How to trim beard split ends [A Full Guide]

Split ends are very common in beards. Typically split ends are the secondary symptom of a dry beard and are very easy to fix. The beard hairs will look like unravelled rope at the ends and need to be trimmed as soon as possible to stop the damage from migrating further up the shaft of the beard hair.

Tips for trimming your beard effect...
Tips for trimming your beard effectively

To trim beard split ends, you need to have a very sharp pair of scissors and, with a clean beard, remove the split ends. You can do this by trimming them off or using a technique known as dusting to retain as much length as possible.

Luckily, you can retain a fair amount of length by using a technique called dusting. Dusting is where you run a sharp blade over the hair to remove the frayed ends. This intervention stops you from having multiple layers in your beard and helps stop it from looking thin.

Every bearded person ends up dealing with split ends at some point in their beard growing journey.

Here is how you can trim beard split ends and everything you need to know about doing it properly and stopping it from becoming a problem in the future.

How to trim beard split ends

How often to trim beard split ends

If you are cutting a lot of length off your beard hair, you want to make sure that you can grow out the length of the split ends before you trim again – otherwise, your beard will get shorter and shorter each time you trim up your split ends.

Beards are a highly shaped and styled bulk of hair. Because of their relatively defined lines, a beard will need to be trimmed more often than head hair. Ideally, you wouldn’t want to go past approximately four weeks without a trim.

Should you notice split ends, you can trim them up as soon as you notice them, but you have to have a game plan.

Trimming up split ends when you see them without any plan for the rest of your beard can easily cause your beard to become crooked and asymmetrical.

Ideally, you should seek help from a barber. This advice is particularly true if you have noticed a lot of dry beard hairs. However, a light trim up of beard split ends can be done at home as long as you follow the advice in this article.

If you are still eager to trim dead ends, you must learn the proper technique and identify broken hair shafts. Learning exactly how far up the beard hair to trim will ensure that you don’t end up with a significantly shorter beard and a surprise trip to the father to undo your mistakes.

Tools needed for trimming beard split ends

Starting with a good quality tremor or pair of scissors will ensure that your beard hair split ends do not get worst after trimming. Whatever cutting surface you use needs to be sharp. The hair will become crushed and not cut if the blades are not sharp.

The crushed end of a hair will quickly become split and dry.

Looking after your beard-cutting tools will also protect your beard in the long run, and they can be a good investment as long as you look after them properly. If you want to grow a beard for many years, I recommend buying good quality tools once rather than buying a load of cheaper products that will wear quickly and cause your beard more damage.

If you only have a relatively superficial number of split ends, I recommend using scissors to remove the smallest length possible. You can use a trimmer to restyle your beard and remove as much as you want to return it to its former glory for larger split end corrections.

Scissors

If you want to trim up your beard split ends at home, you should pick up some professional, fine point tip shears for DIY beard split hair removal.

Please don’t use any old scissors you have lying around. The edge of a professional scissor set is specifically designed to cut the hair rather than crush it.

A blunt pair of everyday scissors will further split the strand and make your problem much worse after cutting. A decent pair of scissors should last around 3 to 5 years before needing a new age sharpened into them.

This long lifetime means that they can be an excellent investment for your beard as it is growing. Make sure that you look after the scissors by:

  • only using them to cut your hair
  • using a barbicide spray disinfectant to remove germs
  • storing them in a low humidity environment
  • oiling up the pivot points
  • getting them professionally sharpened every 3 to 5 years

Doing all of this will ensure that your scissors will last much longer than your current beard style.

If your beard has many split ends, I recommend using a trimmer and restyling your beard. For this, you will need a good quality set of trimmers.

Trimmers

A good quality set of beard trimmers will serve you for many years. I have a particularly thick and coarse beard, and I have found that any battery-powered clipper has not been able to cut through my beard.

Check out my YouTube video below for a full rundown and my ultimate buyer guide for buying a beard trimmer for thick and coarse beard hair.

