How to Trim, Sculpt and Shape your Beard

man checking his beard sculpting in the mirror

There has been a massive increase in the number of beards in today's modern society. With more focus on the men's grooming sector now than there ever has been before. In an attempt to look different and diversify one's look, knowing how to shape and style your beard to suit your face as well as stand out from others is a real skill. A neatly trimmed beard has now become widely accepted in all walks of life and many men are choosing to rock this look. However, this begs the question; how do I trim, sculpt and shape my beard like a pro to keep it looking as fresh as possible?

It’s not as hard as it seems – all you need is the right tools!

Firstly, if you just have a few stray whiskers, the easiest thing to do is to take some scissors and cut the single hairs to maintain your beards neatness. Also trim your mo if you feel like you’re eating hair all day by following the top of your lip.

Beard hair differs greatly from the hairs on your head both in areas of growth and the speed at which hair grows in particular areas. Some guys can grow an epic moustache while the hair on their chin may be slow and a lot patchier. Others can only grow an Abraham Lincoln style beard with no growth on their top lip. When growing a beard you need to take note of these areas of rapid growth and trim these sections to maintain the style of beard you desire. That is why on a daily or weekly basis, some stray hairs seem to pop up out of nowhere. Be sure to also brush your beard into a uniform shape every day.

However, if it’s time for a full service on your beard, including a heavy trim and a line-up, it is vital to do it properly to keep it looking impeccable and also natural.

Hopefully we all know that the best time to shave your face is right after a hot shower or after a face cleanse. This is because the beard hairs have become much weaker as they have soaked up water and are now easier to cut. The same goes when trimming and shaping your beard.

Once you have moistened your face, pat your beard dry to remove excess water. Then take your beard comb or beard brush and brush your beard in order to detangle and direct the hairs in one direction. This should be the direction in which the hairs grow naturally so it’s nice and uniform.

Next, take your high quality clippers and choose your desired setting. If you aren’t sure what length you want to cut from, always start with a bigger setting and work your way down. Start trimming away, keeping a consistent technique and ensuring the angle of the clippers is unchanged throughout.

Once you start approaching the edge of your beard, there are some guides to go by to keep your beard in shape. One important function of the beard is to accentuate your jawline. Therefore, when lining up the bottom of your beard, envision a curve around the neck from ear to ear that also runs just above your Adam’s apple or a width of two fingers under the chin. Clean up the underside of your neck using the lowest setting of your clippers, shaving away from the beard.

When cleaning and contouring your cheeks, a guide to follow is to establish a line along the cheek bone where the hairs start to thin out. This line should start from your side burns and meet the edges of your moustache or the corners of your mouth. Again, using the lowest setting of your clippers, trim above this line away from your beard.

man shaving the cheek lines on his beard


To properly clean up these edges, it is a good idea to take a sharp razor and get a close shave outside your beard. However, what you don’t want to happen is to cut into the beard, past the edges, and take out a chunk of hair. To avoid this situation, use a shave oil or a transparent shave gel. These products are clear when applied so you can see all the stubble you want to shave off that you wouldn’t usually see if you had to use shaving cream. Apply a gel or an oil to the edges of the beard and follow the same cheek and jaw lines with the razor. As always, make sure your stubble is moist and run the razor under hot water for a few seconds to ensure a close, non-irritating shave.

Remember, no two beards are the same and therefore you should sculpt your beard the way you feel comfortable with. For example if your beard makes your head look round and puffy, make sure to shape it with straighter edges to make your jaw really defined.

If you follow this general guide, you can tweak parts your beard routine to make it specific to your face and keep it looking fresh between the ears.

Other articles you might find interesting:

1. How to get the perfect shave with shave oil.

2. Tips for patchy beards

3. The lesser known way that barbers transform their customers


Author: John Porreca

Image credits: Charlidos (Tumblr) & Pinterest


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