How often should you trim your beard when it’s growing?

Growing your beard competes with trimming your beard. But when you have got a long beard in mind, the question is: How often should you trim your beard while it is growing? Surely you’d like it to look neat and presentable as it grows, but how much is too much to take off? Here we’ll look at how often you should trim your beard as it is growing out!

Trimming your beard less than 0.25 inches every two weeks will ensure that it will continue to grow and not get shorter. Hair grows at a rate of about 1.25 centimetres or 0.5 inches per month – so trim less than that every four weeks to help retain as much length as possible.

In my experience, I have found that it doesn’t take much to start removing precious length from your beard. Trimming every four weeks means you can do a proper tidy up of your beard without risking losing length by trimming too often.

It can sometimes feel like your beard has stopped growing as it gets longer and longer. Holding off trimming up your beard while it is growing will give you the biggest advantage when it comes to growing your dream beard.

However, just because you are growing your beard, it doesn’t mean that you have to put up with a messy beard for months on end. There are some things you can do while it grows.

There are plenty of things that you can do to make your beard better, such as trimming up your moustache line, cleaning up your cheeks and neckline as well as trimming up those flyaway hairs.

Trim the SMALLEST amount possible to keep your beard growing longer. No more than half a centimetre per month

I have noticed that there seem to be two different sides of the beard-growing spectrum. One person who will struggle their whole life to grow a beard – while others seem to sneeze and more hair pop out!

No matter what side of the spectrum you fall on, leaving your beard alone for several weeks and months before trimming it up will help you achieve the best beard possible.

Prefer video? Here’s my YouTube video on this subject where I share my experience of trimming my beard while it is growing.

What is the minimum amount of time before trimming?

Okay, if you are going to take one bit of advice from this blog, listen to this – do not touch your face with any razor or trimmer for at least four weeks!

Seriously – leave it alone – that is the real answer to how often should you trim your beard when it’s growing, especially in the early stages.

Once you have grown your beard past the four-week mark, you can truly get an idea of how your beard grows, and you should take note of:

  • The bits of your beard that grow faster
  • The patches in your beard
  • Any parts that don’t connect
  • The direction of hair growth
  • The thickness of the hair
  • The colour of the hair

This time is an important stage in your beard growing adventure, and getting to know your beard is the best thing you can do. Avoid the temptation of trimming off anything until you know your beard intimately!

The knowledge you gain in these four weeks will help you talk to a barber. It will also be the foundation knowledge you need to decide on a style that will best suit the way your beard grows.

If you want to know more about the best beard styles for your growth, check out my comprehensive list of foundational beard styles to inspire you.

beard styles header

Although you don’t touch your beard with trimmers in the first four weeks, you still need to do a fair bit of maintenance. Make sure you do this in the first four weeks without fail!

BEFORE you trim anything:

In the first four weeks, while your beard grows, you have to wash and look after the skin under the growing hair. Make sure that you wash your face regularly.

If you are going to do this ‘by the book’, you need to consider using these products:

A facial cleanser

Soap can cause your skin to dry out quickly. Cleansers will remove any debris from your pours without the need for chemicals. They also contain glycolic acid, which accelerates the removal of dead skins cells without stripping the face of all of its good oils.

A facial moisturizer

Not all moisturizers are created equally. It would help if you found a non-comedogenic moisturizer. This fancy term means that it has specifically been formulated not to cause acne.

Try to find one with sunscreen in it to protect your face from UV rays. Applied daily, it will protect and nourish your skin.

A facial scrub

You’ll want to give your face a proper deep clean with a facial scrub about twice a week. After the fourth week, you probably won’t be able to do this effectively anymore, so use this time wisely!

Brush, brush!

At first, you won’t have much to brush. However, getting yourself a nice boar bristle hairbrush, like mine, will help your fuzzy face lay in the right direction. As the fourth-week approaches, you will need to brush your beard once a day!