The trimmer blades must be sharp and easy to clean and replace. Many cheaper trimmers have plastic cutting surfaces and quickly dull your long beard hairs.

I have found that a corded and professional clipper continues to be the best option for my beard. If your beard has many split ends, taking off half an inch or so of your beard may be the best thing you can do for it in the long run. Trying to do this with scissors will cause a lot of hand cramping and even trimming.

A set of trimmers with a nice powerful motor and a sharp set of blades will allow you to cut your beard with confidence. Check out my YouTube video below to understand the difference between a professional corded trimmer and a battery-powered beard trimmer.

It is not necessarily that this is a bad product, but rather there needs to be a consideration made for what you want the trimming tool to do and choosing the best product for the job.

Preparation for beard split end trim

Once you have sourced and selected the best tool for removing your beard split ends, you need to wash your beard and locate the damage to know what you are up against.

Wash your beard

Make sure that you are trimming a freshly washed and dried beard. The smallest amount of product or access oil can easily hold together the frayed ends of your beard hairs and not properly identify the issues you are trying to solve.

Make sure that your hair is fully dry as water has high surface tension and can also hold the split ends together, hiding the extent of the problem.

Locate the damage

Locating the damage is important for choosing what intervention you need to enact to solve your beard split end issue.

If the problem is relatively minor, you’ll likely notice that it is only the very tips of the beard hair with a split end. If you have acted early enough, this should be the case.

On the other hand, your beard hair may be split up to 1 inch away from the end. A dry beard that has been ignored for a long period can easily be this damaged.

I think that beard split ends fall into two categories and either require scissors to trim off the ends or use the blade to dust away the splayed hairs. Or, if you have a significant number of split ends, you should remove the beard hair length until no more split ends are visible.

Using a trimmer is much more of a drastic intervention, but your beard will thank you in the long run.

IssueIntervention
Only a few split endsuse scissors to trim or dust away the split ends.
A significant number of split endsuse a trimmer to remove all of the split ends to the maximum amount of damage length.

Once you have decided on using scissors or a trimmer, it’s time to cut away your beard split ends.

Cut your beard split ends

The most important thing about trimming up your beard split ends is to go slowly. You can very quickly remove too much of your beard hair – far beyond the length damaged by split ends – and end up with a very short beard style.

Full trim

Your beard split ends will require a near full trim up for most people. Unless you only have a few split ends here and there, you will end up taking off approximately 5 mm or more from your beard’s overall length.

Trimming up your beard at home is a bit of an art rather than a science, but I go through it in my YouTube video below.

Being mindful of not removing too much and keeping in mind the overall shape and lines of your beard will help you trim up and end up with a beard that you are proud of.

At any moment during the trim, if you feel like you have gone too far, stop and take a moment to think about reflecting on how you can balance up your beard without removing too much more length.

Is it bad to cut beard split ends individually?

It is not bad to cut beard split ends individually if you only tidied up a few hairs. When you are working diligently on one part of your beard and removing more than a handful of split ends, you should consider doing a full trim of your beard.

Constantly clipping at your beard with scissors and removing beard split ends individually can end up with a thin-looking beard and one that is uneven and lacking density.

Resist the temptation to cut away individual hairs and do a much larger trimmer to retain the integrity and main bulk of your beard hair.

However, there is a way of trimming your beard split ends without losing length if you have a particularly long wizard length beard.

How to trim beard split ends without losing length

if you have a very long beard and worry that trimming up the split ends will result in a significant loss of length, you can use a technique known as dusting.

Be careful using this technique since it is an advanced hairdressing technique, and if you have any qualms about doing it yourself, you should go to a professional barber and let them know that you would like your beard dusted for split ends.

Dusting

If you have a long straight beard, you can consider using dusting to remove the split ends.

Dusting gives your beard a tuneup without trimming off any length. You are using the blade of the scissors to clean up the broken ends of the hair that are starting to split. This technique stops the hair from continuing to split up the hair shaft.

With dusting, you cut into the hair rather than cutting off the ends.

