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How To Trim and Shape a Long Beard

How To Trim and Shape a Long Beard

Growing out a long beard that’s totally unique to you is no small feat. However, the war for the best beard possible never ends. Maintaining those glorious whiskers takes time and dedication — and the next big battle is trimming and shaping your facial hair.

Sure, you’ve trimmed and shaped your facial hair in the past. Maybe you’ve faded your stubble. Perhaps you’ve shaped up a full goatee beard. Trimming and shaping a long beard is a whole different beast, though, and we’re here to teach you exactly how to tame that beast.

Trimming and shaping the mane on your face is best when you have an experienced guide by your side. Luckily for you, The Beard Club is here to hold your hand through the process so that you come out the other end with a sophisticated, manly beard. 

Today, we’ll cover a range of topics, including how-to guides on trimming and shaping as well as the pros and cons of using scissors versus beard trimmers.

Let’s dive beard-first into some shark-infested waters: the trimming and shaping process. We promise you’ll be thankful you checked in with us before trying to swim with the sharks alone.

How To Trim a Long Beard at Home

Just as every man has his reasons for growing out a beard in the first place, every man also has his reasons for deciding to try to trim and shape it. This could be for aesthetics, hygiene, or plain comfort.

The appearance of your face is the first thing people notice when they meet you. Maybe you’re going for an interview, trying to get that date, or maybe you just want to feel better than ever about how you look. Trimming and shaping can be the means to these ends.

Perhaps you love your beard but are getting sick of the hygiene requirements that come along with it. You might be at the point when bits of food or lint, or dandruff are frequent flyers in your facial hair, leaving you in constant need of a thorough scrub. 

Before taking the plunge, we suggest learning more about beard care, but if you’re tired of all the maintenance, then a beard trim is certainly in order.

Finally, you may want a bit of comfort on your face for once. Longer beards can get in the way of many daily activities, and they quickly grow uncomfortable if you have a tendency toward beard dandruff or oily skin. A groomed beard is a comfier beard.

Now that you know why you might want to trim your long beard, let’s get into some tool comparisons so that you know you have the right gear for the job.

How To Trim a Long Beard With Clippers

The tools of the trade are all similar in the sense that they’ll cut your hair, but they vary in their approach and results. Beard-trimming tools come in different shapes and sizes, but there are two main ways to trim your beard. We’ll begin with a rundown on clippers — synonymous with precision trimmers.

Trimmers are continually growing in popularity because they’re a quick and easy way to maintain your facial hair. You don’t need any barber experience to turn the trimmer on and shave away, so it’s an ideal tool for a busy guy.

That being said, a trimmer requires precision and care. One false move could take a chunk out of your beard, so you want to be steady-handed and careful when trimming with an electric trimmer. 

Here’s our guide to using clippers:

  • Comb out your beard so there are no tangles that can catch in the trimmer.

  • Think about the length you want to achieve and set the guard accordingly. Remember, you can always cut it shorter, so give yourself some room to work with.

  • Begin at your neckline and work towards your jaw and eventually your cheeks.

  • Once you think you’ve gotten the desired length all the way around, comb it out again to remove any loose hairs.

Like razors, a dull blade can do more harm than good, so be sure your trimmer isn’t worn out to the point where it will nick your skin. Even if you don’t nick yourself, a dull trimmer can destroy your hair strands and cause split ends. Sharp blades are essential for shaving safety!

How To Trim a Long Beard with Scissors

In direct contrast to clippers, trimming with beard-specific scissors is a slower, more fine-tuned process. 

The scissors naturally snip away a little bit at a time, so there’s minimal risk of slipping and taking a chunk of hair with you. However, trimming scissors require some careful handling as well, as they have sharp blades that are a far cry from the shears your grandma uses to snip yarn.

Trimming with scissors is for people with patience and steady hands, but anyone can learn both of those skills with time. Smaller snips can almost double the amount of time you’re spending in front of the mirror, but you’ll also get the most precise trim possible.

Here’s a key perk of trimming with scissors: rather than create split ends, beard scissors snip them away. It’s the perfect tool for a longer beard, too; if you’re keeping it long, you want precision on the edges, not a potential hack job with clippers. 

Here are some beard scissor routine tips:

  • Comb your beard out to make the uneven hair strands stand out.

  • Snip away the stragglers.

  • Now that your beard is even, judge how much length you want to trim, snipping away only a small amount at a time.

  • A clever way to measure a consistent trim length is to hold the beard hairs taut with your fingers and snip away the length of a fingernail to keep it consistent.

Like clippers and razors, a dull pair of scissors is no good on your beard. So, whatever you do, keep them sharp, and they’ll keep you looking sharp.

How To Shape a Long Beard at Home

What is better for shaping a beard? Clippers or scissors?

In our book, you need both. 

Using the benefits of an electric trimmer in tandem with the benefits of a pair of beard scissors gives you the best chance of achieving whatever style you’re set on. Any fade would be extremely difficult without clippers. At the same time, detailing a mustache without scissors is like making a paper snowflake with a chainsaw: the end result would be… unique.

Electric trimmers can take off large portions of your beard at a time with no problem, significantly cutting down the grooming time. They’re fantastic tools for lineups to get that crisp, clean businessman look.

Scissors, on the other hand, get rid of all those unwanted stragglers that make your previously pristine beard look like an overgrown front lawn. Scissors neatly round the corners of the beard if need be and get into those neck crevices a trimmer isn’t built for. 

So, for best results, pair a high-quality beard trimmer with a set of grooming shears, and you’re all set. Our beard care shop has you covered here.

A Sample Trimming and Shaping Routine

Here’s our advice: If you’re serious about your beard, it’s worth it to invest in high-quality tools. 

Once you have the right tools, follow this guide for shaping your long beard:

  1. Make sure your beard is nice and clean but not yet oiled or balmed.

  2. Choose the exact style you want and pull up a picture on your phone. Set your phone by your mirror for reference.

  3. Comb out your beard so all the hairs are fully extended.

  4. If you’re satisfied with the length, then use the scissors to snip away the stragglers poking out from the rest of the beard.

  5. If you want a shorter long beard, grab your electric trimmer and cut it down a small bit at a time.

  6. Use the scissors for more detailed shaping, especially to round out parts of the beard.

  7. Use the electric trimmer to line up or fade the edges and sideburns.

  8. Comb out the beard to remove loose hairs, then throw on that beard oil and beard balm for a polished, finalized look.

Looking Sharp

We love seeing your beards thrive. After all, it’s healthy to keep facial hair going! That’s why we’re always here with all the tips and tricks you need to keep your beard healthy and looking its best.

Whether you want that rugged look or a more business-casual beard, trimming and shaping are absolutely necessary. The best part of this whole process is that these regular grooming tactics can all be done from the comfort of your home. 


Keeping Your Pandemic Beard? Solve Skin Problems Caused by Your Facial Hair | Yale Medicine

Shaving (for Teens) | Nemours KidsHealth

Are Beards Good or Bad for Men’s Health? | University of Utah Health