Beard trimming: everything you need to know

Baard trimmen: alles wat je moet weten

There are men who look their best with a wild, unkempt beard that goes all over the place. If you are completely happy with such a natural primal beard: good for you! For the majority of men, however, trimming the beard yourself (or having it trimmed) from time to time gives a neater, more attractive and more practical result.

A wrong swipe with trimming can quickly undo a few weeks of your beard growth. Don't want to shave your beard? Then make sure you don't trim a bite out of your beard. If you want to be sure that you get a top result, make the risk of accidents as small as possible and read up.

Most people know the difference between shaving and trimming, but we will explain it briefly. When you trim, you wiggle your hair a little shorter. Not 'cut to the skin' like a razor does. If you trim your beard, you will have a well-groomed beard at the end. Are you going to shave? Then you don't have a beard anymore.

If you know what you're doing with trimming, you can enjoy a symmetrical and maintained beard and work towards your desired end result faster. Read the step by step process below.

beard trimmer


Why trim your beard?

Trimming your beard is important for several reasons. It not only provides a neat, well-groomed look, but also keeps your beard healthy. Regular trimming removes split ends and prevents dirt and residue from building up. In short, trimming your beard helps you look and feel your best!


Step 1: Preparation

The best preparation for a good trim is to take a shower first. This causes your pores to open wide. This will make shaving your cheeks and neckline much easier. Clean your beard with a beard shampoo , this makes it easier to shave the hair. In this way, the beard trimmer or scissors glide more smoothly through the hair, without getting caught in dried out hair. Do not use beard oil , because it reduces the grip of your tools on the hair.


best beard trimmer


Step 2: Brush your beard

Now you are going to brush your beard with a beard brush . If all hairs point more or less in the same direction, you get a more balanced result and cutting and trimming is easier. Do you prefer to use a comb? Then use a wooden or metal beard comb , as these do not make your hair static.


Step 3: Trim your beard

Then it's time to grab the trimmer. Make sure you determine in advance what length your beard should get. Don't immediately set your beard trimmer to bald, but start with a setting that you think is about the same length as your beard hair - and see what effect trimming your beard has on this setting. This way you can estimate how much length the trimmer removes from your beard.

Most men use a longer length on their chin and a shorter one on their cheeks. This way you create a natural, sloping beard model. Which setting you use on your whiskers depends on the beard model you want to work towards.

Pay attention when you use a new beard trimmer. The settings of every trimmer are different - if you used setting 3 on your old trimmer, you can get a cold fair if you blindly do the same with your new device.

Always make sure your beard is dry. Moist beard hairs are longer than dry beard hairs! Then you should definitely not trim them. The result may be that you suddenly trim your beard too short.


How do you use a trimmer?

Take the charged trimmer in your hand and put the comb attachment in the desired position and start trimming. Trimming for the first time? Then put it on the longest setting so that you can first see what effect you get. During beard trimming you can shorten the trim setting until you have reached the desired position.

If you remove the comb attachment, you can easily line edges of your beard with the sharp teeth of your trimmer so that you can give the finishing touch with your razor afterwards.

NB! You have to think carefully about the right length of your beard. If you trim too short, you will be weeks further before the beard is back on level. So caution is important. That is why the following mnemonic is very useful:


Beard trimmer setting:

  • Stubble beard: 0.1mm - 3mm
  • Short beard: 3mm - 10mm
  • Long beard: 10mm - 40+mm


Beard trimming tips

Shave against the hair growth: Trim against the hair growth of your beard with your beard trimmer. This way you grab the entire beard and ensure that your sideburns merge smoothly into your beard.

Provide sharp material: You've probably shaved with a dull knife or razor. Then you know how annoying that was and how much effort it took. Beard hairs are made of keratin – the same material your nails are made of. So solid stuff. It is therefore very important to use sharp tools for trimming the beard. Good beard scissors stay sharp for a long time, the blades of your trimmer don't stay that way: they wear out quite quickly, especially if you update your beard (almost) daily. The blades of the trimmer should therefore be replaced at least every six months (preferably every three months).


perch scissors


Step 4: Trim whiskers and loose hair

What do you use a beard scissors for? For starters, to straighten the bottom of your mustache. This is a job that requires good mastery - don't get too excited. Scissors are also usually sharper than a beard trimmer, so you can quickly cut the wobbly hairs on your upper lip in half.

You also use the scissors to cut hair that remains after the trim. You know, those stubborn hairs that still don't want to be shortened after going over your beard three times. No problem - with the sharp beard scissors those hairs will be gone in no time.


Step 5: Trim your neckline

A neck beard is more often a term of abuse than a popular beard style. You will probably want to shave the bottom of your chin and neck completely. For this you use a shaver or trimmer, or better yet, a razor.

A good height to shave your beard at the bottom is between three points. Stand in front of the mirror and imagine a circular line running from ear to ear. In the middle, this line, one to three fingers thick, crosses above your Adam's apple. Of course, the exact line depends on the beard style you have in mind.

Carefully shave the underside of your beard, trying to keep the line as straight as possible. Regularly check in the mirror to make sure your work is still symmetrical – but don't wildly overcompensate if you go crooked. Before you know it, you'll be shaving your beard to above your jawline, and you'll start whining.

You can also try playing with the different settings or attachments of your trimmer and make a natural, gradual transition from your beard to your bald neck. That requires some practice, but can give a very nice result. Do you really want such a transition, but you don't have the skills to make it yourself? Then a trip to the barber is a must!


how to trim a beard


Step 6: Shave your cheek line

You can also limit your beard on your cheeks with a shave. You use the same tools for this as for your neck, so a beard trimmer, shaver or razor with gel or foam - you have to find out what works best for you.

Again, draw an imaginary line in the mirror. Where it lies again depends on the result you have in mind. Shave gently and make that straight or curved line. Here too, you can try to make a transition with different settings of your trimmer or shaver.


beard shaper


Step 7: Contour your beard with a beard shaper

Want to update your beard to perfection? Beard shapers can help you get your beard neater and easier to style. Especially for the two difficult jobs above (neck and cheek line) a beard shaper can give a much nicer result than if you get started freehand.

You choose a beard shaper with a shape that matches your desired beard line. Many shapers have multiple sides, so you can also alternate as your beard grows out. Hold the shaper in place with one hand and use your other hand to trim the beard along the shaper.


Step 8: Finishing the trim

After trimming, first remove loose hairs from the trimmer so that they can't further dull your blades. Then you simply clean the beard trimmer under the warm tap and let it dry well. Remove any attachments first.

You comb your beard or wipe it with a soft brush from loose hairs. By combing or brushing again you can also see if there are hairs sticking out that you need to touch up with the scissors.

Finally, do some skin and beard care. You can relax your facial skin by rinsing or dabbing it with cold water. This closes the pores again and prevents irritation from the sharp blades. You can also treat your skin (again) with a moisturizing aftershave to prevent irritation (the infamous 'barber's rash').

Carefully rubbing your beard with beard oil provides the final point of perfection. This gives the clipped hairs and the slightly plowed hair follicles the nutrition they need. In addition, beard oil makes your hair smoother, making it easier to handle at the next trim.


How often should you trim your beard?

How often you should trim your beard really depends on how fast your beard grows and what look you want to achieve. Some people find it necessary to trim their beards lightly once or twice a week to maintain a well-groomed look. Others, who want a fuller beard, can do with a thorough trim once every two to three weeks. It is especially important to listen to your beard and trim it when necessary to maintain the health and desired style of your beard.

If you still have questions, we would love to hear from you. And otherwise good luck trimming your beard!

Your friends, The Alpha Men