Short beards have their perks. They’re less likely to act as food strainers, are a bit easier to tame, and if trimmed right can create the illusion of a sculpted jawline. That being said, keeping them looking good requires the right tools and dedication to a precise grooming technique that is tailored to your face shape (more on the best beard shape for your face shape later).
Consider this your primer in short beard grooming.
The Neckline Issue
Necklines can get tricky. Too tight on your cheek and neck and you scream gangster, too loose and you stray towards Woodstock.
Our recommendation? Tilt your chin up slightly to find your jawline. Make the neckline an inch below the jaw. To tailor the neckline even farther, move your head around in front of a mirror to see all the different angles and determine your best crop.
- A three-way mirror, or at least a portable standing mirror
- A fine-tooth comb or brush for detangling
- A beard trimmer, safety razor, or straight razor
- Scissors for detailing
- Beard oil and beard balm
How to Trim a Shorter Beard:
- Arm yourself with an electric trimmer, safety razor, or straight razor. Start at the center of the neck and chin and go up towards the ear, following the natural curve of your jaw. Do one side at a time – once you’re satisfied with how one side looks, do the same thing to the other side for symmetry.
- If you’re using a trimmer, start with a longer guard length for less hair removal, and then work your way down as you’re comfortable for a closer, more precise cut. Only apply light pressure in the direction of hair growth.
- If you’re using a blade, dig in slightly for a clean line and then apply light pressure in the direction of hair growth.
- To set parameters for the cheek line, smile in the mirror and follow the smile line up towards the sideburns.
- Outline your cheek line and trim. Use a safety razor or straight razor for a sharper line.
- Tip: If you’re using a trimmer, align your index finger to exactly where you want your cheek line to be and shave upwards. This will create a more even line if you don’t have a razor.
- Brush your beard out and use scissors to clean things up if necessary.
- Apply a beard balm or beard oil after to minimize redness and beard itch.
- If your beard growth does not connect with your mustache, drop your cheek line
- Use a shave oil to soothe your skin and beard during shaving (it’s transparent so you can see what you’re doing better)