steps to shape a long beard

Whether you are new at sporting a beard, or an old hand at growing facial hair and you are just looking for a few tips to help you keep your beard neater, finding the best way to shape a beard will keep you looking well groomed and feeling great.

The truth is however, that depending on the style and length of the beard your trimming technique will vary slightly.

However, in the end, the basics of trimming a beard will remain the same. So let’s take a look at the best way to trim a long beard and a short one.

What You Will Need To Trim A Beard

In order to have that well groomed and trimmed beard, you need to start with the right tools, so here is what you are going to need to have on hand for trimming and styling your beard:

  • A Mirror, one that you can see yourself from different angles will be best.
  • Running water.

Preparing Your Beard For Proper Trimming

Before you begin trimming your beard, it should be clean and completely dry. You then need to comb it ensuring that you work the comb through the entire thickness and length of it to make sure that all the hairs are lying down in the same direction that your hair grows.

Shaping a Long Beard

If you are sporting a long fuller beard, then trimming is going to be slightly different than trimming a short beard. For one thing, most trimmers are going to have a long enough setting to allow you to run the tool over your beard to keep it the required length.

This means that you will need to use a fine tooth comb and either a pair of sharp barber scissors or your trimmer in combination to properly trimming that beard. If you follow these steps, then you will increase your chances of success.

  • Comb your beard neatly following the way the hair grows.
  • Use the scissors to snip off those wild hairs that stick out and simply won’t lay down.
  •  Once you have your beard lying down properly, move the comb to the side of the beard just below your ear, and comb a small portion of hair so that a small amount shows through the teeth of the comb.
  • Using either your scissors or a beard trimmer, cut off the hair that remains showing through the comb’s teeth (You will be using the teeth of the comb as a guide.)
  • Continue to repeat this process working down to the center of your beard.
  • Move to the other side of your head and repeat the process.
  • Make sure you clip off the same amount of hair each time.
  • Do the same down the center of your beard.
  • Once you have completed trimming your beard, comb it again and clean up any stray hairs that have been missed to ensure that you have an even trim.

The Finishing Touches

Once you have the actual beard itself trimmed, you are going to want to clean up the surrounding stubble as well as edge your beard to give it a more professional look. To accomplish this, using a safety razor and a bit of shaving gel or cream works best.

  • Start by applying a damp wet warm towel to your face. This will relax the whiskers and make them easier to cut.
  • Put shaving gel on the areas you need to shave (shaving gel helps the whiskers stand up, the razor glides and reduces razor burn.)
  • Carefully shave the areas of your cheeks and neck that you want hair free.
  • Use the safety razor to outline your beard, being careful not to cut the beard hair itself.
  • Apply soothing shaving lotion to your freshly shaved face and if necessary beard oil to your beard, comb once more and you are good to go. You can also use a good quality beard and mustache wax to give it a well groomed look.

If you want a closer look at the proper way to trim a beard, this video will show you exactly how:

Trimming A Short Beard

Trimming a short beard is really quite simple especially if you keep it short enough to be trimmed by an adjustable length trimmer as the trimmer can be set to proper beard length.

Here is the best way to trim a short beard:

  • Start with a clean dry beard and comb it down the way it grows.
  • You may want to use your barber scissors to snip down any wild hairs that won’t lie down.
  • Set your trimmer at the longest length that will actually trim and you can shorten the length in a second pass if necessary.
  • Using the edge of your trimmer, make a mark where you want the sides of the beard to extend and then do the same under your chin so you have a mark dividing the end of the beard from what you want to be clean shaven.
  • Turn the trimmer to lower setting and use it to shorten the whiskers around the beard area that you will eventually shave skin close. Start at one side working to the center, then do the other side and then the neck area.
  • Now set the trimmer back to the trim length that you want your beard and going opposite of the way it grows, run the trimmer through your complete beard.
  • Comb it again making sure it is even and you didn’t miss any areas.

Finishing Touches

Once your beard is trimmed, then you are going to shave the rest of your face with a safety razor and outline your beard. To accomplish this, start with a warm damp towel and place it on your face for several seconds or a minute or two.

  • Apply shaving gel or cream to the areas you will be shaving.
  • Gently glide the safety razor over your skin, cutting off the stubble so that the area around your beard, you cheeks and your neck is clean shaven.
  • Carefully edge the area around your beard so it looks neat and tidy.
  • Apply your after shave lotion and beard oil you need and comb the beard once more.

Trimming a beard properly does take a bit of time, especially until you get used to doing it, but the results are well worth the trouble as your beard will give you a well groomed appearance that it is worth achieving.