There is no doubt about it, beard trimming is the absolute hardest part about having a beard. Whether you see a professional or attempt it yourself, way too often beard trimming ends up being a botched job.
Because of this, I wanted to put together a couple simple beard trimming guidelines you can follow to help you get the look you want from the convenience (and money savings) of your home.
Beard Trimming Guidelines
1. Treat it like a hedge
This may be the best analogy I can give you when it comes to beard trimming. You really want to trim your beard just like you'd trim a hedge. You can use scissors or clippers for this, and the real goal is to keep the bulk of your beard there, while trimming the longer flyaway hairs off.
The reason this works well is because your beard hairs grow at different rates, and in different directions. Most grow down, others grow sideways and if you're like me some will even grow in the complete wrong direction (up). By trimming your beard like a hedge some hairs will be trimmed shorter, while others will stay a little longer to give your beard one uniform shape.
I would recommend starting on the sides and work your way down to create your "hedge" line. The idea is to trim the scraggly hairs off, and doing so can make your beard appear much thicker because it has a more uniform shape.
From there you want to trim your back line by drawing a straight line off the back of the sideburn, down to the bottom of your beard. For me this is can be the hardest part to get right, so take your time here. I personally use a small second mirror to see what I'm doing and recommend using your clippers to trim everything behind the back of your sideburn.
If you want a square or boxed beard, leave the corner pointy at a ~90 degree angle. If you prefer a more rounded look, round the corners on both sides.
THE UNDER BEARD
Lastly, the under beard. As your beard grows out, you'll want to define the neck line. This line should NOT be on your jawline. You want to start your beard where your head connects to your neck (typically just above the adams apple).
If your beard has some length on it already, you will want to follow a similar hedge method I recommended for the sides. The idea here again is simply to trim the scraggly hairs back to where the bulk of your beard is. For a boxed beard, this means a straight line from the tip of your beard back to the corners on the back line (sideburn) part of your beard. For round beards, simply trim the scraggly hairs to bring the shape together.
2. Style your beard with products
When it comes to beard trimming, you'll want to actually style your beard just as you would any other day. So if you use beard oil and beard butter, go ahead and apply them just as you would. You want to make sure your beard is fully dry, before you reach for the clippers.
The reason for this is simply because your beard sits a little differently without products. When your beard is still wet, the water will straighten the hairs out a little making it appear slightly longer than when it's full dry. So wash your beard in the shower, towel dry and give it a little time to really dry all the way.
3. Trim over a couple days
Now this suggestion might seem a little odd at first but trust me on this one. My beard trimming is more of a process over a couple days rather than a one and done, and I recommend you do the same.
When it comes to beard trimming, I always recommend taking off small amounts at a time, and you'll nearly always notice something later that you missed when trimming. By stretching it out over a couple days, you to come back to it rather than feeling as though you have to get it "perfect" right there on the spot.
That said, there is a negative to this method to be aware of. You do NOT want to be in constant state of beard trimming! So style and trim your beard, and walk away after you get it looking good. Repeat this process the next day and if you notice anything you missed, get in there and clean it up. My recommendation is be done there until you're really ready for another trim which will vary depending on your goal.
I truly hope this will help you with your beard trimming at home. Don't beat yourself if you make a mistake, one of the great parts about your beard is that it'll grow back. Always keep in mind that you are your own worst critic. You will notice things about your beard that nobody else will even see.
If you have any questions about beard trimming, products or anything at all, don't hesitate to contact us anytime!
Keep it growing and as always, Live Bearded!