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If you are thinking of growing out your beard, you need to master the arts of beard grooming and trimming. While learning how to trim your beard properly is not particularly difficult, it can make a huge difference in how your facial hair looks and feels. Even if you’ve had a beard for years, you may be trimming it wrong and not even know it. So, what is the right way to do it?

Trim a Beard

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to trim your beard correctly, including trimming techniques for a full beard, how to shape your beard, and what grooming products you should be using.

Wash Your Beard

Before you attack your beard with trimmers and scissors, it’s important that you get your beard trim-ready with a proper “pre-trimming” routine. Try using a beard wash and exfoliator to clean and soften your facial hair. This will make your beard easier to cut and prevent any possible damage to your skin if you are going for a close trim.

Use a Brush or Comb

While damp, smoothly brush or comb your beard to undo any tangles and make flyaways easier to spot. Always brush or comb with the grain and don’t do it too aggressively, as this can pull the beard causing irritation and discomfort. If you sport a short beard style, a comb should be enough to prep your beard, but if it’s long or thick, you may need a brush or even a pick. 

Trim the Flyaways

Finish your pre-trimming routine by cutting flyaway hairs that stick out from the bulk. In most cases, scissors will do the trick, though you could also use the trimmer without a guard. Scissors may be better if you are relatively new to trimmers, as cutting flyaways with a trimmer usually requires a bit more skill.

Preparing Your Trimmer

After washing your facial hair and snipping at flyaways, your beard should be ready for the trimmer. If you have never used a trimmer before, consider investing in a high-quality product preferable made with stainless steel. Most importantly, make sure that you get a beard trimmer with adjustable length guards to style your beard with more precision. If you are unsure what length to choose, it’s always good to start with a higher guard and gradually work your way down until you reach the length you like best.

Get to Trimming

Once you have chosen the guard you want, begin by holding the trimmer at a 90-degree angle and gently sliding it down your face in a straight line—always with the grain! Using this same technique, work your way around your beard until it is all one even length. Just remember to be gentle at all times and to always go with the grain. This will help prevent irritation and will keep your beard looking fuller and denser when you are done.

How to Trim Your Mustache

Don’t forget to show your mustache some love. To have your mustache looking clean and full, start by using the guard that you used for your beard trim in downward strokes from your nostrils to your upper lip. If you notice any hairs flyaways or long hairs falling onto your lips, use a pair of scissors to take care of them.

Don’t Forget Your Neck and Cheeks

beard maintenance

Defining the lines on your neck and cheeks is essential to any good trim. Unfortunately, many men underestimate how much of a difference a nicely defined beard neckline can make. To shape your neckline, draw a straight or slightly curved line with your trimmer (without a guard), connecting the top of your Adam’s apple to the bottom of your jaw or ears. Then use a shaving gel and a razor to shave the neckbeard below it. You can apply this same concept when shaping the line on your cheeks, drawing a line from your mouth to your sideburn, and shaving any hair above it. For a more natural look, simply shave any hair high up on your cheekbones without drawing a distinct line.

The Finishing Touch

Finish up your beard trimming routine with a good beard balm or beard oil, preferably made without any alcohol-based formulas. This is not only a great finishing touch to style and pamper your beard, but it will also help calm any stubborn hairs and soothe your skin for a refreshing sensation that will take your trim to new levels.