Make no mistake – growing a beard is in competition with trimming a 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 is growing – am I right! Here we’ll look at how often you should trim your beard as it is growing out!
If you want a long beard it’s quite a simple equation really – grow more than you are cutting off! Hair grows a rate of about 1.25 centimeters or 0.5 inches per month, or about 15 centimeters or 6 inches per year. So, just cut off less than that and your beard will grow.
Just because you are growing your beard, it doesn’t mean that you have to put up with a hobo beard for months to get to the right shape.
The best way to grow a beard is to leave it well alone but to make the growing process more palatable for you, and those around you, you can trim it as you go.
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 there are others who seem to sneeze and more hair pop out! Check out my 10 insider beard-growing rules if you want to nail this beard growing business!
Prefer video? Here’s my video on this subject:
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 sort of 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…
This time is an important stage in your beard growing adventure. You need to use these four weeks to get to know your beard. As it grows ask yourself these questions:
- Where is the growth strongest?
- Are there any patches where the hair is weak or missing?
- Is my beard straight, curly, wavey or a combination?
- Does the beard look symmetrical as it grows?
The answers to these questions will help you when you are talking to a barber. It will also be the foundation knowledge you need to make a decision on a style that will best suit the way your beard grows.
Although in the first four weeks you don’t touch your beard with trimmers – you need to still do a fair bit of maintenance. Make sure you do this in the first four weeks without fail!
In the first four weeks do this:
In the first four weeks while your beard is growing 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 quickly dry out. 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. You need to find a moisturizer that is non-comedogenic. This means that it has been specifically been formulated to not cause acne.
Try to find one with sunscreen in it so that it will also protect your face from UV rays. Applied daily it will protect and nourish your skin.
A facial scrub
About twice a week you’ll want to give your face a proper deep clean with a facial scrub. After the fourth week, you probably won’t be able to do this effectively any more so use this time wisely!
At first, you won’t really 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 definitely need to brush your beard once a day!
Okay, after the fourth week you may consider trimming some aspects of your beard. But if you can wait longer please do.
The first thing to trim on your beard
Here’s my fortnightly trimming routine – I want my beard to get longer in the front so this is what I do to trim it up!
There’s a very good reason to get trimming your beard after four weeks (but leave it longer if you can – about 6 weeks!). Sometimes men can have incredibly bad itchiness around the neck.
Trim your neckline
The trickiest thing in the whole process is trimming the neckline as you don’t want to overdo it and commit a beard crime that I see all the time!
For some beard styles, a faded or rough edge may look better – but at this stage, we only want to clear the space from where our head meets our neck. To find your neckline (I have written in detail about it in this blog post) 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.
Trim this line with a trusted set of trimmers and then take a single blade razor to clean up the line. It’s very important that you get a good quality single blade razor as it is far easier to shave shape into your beard than with a 5 cartridge blade razor. They are not even that expensive either!
Another thing that you can do after about four weeks is trim up your mustache!
Trim your moustache
When I was deciding what bear I wanted to grow I was drawn to the beard shapes that had a fancy style mustache. However, as my beard was growing I noticed that I always seemed to have hair in my mouth!
The hair would enter my mouth, particularly in the corners, and I trimmed these hairs a soon as they became annoying.
Take a pair of scissors 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. That is unless you want a long fancy mustache – then you have to put up with it in the early days and then use a beard/mustache wax to get 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!
Trim in the shape after eight weeks!
After eight weeks you have earnt the right to do a little more trimming of your beard!
There are two things that you can do at this stage to make your beard better! Defining your cheek line and trimming those hairs that just 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.
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.
This is one of the biggest grooming choices you have to make when you have a beard. What style are you going to choose?
I recommend googling and saving an imageboard of all of the beards that you come across and love. Personally, I like full medium-sized beards heavy on the chin. that is what I’m heading towards!
Get the first beard shape put in by a professional. Don’t be cheap research a good local barber and book yourself in for an appointment.
Once the shape has been set you’ll have something to work to and maintain. I’ve seen a load of DIY beard shapings and it can get really messy.
As you are sat 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 do your own maintenance when your beard needs a tune-up!
If you want more length don’t trim!
If you want a long beard I’ll keep it really simple for you – 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 a rocking beard at the end of the growth.
Always grow it past the length that you want it and trim it back. That sis How often should you trim your beard when it’s growing!