Learning how to shape a long beard is an art form of sorts that can require some experimentation on your part. In reality, no one knows your beard better than you do, so trying different techniques and sampling new products can give you a better idea of what works for you and your look.
If you want to learn how to shape a long beard, the first step is finding your beard shape. A beard shape for round face will require a fuller beard in order to slim down the face, while a slimmer face will need a more refined beard. Next, a beard should be brushed in the same direction. After you’ve brushed out your beard make sure you trim off any stragglers and longer wiry hairs based on the beard length and shape that looks best for your face shape. You will also want to shape your sideburns, removing any hair that appears on the cheeks above the beard line. Use a beard trimmer or razor to define your neckline. Last of all, touch up your mustache, carefully trimming the hair around your lips to ensure that no hair covers them.
Every beard is unique, so there’s really no set rules that will work for everyone. For daily care, we’ve compiled some great tips on how to shape longer beards and how to manage them over time.
What’s Your Beard Shape
When you’re trying to determine how to shape your beard, first look at your bone structure. The goal is a proportionate look. If you have a narrower face, a heavy beard can easily overpower your features. If you have a much wider face, then a wide, full beard will work. Just make sure you keep your beard shape in proportion with your bone structure.
If you have a longer beard, you may even want to consider a longer hairstyle. While it’s true that a close-cropped beard looks great with short hair, a long beard with short hair may not fit your look. The beard should be in proportion to the hair on your head. It’s all about symmetry. If there’s a balance here, you should have no trouble finding a beard shape that will work.
Trimming Your Beard
If you desperately need to trim your beard, begin by bringing the hair off your face using a beard comb, brushing through your beard to remove all the snags and any debris. If you’re satisfied with the length of your beard then you can use a pair of grooming scissors to just cut off any longer wiry hairs.
We recommend buying the Remington MB4040 Lithium Ion Powered Mustache, Beard and Stubble Trimmer Kit, which comes with several guard sizes. Using a trimmer with a guard is simple and it’s a great option if you want to get rid of some bulk so your beard doesn’t look too full. Begin with the longest guard and work your way down until you find the perfect length.
For precision cutting, you’ll want to stick with a comb and scissors. You can also try using both methods by using your trimmer on the lowest setting and a comb. Remember to clean up any stray hairs on your cheeks using a shaping attachment on your trimmer.
If you have a full beard, then you’ll need to determine where your beard begins and the hair on your head ends. Many men with beards tend to overlook their sideburns and allow them to get too long around the ears. If you’re handy with a comb or clippers then you can easily do what a barber does, which is create a nice taper. Tapering the sideburns is the best want to blend your beard and hair and it’s easy to do with a beard trimmer. Start off by taking a small amount of hair off at the bridge between your beard and hairline, until you’ve found the right length for the look you’re after. While it may be difficult in the beginning, over time, learning how to taper your beard will feel like second nature.
Men will grow a beard for a variety of reasons. Some men grow a beard because they want a more natural look. However, there’s nothing good about an overgrown beard which can leave you looking wild and unkempt. Drawing the neckline too high can also make your beard look overgroomed and unnatural.
Basically, the neckline should look like a natural extension down from the curve of the ear. The hair should pass about an inch and a half above your Adam’s apple.
The mustache is probably the most common area that beard wearers tend to neglect when it comes to trimming. Often, you’ll see a guy with a beard that has longer mustache hairs that hang over their top lip. This is a huge no-no and it can easily make your beard look disproportionate with the rest of your facial hair.
Your bushy mustache won’t look so great once you’ve shaped your beard, sideburns, and neckline. You need to pay special attention to the goatee area around the mouth when you’re trimming and shaping your beard. To trim try using a pair of rounded scissors.
Why Face Shape Matters
When you’re sculpting your beard, you want an oval shape. Men with oval faces usually have a much easier time experimenting with different beard shapes than men with rounder faces. But before you get started trying out a new beard style, the first thing you should do is determine what your face shape actually is. You can easily do so by taking measurements of your jaw, forehead, and cheekbones, after which you should measure the distance between your crown and chin. The longest measurement will tell you what face shape you have.
Next, look at the mirror and pay close attention to your facial features to determine which features you want to highlight and which features you don’t want to draw more attention to.
With a beard shape for round face, you’ll want to keep the length of your beard, and instead focus on thinning out the hair on your cheeks. If you keep the hair on your cheeks and sideburns shorter and allow your beard to grow longer, it can instantly slim down your face and highlight your stronger features. Whatever face shape you have, balance can easily be achieved if you keep the sideburns trimmed and blended with the rest of your facial hair and the hair on your head.
How Often Should I Trim My Beard?
When it comes to shaping your beard, trimming it often is essential in order to maintain that well-kept look. Even if you want to keep your beard longer, now is the time to purchase a beard trimmer and experiment with different techniques that will give you that well-groomed look. We recommend trimming your beard at least once a week. During the week, make sure you keep up on cutting wiry or longer hairs. If you’re not sure what type of stubble trimmer would work for your beard, click here to read our stubble trimmer buyer’s guide. We recommend the Philips Norelco OneBlade hybrid electric trimmer and shaver.
How Do I Prepare My Beard for a Trim?
Before you get started trimming your beard, wash your beard with hot water and shampoo that’s specially formulated for beards. Never trim your beard while it’s still wet because you may end up taking too much off. After your beard has dried, brush it or comb it out, away from the chin and cheeks, focusing on making it as straight as possible. This will give you a better idea of how long your beard is, while also removing any dirt, debris, and oil buildup.
What Can I Use to Style My Beard?
Once you’ve trimmed and shaped your beard, you’re going to want to keep it looking good. Use a good wax or beard balm to keep your mustache and beard in place while also keeping them hydrated and soft. Make sure your beard is dry and clean before you use the balm. You’ll only need to use a dime-sized amount of balm to keep your hair tamed. If you don’t like how heavy the balm feels in your beard, you can give beard oil a shot. Many beard enthusiasts opt for beard oil because it’s easier to style your beard with and doesn’t clump up like some lower priced beard balms tend to do.
Now that you know how to shape a long beard, you can begin experimenting with your style and try beard specific hair care products that will keep your beard neat, soft, hydrated, and more manageable. Of course, it’s up to you to keep up on your beard maintenance. If you want to keep it looking great day to day, then trimming it once a week in order to maintain the shape will be essential. For some, trimming this often will be overkill. If your beard is slow growing, then a quick trim once or twice a month should be enough to help you maintain the shape and keep straggly looking hair at bay.