Beard Trimming: How To Trim A Beard? (The Ultimate Guide from A to Z)

Beard Trimming
Sander van de BaardmanBy Sander - The Beardmen
Updated on 22 May 2023

Trimming your beard is one of the most important aspects of beard care. The Beard Man can well imagine that it’s hard to say goodbye to those beard hair you’ve worked so hard for: we’ve been there!

But don’t worry, you’re not trimming off your manhood. After all, a groomed beard is what makes you a real man, so it doesn’t matter if it’s a little shorter.

The Beard Man takes good beard grooming seriously: in this guide, you’ll find exactly what you need to trim your facial hair in the best way possible.

Why trim your beard?

First of all, you want to present yourself with a well-groomed beard. Beard hair sometimes grow in all directions and is (often) not the same length – which can quickly become unkempt. That’s because your beard hair grows at different speeds, causing uneven beard growth. Grabbing the trimmer or beard scissors in time will keep your beard looking sleek.

Good preparation is half the battle

It is important that you have the right tools at home for trimming. The most important thing you need is time. Trimming your beard when you are in a hurry is a very bad idea and you will never forgive yourself when things go wrong. Trimming your beard takes about 20-45 minutes.

Beard trimming tools: What do you need?

Beard trimmer

This one does all the hard work and allows you to shave off unwanted beard growth. Think about your neckline and jawline.

Beard scissors

With beard scissors you can easily trim your whiskers. These often grow in all directions and a beard trimmer works more subtly than a beard trimmer.

Comb or brush

Before shaving, brush or comb your beard into shape. After shaving and washing, do it again. This will ensure that the beard continues to grow in the right direction.

Soft brush

Use this to brush away beard hairs afterwards. You can do this in the shower, but a brush is easier to use.

Beard oil

After trimming, your beard and the underlying skin can use some care. Lubricate your beard and skin well with beard oil. This will keep your skin from getting irritated and your beard hair from feeling soft again.


After trimming your beard, it is always a good idea to wash it. You do this with a shampoo. Using a conditioner is recommended if you smear greasy products in your hair.

If you want to style the beard hair after shaving then choose a beard serum or a beard wax. Beard wax is a little firmer, making it easier to style your facial hair. However, you do need a conditioner to wash it out, whereas a beard serum is easier to rinse.

Determine desired length & style

You want to have a plan and not just start impulsively. But to what length do you want to trim?

Trim length:

  • Sideburns: smaller than 0.1 mm
  • Stubble: 0.1 to 3 mm
  • Short beard: 3 mm to 10 mm
  • Long beard: 10 mm to 40+ mm

Beard trimming: Up to where do you shave your beard?

How far you shave your beard depends very much on the desired style you’re going for. Up to where you shave your beard has a big impact on the final look. Think about this carefully.

Basically, it works like this:

  • Is the neckline too high? Then it looks like you only have hair on your cheeks.
  • If the neckline is too low, it will look like a neck beard.

Tip: Turn your head back slightly and place your finger just above your Adam’s apple. This is the natural dividing line of your beard and neck. Place your trimmer at this point and trim down from there.

Wet or dry shave?

Did you know that your beard hair is longer when wet? So don’t trim your beard when it’s wet. Chances are your beard will be shorter than you wanted. For best results, wet your skin slightly and leave the beard dry. With wet skin, your pores will remain open, making it easier to trim your beard lines.

Beard trimming tips: important factors to know

Before we begin our step-by-step plan for shaving your beard and mustache, we have a few tips for best results.

  • Take your time: you’ve worked hard for your beard or mustache. Take the time to trim it: hair that once trimmed, you won’t get back for a while. Avoid regrets by preparing properly, having a style or length in mind and taking the time to trim your beard.
  • Double-check the beard trimmer: look carefully to see which cap is on it and if it matches the desired beard length.
  • Trim in stages: take is easy! If you plan to shave off 5 mm, start with 2 mm first and see how it goes from there. You may encounter bald spots. If you find these in time, you can still trim around them so that the long beard hair falls over them.
  • Comb your hair into shape: before you start trimming, first comb your beard into the desired shape. This will help you know which direction to trim in.
  • Take it easy: A trimmer has sharp blades. Always trim carefully, especially around your upper lip.

Step by step beard trimming!

Let’s start trimming. The following steps will ensure that your beard is always properly trimmed.

  1. Wash your beard and then dry it well. Make sure that the underlying skin remains somewhat moist.
  1. Comb the entire beard in the right direction. Make sure you comb all the knots out of your beard hair.
  1. Define the neck line, jawline and the line on your cheeks and chin. Up to the line, trim smooth on the lowest setting. Always trim in the same direction as the hair grows.
  1. Brush and trim your whiskers with scissors. Cutting your whiskers works better than shaving or trimming: with cutting, you have more control.
  1. Now it’s time to trim the entire beard. Make sure you use the right trimming cap that matches your desired length. Avoid trimming your beard too short by working in stages. For uneven beard growth, you can also use scissors. Trimming is more subtle.
  1. Remove all hair with a soft brush or towel. Use beard oil to soften the hair. Want to style your beard hair? Then opt for a beard serum.

What if you don’t have a full beard?

Not everyone has a full beard right away. Getting a full beard can sometimes take up to 6 months. But how do you trim when you don’t have such a facial feature?

The most important thing is to proceed carefully. Sometimes it can be better just to use scissors. You then trim away the longer hair. As The Beard Man often says: with clipping, you have more control.

Conclusion: if you do not yet have a full beard, it is especially important to address uneven beard growth and update your beard lines. That way, your beard will always look groomed and neat.

Beard Trimmer, Shaver or Clippers?

Despite the fact that a beard trimmer, shaver and clipper are often mentioned in the same breath, they are completely different products.

  • Beard trimmer: this works best when you want to shorten your beard hair. It gives you more control over the length of your beard.
  • Shaver: a shaver is suitable for smoothing or shortening your body hair.
  • Clippers: this is often a larger device and mainly meant for head hair.

Frequently asked questions

The Beard Man is here to help! Is your question not here? Read our blog articles or send your specific question to The Beard Man mailbox.

What is beard trimming?

Trimming is shortening your beard hair. In other words, you’re not shaving them off completely as you would with a razor.

Can you trim your beard with clippers?

This is possible in itself, but a beard trimmer often works better because it is smaller in size. The beard area is often small, so with a beard trimmer you have more control.

What is the best way to keep my beard trimmed?

First determine the length and style. Wet your skin, but keep your beard hair dry. Start by shaving the beard lines and then trim your beard. Afterwards, use a beard oil to soften your beard again.

When to trim your beard for the first time?

Different lengths make a beard look unkempt. So you start trimming your beard when you spot beard hair that is longer than the rest of the hair.

In which direction do you trim your beard?

You always trim in the same direction as your beard grows. It is not recommended to trim against the direction of beard growth.