There is no need to use all of these products, but I have found that looking after my skin while my beard is growing has meant that I have avoided common issues like beard dandruff and sore hair roots.

After the fourth week, you can consider trimming your beard to stop certain areas from looking messy. The areas I would consider trimming up first include the neckline, cheek line, and moustache.

But if you can wait longer, please do.

Waiting longer before your trim means you have more beard to work with. The more bulk and density you have in your beard before trimming, the better. It will result in much sharper lines and style.

The first thing to trim on your beard

The first areas on your beard to trim are the areas that can cause significant irritation and annoyance.

For example, my moustache line tickled my bottom lip and caused me to become irritated and second-guess my beard growing.

Anything you can do to make the beard-growing journey more pleasant will ensure that you can last for a long time.

Remember that this is a marathon and not a sprint, so you have to make the journey pleasant so you’ll stick it out.

Sometimes men can have incredibly bad itchiness around the neck as the beard grows. Trimming up your neckline can easily overcome the annoying feeling of hairs tickling your skin.

The neckline is very visible in the early stages of growing a beard. Shaving in a defined neckline will help sharpen your beard.

It’ll be something you need to do regularly once it is cut in, but it doesn’t take very long, and you can do it using the information in the next section.

Trim your neckline

The trickiest thing in the process is trimming the neckline, as you don’t want to overdo it and commit a beard crime that I see all the time – trimming your beard line too close to the jawline.

In the early stage of your beard growing journey, we want to clear the space where our head meets our neck and the skin below that line.

To find your neckline, you have two options:

  • Find your Adam’s apple and place two fingers above it. The top of your fingers is where the bottom of your neckline should be.
  • For an even easier method, tilt your head downward. A crease will form where the underside of your jaw meets the top of your neck. Put the finger on the crease, and then lift your head back up.

You can see these two methods in the photos below.

Trim this line with a trusted set of trimmers and then take a single blade safety razor (my favourite one is here on Amazon) to clean up the line.

You must get a good quality single blade razor as it is far easier to shave a shape into your beard with a single blade rather than with a five cartridge blade razor.

Another thing that you can do after about four weeks is trim up your moustache!

Trim your moustache

When I was deciding what bear I wanted to grow, I was drawn to the beard shapes with a fancy style moustache. However, as my beard grew, I noticed that I always seemed to have hair in my mouth!

You can trim up for moustache with scissors:

The hair would enter my mouth, particularly in the corners, and I trimmed these hairs as soon as they became annoying.

Take a pair of scissors or trimmers and trim the hairs closest to your lips as short as you can. As your beard gets longer, keep getting rid of the hairs that enter your mouth.

Using a trimmer to trim the bottom of the moustache

If you want a long fancy moustache, you have to put up with it getting in your mouth in the early days and then use a beard or moustache wax to keep it out of the way.

There’s another step in how often should you trim your beard when it’s growing – the eight-week stage!

Trimming in shape after eight weeks!

After eight weeks, you have earned the right to do a little more trimming of your beard!

You can do two things at this stage to make your beard better! Defining your cheek line and trimming those hairs that won’t sit in the right position!

Define your cheek line

Cheek lines are a fantastic way to define your beard and solidify a style direction. A word of warning, however – a bad cheek line can ruin a good beard faster than a bad neckline. If in doubt, seek professional help!

Do not take your beard line too low in one go – creep up on your preferred cheek line over a week and make sure that you get a chance to reflect on each new trim and line.

I like to use a single blade safety razor. I find that it gives me much more control over where my cheek line sits.

Make sure that each side is symmetrical too! There is a great guide at beards.org on how to trim your cheek line!

Define the first shape you want in your beard.

Defining the shape of your beard is one of the biggest grooming choices you have to make when you have a beard.

While you are growing your beard you want to GO PAST the length you want and then trim it back.

What style are you going to choose?

I recommend googling and saving an imageboard of all the beards you come across and love.

I like full medium-sized beards heavy on the chin. That is what I’m heading towards. Here is what my beard looks like after two years of growing (I’m slowly getting to the length and density that I want):

Trim off a very small amount if you are growing your
beard hair!

