Growing a beard not only looks great, but it can also help prevent the risks of having ingrown hair while shaving. When it comes to keeping your beard in good shape, you need to know how to maintain your beard.
While you can go to a professional barber, it’s more convenient to maintain your beard at home. Want to know more about how to trim your beard and general beard care? Keep reading.
Letting Your Beard Grow
If you’re new to growing a beard, it’s best to wait a bit before you start trimming. Anyone who’s starting from a clean shaven face should give about four to six weeks of growth before they start styling (even if you know the kind of styling you want).
Once you have plenty of hair to work with, it’s time to get to work. For best results, you’ll need the tools of the trade:
- Beard Shampoo
Not sure which products to choose? Your barber can give you some suggestions on which type of scissors to buy and when you’re looking for a beard shampoo, look for something gentle, especially if you have sensitive skin.
7 Easy Steps to Trimming Your Beard
Step 1: Clean Your Beard
While you may feel tempted to get straight to cutting, cleaning your beard first can help make grooming easier. Of course, you should be washing your beard regularly to keep it clean, but you definitely should do so before a trim. We also recommend using a conditioner.
Having specialized beard shampoo is essential. Seriously: Don’t ever use regular hair shampoo on your beard. It doesn’t have the right ingredients to keep your facial hair at its best.
Once you’ve done all your washing, make sure your beard is dry as possible before you start cutting.
Step 2: Comb Out Your Beard
With your facial hair clean and dry, there’s a bit of prep work before we turn to the blades: combing. Take the time to comb out your beard, so all the hair is flowing in the same direction, and there aren’t any tangles. This way, you can run your trimmer through it without any issues.
Don’t feel like you need to rush through any of the steps, either. Taking the necessary time on your beard maintenance is the key to making it look fabulous.
Step 3: Start to Trim
If you’ve trimmed your beard on your own before, then you might have an idea of how long you want it to be and what clip guard you’ll need to do that. If you’re experimenting with a new style, it can be tricky to know what’s best for you.
Our advice? Start with the highest possible option and work your way down as necessary.
Most trimmers come with clipper guards, which gives a buffer between your skin and the blade. For working with beards, we recommend starting with whatever guard is about half an inch (for ones with numbers, a #4 is a good start).
By starting long, you can work your way down to a length you like. The other option is cutting too short and needing to spend time on growing everything out again, so start high and work your way down.
For the best trimming experience, go against the direction you comb your hair to catch the excess in the trimmer. Make sure to run over all sections for an even cut.
Step 4: Set Your Neckline
Aside from the beard itself, you’ll also need to trim below your neckline. A good position is to use the top of your Adam’s Apple as a guide for where to make the trim. You can trim off a vertical strip as a guide. Lay a finger across your throat to help keep things even.
With the baseline set, you can drop your guard setting down to the lowest and trim off the rest. For best results, pull your skin taut, start in the center, and shave outwards to one side. Afterward, do the other end, and you’ll be set!
Step 5: Tend to Your Mustache
When it comes to taking care of your mustache, it’s going to need a trim as well. Thankfully, you can use the same approach as trimming the rest of your beard: starting on a longer length and working your way down. Usually, you’ll want to use your lip as a guide for the length of your ‘stache.
Some people like having their mustaches blend into the rest of their beard, while others take the approach of leaving the ‘stache a bit longer, so it stands out. Whatever you decide to do, there are plenty of mustache options out there.
Step 6: Touch Up with Scissors
It’s almost like a law of beard trimming—some stray hairs won’t go down to a trimmer. While it can be tempting to run your trimmer over the scraggly areas several times, you should save these stray hairs until you’re done with your main trimming and (most) of your beard is at the length you want it to be.
To get rid of the stray hairs, you can use your trimming scissors. Before you do, comb out your beard one more time so you can see if all the ends line up first. From there, carefully trim off any excess.
Combing through everything can save you from having uneven ends later on, so you should do this step even if you don’t notice stray hairs as you’re doing your first trim!
Step 7: Moisturize Your Beard
This step isn’t necessary for getting your beard trimmed down to where you want it, but it can help with making your beard look excellent for even longer. Beard oils and other similar products will keep your beard hair healthy and shiny.
Beard Trimming and Care Tips
We’ve covered all the essential parts of trimming your beard, but there’s plenty more you can do to keep your facial hair in top shape. If you want to step up your beard game, consider some of these tips.
