Tips On How To Shape A Goatee

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As I have maintained a goatee for a long time and I see various people asking questions in forums and other places about the correct procedure to shape their goatee, I decided to write a few articles on different aspects of styling, shaping and trimming goatees.

In this article, we will discuss the important steps one should take in order to shape it correctly. It’s not exactly rocket science, however, there are simple little things which if followed, one can get the perfect results.

These I have learned purely through trial and error over many years of my bearded life.

The tools needed for giving the right shape to a goatee or a Van Dyke style beard are a beard trimmer, a pair of scissors depending on the length of hair you want, a comb, a good quality safety razor or electric shaver and the rest are usual beard grooming products like beard oil, wax, etc. I don´t usually go for any of such items like gels or oils, so the choice is purely yours.

Here is a step by step routine that you can follow to achieve a fine-looking and well-groomed goatee:

Step # 1

The best way to start your goatee is to grow a somewhat fuller beard, about one week´s growth, and then when your facial hair is nice and thick, you can work on shaping your goatee.

Step # 2

Run the comb through the beard, so that there is no curled hair. Now, attach a comb of your desired length to your trimmer and trim your beard to give you an even cut.

Step # 3

This step is very important since it is about deciding on the outline of your goatee. I usually follow the angle of my mustache which tells me how wide I should keep the goatee on my chin.

If you choose to have a goatee without a mustache, then you are free to make the outline as it suits you.

Step # 4

Now we will start defining the outline of the goatee. In order to this, we can use our timmer without the guard or any normal razor.

Start from your neck by making small cuts, the size of the trimmer width, to get an idea of how your goatee will take shape. I would suggest the outline on the neck to be about an inch above the adam´s apple or if you are not too sure where you want your goatee to start, make it a bit lower. It´s always easier to take more off if need be.

Step # 5

Repeat the same on your cheeks, using your trimmer. Now, you can clearly see the outline on the neck as well as on your cheeks. If you are happy with the results, move on to the next step.

If you feel you want to make it narrower on the chin, make another outline a bit more inwards.

Step # 6

By this stage, you have your outline sorted, so it´s time to shave the area of your skin which is to remain clean-shaven. In my learning days, I would use some shaving cream to prepare my skin for shaving but I soon realized that it´s far better to use a clear shaving gel, so that I can see the edge of my goatee when I am getting close to my hairline.

A very important piece of advice is that when you are shaving close to the definition line of your goatee, never shave inwards towards the goatee. Your skin is soft and slippery at this stage and the razor can easily cut more than what you would have wanted to. I always put the razor on the borderline and shave away from the line.

The above point becomes even more important if you are using an open comb safety razor as these razor tend to be more aggressive and you may end up going too far if done in a hurry.

If I shave the neck, I move the razor vertically downwards and if I shave the chin area, I shave away towards my ears. I can’t tell you how many times I have ended up with a weird looking goatee due to a simple slip of razor resulting in cutting too much on one side.

Step # 7

Make sure that you occasionally step away from the mirror and check your trim from a distance as well as close up.

Step # 8

This step is very obvious for the purposes of completing the process. Wash your face and clean all the tiny bits of hair from it as well as the ones stuck inside your goatee.

What follows after this depends on each person’s personal choice. You may use just an aftershave or some moisturizer. I have sensitive skin, so I avoid  aftershaves and use a simple face cream. Whatever else you do, don’t forget to clean up the mess in the washbasin before somebody walks into the bathroom.

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