Beard Care

How to trim a long beard and shape it up without ruining the style

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You started growing your beard and you just can’t get enough.

After only couple of weeks you have an inch or two of strong facial hair running wild beneath your chin. You feel proud and accomplished, I know the deal brother I’ve been there myself.

Best feeling in the world.


All you gotta do now is lay back, relax and wait for your mane to break the 10 inch barrier.

I’m sorry to inform you, but this ain’t happening any time soon.

If you’re not taking care of your beard the right way you’ll end up with a scruffy patch under your chin and battle problems like:

  • Beardruff,
  • Dry skin and hair,
  • No shape and funky direction,
  • Debris accumulation,
  • Weak texture,
  • Thin facial hair,
  • Inconstant color.

Don’t let this get to you.

All of these problems can be avoided by developing a beard grooming routine that fits your schedule.

The first thing you MUST do is start using beard oil.

Yeah, it’s that important.

Check out this detailed Beard Oil Guide to see why, hope it helps.

Now, for the second most important thing – BEARD TRIMMING.

Oil or balm or whatever you decide to go with, will keep your beard moisturized and will prevent tangling or split ends. It will surely make your beard looking good, but to achieve the best possible shape, you’re required to add the occasional trim to your regular grooming routine.

Each man needs to know how to brush and wash his beard, but a trim makes a huge difference.

Brushing and washing make a huge difference and can only enhance the effect of the beard oil you’re using, so if you want to learn how to train your facial hair in the direction you want, just check this guide filled with tips from my own experience:

Let’s get back on track and talk about trimming.

The first advice I can provide is that you choose scissors before electric clippers, and here’s the reason why:

facial hair electric trimmer razor difference in cut
Microscopic depiction of the difference between using a razor and an electric trimmer when shaving.

You see how a razor gives a clean cut while an electronic clipper or trimmer just tears apart the tip of your facial hair. There’s a huge difference between the two and I would suggest you use either a razor or scissors if you’re not that skilled with your hands.

I’ve personally decided to go with scissors and didn’t regret the decision. You’ll need a pair of high quality hair cutting and thinning shears if you want to avoid a bushy look.

thinning cutting scissors
Your personal trimming kit.

Now, you’re ready to roll.

How to trim your long beard with scissors

My beard was a mess.

I didn’t want to make it even worse, so I asked my girlfriend to thin it down and take care of all the split ends with a pair of scissors from her family’s barbershop.

To give you a better understanding of what I accomplished I outlined the biggest problems I faced on the left and how I addressed them while trimming my beard.

beard care guide

Biggest Beard Problems

After months of growing, my beard just didn’t look like I envisioned.

I must admit it was mostly my fault as I didn’t even use oil that much during this period. Not to mention the lack of brushing and trimming. It was mostly washing and some coconut butter every now and then.

This led to the creation of the following problems:

