Beard Trimming 101 – How to Trim a Beard Effectively

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Franz Rivoira
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Man Trimming Beard

So, you have invested the time to cultivate and grow a nice manly beard which is no small feat.  Now it’s getting slightly out of hand and you need to trim your beard, which should be a simple task, right?

That is: just find a trimmer, pick the length, and then you trim off the overgrowth. However, when you need your beard to look well maintained, you will have to put some extra thought into the process. You shouldn’t treat your face as if it’s a lawn but a garden. You should prune and carefully cultivate it. The following are some rules to follow when trimming your beard.

Preparing to Trim Your Beard

Take a wide-tooth comb and then brush the beard against the grain so as to lift the hairs out of their default position. This is going to provide you with the most even trim as well as stopping the hair from growing in different directions.

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Finding the Edge of Your Beard

If left to their own devices beards will typically sprout random hairs and form an uneven edge.  This is evidenced by those few follicles which normally grow outside the face forest, usually somewhere above your cheek line or on your neck’s side. They are removed easily using a simple cartridge razor, this should be dry when you’re not sensitive, or using the shaping tool on your trimmer. However, keeping your cheeks clean should not imply creating some fake line. This is unless the beard is growing above the mustache. When the face begins sprouting fur, you could visit a barber and have him locate a line suiting your face.  Otherwise you can draw a line (with a temporary marker) and try to shave along that yourself.  The more expensive trimmers these days have lasers to help with this process.

Trimming sideburns

How far up you decide to go will depend on your personal preference. However, you should remember not to use the ears as a level. The majority of people’s ears are not even, thus using them as a level is going to make your facial hair uneven. It’s recommended that you should take a step back and try matching your sideburns up as best you can eyeballing in the mirror.  Otherwise get a friend to help you balance them out.

Dealing with your Neck

Well, there exist two schools of thoughts as far as dealing with the neck is concerned. Going natural vs creating a border. However, either way, the neck hair should not be treated in the same way as your face. It’s not advisable to create face lines that appear unnatural and uneven. But when you need to keep the neck clean and tidy for work, it is best to have somebody else try to find a line. It is nearly impossible to make a clean and symmetrical line yourself.

The all-natural shape is considerably easier. When you follow this advice, you should even get away with it even in more conservative offices. You should shorten the guard on the trimmer by a single level and use this for the neck and just under your jaw. You should think of it as beard fade. It’s going to make you appear more sophisticated and generally define your neck better.

Finishing Strong

When you are finished, you should rinse your face so that the loose hairs do not end up on your shirt, or even in your breakfast. When you have some more time, then conditioning or adding some beard oïl or mustache wax is normally recommended.


  • Franz Rivoira

    Franz is an expert in watches and grooming. He has extensive knowledge of mechanical watches and loves exploring the details that make each one unique. He's also passionate about helping men look their best and shares tips on grooming, including achieving a perfect shave or maintaining a healthy beard. Franz is a go-to source for anyone looking to elevate their style game. Linkedin:

3 thoughts on “Beard Trimming 101 – How to Trim a Beard Effectively”

  1. Finding a natural neck line has always been a problem for me personally. Your point about using someone else to help ‘draw’ that line is spot on – you can never really chin-up and shave a line without some help!

  2. Great tips here. I’m really glad that people are really appreciating beards right now, but it’s important to know how to groom and trim one well if you’re going to make the commitment to have one.

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