Before You Trim Your Beard (Read This)

grooming • trimming     
Spencer Bryce |

When it comes to trimming a beard it's easier to mess it up than get it right, especially if you're just getting started. But don't worry, it gets easier with time! If you're looking to learn how to trim a beard the right way, this article will outline everything you need to know, and show you how to get the perfect beard trim.

When Should You Trim Your Beard?

Whether you're just getting started on your bearded journey or you've been bearded for decades, we get asked this every day. And the truth is, it's different for everyone, and every length!

If your beard is shorter, a months worth of growth (~1/2") will be very noticeable. So you'll want to check in every 3-4 weeks to trim any wild hairs and keep your beard styled and shaped the way you want it. 

When your beard is longer, that same months worth of beard growth won't be nearly as noticeable or affect the way your beard looks as much. If this is you, you can get away with a beard trim every 4-6 weeks to keep it shaped properly. 

That said, it's really up to you! If you love keeping your beard the exact same length and looking on point all the time, then you might want to shorten the time between trims and fall somewhere in the 2 week mark.

For Pete, his beard stays pretty long and he hadn't had his beard trimmed in about 2 months, so it was getting a little wild around the sideburn areas and his back line. His chin also grows pretty fast and he wanted to take an inch or so off to box his beard style a bit more.

before beard trim

If you want your beard to grow longer, take some beard boost for better beard growth and stay away from the beard trimmers a little longer. As you get more comfortable trimming your beard, you'll find the sweet spot for you and the beard style you are after!

Style Your Beard Before You Trim

This might be the biggest piece of advice I can give you regarding beard trimming and making sure you get it right. You always want to trim your beard after it's been styled the way you do it every day. I'll explain why...

 When you go through your beard routine, the beard products will dramatically impact the way your beard looks and how the hairs lay down. For example, using an all natural beard wash will strip away all the dirt and grime from your face and beard, without drying out the hairs.

Applying beard oil will moisturize the skin and hydrate and soften the hairs. Beard butter will then give you a deep condition for your beard and will actually absorb into your beard hairs, giving you a much fuller appearance while giving you just enough hold to keep it there. 

Don't ever trim when your beard is wet!

Don't ever trim when you have bed beard!

Apply your products FIRST so you'll see what your beard looks like on a daily basis to truly know what hairs need to be trimmed off. 

Don't ever trim when your beard is wet!

Don't ever trim when you have bed beard!

Go through your grooming routine and let the products sit in for a bit, then go for a trim!

Treat it Like a Hedge

You want to treat your beard like a hedge and trim away the hairs that are sticking outside of the shape you desire. Think of it like sculpting a stature out of stone. You take away what you don't want and leave a masterpiece!

The primary reason for this approach is that your hairs grow in slightly different directions ie. swirls or waves etc. So some hairs need to be longer to fill in certain areas of your beard. By trimming your beard like a hedge, you only trim away the hairs that are sticking out and leaving the hairs to make the desired shape of your beard.

It's also worth noting that this trimming approach can be done whether you use scissors or an electric beard trimmer just the same.

beard trim

Take Your Time

Let me repeat that...TAKE YOUR TIME!!! Whenever I plan to trim my beard, I always set aside plenty of time so I'm not in a rush. If you're just getting started, set aside at least 20-30 minutes of dedicated beard trimming time with no distractions! The last thing you want to do is be in a rush for work, a date or anything else and try to squeeze in a "quick" beard trim. Those are famous last words for a disaster!

Trim Your Beard With Multiple Passes

When you are ready to trim your beard, I always recommend trimming in multiple passes to take it down little by little until you get it to the length you want. For example, if you think you want to take 2 inches off, start with 1 and work your way shorter. You can take more off if need be to get the right look you want. 

I'll also hit an area to get it close to where I want and then go to a different area to match the length that area needs to be at. If I notice the chin then needs to come down a little shorter, I'll go back to that area and trim a little more. Don't be afraid to come back to sculpt the beard style you want!

Top Line

When it comes to trimming your top line it's really pretty simple...keep it as high as naturally possible. You want to trim any hairs that grow above the bulk of your beard to create a more defined line. Don't take this line too low though or you'll end up with a chin strap!

Back Line

When it comes to trimming the back line of your beard it can be a little tricky to see. If you are trimming at home, I recommend grabbing a hand mirror from your local store for a couple bucks so you can see what you're doing a little easier.

You want to take the line from the back of your sideburn and run it down the back of your beard. Most of our beards tend to grow back towards the back of our neck, so by trimming these away it'll really give your beard a nice shape. 

beard trim back line

Neck Line

The neck line becomes less and less important as your beard grows long, but it is VERY important early on, especially if you are looking for a full, long beard. You do not want to trim your neck line on your jawline. You need the hairs from you neck to give you the foundation of your big beard.

Trim the neck line where your head connects to your neck, which is typically just a finger or so above your adams apple. Once you grow your beard past 6 months or so, many guys get away with shaving this line in at all.

Scissors or Electric Beard Trimmers?

Now that you have a better understanding about how to trim your beard, it's nearly time to give it a shot. But should you use scissors or a beard trimmer? The truth is you can use both to get a great beard trim, it just comes down to what you are most comfortable with. 

The advantage of using scissors is that they are a much more precise tool. You can cut a single hair at at time if you want to, and really take your time with your trim. You still want to use them in the same way by treating your beard like a hedge and working from the outside, but the scissors allow you to take much less off at a time. I also recommend using scissors for a handlebar mustache!

The alternative of course is an electric beard trimmer. This tool is much more of a workhorse and will take off a lot more with a quick pass which is great if you're comfortable with it in your hand. 

Final Thoughts

I truly hope you've found these tips helpful! If you are unsure about any of these beard trimming recommendations or have any questions at all, don't hesitate to contact us anytime! 

Our mission here at Live Bearded is to help beardsmen look, feel and be their best. We are always striving to support you guys in any way we can so let us know how!

As always,

Live Bearded, brother!