[mk_image heading_title=”No Shape” src=”” image_size=”full” frame_style=”single_line” desc=”After months of just not giving a damn my beard started speaking up. There was no clear shape, my facial hair started tangling up and just when I thought things couldn’t get worse I started developing some nasty split ends.” caption_location=”outside-image” align=”center” margin_bottom=”2″][mk_image heading_title=”Tangled Hair” src=”” image_size=”full” frame_style=”single_line” desc=”I had the length, but what good did that do when it was swirling back to my neck. After reading a little bit about ingrown hair I decided it was time to shape up this beast and get rid of all the split ends.” caption_location=”outside-image” align=”center” margin_bottom=”2″][mk_image heading_title=”No Volume” src=”” image_size=”full” frame_style=”single_line” desc=”No matter how dense my beard was, it didn’t have the necessary volume and texture to look great. It looked more like a stack of hay was unwillingly placed beneath my lips. That’s certainly a look you’ll want to avoid. Although a trim was needed at this point, I could’ve easily avoided this by just using some natural oil as a part of my grooming routine.” caption_location=”outside-image” align=”center” margin_bottom=”2″][mk_image heading_title=”Weak Texture & Dry Hair” src=”” image_size=”full” frame_style=”single_line” desc=”Not caring for your beard will leave you with dry hair that starts accumulating debris on your skin. This on the other hand leads to change in pigmentation and you end up with lots of yellow patches on your beard. Remember, washing is a huge part of your beard grooming habits.” caption_location=”outside-image” align=”center” margin_bottom=”2″][mk_image heading_title=”Split Ends” src=”” image_size=”full” frame_style=”single_line” desc=”Example of those nasty split ends and tangled hair patches I’m talking about. This is the main reason why I lost so much length from my beard.” caption_location=”outside-image” align=”center” margin_bottom=”2″][mk_image heading_title=”Wavy Direction” src=”” image_size=”full” frame_style=”single_line” desc=”It was not enough that I have a scruffy looking dry beard, I couldn’t even get the direction right. This problem is solved with regular brushing and air-drying. Do this at least once every couple of weeks or for special occasions.” caption_location=”outside-image” align=”center” margin_bottom=”2″]

You see the length I needed to sacrifice to fix all the split ends and tangled hair problems I had?

Learn from my mistakes.

Scissor Trimming Guide

Deciding to go with scissors instead of an electric trimmer was supported by my belief how electric devices really mess up your facial hair and tear it apart.

This would lead to more split ends and not solve the tangled hair issue. Trimmer is clearly the easier option if you can accept its damaging effect.

My main goal was to thin my beard and shape it up so it has that square full beard look, while getting rid of split ends and preventing tangling in the future.

[mk_image heading_title=”Outline for desired shape” src=”” image_size=”full” frame_style=”single_line” desc=”Start by lining out the shape you’re after. The first stop is the outer line of your beard that follows your sideburns.” caption_location=”outside-image” align=”center” margin_bottom=”2″][mk_image heading_title=”Don’t Pull” src=”” image_size=”full” frame_style=”single_line” desc=”Don’t pull your beard while cutting. Just brush it down after every cut as you want to keep a straight line.” caption_location=”outside-image” align=”center” margin_bottom=”2″][mk_image heading_title=”Fade Down” src=”” image_size=”full” frame_style=”single_line” desc=”Use your fingers to fade your beard from short to long, depending from the style you’re after.” caption_location=”outside-image” align=”center” margin_bottom=”2″][mk_image heading_title=”Thin Up” src=”” image_size=”full” frame_style=”single_line” desc=”Get wild with the thinning shears and don’t be afraid to cut down those tangled hair splits beneath your chin. ” caption_location=”outside-image” align=”center” margin_bottom=”2″]

After you’re done with all of that you’ll need to carefully revisit your work and pay attention to detail. The biggest problem areas you need to watch out on are your:

  • Neckline,
  • Jawline,
  • Cheek-line
  • Fade.

beard fade
Make sure your beard is thinner on the top and longer on the bottom, so you achieve a nice faded look.

Your jawline should follow a straight line, but you can decide where it will meet your neckline.

The neckline is also defined by the line that connects your sideburns with your beard, so be extra careful when shaping up this area.

Good rule of thumb is that the bottom of your beard is parallel with the ground and the neckline with the wall.

Beard Trimming Before & After

I believe the trim solved most of my problems, but there was still room to improve the look of my beard. That’s why I started applying beard oil regularly and using a boar bristle brush to take care of those wavy patches.

Here’s the thing you’ve all been waiting for, the before and after results:

beard trimming before and after
The desired shape is here, now let’s take care of strength and texture.

If you have any questions about the whole trimming process or you just want to say hi, don’t be afraid to fill up the comment section and send us a message through our contact page.

Here’s a nice video trimming guide for the brothers among you that rock a medium beard.

When in doubt beard it out! If you don't know how, make sure to follow my blog, cuz I'm just another bearded man in this World.

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