekly Beard Maintenance Routine

Remember, practice makes perfect. Use these videos to help guide your hand, and in time, you will find that maintaining a well-groomed beard comes as second nature. Be sure to take the time to enjoy this personal grooming ritual—it's part of the art of maintaining a great beard.

Final Thoughts

Your journey through the art of beard grooming has only just begun. Proper maintenance of your beard, as we've discussed, is essential. Not only does it contribute to an overall clean and sophisticated appearance, but it also promotes healthier skin beneath your beard and can even enhance beard growth.

Share your thoughts, your experiences, and your unique beard grooming tips in the comments below. Did you find this guide helpful? Do you have any questions or insights you'd like to share? We appreciate each and every interaction, as it helps us and our community grow and learn together.

We also invite you to share this blog post with others who might find it useful. Let's spread the knowledge and help more individuals master the art of beard grooming!

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If you're looking for beard style inspiration, check out our list of, with pictures, 37 different beard and mustache styles.

Now that you're a beard trimming pro, do you want to promote better growth and beard thickness? Try out these top 10 beard oils and let us know what you think.


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