Trimming your beard with scissors may seem a little horse and buggy compared to using your standby electric trimmer. But should your trimmer break down, or you’re limited on time and just need a quick touch up, there’s no better option than a simple pair of shears. Plus, scissors give your beard a natural look – like you woke up with a great beard rather than spent hours perfecting one.
Scissors can also cut beards of all sizes, whereas a trimmer can only handle stubble and short beards. As such, knowing how to use scissors is a required skill for a beardsman.
A good pruning can last a couple of weeks, even up to a month.
So grab a quality pair of scissors and a sturdy comb and let’s get crackin’.
1. Wash your beard and pat it dry
Don’t start until your beard is completely dry! Trimming while your beard is wet will give you inaccurate (read: shorter than expected) results. That’s because water weighs hair down, making it appear longer than it actually is.
2. Comb your beard down and then out
First comb your beard downwards, in the direction it usually grows. This way, you'll be able to see the shape you're starting with.
Then comb your beard upwards and outwards, against the direction of hair growth. If your beard looks fluffed up and frizzy, you’re doing it right. This will loosen up beard hair, making stray, fast-growing hairs more apparent. You’ll also see which areas are fuller so you can even out as necessary.
3. Do one side first, then the other
Choose one side to start with, using a comb as your guide. Run it through your beard hair at a tilted angle, removing any hair that protrudes from the comb. Don’t overdo it – just snip off the tips at first. If you need to, you can always take off more later. Try to imitate how a barber cuts your hair: light, quick clips.
For even trimming, make sure the same amount of hair sticks out of the teeth of the comb each time you trim.
Repeat the process on the other side.
4. Don’t forget the moustache
Comb moustache hair straight down. Remove any hair that falls below your lip line.
5. Be careful with the neck
For a natural transition, use a beard trimmer to fade the area from your beard to your neck. Use scissors for detail work.
6. Quality control
Once you’re done, comb through your beard and inspect for stray hairs.
7. Wash your beard again
Rinsing your beard after you’re done trimming removes cut hairs and prevents them from getting on pillows, food, and your significant other.
Keep your newly shorn beard healthy by replenishing moisture. Finish with a few drops of beard oil, working it evenly through your beard with a comb or a beard brush. The beard oil will also prevent skin irritation, especially if your beard is still in the first few months of growth.
For a truly godlike beard, try this trick we’ve road tested at the Zeus office: Apply a coat of beard balm, and style your beard as you normally would. Any stray hairs will be immediately noticeable, and you can quickly clean them up.