When you start growing a beard, you might have to suffer through a few awkward stages in order to get a desired look. (Especially if the beard isn’t as thick as you’d like.) But once it coats your face and starts growing bulky, you need to trim the hedges a bit. Even if you’re growing it out. Scratch that. Especially if you’re growing it out.
That may seem counterproductive: Why do you need to trim your beard if the goal is length? It’s the same reason you should get haircuts while you grow your hair down to your shoulders: Periodic maintenance helps maintain shape, and prevents you from looking dystopian while you inch ever closer toward bushy-beard utopia.
Trust us: Your beard will grow just as fast if you trim it along the way. Follow these specific tips to keep it looking tip-top the entire while.
Always clean and comb it
Never trim your beard if it’s oily, covered in product, dirty, or wet. You should only tend to it in its cleanest, freshest state so that you have an accurate idea of how long the hairs are, and which areas need the most attention. So, after using a beard wash, comb it into place and let it dry. This will get you close to the style you wear permanently, sans product, making it ready for a trim.
This sounds crazy but use scissors instead of clippers
The reason you won’t compromise your beard’s length is because you’re really just spot-checking it. Instead of taking some clippers and mowing over everything, you’re gonna take beard or mustache scissors (they’re the same thing) and snip away at anything too straggly or too annoyingly out of place. It’s that easy.
Except the neckline and cheek lines - use clippers for that
You’ll still need those clippers, though, because they’ll be necessary for maintaining the neckline and the cheeks. (You can shave them with a bladed razor, too, of course.) This, in our opinion, is the most important way to keep your beard looking orderly as it grows. Snatch those edges!
If you’re unsure where to trim the neckline, it’s simple: Take your index and middle finger, and place them directly above your Adam’s apple. Imagine a “U” shape being drawn from behind each ear, meeting at this point above your fingers. Everything below this imaginary “U” goes. Everything above it stays.
Nourish that guy
Regardless of whether or not you’re growing the beard or maintaining one length, you need to nourish the beard. This keeps it soft, pliable, and healthy. It promotes the healthy, fast growing hair, too. Try a few drops of beard oil, applied to a clean dry beard. This will also condition the skin beneath your beard, which can get parched. Oftentimes an oil works as a light-hold style by coaching strays into place, but if you need something stronger, try a taming balm (like our favorite, from Brothers Artisan Oil), which nourishes the hair while also holding it in place.
Snip any last strays
Once it’s styled, the beard will again show you *if * and where it needs any additional trimming. Take your scissors and snip at any strays. It’s impressive that they made it this far in the regimen without getting noticed, but if they refuse to be softened and styled, they need to go.