Growing a beard is one of the finest achievements a man can attain to. Nothing could project style, class, attractiveness, and pure manliness more. But admission to the class of bearded men is a privilege, not a right. And with such a solemn feat comes great responsibility: the bearded man must keep his beard properly maintained, groomed and trimmed at all times.
Benefits of Trimming Your Beard
Trimming a beard brings many benefits. In combination with proper grooming and care, it keeps beards soft, manageable, and stylish. And conversely, alongside neglect of proper cleaning and regular application of quality beard oils to condition the beard, failure to properly groom and trim a beard is a cardinal sin against good class. So below is a quick guide to help aspiring real men everywhere with maintaining their beards.
A lumberjack doesn’t set out without an axe. A hunter doesn’t set out without his rifle. And as a bearded gentleman, it’s no less important to have the right tools for the job. Ensure you have all the gear here before you start.
- A beard comb (for detangling) and/or beard brush
- A beard trimmer (for shaping)
- A pair of scissors (for fine detail work)
- A razor (for cleanup)
- A mirror
- A dash of beard oil or balm
It goes without saying that, when it comes to your beard, taking shortcuts on quality is unacceptable. If you want a high-quality beard, you need to use high-quality goods. So when purchasing the above, invest in the best you can get — and you’ll reap the rewards for a long time.
How To Trim Your Beard
Once you’ve assembled your gear, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start cleaning up your look. Follow the lead of a true “Beardman” below as we demonstrate how to keep a beard under control.
- The well-groomed Beardman knows that a successful beard trim begins with a clean, dry beard. Washing his beard beforehand is good; but if he attempts to trim it whilst still wet, he will find he does not get a true picture of just how much he’s cutting off.
- He starts the trim by using his beard comb to comb his beard out to get the hairs aligned. (If he is very successful volume-wise he may need to use a brush first.) He uses straight, downward movements. If his beard is straight and flattens easily, he combs back up to add some volume and make the trimming process easier. The goal is to make sure the hairs will be cut evenly.
- He takes out his beard trimmer, and gets to work. He will always start with the largest guard and work downward in size to avoid nullifying months of hard work with a careless cut. Holding the trimmer on an angle for proper control, he uses his free hand to make sure the skin is smoothed out, not bunched up, as he trims the area. He trims upwards against the ‘grain’, then brushes back down with his beard comb. After finishing that, he may repeat with horizontal strokes to ensure he trims hairs that might still be in different directions.
- He decides on an edging strategy. Some men choose to have a clean line at the edge of the beard. Such men will skip this step. But for a natural and durable look, a bearded man can ‘fade’ the neck and cheeks rather than cutting a clean line. To do this, he drops down 1-2 guard sizes from the length of his beard, and repeats the trimming process on the edges, using upward motions both on the cheeks and neck.
- Next he begins the fine detailed cleanup of the edges of the beard. Using scissors allows him to get a better, more natural look, trimming away stray hairs on the edges of the beard and mustache (for which he combs outward and then trims the edges). He can also use the razor to totally clean up hairs outside the edge of the beard chosen in the previous step. At this point, his beard is looking very well-groomed and respectable.
From Good To Great: The Most Important Step
At this point, ordinary men might call their beard ‘good enough’. But we’re not writing for ordinary men. True bearded gentlemen know that a trim is only the start of proper beard care. So, after trimming your beard, be sure to finish the job with a high quality beard oil or beard balm. Doing so will condition and protect the beard and keep it soft, smooth and stylish.
So, there you have it. If you’ve followed the lead of our Beardman above, your beard trim is now complete, and will last a few weeks. And not only so, but with your groomed beard looking so smooth and smelling so good, people may find it hard to believe that you’ve done the job yourself.