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How to Trim a Long Beard: Four Ways to Rein in a Big Beard Yourself

Growing hair on your chin has been a popular practice since, well, forever. Even the hottest Hollywood stars that you know opt to grow beards so that they have a more stylish look on camera.

Having a beard can help improve your appearance and even boost your confidence when it comes to interacting with the opposite sex. So growing one can be a life-changing decision.

But if you are thinking about growing out your beard, you will need to know how to take care of it, including when and how to trim it.  As your beard gets longer, there will be more to do to take care of it.  How to trim a long beard is an important skill to learn.

When it comes to trimming a long beard, there are two things you can do: you can have an expert to take care of it for you, or you can learn how to trim it by yourself. If you don’t want to spend too much time and money going back and forth to your barber, then follow these easy and safe tips and advice we offer here.

When to Trim Your Beard

Grooming your facial hair is a basic routine that you need to follow if you want to look presentable and clean. If you are growing your hair for the first time, you might notice that the hair is a bit uneven.

The general rule of thumb is to grow your beard at least four weeks before you touch it  Four weeks in is the ideal time to cut and shape your beard since it is the point where it’s getting long, and you can really see how it will look.

How to Trim a Long Beard — 4 Things to Keep in Mind

Once you are tired of having a long beard, you might opt to trim the bushes and get it into shape. Also, there will be times when you are busy or traveling, and you won’t have time to go to a barbershop. So it is an important skill to know how to trim your beard on your own.

Note that, for the first couple of times that you trim your longer beard, it may be best to go to the barber.  They will be able to recommend what shape is best for your face and give you a base from which to work.

But once you are ready to do it yourself, here are four ways showing you how to trim a long beard.

1. Keep Your Beard Clean and Soft

The most important preparation before any of these steps is to wash your facial hair. This will help remove dust, bacteria, and any unwanted odors from your skin and facial hair. Cleaning also acts as a moisturizer on your face and helps avoid beard dandruff!

To start, wash your facial hair with a beard shampoo. If not available, you can use a mild, regular shampoo. Rinse your beard with water until all residue is removed. Lastly, pat your beard with a clean hand towel to dry. Patting your beard dry is recommended rather than drying vigorously because it is less harsh on the skin.

2. Brush Your Beard

After drying your beard, brush out the hair strands with a beard comb, making the hair stand out. Make sure to hold your beard hair perpendicular to your face and run the comb from below your chin to the ends. Then, gently brush your hair from one side to the other. Doing so will make it easier for you to trim the hair and will emphasize the uneven length, showing you where to cut and trim. This will give you a head start on where you should focus when cutting your beard. If no resistance occurs, then you are ready to proceed to the next step.

3. Shaping Your Long Beard

Trimming your beard is an art. You have to know the right details and angles before you begin. To proceed, make sure that you are facing a mirror. You should also have a hair clipper for trimming, an edge trimmer for final touches, as well as a beard brush. Here are our choices of the best beard trimmers for long beards.

Side to Side

Trim the sides of your beard on both cheeks. Create a wall by clipping this area with adjustable clippers. You will start on the left side of your face and angle your clippers downward instead of upwards. Hold the metal face at the same angle as the side of your head. Ensure that you are always working downwards with your beard; this will help you easily adjust your cut to your desired length.

To clean up your beard, try to cut the flyaway hairs or the hair that sticks out to make it even. Be careful not to push the trimmer too closely onto your face to avoid shaving everything off.

Groom the Side

When you are done with your left cheek, take your brush and comb your beard downward. This will make your beard looks neat and proportionate.

Repeat Side to Side

Follow the same steps on your right cheek and repeat the grooming steps until you are satisfied with the results.

Front of Beard

After trimming both sides of your cheeks, continue to the front of your beard.  This includes the hair on your chin and below it. Begin by brushing your beard downwards. Next, with your clippers, take a single gentle pass over the top of your beard from top to bottom, making sure that your hand is steady when you’re using the clippers to prevent cutting off more of your beard than you wish.

Underside of Beard

This part of your beard needs to be cleaned too. It should follow the same angle as your side cheeks to create a more defined, clean beard shape. To do this, tilt your head back and hold the clippers out and upright with the teeth facing towards you. Draw the clippers straight back from the bottom of the beard towards your neck, aiming for your Adam’s apple.

Repeat this action while carefully aligning the length and angle of your beard while creating a more natural look. Comb the hair down to untangle it, and do your adjustments at the same time.

4. Redefine Your Outline

Check your sideburns and cheeks, the neck under your jaw, and your lips to properly outline the details of your beard.

Side to Side Cheeks

To make sure you have everything in place, check both of your side cheeks. A lot of men choose a curved line. However, if you have a wider face, it’s best to opt for a straight line, making your face appear smaller.

Move the trimmer upside down with the teeth pointed down to your cheeks. Form a line, and then shave upwards to eliminate the hair above the line. Make sure that they are balanced on both sides or do adjustments if not.

Neck and Jawline

Make a U-shape by trimming behind the ears while pulling your beard forward with your other hand. Cut a U-shape along the edge of your beard and down to your jaw. Hold your clippers, pulling the teeth back across the neck with each motion. Repeat this on the opposite side.

On your jawline, tilt your head back and outline your beard towards your Adam’s apple. Repeat this step once a week to outline the new hair growth and avoid having an unruly look.

Lip Line

It is a good idea to give your mustache a curved shape on your top lip to complement your beard below. Turn your beard trimmer on its side to use only a few teeth while trimming. Begin in the center and roll towards the outside under your bulky mustache, going to the corner of your mouth. Your bottom lip should be visible. Reverse the trimmer and do the same technique on the other side. Comb your beard and check if you need any adjustments.

Wrapping It Up

When you are done, simply re-wash your beard, put on your favorite beard oil, and pat it down with a clean hand towel, and you are good to go!

The above instructions may sound like a lot of work, but once you get the hang of it the process will be quick and simple.  And remember, you only need to do this once per month — though you might want to trim the edges of your beard weekly.

The skill of how to trim a long beard on your own is very helpful and will save you tons of time and money in the long run.

Hi I'm Steve, and I've been trimming men's hair and beards for 6 years now. Many guys ask me about beard styles, how to grow a better beard, and how to take care of their beards. I share my techniques here in this blog.

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