How To Trim Your Beard: Full Guide

If you are planning on growing a beard, learning to properly trim your beard is an essential skill. In this guide, we will go over everything you know to properly trim your beard. This way, you can know that your mane is looking its best.

How To Trim Your Beard: Step-by-Step Instructions

These step-by-step instructions will guide you to properly trim your beard. For best results, follow them exactly as stated in the following order.

1. Start With the End in Mind

have a planIf you are going to get the best results, you have to know what you are aiming towards.

Specifically, what beard style are you trying to achieve?

If you don’t know what look will work best on you, there are a couple ways to find this out.

First, you can see a stylist. We can’t recommend this enough. Even though it is an extra expense, stylists often have many years of expertise that can prove invaluable. They will look at your face shape and offer guidance on what they think will work on you.

Secondly, you can simply test different styles out. By doing some research you can find some beard styles that stand out to you. Check out our guide on the top beard styles for some inspiration.

If you are doing this method, you may have to take a couple chances to find what you like. In the end, nothing is permanent, so you can take some risks here. It will grow back eventually.

Finally, if you are looking for a style that is a little more edgy and fresh, beard fades can take your beard style to a new level. But beware, it is a lot more complicated to do yourself if you are doing a beard fade.

2. Have a Barber or Stylist Do the First Trim (Optional)

As we mentioned above, a stylist can point you in the right direction in regards to style. But, even if you know what style you want, having a barber do your first trim is a great help.

If you bring a photo of your desired beard style, you can watch exactly how the barber does the trim. Then, once it is time for the next trim, all you will have to do is touch it up.

If you choose this option, make sure you pay attention so you get the most out of the experience.

3. Make Sure You Have The Right Tools.

beard trimming toolsSo now that you are ready to do the trim yourself, you want to make sure you have the right tools for the job.

We cannot overstate how important it is to have all of these items. Sure, you can make due without some of the things on this list, but the final result will be lower quality.

Imagine if Leonardo DaVinci only had crayons and construction paper to create the Mona Lisa. I think you get my point.

So, before you start the job, make sure you have the following:

  1. Beard shampoo
  2. Beard brush
  3. Towel
  4. Comb
  5. Beard trimmer
  6. Razor or straight blade
  7. Shaving cream
  8. Trimming Scissors

If you don’t have any of these items, don’t worry. As we get into each step we will have recommendations for products we have tested and love.

4. Make Sure To Wash Your Beard Before Starting

Washing your beard before cutting it is a crucial, but often overlooked step that serves a couple purposes.

First, washing your beard with a good beard shampoo properly removes the dirt and oils from the hair and skin. This way, it prevents hairs from sticking together.

Secondly, it helps to hydrate the hairs and skin. Once they are hydrated, the trimming and shaving tools work better and more efficiently.

Finally, shaving with dirty skin can cause rashes and infections.

Check out our full guide on how to wash your beard.

5. Dry Your Beard

After washing your beard, you want to make sure that you dry your beard. Trimmers don’t work well when the hair is very wet. They can clog the blades easier and make the process more difficult.

So grab a towel and pat your beard dry until most of the moisture is gone.

6. Brush All The Hairs So They Face The Same Direction

beard brush and soapUsing a beard brush, use downward strokes to help all the hairs go straight in the same direction. Often, even after washing your beard, some hairs are still tangled or stray.

This step will help to ensure that all hairs are cut to the proper length.

7. Use a Beard Trimmer To Get It To Desired Length

Now that all the prep work is done, you can finally get into the actual trimming part.

All of the previous steps will help the rest of the process be easy and come out just right.

At this point, you need to figure out the length of your beard that you desire. If you are unsure, start with some of the longer settings or attachments and go lower until you find the right length.

Remember, it is easier to cut off more if it is too long, rather than going too short right from the start.

So, whether you are doing a fade or a specific style, at this point just trim the entire beard to the longest length that you will have. Depending on the quality of your trimmer, you may need to go over the beard several times to get most of the hairs to the same length. It will be an easier process if you have one of the best beard trimmers.

8. Use Trimmer To Make Beard Style and Shape

stylist trimming beardAt this point you can remove the attachments on the trimmer or put it on the lowest setting. Now, you can begin creating a rough shape for your desired beard style.

Be extra careful here because it is easy to go too far and mess up.

Also, you can use the trimmer to shape the neck line.

At this point it will be a rough cut, later you will perfect it with the razor.

9. Use a Beard Comb To Trim Any Remaining Long Hairs and To Create a Fade

Next, it is time to start any fades. As we mentioned earlier, it may take some practice to get the fade right. Typically, it is best done with a beard trimmer and a comb. Others, simply make it work by using lower and lower settings on the trimmer.

Also, at this point you will want to comb through your beard to try and find any stray long hairs. These can be cut with a scissor.

10. Trim Around Upper Lip With Scissors

Next up is your upper lip. Long hairs from your mustache will be irritating and itchy on your upper lip. You may use the beard trimmer to cut the bulk of it back, but using a grooming scissor here is especially helpful.

The scissor is excellent at getting those hard to get hairs. Also, don’t forget the hairs near the corner of your mouth.

11. Apply Shaving Cream and Use Razor To Make Straight Lines and Remove Stubble

shaping beard with razorFinally, we get to clean everything up with a razor. So apply some shaving cream and grab your favorite razor.

Whether you are using a standard razor, a safety razor, or a straight blade you can perfect all your lines and shape with precision.

Don’t forget to shape the top of your mustache and trim those annoying little hairs underneath your nose.

12. Finish Up

Hopefully you have created a masterpiece! If not, you will get better next time, so don’t give up.

Either way, at this point it is time to clean up. So give your beard a rinse to get off any excess shaving cream and to get off any trimmed hairs that are still on your face and in your beard.

At this point you can apply a beard oil or balm to keep your beard healthy and style it. One of our favorite beard oils is Jack Black beard oil. Read the Jack Black beard oil review here.

And you are all finished, so put away all your tools and clean up the sink area. It is time to enjoy your new style!


Learning how to trim your beard properly is a huge step in the elevation of a man’s style.

With the right tools, patience, and a little practice you can make it look like you just left a salon. And once you are good at crafting different shapes, it gives you the freedom to experiment with your style.

So don’t wait any longer, get started today!