How to Trim a Beard
Alright, so you have been working hard on growing your beard and now you have a little something to work with and you are wondering exactly how to work with it. You have come to the right place! In this article, we will be going step by step on how to trim your beard to keep you looking great and giving you our best beard trimming tips.
Don’t fear a beard trim will never slow growth. If anything it helps show progress and may make your beard grow faster.
Trimming your facial hair will prevent flyaways, split ends, dryness and that slightly disheveled look you’re probably trying to avoid while ensuring that your beard works well with your face shape. The best trimmed beard has well defined beard lines, appropriate shape, and length to match your face angles.
Before we set you loose with a pair of scissors and a trimmer, it’s important to note what stage you are on in your beard journey. Trimming a short beard is a different process from trimming a long beard.
Beginner Bearders - You should refrain from any shape ups or trims until about the 3-4 week mark on your beard journey! If you start trimming a short beard too soon, you risk your beard growing out lopsided. Not Ideal for a beard legend like yourself.
Established Long Bearders - You will want to be focusing mainly on the shape starting with getting the side walls even and then moving down to the beard floor below your chin. Scissors will be an important tool for trimming your long beard. Once shaped, you will comb with the grain of your beard a few times, snipping any hairs that have a mind of their own.
Short to Mid-Length Bearders - Keep reading to check out our complete 7 stage guide for the best way to trim your beard.
7 Steps to Beard Trimming
Let’s jump right into our beard trimming guide and take a look at the core steps, tools and techniques for trimming beards. If you are wanting to maintain any certain length, it is recommended to repeat this routine every 7-10 days.
You can also follow along step by step with our beard trimming tutorial video to watch how to properly trim your beard.
Tools you will need:
- Electric Shaver or Razor Blade of your choice
- Clippers and Guards
- Cremo Face Wash and Softener
- Cremo Beard Shears
- Cremo Beard Brush/ Cremo Beard Comb
- A Trimmer - These have very fine edges and get right down to the skin
- Cremo Shaving Cream
- A Cremo Finishing Balm or Beard Oil
Step 1: Wash and Dry your Beard
The easiest way to achieve a consistent even cut and to keep those lines clean is to wash your beard first. If it’s dry and dirty it’s harder to cut. Cremo beard and face wash is tough enough to deal with coarse facial hair and gentle enough to keep your beard bright without irritating the skin underneath. Conditioning your beard can also help soften things up and make the next steps a lot easier.
Once clean, pat your beard dry with a fresh towel removing any excess moisture. Make sure to pat dry as rubbing can damage or break the beard hair you have been working so hard on.
Step 2: Brush Against the Grain
Using your Beard Brush, go against the grain to make your hairs stand upward and out. This will make any inconsistencies in length stand out and make them easier to trim. Cremo Beard Brush’s natural boar bristles detangle even the toughest of knots unlike many synthetic brushes.
Note, if you have a long luscious beard, you will want to brush your hairs with the grain instead.
Step 3: Plan Your Beard Trim Style
Beards come in all shapes and sizes. It is important to know your face shape and what beard trim style will compliment you best before you put any razor to your face. You want to have your shape all planned out ahead of time.
In general, a universally flattering beard style leaves the hairs on the chin longer and the hairs on the sides of the face shorter. You want your beard and jaw to work together to create a nice oval shape. Rounder faces require fuller beards to even out proportions while slimmer faces need a more streamline, refined beard.
If you are not sure what shape is best for you and your beard, check out our full guide on how to shape your beard straight from a professional barber.
Step 4: Get Trimming
Let’s break down exactly how to trim your beard with clippers and guards to get to your preferred lengths. The longer you want your beard, the shorter the guards on your shears should be.
Remember, take little bits off at a time and be conservative at first. You can always shave more off but as you know it takes time and effort to grow that length back. Start with a 90 degree angle and make sure to go with the grain of your existing hair. Going against the grain can thin out your facial hair while going with will make your beard look fuller and hide any patchiness.
Don’t forget the beard shape you are going for while you trim! You’ll want to start on the outer edges and then make your way to the bottom of the beard. Most men keep the sides shorter and the hair around your chin a little longer. Define your goatee by using the corners of your mouth and using those as your outer limit.
In the next few steps, we discuss how to line up your beard.
Step 5: How To Choose Your Top Line
Next up, you need to decide if you would like a sculpted, linear cheek line or a more natural, curved cheek line. The choice really depends on your face shape. If you have a narrow face shape, you will want to work with a curved line. Vice versa, if you have a fuller face shape going with a more square line will create a leaner appearance.
If you plan on sculpting a linear line, imagine a line from your sideburn to your mouth as a guide to trim along. For the curved cheek line, pull the skin on your cheek upwards towards your eye and create a straight line on your cheekbone. Once you release the skin, it will have a nice natural curve. A trimmer or clippers without a guard will work best for this step.
Symmetry is key for this so it's helpful to find facial landmarks to keep things even on both sides.
Step 6: How to Trim Your Mustache
Now onto trimming the mustache! Your mustache has denser hair growth and should be kept as short as the hair on your cheeks and temples.
Grab some beard shears or your trimmer to snip the hairs on your upper lip. It is helpful to comb these hairs straight down before starting to help keep the length of your mustache even. The length is up to you, but just like the rest of your beard, we recommend trimming lower and adjusting upward to your liking, taking off a little at a time.
Step 7: How to Trim A Beard Neckline
You’ve made it to the neckline! Trimming the neckline can be one of the trickiest parts of your beard, but don’t worry, we will walk you through it. The neckline is a very defining element for your beard. If the line is drawn too high on the jawbone you risk the double chin illusion but drawing it too low can leave you looking a bit caveman-esque
Using your Adam’s apple as a guide create a soft curve from the Adam’s apple to your ear, shaving everything below. This will give you the classic u-shaped neckline. It can be helpful to start on one side and get that line nice and clean before moving to the other.
The main things to focus on here is symmetry and removing all hair below the neckline. This will help create a strong defined jawline to represent your beard best.
For longer beards, the goal is to have your neckline follow the line of the bottom of your beard. You will want to shape that first and then tackle the neckline.
Tapering the Neckline
The line on your neck can either be a sharp hard stop or a nice faded line. This fading or tapering technique requires closer and closer guards on your shears until you reach bear skin. You will want to start with a beard guard that is half your beard length. For example, if you started with a size 4 for your beard you will want to start tapering with a size 2.
Trim up from the bottom of your beard about an inch. The key is pulling away from your neck as you get farther up your beard to create that gradual tapering effect. Repeat that step with the same guard to trim half of an inch from the bottom. Finish the last quarter inch with just the clipper no guard.
Grab some Cremo Shaving Cream and shave everything below your new tapered line to avoid the dreaded neckbeard. We do recommend a wet shaver for this portion versus an electric razor. Read up on the major differences between wet shaving and dry shaving and how to shave your neck for the best outcome.
Step 8: Style and Comb your Beard
To keep your newly trimmed beard looking and feeling its best, add some beard oil to hydrate. If you have a longer beard, use some beard balm to style and help maintain flyaways. Learn more about how to best bring in beard oil and beard balm into your beard routine here.
Grab your Natural Sandalwood Comb to remove any leftover loose hairs and distribute product throughout your beard.