[Help] How to properly trim my beard?

Discussion in 'Shave School' started by Numberxer0, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Numberxer0

    Numberxer0 New Member

    This is a strange question, but I need some help. I'm 26 years old and I've been growing facial hair since I was 11. About 4 years ago, I decided to grow my first beard. However, I have been unsuccessful with trimming it properly. I have a slightly wavy beard and I think that could be the issue.

    My issue is this: no matter what razor, guide or anything that I use, it ALWAYS trims too close and uneven. Every single time. I've tried countless brands, electric razors and guides, with no success.

    Here's an example. Just three days ago, I used a new razor, with the guide set to 6. It should have set my beard to around an inch. After one pass, I might as well have used a straight razor. At first I thought maybe I was pushing too hard, but that changed nothing. Then I thought maybe the plastic guides were bending, but even a sold one didn't make a difference. I've tried shaving up from neck to chin and down as well. Hell, I even tried straightening my beard too. No matter what I try, the guides do absolutely nothing and it shaves like it wasn't even there.

    This is four years of trial and error. I wanted to work it out on my own because I'm stubborn, but clearly I'm incapable so I'm turning to the Internet for help. Is my facial hair just plain screwed up or am I doing something horribly wrong? I even watched a friend throw on a number 3 and go to town on himself to get it basically perfect in 20 seconds. Why can't I do that?
  2. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    First, welcome.
    Sorry, can't help. One reason I gave up on the beard was because I couldn't keep it even.
  3. PickledNorthern

    PickledNorthern Fabulous, the unicorn

    Welcome to The Den.

    I am interested to hear if someone has ideas for you. When I have been bearded, I always found that trimmers worked better when cutting short, and scissors were better for evening up when I was keeping it longer. Of course I often screwed it up with the scissors and then ended up shearing it short to even it back out.
    Robyflexx likes this.
  4. mikewood

    mikewood Well-Known Member

    A few things I do to maintain consistency. Wash and condition and dry your beard with hair shampoo and conditioner. Use professional quality electric clippers and not cheap battery powered beard clippers. These are the big wide ones like a barber would buzz your head with. They don't have to be expensive but need to be powerful. Make sure the comb guide is correctly attached. Start on smooth skin and go slow giving the comb time to pickup the hair, align it and channel it to the cutters. Make multiple passes from different directions. Check your work and repeat. The first pass will take 80%. The second will take 15% and the last pass should take the final 5%.
    Try buzzing it once a week to get better practice. Trim up around your mouth with straight blunt pointed medical scissors. It's pretty simple once you get the hang of it.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    PLANofMAN likes this.
  5. gwsmallwood

    gwsmallwood Well-Known Member

    Never had any luck with beard trimmers. Same problem as you. They either don't seem to do anything, or they cut everything shorter than I'd like. I've gone to a simple trim with scissors once or twice a week.
    PickledNorthern likes this.
  6. whaap

    whaap Active Member

    My style is stubble. I can't grow a long beard as I end up looking like a homeless person and I keep having people offer me their change. What I do is use an electric clipper with a number two attachment for that portion of my beard that would be called "the Van Dyke" (chin, lower and upper lip). I use a number one trimmer attachment on the remaining left and right side of my beard. I take many passes up, down, sideways, etc. as my facial hairs grown in all different directions. I use a wet razor (most of the time) to trim the neck line.
  7. DDuckyMark

    DDuckyMark Ducky Duck and the Hiding Bunch

    A comb and scissors. comb it out to the length you want and snip off the rest using the comb as a guide. I use trimmers to clear off if I want to shave anything smooth. I always hated them for trimming.
    gwsmallwood likes this.
  8. Engblom

    Engblom Well-Known Member

    I have no experience with trimming beard, but I have been doing hair cutting quite a bit, so a bit similar.

    If you want a good result, first make your beard/hair a bit moist, so it is more soft and straightens more easily by combs. Then use your hand as a "comb" and cut at about the same height above the fingers, to the desired length. This is the first rough cut. Then take a comb and while combing through, cut with the scissors there where something is uneven. By combing, the uneven parts are lifted higher than the rest, so the fine adjustment is easier.
  9. PickledNorthern

    PickledNorthern Fabulous, the unicorn

    Me either.

    Robyflexx, AGHisBBS and gwsmallwood like this.
  10. DDuckyMark

    DDuckyMark Ducky Duck and the Hiding Bunch

    I never let my beard get long enough to use my fingers as a comb. I didn't think to add that step for the longer bearded folks out there.
  11. gwsmallwood

    gwsmallwood Well-Known Member

    Mine doesn't get that long either. I mostly eyeball it, trimming the stray long hairs and using a small comb as needed, usually just for the mustache area.
  12. AGHisBBS

    AGHisBBS Well-Known Member

    My advice is to both ask and watch your barber how he's getting it done for you. I sometimes wear a goatee and I've learned a lot from mine.
    RetLEO-07 and Robyflexx like this.
  13. Robyflexx

    Robyflexx Broke the Like button

  14. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    It's your beard. Trim it your way.
  15. Engblom

    Engblom Well-Known Member

    One inch, as OP wants is quite long. This is why I added the fingers as comb step. I use this method up on the head where the hair will be longer than one inch.
  16. Bama Samurai

    Bama Samurai with Laser-like Focus Staff Member

    Best infomercial ever
  17. Linuxguile

    Linuxguile dating an unusual aristocrat

    Supporting Vendor
  18. Kenneth Sampson

    Kenneth Sampson Well-Known Member

    When I had a longer beard last year I would comb my beard before trimming to help untangle everything. I would actually apply jojoba oil after every shower and comb it regularly. My beard got all curly as well. I used beard trimmers but the hair trimmers would work better as the bigger guards aren't closed like the are on my beard trimmer. I never got a closer than desired trim but usually longer. I use no guard on my head and fade my beard into it.

    You said that your trimming would be shorter than wanted. The skin on your face has more give than the skin on your head. The skull helps keep the skin from fllexing as much. When you trim, try going a guard or two longer than you want to make up for the give, especially around the cheeks. Then adjust from there.

    Sent from my VS990 using Tapatalk
    Demidog likes this.
  19. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    :(. His one and only post. Hope he got his answer.
    AGHisBBS and Caulin like this.
  20. Caulin

    Caulin Member

    How about trimming around the beard/scruff with a safety razor? Any good techniques anybody could point me towards or share?

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