How To Maintain Your Neckline When Growing a Beard
You can shape your beard all you want, but if you don’t deal with your neck hair, it’s going to stick out like a sore thumb.
Your neckline can make or break your look. Patchy spots, gray hair, and uneven lineups can easily ruin the hard work you’ve put into the rest of your beard, especially as you get older and your hair growth rate slows down.
But where do you even start with that pesky neck hair? It’s difficult to trim, shave, and shape due to the curves of your throat.
Few necklines can escape any neckline maintenance at all since beards like the creep down that way for whatever reason. Don’t be the guy whose beard melds with his chest hair… it has to stop somewhere.
We stick to the philosophy that it’s always necessary to trim or shave your neck hair. While a long beard will eventually cover it up, that’s months and years of a process to endure neck hair. The only situation in which you should grow out that hair is if you’re specifically going for a neck beard style. If that’s the case, there’s no judgment here!
So unless you’re going for some new-age Neanderthal style like Andrew Luck, there’s no reason to let that neck beard go wild. Quality regular beard maintenance includes a trim-up down the neck. Knowing the best tool or style can be a hassle, so we’ve put together a guide to get you through it if you’re new to the idea of not having a hairy neck.
Where Is the Neckline?
If you look in the mirror, it’s where your jaw meets your throat, but not out towards your chin; anything under your chin is essential for growing a longer beard. It’d behoove you to become familiar with the boundaries of your neck beard before attempting to trim, shave, or shape it.
This territory can look bad for a host of reasons. Hair here often grows in odd patterns or is even more patchy than normal. It’s also a hot zone for acne since we rub our necks in response to stress and nervousness. This leads to razor burn and beard rash.
If you’re not looking to fade your neck hair and instead want a hard line, a solid starting place is an inch above your Adam’s apple. The crease made beneath your double chin is a handy guiding line as well. You can also find the line by tracing from your earlobes down to the spot above your Adam’s apple.
If you’re rocking a chinstrap look, bring the neckline up higher to get that thin beard look beneath your chin. A bushier beard wants to leave the line a bit fuzzier to make it appear more natural.
Maintaining your neck hair is all about the side angle. We often forget that our side profile is frequently viewed by other people. We don’t think about it because it’s not an angle we can see in our mirror. Neck hair generally looks messy from the side, but a well-defined neckline can drastically improve your style.
More factors determine what it will look like, but this is a decent basic line-up. Anything underneath it needs to go. Let’s discuss what maintaining your neckline looks like.
Maintaining Your Neckline
To get a clean, business-like appearance, you can’t leave that neck hair unkempt.
Before anything else, go through your normal beard routine. Get everything in order of how you like it so that you’re not ruining the style you’ve cultivated. Take that warm shower to get your beard hair nice, soft, and ready to trim.
If your beard has any length to it, then make sure to brush it out with a beard brush. This will detangle the hairs and prep your beard’s shape for trimming. You can hold out on any oil or balm until after the trimming is complete.
Find the bottom of your neckline territory as described above. If you’re not quite sure, it’s always safest to go lower rather than higher. Once you see the result, you can easily trim more off, but it’ll take a while to grow your hair back (depending on your beard length) if you trim off too much.
Once all your preparation is finished, it’s time to select your weapons of war.
Best Tools for the Job
Trimming only takes a few tools, but each one is essential to get the precision of a barber and the style of a model. Consider buying these tools rather than borrowing them so that they’re always in your arsenal:
- Electric Trimmer: This is by far the most essential tool for taming the mane. Every beard deserves the loving, gentle touch of our PT45 Beard and Hair Trimmer.
- Beard Brush: As mentioned above, this is great for detangling your beard hair. It also helps stimulate growth and direct beard growth.
- Beard Comb: A completely necessary tool for shaping, styling, and trimming your beard.
- Beard Trimming Scissors: These are great for cutting down longer beards before trimming or to shape and style.
- Straight Edge Razor: Level up and use the professional grades razor that barbers use.
If you collect all these tools, you are set. They’ll make the following guide 100x easier to accomplish and get you well on your way to your best self.
- We discussed this in the section intro, but one of the most important pre-game tips for maintaining your neckline is getting that beard clean. Shower with some beard shampoo, and then GENTLY pat your beard dry.
- This is the time to grab your brush and comb to detangle your clean beard. Then style your beard as normal, but hold off on any oils, balms, or waxes.
- Use the trimmer to clear a line for reference. For bushier beards, keep the line low, and for chinstraps, take it higher. Always, always, always give yourself some leeway so that you don’t take off too much hair!
- If you’re going for a faded look, start with a longer guard for your trimmer. As you trim, switch guards a couple of times to cut shorter lengths on smaller strips of hair to get that slick beard fade on your neck.
- Take a deep breath and calm your heartbeat. Then use one hand to stretch your neck skin while you trim, beginning above your Adam’s apple. Trim with the grain and take it to a manageable length that can be shaved. Work from the reference line down slowly and gently.
- If you want a sharp look rather than a fade, grab your razor and clean up your neck. Use the reference line once again to shave. Line up the reference line itself so that it curves toward your ears.
- When lining up your beard at the corners of your jaw, you can either give yourself a square or rounded corner. A square corner helps oval and oblong facial structures, while a rounded corner helps a sharp jawline.
- Double-check everything. Rinse your face and neck with warm and cold water before patting dry and applying moisturizer, oil, and balm.
Tips and Tricks
There will be some variations in this guide depending on the style you’re specifically looking for, so we tried to make asides whenever it was necessary. The basic outline is clean, trim, shave, and styled. If you can remember those four terms, you’ll be in good shape, but knowing the tips and tricks can take your beard game to the next level.
A soft beard is a manageable beard, so don’t forget to wash it with warm water first. Never roughly dry your beard with a harsh towel or a blow-dryer on hot because that will cause you discomfort and dryness.
Make that reference line! It’s so easy to misjudge how much you need to cut off, so it’s better to be prepared. When making the line, be sure to keep it thin. And don’t forget to clean it up after you’re done with the neck hair.
When trimming to shave, it’s best to get your beard as short as possible. A loose guard or even no guard could do the trick, but be careful you don’t nick yourself. Go with the grain, not against it.
As cool as fades are, they do require a lot of upkeep, so keep that in mind. A regular short beard requires a lot of attention already, so consistently fading it can be quite the undertaking. It’s worth it, though, for the cool factor.
The more you try your hand at these neck hair-trimming techniques, the easier they’ll come. Confidence is key when dealing with your beard. Just take your time and be careful not to cut it too short. Unless you’re going for a Camillo Benso chinstrap beard, it can look a tad awkward.
Hairy necks are not ideal in the beard world: Maintain and upkeep that neckline. If you’re new to the world of beards, don’t stress! Every man can rock a different style. Just take your time, experiment with styles, and trust the professionals.
And you’ll have a clean neckline in no time.