Manly, primal and grittily authentic, it’s easy to see why hipster beards dominate today’s facial hair fashions. Reminiscent of tough New England woodsmen and refined Victorian gents, stylish guys from Brooklyn to Berlin have rejected baby-faced conformity in favor of full beards, moustaches and chiseled goatees. These old world shapes and styles revive a sense of vintage masculinity that is simultaneously commanding, distinctive and sophisticated.
For men that decide to embrace a grown out facial hair look, there’s a lot to learn before grabbing their trimmer. You might be well acquainted with the art of clean shaving from years of tidying up 3-day stubble but do you know how to trim a beard?
Just like any men’s hairstyle, an eye-catching and well-groomed beard style needs regular shaping and styling with high quality trimming equipment. You should also decide on a beard style before you start growing or trimming so we’ll guide you on how to choose the right look for you.
So whether you’re trying to grow one or simply perfecting your existing masterpiece, the following tips offer all the information and inspiration you need. Remember: good beards come to those who wait.
Any beard growing journey will involve some itchy and uncertain stages but with our styling and trimming know-how, you can grow out the style you’ve always dreamed of with confidence.
What is Trimming and Why is it Important?
Unless your beard goals are to look like a caveman, beard trimming is integral to any facial hair style you might want to try out.
While a close shave is all about removing any hair growth, careful trimming is how you shape a beard style over time. Whether you want to sport a groomed goatee or a luscious long beard, nearly every beard style needs proportion and styling.
So to stop your beard looking like a scraggly mess, you need to get acquainted with your beard trimmer and work out which guards and settings are going to get that growth looking sharp and well looked after.
When Should You Trim?
Along with getting the right tools for the job, we’d also suggest finding your face shape from our guide to have a better idea of which beard styles might complement your features.
If you’ve got a sharp jawline you may have a square or rectangular face that can be complimented by a goatee or chinstrap beard style.
To shape any beard style you may want to try we suggest letting it grow out for at least four to six weeks before you pick up your shaver. That doesn’t mean you should neglect your beard care routine and daily washing with a facial cleanser and moisturizing will keep your face healthy as your facial hair fills in.
How Often Should You Trim?
Once you’ve grown out your desired beard length, it’s also a must to keep it trimmed and tidy. A good rule of thumb is to shape up any straggly hairs or uneven areas around every seven to ten days.
In between the days that you trim your beard, you can feel free to tidy up any hairs that grow outside the areas of your beard with a pair of scissors or your razor.
How to Shape Your Beard’s Neckline and Edges
One of the more challenging parts of trimming is shaping a beard neckline. Go too high and your beard won’t look natural or go too low and you’ll have a messy and unappealing neckbeard.
To avoid either of these issues we suggest setting the lowest point of your beard around two fingers above your Adam’s apple. With your precision trimmer simply remove all the hair below this point, being sure to follow this line in a gentle curve towards its edges
For your cheek line you may want to take a more natural or defined approach. If you’re styling a beard for a professional context you can define a straight edge at the highest point hair grows on your cheeks and ensuring to tidy any that grow higher up.
For a more natural look, go for a softer and curved cheek line as you trim. This style won’t need to be tidied as frequently as a sharp line so you can also choose based on how often you want to trim your beard.
Steps Involved in Trimming
One of the most important parts of grooming is knowing how to choose the best beard trimmer for you. For any beard styles that are 3mm or longer, we’d suggest a trimmer with varied length settings and a range of guards you can attach.
If you’re simply looking for a clean shave, something like the Series 9 will give you an extremely close finish but we’re looking at the best tools to shape and style thicker beard growth.
A Braun beard trimmer such as the BT3240 is equipped with 39 individual length settings that you can choose from with the rotating dial on the handle.
Remember if you’re switching between different lengths on areas of your beard that you also need to attach the correct guard with the range you desire. For example the 1-10mm attachment is ideal for shorter smart looks but the 10-20mm guard is best for something like a wild Viking beard.
More Beard Trimming Tips
Now that you’ve got the tools you’ll need for beard trimming, we’ve got a couple of extra tips to keep in mind for your grooming ritual.
Tip 1: Hydrate the hair.
Firstly, you should always shower with a beard wash and dry your facial hair before you start trimming. Well hydrated hair that’s lying in the way it grows will be easier to trim and let you see where any uneven areas might be.
Tip 2: Get rid of knots.
Secondly, brushing your beard will get rid of any tricky knots and helps to stop your trimmer from getting snagged on untidy facial hair.
Tip 3: Keep it clean.
As well as keeping your beard and face clean with regular and thorough washing, it’s also important to care for your shaving tools. Keeping these clean will ensure they stay in tip-top shape to maintain a perfect beard that you’re proud to wear.
Scissors vs Trimmers
Another trimming tool that’s handy to have at your disposal is a trusty old pair of scissors. For tidying up straggly final hairs, they’re great at finishing off those all-important final details.
While you’re getting the hang of beard trimming for beginners your trimmer will serve you well for fading and clipping some of the thicker areas but having the extras like a good quality pair of scissors and a beard brush will make life a lot easier as your facial hair grows out.
Post Trimming Care
With the steps that we’ve outlined beard care will become fundamental to you but there’s also a couple of aftercare points to remember.
Our final beard trimming tips are to use a high quality beard oil that will nourish and moisturize your new facial hair and keep it soft. This will make your next tidy up easier and reduce your chances of developing ingrown hairs.