Picking a Beard Brush
When it comes to keeping the tangles out of your beard, having a comb or a brush on hand is always helpful. The good news is that almost any brush or comb will do the job, but if you want to go the extra mile, choose a high-quality beard brush.
Boar hair brushes are one of the best options for tending to your beard. The bristles have the texture and stiffness to help soften your beard, exfoliate the skin, and pick out dirt and oil from your facial hair between washes.
Here are a few other tips for brushing your beard hair:
- Regular brushing is essential for softening facial hair and adding volume.
- Brushing your beard distributes your natural oils through facial hair.
- If you brush too much on a short beard, you risk irritating your skin.
- Don’t overbrush your beard, as that can create split ends.
Brushing your beard regularly will also help make sure your beard grows in the right direction!
To have a good baseline, you shouldn’t go over more than once a day.
Stay Patient While Growing Your Beard
When it comes to growing out a beard, it can be a test of patience, especially if you have an ideal beard you’re working towards. You may also be wondering if you can make your beard grow faster. However, there aren’t any quick tricks to getting beard length.
Everyone’s beard grows in its own way, and you can’t do much to change that. The best thing that you can do is make sure to stay healthy. When you’re in good shape, you’ll see better results from your facial hair.
Sometimes, beards can also start to grow in patchy, with some areas longer than others. This is normal, and you should let your body work the way it does naturally. Once you get to trimming, the rest will fall into place.
If you want to think about how to make your diet healthier and more conducive to growing a beard, some options you can think about are:
- Egg yolks
- Leafy greens
These foods contain numerous nutrients, like Vitamins B3, B5, and B9, which can all help with growing out a beard. They won’t suddenly make hair appear, but they can boost the process.
Occasionally Disinfect Your Beard
Beards go through a lot. You eat, you sneeze, you sweat. Plenty of things can get into your beard regularly. Washing can help, but it’s not the only thing that will provide some cleanliness to your facial hair.
Beard balms often have disinfectant properties. Working this through your facial hair can kill a lot of bacteria that can get caught in your beard. Additionally, beard balms are excellent for keeping everything soft and looking good.
Using Beard Oil Effectively
Beard oil’s primary purpose is to help balance out the oils in your facial hair and your skin, as well. It’s essential to do this kind of treatment, as washing your beard strips out natural oils, which can damage your hair.
Usually, beard oils are a leave-in product, so you want to put it on after you’ve taken a shower, instead of before. Not only will the oil not get washed out, but warm water can let the cells of your hair and skin better absorb the product.
If you have a smaller beard, you’ll likely only need three or four drops to cover your beard adequately. If you’ve grown your beard out to a longer length, then you’ll need more oil—likely seven or eight drops. You can apply this amount once a day and be in great shape!
Maintaining Your Beard Trim
After you’ve grown out your beard to your desired length, your main job besides keeping it clean is to maintain the length. Past the initial trim event, you should consider trimming your beard every couple of weeks.
Make sure to look for uneven areas and split ends. Taking care of these stragglers early on will keep your beard looking sharp and even.
For follow up trims, scissors can often work better than relying on trimmers. They have their place, but an electric trimmer can create splits in your facial hair. Scissors also work well for precise cuts, and they give you better control of tweaking your beard’s shape.
Consider Your Face Shape
When picking out the style of your beard, you have options. Unfortunately, not all beard styles work well on everyone. This is in part because everyone has a distinct face shape.
Some face shapes work better with individual beard styles. While growing out your facial hair, consider what would work best for your face. By taking the extra steps in advance, you’ll save yourself the trouble of needing to regrow out your beard if you don’t like how it works on your face.
While this can mean that the beard style you want won’t work for you, think of it as an opportunity to pick a style that will bring out the best of your beard.
Trimming Your Mustache
Maintaining your beard can go as long as a few weeks between trims, but your mustache will take a bit more work. Since mustaches are right above your mouth, letting them go that long isn’t going to be comfortable.
Instead, you should check on your mustache once every three to four days. Using your grooming scissors, trim underneath your nose. Smaller trims will help tidy up your mustache and keep it from getting in the way.
When it comes to growing out a beard, a lot of factors are at play. Trimming your beard can take some time to get the hang of, but once you settle on your shape maintaining your beard is relatively easy. If you want a healthy and great looking beard, you need to invest a little time into it every month to get the results you want.