If you are wanting more length in your beard this has to be the smallest of trims – otherwise, you end up removing more than you grow. You can see how careful I’m being in the gif above.

If you don’t want to trim up the initial shape into your beard yourself, you can get it put in by a professional. Don’t be cheap and research a good local barber and book yourself in for an appointment.

Once the shape has been set, you’ll have something to work on and maintain. I’ve seen a load of DIY beard shapings, which can get messy.

As you are sitting in the chair, take notice of the strokes and techniques that the barber does the finishing touches to your beard. Do they sure clippers to flatten the sides? Do they use scissors to keep the edges and sides a final tune?

You can use this information to maintain your beard needs a tune-up!

If you want more length, don’t trim!

If you want a longer beard – leave it alone! Don’t trim at all.

I’ve seen people rock a yeard (a beard that has grown for a year) and then cut it back for an awesome beard at the end of the growth.

It can be hard to leave your beard well alone when it doesn’t look as good as you want it to. The good news is there are several products that you can use to ensure that your beard is held in a better style as it is growing.

Here are the products you can use to hold your beard in shape while growing.

Products to overcome issues while growing

I believe that how good a beard looks is mostly due to the trimmed style of the beard. However, when you are growing out your beard, you need to ensure that you do not cut off more than you grow in any given month.

Products with a hold component are a fantastic way to place a temporary style in your beard so that you are not so self-conscious as it is growing out.

These products can overcome fuzziness, flyaway hairs, undefined beard lines, and issues like beard dandruff.

Beard balm

Due to the beeswax and nut butter in beard balm, it is excellent for dry and malnourished hair as it is growing and offers a level of manageability. It will give your beard a beautiful sheen as well as a distinct scent from the essential oils.

Beard balm is fantastic for:

  • hair control – Beeswax can provide long-lasting hold and are used in beard balms. Beeswax provides the most hold, so if you want more hold, buy a product or make a formula with a higher percentage of beeswax. When it comes to maintaining the flyaways and trouble areas of your beard, beeswax is your best friend.
  • Adding a shine – Shea butter, essential oils, carrier oils including jojoba oil, coconut oil, and beeswax are all included in a beard balm. Shea butter and carrier oils are responsible for your beard’s amazing sheen. Shea butter has many amazing properties that it is unquestionably the beard balm’s superpower.
  • Conditioning – One of the best reasons why beard balm is good is because it sits against your hair for longer than beard oil and acts as a perfect leave in conditioner.

Using beard balm while your beard grows will help you minimize the number of hairs that you feel like you have to snip away.

If you want more hold, you can use a beard wax that has a much higher concentration of beeswax.

Beard wax

Beard wax is a fantastic product that can provide a long-lasting hold to your beard as it is growing.

I use beard wax to control particularly troublesome areas of my beard. A little bit of beeswax goes a long way, so do not overuse this product. Putting too much beard wax into your beard can leave it heavy and looking greasy.

Summary

this article has been over how often you should trim your beard while growing. Ultimately it would help if you don’t trim off more than you grow, and minimizing your trim ups to once a month will ensure you have enough growth to take off to trim in a style.

In the early stages of your beard growing journey, I recommend not touching your beard for at least four weeks before trimming. After this time, you can trim up your cheek line neckline and moustache to stop the most irritating parts of growing a beard – itchiness and tickling of your lips from the moustache hairs.

Pushing through several weeks of growth will help you trim back your beard to a dense and defined look. A few weeks of your beard not looking as good as possible will lay the foundations for a much denser beard style when you eventually trim in.

The Author


Andy Stapleton

Andy is a writer and YouTuber with a PhD in science. He has written and/or produced videos for Science Alert, COSMOS magazine, and Australia's Science Channel among others. He is an avid beard grower and after many years of growing and trialing different beard styles, he started this blog to share the tips, tricks, and science that he has learned along the way!