How Do I Trim My Beard? How to Trim Your Beard

by Nicholas Karnaze May 26, 2016 1 Comment

How to trim your beard


Your beard game is strong. That epic man mane is coming in nicely...but, the situations is starting to get a bit, err...hairy. In today’s professional environment, proper beard care is key. While a strong beard is a sign of authority and masculinity, if allowed to go native it can signal to others that you do not care about your appearance, are undisciplined, or worse. Since different parts of your beard grow at different rates, trimming the beard allows for its true majesty to be realized. So, now the question becomes: how do I trim my beard?

If this is your first go, I’d recommend finding a beard savvy barber to walk you through your first trim. They can help you determine what is the best style/shape for your beard relative to your face. Here is where you can read our blog post about what to ask your barber when you go in for a trim.

For those looking to go it alone, here is how to rock a solo beard trim. First, the basics:

Symmetry is the name of the game. Above all else, your beard needs to be symmetrical.

Beard length: This is totally personal preference. From light stubble to full wizard, it is whatever you are most comfortable. Your beard is a reflection of you, not of society or popular norms.

Unless you are an extra for Vikings, your beard and chest hair shall never form one continuous growth. You should always shave your neck. Now, your bead may extend down to your chest, but if you lift up your beard, you should not see a northern “happy trail.”

Scissors or clippers? The traditionalist will tell you to always use scissors. While I am a romantic and like this idea, it is simply not practical for me. I have a lot of thick territory to cover, and not much time. Personally, I use clippers with no guard. That’s right, no protection. I like to live dangerously. I wasn’t always this way. When I was still in the stubble/short beard phase, I used guards to ensure beard symmetry. If you are using guards, I’d recommend starting with the largest guard you have and then work your way down. You can always trim your beard more, but you can't put it back.

Generally speaking, keep the sides of your beard shorter than your lower beard. By this, I mean the area extending down from your sideburns to the top of your jaw.

Side beards tend to poof out, causing your face to look wide and detract from the rest of your beard and handsome mug. Keep it tight and it will highlight the main part of your beard.


How to Trim Freehand


1. Brush out your beard in a downward motion. This will cause your beard to lay all in one direction so that you are trimming on a level playing field.  


Brush your beard | stubble & 'stache 


2. When you are ready to trim, trim your beard in a downward motion. Error on the side of caution. Start slow and trim the longer, outlying whiskers first.


How to trim your beard | stubble & 'stache


3. Take time to trim, brush, then trim again. Slowly work your way down from sideburns to jawline.

4. Once you get to the base of your beard, it is time to decide if you want to trim that as well...or to continue growing it long. At the very least, shape up any stray growth. By this I mean if you have some whiskers that are outpacing the rest of your beard, get them in line. This will also help your beard look thicker. I hold the trimmers perpendicular to the base of my beard and trim back toward my neck.


How to trim below your chin | stubble & 'stache

5. Once you are done, take a good long look in the mirror and brush it out a few times. Look for any strays or irregularities.

6. As a final step, you can trim your mustache if you so desire. I like to use a smaller trimmer head for this aspect. If that is not an option, you can use the edge of your trimmer.

How to trim your mustache | stubble & 'stache

7. Once you are done, wash your beard. The next day, brush out your beard and see how it flows. If you need, bust out the trimmers and do a little clean up.


Once your beard is at your desired length, trimming becomes much easier. I touch my beard up about once every week and a half.


And with that, go forth and do great things!




stubble & 'stache was founded by a former Marine Corps Special Operations Combat Veteran in memory of his fallen comrade. We donate a percentage of profits to organizations supporting those men and women suffering from the mental wounds sustained in combat.

Nicholas Karnaze
Nicholas Karnaze


Warfighter turned entrepreneur. Founder, stubble & 'stache. Grooming expert. Skincare nerd. Marine Corps combat veteran.

1 Response


July 04, 2017

This is such a great site. Congratulations!

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