Two dust your beard at home you should follow these steps:

  1. twist ½ inch section of dry cleaning beard hair to see if any broken split hairs splay out. Do it in a well-lit area see you can easily see the damaged ends. I need to wear my glasses to see them properly.
  2. Take a pair of scissors and trim off the split hairs, and you can use super sharp shares to dust away the hairs which splay out from the main bulk of the beard hair.

For a full rundown of the technique, check out the YouTube video below.

Preventing future beard split ends

Preventing your beard from developing split ends is a constant battle. Believe me when I say that I spend a lot of time thinking about how I can best hydrate and protect my beard from developing split ends.

There is no doubt in my mind that prevention is better than cure.

Prevention is better than a cure

To stop your beard from becoming dry and brittle, resulting in split ends, you need to lay the foundations of a fantastic daily beard maintenance routine.

My daily routine includes:

  • showering and shampooing my hair – I do this every 2 to 3 days or when I have done a particularly dirty or stinky activity.
  • Trimming up the cheek lines and neckline – while I’m in the shower, I will also use a single blade safety razor to trim up the cheek line and the neckline of my beard. This step will allow me to keep the line sharp, one of the best ways to keep your beard impressive and looking dapper.
  • Towel drying my beard – as soon as I jump out of the shower, I gently dab my beard dry. It does not eliminate all the moisture, and I have to be very careful as wet beard hair is the easiest to damage. But I remove most of the moisture with a towel.
  • Blow drying my beard – I use quite a systematic hair drying routine on my beard. Firstly, I will use medium to high heat with downward coming to it rid of the majority of the moisture. Then I will use a cold setting on my hairdryer with downwards combing or brushing to style the beard.
  • Most days, I will use a beard oil application to add a little bit of nourishment and shine back into my beard after shampooing. Please do not overdo it as the beard does not absorb a lot of the oil-less is more.
  • Application of beard balm, butter, or wax – if there is a special occasion or I need my beard to look particularly good for any reason, I will follow up the application of beard oil with another product. The other product will probably contain a small amount of beeswax to hold the style in place.

Deep hydration once a week

I like to use deep hydration once a week to fully repair and hydrate my beard. If you want to know more about beard care products and how to prevent split ends, check out my other article, where I go through everything you need to know about beard care products.

Do Beard Care Products Prevent Split Ends? [SOLVED] - Beard Growing Pro

The best beard care products that can help prevent split ends include:

  • sweet almond oil
  • panthenol
  • Argan oil
  • Coconut oil
  • avocado mask

Buy the right daily maintenance tools

purchasing the right daily maintenance tools means investing in products that do not further exacerbate any split and problems. I would recommend purchasing a Kent comb that will allow you to style your beard without introducing more physical and mechanical damage.

The ends of your beard are particularly prone to damage because of their distance from your sebum-producing skin. Taking extra care once your beard gets past a couple of inches in length will help keep it healthy.

Kent Comb

One of the easiest mistakes to make whilst styling and to maintain a beard is using a beard comb that damages the hair.

I did it for a long time – I used a cheap comb that was injection moulded.

 The injection-moulded nature of the beard comb meant that the edges of the teeth had a very tiny seam, making it easy to scratch away at the hairs and weaken the outer layer.

You need to look for a comb that has been machined out of a single piece of material, either wood or plastic.

Kent beard combs are the best plastic combs since they have been manufactured to protect the beard. I’m amazed at the array of different combs available online – click here to choose your favourite comb.

Summary

in this article, we have gone through everything you need to know about trimming your beard hair split ends.

Identifying the problem and using the appropriate intervention will ensure that you keep the length you want in your beard and ensure the problem doesn’t worsen. The problem can easily worsen if you choose to use cheap trimmers that crush the hair rather than cut it.

If you do not take this bit of advice seriously, you will constantly be chasing split ends up the length of the beard hair.

Preventing split ends is always better than cure, so coming up with good daily maintenance with deep hydration ingredients will help keep your beard looking awesome.

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!