How to Shape a Beard in 7 Easy Steps

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Learning to shape a beard is the next step after growing a beard. Unless you have lumberjackian facial hair genetics, you probably shouldn’t let it grow too long. Instead, you should focus on the little details and adjust your beard to suit your face and hair texture. Here are X easy steps to find your style and shape your beard.

Benefits of Beard Shaping

A select few guys might benefit from a straggly, unkempt beard, but the vast majority of men look much better when they put in the effort to shape their beards. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Looks More Attractive: according to science, symmetry is the biggest factor in facial attractiveness. A shapely beard will improve your face’s overall symmetry and thus make you look more attractive.
  • Accentuates Your Jawline: a well-kept beard strengthens your jawline’s appearance and takes attention away from neck/chin fat.
  • Makes Your Beard Look Fuller: removing problematic hairs and loose strands makes your beard look fuller.
  • Prevents Common Beard Issues: shaping your beard prevents dirt buildup and stops pores from clogging from too much hair and oil.

Based on these benefits, you should be excited to learn how to shape a beard. It can change your entire look, boost your confidence and improve your social standing. Once your beard grows to a sufficient length, you can start shaping.

1. Find Your Ideal Beard Shape

Your facial structure determines your ideal beard shape. Barbers and facial hair experts use eight different face models

  • Round: wide face, equally long and wide jaw
  • Heart: wide forehead, small but defined chin, rounded cheekbones
  • Oval: narrow face, long and slightly rounded jaw
  • Oblong: long and narrow face, slightly rounded jaw
  • Rectangular: narrow face, long and blocky jaw
  • Square: wide face, equally wide jaw and cheekbones
  • Triangle: wide forehead and cheekbones, smaller pointed chin
  • Diamond: wide cheekbones, smaller forehead and chin

Your beard should complement your face’s most prominent features and even out the proportions. Here are the qualities your beard should have based on your facial features:

  • Round: long beard with short sides
  • Heart: long beard with short sides
  • Oval: bushy on the sides, short on the bottom
  • Oblong: short sides, long and rounded bottom
  • Rectangular: short sides, long and roun
  • Square: close-cropped beard
  • Triangle: full mustache and cheeks, short bottom
  • Diamond: short sides, long and rounded bottom

Notice how the wide faces have narrow beards, while the angular faces have round beards. Opposites attract. The features balance each other out and create a symmetrical look. Once you determine your ideal beard style, it’s time to start shaping. 

2. Acquire the Right Tools

An electric razor with different lengths and attachments can shape a beard adequately enough, but if you want your beard to look its best, you should invest in some better tools. Most guys need to trim their beards frequently – sometimes every other day. These tools will groom your facial hair without irritating your skin:

  • Beard Scissors
  • Beard Trimmer
  • Straight Razor (with shaving cream)

The scissors and trimmer will allow you to pinpoint specific hairs and shave your beard to different lengths, while the straight razor will give the closest shave possible on your neck and upper cheeks. As you will see, these factors are critical for maintaining your beard’s shape.

3. Define the Neckline

The first thing you should do is get rid of your neckbeard. Neckbeards look unattractive and have negative connotations. However, many guys make a terrible mistake when shaping their necks. They shave too far up their necks, making their chins appear rounder than they really are. If you’ve ever seen George Lucas’s beard, you know exactly what we mean.

To avoid this mistake, don’t touch any neck hair above your adam’s apple. This technique smoothens the transition between your jawline and neckline and makes your beard appear much fuller at the bottom. 

Since neck hairs grow sporadically and have inconsistent growth patterns, the straight razor is the best tool for defining the neckline. It will get every hair, no matter which direction it grows.

Wash your face with warm water, apply the shaving cream and get to work. Your lower neck should be a clean slate by the time you’re finished.

4. Line Up the Cheeks

Once you’re satisfied with the neckline, you should line up your cheeks next. Use an electric razor with your desired length attachment to shave the cheeks down to the same length. If you have any patches, carefully trim them with the beard scissors and trimmer. You want your cheeks to have consistent thickness and no loose ends.

Pay special attention to your beard’s height (how far it grows up your cheeks). If your upper cheeks are patchy, use the straight razor to create a definitive line and remove the patches from the picture.

5. Adjust the Sideburns

Sideburns can be tricky, so the scissors and trimmer will come into play here as well. You can either create a definitive line between your beard and sideburns or try to shave a fade. A fade might look better, but it’s easy to make a mistake if you’re a beginner. Some guys shape their beards immediately after they get a haircut to make this step easier.

Use your scissors and a comb to trim the sideburns to your liking. You will encounter some stubborn hairs around the ears, but that’s why you have the best tools. Make sure you get the hairline behind your ears too. You might not be able to see that angle, but everyone else can.

6. Clean Around the Lips

Your beard should form a perfect oval with no outlying hairs around your lips. Trim your mustache, goatee, soul patch, nose hairs and any other hairs that touch your lips. These details will make your beard look professional and feel more comfortable. You might have to trim those areas more often than the rest of your beard, but the end result is worth it.

7. Maintain Your Beard

As previously mentioned, you will have to reshape your beard regularly to maintain its style. Some guys can wait a couple of weeks, while others need to trim every other day. If you want your beard to look exceptional, you need to put in the necessary time and effort. There’s no getting around it.

You should also wash your beard daily and apply beard oil in moderation. These efforts will prevent pore blockage, keep your skin healthy and might lead to greater beard thickness. Brush it regularly to maintain optimal growth patterns.

Most importantly, your diet and lifestyle must support your beard’s health. Exercise, eat the right foods, get eight hours of sleep and manage your stress. All of these things will enable your beard to grow to its full potential. 

Shape Your Beard to Perfection

Learning how to shape a beard takes some time, but once you understand your facial features and get comfortable with the tools and steps, you can shape your beard to perfection. Just remember: shaping isn’t a one-time thing. You have to make a long-term commitment to your beard and to your health.


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