How do I trim my beard?
You’ve started on that beard journey, you’re a couple of months in, now you look like you’ve been living in the wilderness for the last few months!! What next? You have two choices, see a barber that you can trust your beard to or tackle the maintenance job yourself.
Here are a few quick tips for keeping your beard in shape.
Before you start, give your beard a good wash and dry using a hair dryer. Don’t trim your beard while it is full of products. Getting the natural shape right will make it look even better when you apply oil and balm to achieve the final look.
You will need;
Razor (like to use a single blade razor, you get better accuracy over a multi blade)
Clippers with multiple settings/combs
They define the top of your beard and are the part that will appear most untidy to other people if left unkept.
As a starting point I would recommend finding the top of your beard. This is where the main growth of your beard fades out. There may be a some hair growing above, mine reaches nearly as far as my eye socket, in fact if left alone it may blend with my eyebrows!!
Once you have that fade out point you want to trim everything above the line. In order to get the shape for your cheek line you want to take a slightly curving line from where the top of your ear joins your head down to around the corner of your mouth. Take your time and work from slightly higher than you are planning on ending your final line. This way you can get the shape and then define the line, leaving a sharp line.
If you do mess the line up slightly try not to keep hacking away and retrying until what was once a full beard turns into a chin strap! For instance there have been many times where I have taken a small chunk out of the line or brought it too low on one side. Keep in mind that it may be something totally obvious to you, because you know its there but others will not notice it. At this point I normally go and see my barber to clean up the mess I have made!!
A neck line can define your beard and face shape, or if left unkept can make you look like you have been living in the wilderness for the last few months. Don’t go too high and close to your chin, you’ll look like you have a double chin, even if you do not.
A good place to start is at your Adams apple, you want to go about two finger widths up. Next take a U shaped line from below your ear lobe down towards your Adams apple, a good way to visualise this line is to male an L shape with your thumb and index finger. Place your index finger behind your ear, then bring your thumb to your Adams apple. Trim anything below this line.
Your cheek and neck lines will define the overall shape of your beard so take your time.
Now that you have your beard shape defined you can shape the main bulk of your beard. If you like to keep your beard short and neat you can use clippers to do this. I would recommend using a longer grade/setting first and then gradually work your way down to the desired length. A lot of the time the grade you think you want is a lot shorter then you imagines. Bring your beard tighter to your face at the sides and slightly longer as you work your way down. This gives your beard a tailored look as opposed to keeping the same length all over.
As you approach your now perfect cheek and neck lines you can either go for a dramatic step from beard to skin, or can taper your beard so it shortens as you approach the edges. Tapering requires you to use closer and closer guards until you reach bare skin, and it's more art than science. To achieve this move down from your beard-length guard to one that's half that length, so a 4 to a 2, then trim up from the bottom of your beard about an inch, flicking the trimmer away from your neck as you go higher to avoid a weird hair-shelf situation. Then halve the guard again, and trim up about half-an-inch from the bottom using the same technique. You can even go down to bare clippers and really blend in that final quarter inch. This does require some practice and trial and error. So be prepared for a steep learning curve.
If your looking to grow your beard out I’d advise simply using a set of scissors to shape your side burns slightly, bringing your beard in tighter to your face and match your natural face shape. Take away any stray hairs from the line leading down in front of your ears.
Finally you have two options for your moustache, you can either grow it, using a comb and a good beard balm or wax to train the hairs to grow away from your mouth, like a center parting above your lips. Or trim back the hairs around your mouth. There’s nothing worse than taking a bite of a nice sandwich or burger and instead getting a mouth full of moustache!!
Once you have finished your trim be sure to condition your newly styled beard with a good quality beard oil, such as our Viking’s Mane beard co Premium line oils and then style with a top notch beard balm like our Viking’s Mane beard co, premium beard balm.
Personally I visit my barber twice a month, I leave the shaping and trimming of length etc to him. He will cut in my cheek lines so I have a good guide to keep to. So between appointments I will only maintain the cheek and neck lines. Which I still mess up from time to time and rely on my barber to correct.