How To Trim Your Beard: 5 Easy Steps!

You have been growing a beard for a while now, trying to achieve that perfect manly look. You finally have it at a length you think will work. That was until yesterday when you saw a guy at the gym who gave you some serious beard envy. His is about the same length as yours, yet it looks awesome and yours doesn’t. The difference is that he has recently trimmed his. But don’t think the only way to get what he has is to go to an expensive barber. So how do you trim your beard? How to shape your beard while growing it out? 


how to shape a beard

You can learn how to trim a beard quickly and easily. This mastered skill will benefit you for years to come and can be changed slightly to achieve any look you want. Following these simple steps, you will be well on your way to having a stylish and neatly trimmed beard that others are sure to want.

What You'll Need to Start Trimming

Trimming your beard will require a few tools of the trade. You first need a brush or comb. This will make each step of the process easier and help to make sure you don’t miss any stragglers along the way.

Then you will need a good set of beard trimmers and the appropriate guards for the job at hand. Most trimmers come with several guards or at least one or two that may adjust as needed. You may also need a pair of sharp scissors. These make getting some of those missed stragglers easy. However, some men prefer to forego the trimmers and rely on a single pair of scissors for the whole process. If this is your first time trimming your facial hair, you may want to hold off on taking up that art. Most who use just scissors are pretty much experts and have been doing it for many years.

how to select a beard trimmer

Depending on your beard preferences, you may also want to enlist the help of a razor for some tasks. Some men use the trimmers on just about everything, however, a razor will work just as well, if not better, for some styles. You may also enjoy some specialized products such as beard shampoo or wash for before and beard oil for afterwards and daily styling though this is completely optional.

Best Beard Trimming Techniques

For any good trim of your beard and or mustache, the first step is knowing what look or length you are going for. This will help you through the entire process of learning how to trim a beard more than just about anything else. If you know how long you want your beard to be, then you can go about getting the perfect set of trimmers, if you don’t already have them.

5 Steps for Trimming Your Beard

Learning how to trim a beard can be really easy to accomplish. But as with any other task, practice makes perfect. Following a set process or order can help you get it down in no time at all and keep your beard looking its best. For today’s purposes and the most basic beard trimming skills, the following is the best order to work in:

  1. Sides/cheeks
  2. Chin
  3. Jaw and under chin
  4. Neck
  5. Mustache
man having his hair trimmed in a barbershop

Step 1: Wash and Dry Your Beard

On to the action. Before you get out your trimmers or any tools, you need to wash and dry your beard. This is where your beard shampoo or wash comes in. This will keep your beard hair healthy, strong, and looking great no matter how you cut it. Once your hair is dry, you can actually trim your beard. Grab your trimmers, a comb, and your scissors. Keep these handy throughout the process. Start by combing your beard on the sides. Use a downward motion that will guide the hairs in the direction you want them.

Step 2: Trim Your Sides and Cheeks

Now you can turn on those trimmers, making sure you have the correct guard on, and begin trimming your sides and cheeks in a downward motion to reduce some of its length and bulk. It is important to just focus on trimming here unless you want to cut a good bit of your length off. Make sure to get those stragglers and loners that stand in opposition to the rest as well. After you have achieved the desired length for your sides, go over the whole area again to make sure you got to all of those leftover hairs.

philips Norelco Trimmer

Step 3: Trim the Chin & Jaw Sides


Then it is on to your chin. Depending on your length preference, you may decide to keep the same guard on here as you used for the sides and cheeks. Most, however, will tend to go shorter on the sides and longer around the chin area. Make changes to your guard as needed and then trim the hairs on your chin. Use the same downward motion for this as well, continuing until you have reached the wanted length. Don’t forget to give it another pass or two before moving on.

young man shaving beard with electric shaver


Next, we will focus on the underneath side of your jaw and chin. If you used a shorter guard on your sides, you will want to go back to that one for the jaw line on your sides. For this area, you will want to use a more upward motion. Basically, the idea here is to go with the grain of the hair to make sure you are getting all of those annoying strands that stick out and look out of place, as well as, take off a little length and trim it up.

Step 4: Shave Your Neck Bellow Adams Apple

Once you find that perfect line above your Adam’s apple (more on that later), you can trim. Everything below this line gets shaved. You may want to use your razor again here. Everything above the line gets trimmed using the guard of your preference. You can try to fade this area leading to your beard as well. Don’t forget about the hair under your ears here.

How to Style a Patchy Beard

Step 5: Focus on Mustache

The mustache is the last part to tackle and one of the easiest parts of mastering how to trim a beard. This, like everything else, is all dependent on how long you want it. If you want to use your trimmers, remove the guard first. Then simply cut the hair at your desired length, usually using the top of your upper lip as a guide. Some men prefer to use scissors on their mustache, especially if it is kept at a longer length, as they can often be used in a more precise manner.

How to Trim a Beard: Practical Tips and Tricks!

1. Shape Cheek Lines According to Your Face Type

While you are working on the sides and cheeks, you can choose to shape your cheek lines as well. You will want to draw an imaginary line here. Depending your face shape and the look you are going for, you have two options. One common method is to start at the point where your beard moves forward from your sideburns and continue down to where the growth starts under your bottom lip. Another idea is to draw your line, so it ends at the top of your mustache. It’s completely up to you. Shave above the line, trim below.

2. Where to Shave Beard at Neckline

When it comes to shaping your neckline, a good rule of thumb is to trim slightly above your Adam’s apple. To do this consistently, place two fingers side by side above your Adam’s apple. Your neckline should be right above that top finger. When you are connecting this line to your sides, place a finger just under your jaw on either side and bring it down to where it is parallel with your neckline above your Adam’s apple. If you want a more curved look to your beard, you can draw an imaginary line from just behind both of your ears to meet your neckline. This will give you more of a “U” shape. As you are learning how to trim a beard, you will find that over time you will be able to see this line without measuring everytime.

barber shaping the beard of his customer

3. Maintain Your Shaving Equipment

If you are using trimmers, even for the smallest job, it is important to maintain them. The best pair of trimmers will only be the best for as long as you take care of them. After every use, clean them. Use the small brush they come with to get out any hair, take it apart and clean the pieces. Occasionally use a few drops of oil on the blades and then turn it on for about 20 seconds. This will help to keep your trimmer running at top shape for a long time.

The key to this entire process is going slow and being careful, from the general trimming of your sides and chin to shaping your neck and cheek lines.


So, no matter what your style is or your beard length, keeping it trimmed can make all the difference. It shows that you care about how you look while still showing off your masculinity. Learning how to trim a beard is easy to master with continued practice. Besides, just think how satisfying it will be knowing you created your best look yet.

Zach Johnson
Zach Johnson

With years of experience trying out different electric shavers, manual and straight razors, he has become a pro at finding what works best. He loves sharing his tips and creates comprehensive guides so you don’t have to spend years chasing perfection!

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