How to shape and trim your beard at home
Growing a beard can be hard for many men. The initial growing stage has many hurdles, including beard itch, beard dandruff (beardruff) and in-grown hairs. The growing stage alone has prevented many men from growing a full beard and instead settling for a fully-shaven or stubbled look. If you do achieve a fully-realized beard, you still have to maintain it. Knowing how to maintain, trim and shape it is key to cultivating your own unique look and style.
The process of maintaining your beard takes diligence and dedication. The results, however, can be truly amazing. It just takes a few clips from the Beard Shears and some quick strokes of the Beard Brush to change the way you look and feel. If you can’t get to the barbershop for regular maintenance, or just haven’t found a good barber yet, you can shape and style your beard at home. Luckily Cremo and Barber Brigade member “John Kenney” from “The Blue Collar barbershop” is here with some top tricks and tips on how to shape, style and trim your beard.
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Finding your best beard shape
Plan, plan, plan, and plan a little more. Then trim.
Before you begin shaping or trimming your beard, you have to have a plan. Perhaps most important is knowing your face shape. This is critical and helps you decide what style goes best with your face.
“A lot of my clients over the pandemic have ruined a good beard due to poor at-home maintenance. They knew they had to give their beard a trim but didn’t have any game plan before they picked up the tools. When you come to shape your beard, first consider your face shape, considering your proportions and structure. For example, if you have a wider face, you can get away with a longer and wider beard, if you have a thin face, a big bushy beard could be overpowering”, Says John. “You’ll also need to consider what’s on the top of your head and how it compliments your beard. Long hair and any size beard generally work well together, however, a short cropped hairstyle and a long beard can look dis-proportionate. And, if you’re bald, I personally think the bigger beard actually is pretty bad-ass”.
Let’s look at some different face shapes and the suggested complementary beard styles.
Best beard for men with a triangle shaped face
A triangle face means the cheekbones are wider and the chin is pointed. A good look for this face shape is the Beardstache. This is where you keep your beard short but your mustache islonger. This style helps center your mustache instead of your chin. Best of all, it gives the facial shape a much more pleasing proportion.
Best beard for men with square faces
Before we go any further, we mention ‘proportions’ a lot in this article, so apologies for mentioning it again and apologies for the next hundred times you read it throughout the article. Proportions. Sorry, couldn’t resist. If you have a square face, a proportioned circular beard is probably the strongest look for you. Barber John Kenney adds, “I recommend to my clients to keep the beard on the shorter side if they have a square face shape. A short beard keeps the look circular, whereas if the beard is too big, especially in the chin area, you can end up looking very egg like in proportions”.
Best best for heart shaped faces
A heart shape face is generally a wider face with an elongated chin. The chin is usually on the narrower side as well. The recommendation for this face shape is to grow out a longer beard but make sure the sides are well maintained and kept short. You’ll love the way it complements your face.
Best beard for men with oval shaped faces
With an oval face shape, you have carte blanch to try any beard style you like – lucky you. Of course, keep in mind, as always, the proportions and be sure to plan before you get cracking with the tools.
Best beards for a rectangular face
Shorter sides and a fuller, rounder nicely-trimmed beard will help someone with this face shape.
Other beard shaping things to ponder
A lot of articles on beard shaping and trimming focus on a beard that has total coverage. Not everyone can grow a beards like that. For some men, their facial hair grows a lot in some areas and less, or maybe even not at all, in other areas. Take this into consideration with your face shape as well.
John Kenney adds, “Some of my clients can only grow hair on their chin or mustache area. This is totally fin but compensate accordingly. A shorter goatee or mustache might be a stronger look than a longer beard chin, which could make your style look dis-proportionate.”
Trimming your beard
Facial hair is generally thicker and fuller than the hair on your head. Our recommendation is always to wash the beard first with a Beard Wash and Beard Softener. This not only helps clean the beard of rogue hair and dead skin, but also helps soften the underlying skin and facial hair which makes it easier to trim and style. Once the beard is soft, you want to brush the beard thoroughly and make sure you brush the beard down into a natural position. This will help you determine the length of your beard more accurately and also gets you accustomed to your beard’s growth patterns.
Once you have brushed the beard down, remove any straggling hairs with a pair of Beard Shears or beard trimmers. Be careful, for the time being, you just want to remove stray hairs that look out of place or too long.
When the beard is evened out, you can start removing some of the bulk of the beard. If you have a pair of electric trimmers, start with the highest guard number available and work your way down to your desired length. Remember, big guard number = big beard.
“The higher the guard number, the bigger the beard. If new to using a trimmer, start with the largest guard and work across the face, letting the trimmer do all the work. Make sure to use in an even handed way using a variety of short and long strokes to even trim the different facial areas”, Says John.
Shaping your sideburns
Shaping your sideburns is one of the most important aspects to having a neat, tidy and well-proportioned beard. It is also the most overlooked aspect of beard trimming maintenance. Nailing your sideburns is an absolute game changer. Period. Exclamation point.
The sideburns are so important because they are the link between the hair on your head and your facial hair. The ideal way to style your sideburns is to taper them. Otherwise known as ‘blending’, begin by starting at the top of your sideburn and cutting a little away.
Defining the neck line
Another important aspect of a proportional beard is an acceptable neck line. The neckline should be an extension down the curve of the ear and should stop 2-3 cm (1-1.5 inches) from your Adam’s apple.
Defining your cheek line
Defining the cheek line is a personal preference. It really depends on your desired style and hair growth. Use the trimmer or a double-edge razor to define your cheek line. Be careful though, make sure the other side of your face has symmetry. No one likes a wonky, uneven or crooked cheek line. Unless you’re a diabolical villain from a comic.
Defining your mustache
Make sure the mustache is combed down before starting on this area. Be sure all hairs are fully stretched out to help you get an even and symmetrical outcome. Using trimmers or Beard Shears take a slow but steady approach to keeping your upper lip in check.
Finishing touches to your beard
After you have trimmed your beard, we recommend washing your facial hair again and taking a Beard Comb or Beard Brush to it. This will help remove any loose hair or dead skin. If desired, style your beard using a Beard Balm or Beard Oil. This helps not only shape and style your beard, but adds much-needed moisturization to help fight that annoying beard itch.
Create your own Barber Grade Beard Experience at home with Cremo Barber Grade Beard Care products. Check out more blog posts or our YouTube channel for more beard tips and tricks. And discover our full collection of Barber Grade Beard Products to help you grow your best beard.
Thanks for reading, remember to always Beard Boldly, gents.