We could all use a little pick-me-up these days… little sparks throughout the day that inspire us to feel good despite the challenges before us.
Here’s one that doesn’t require you to fatten that belly: Trimming that beard.
Believe it or not, even with minimal experience, you can trim your beard at home with a few simple steps. Don’t have a beard trimmer? No worries — this tutorial only requires a pair of scissors (hair-cutting shears are ideal, but if you don’t have those don’t worry — your whiskers aren’t really going to care how fancy your scissors are, and we won’t judge you under these dire-ish weird home-quarantined conditions. I mean, the fact that you are even reading this tells me you care even a little bit about your appearance right now, and trust me, that is saying a lot. I mean, who is even looking at you right now? Your partner? Your fam? C’mon, they’ve seen you at your worst. Your co-workers on Zoom? Unless you have a professional camcorder, they won’t be able to tell whiskers from freckles or freckles from pieces of chocolate stuck to your face).
Nevertheless, looking good is something you can do for yourself, and it WILL make a difference to that special man in the mirror who didn’t let a little quarantine get in the way of grooming. It will go a long way to make you look sharp, feel good, and offer some self-care to your face.
How to Trim Your Beard at Home in 5 Simple Steps
1. Wash it.
Using a high-quality, natural soap is key. We’re partial to this birch tar soap. We handcraft it in small batches in a tiny shop in Lafayette, CO. It’s packed with natural glycerine, which won’t dry out your face or beard, and natural birch tar, which has been known to help clear up acne, psoriasis and eczema.* Make a nice lather and use your fingertips to massage your face and beard.
*This is anecdotal evidence from our very own #modcabinmen via their reviews
2. Dry it.
Air drying is best if you have the time, but if you don’t, use a blow dryer on a medium-high setting. Keep the dryer 3-4 inches from your beard and slowly wave it up and down your beard — it should be dry within a few minutes.
3. Comb it.
Comb or brush your beard on top and underneath, over and over until you begin to tease out the wirey stragglers. Do the same for your mustache.
4. Trim it.
Using 2 mirrors if you got ‘em, positioned on both sides of your face to give you a more accurate look, slowly snip away at the beard hairs that are sticking out and preventing you from having a tame, shaped style. As your beard gets longer, there are parts that grow faster than others, and this can cause your beard to look unkempt. Your beard may also splay out as it gets longer, which can be unflattering to your face. Shape your beard so that it enhances and lengthens your jaw. Most men will benefit from a simple beard style: Longer at the very bottom and buzzed closer to the skin on the sides. This will give the appearance of a stronger, more attractive jawline.
Then, comb your mustache well to reveal its truth length and slowly snip away parallel to your lip line, being careful not to cut too far above it. Remember — you can always cut more hair later, but it will take quite a while to grow your beard and mustache back to a patch-less state if you overdo the snipping.
5. The final step: Edge your beard.
You wouldn’t mow your lawn but not trim the hedges, would you? The final step is cleaning up the edges and creating a clear perimeter for your beard according to your own facial contours and lines. Here’s a chart to help you visualize the lines on your own face:
Draw an imaginary line from the corner of your mouth to the top of your ear. (You’ll want to use a ruler or tape measure for this part if you are just getting familiar with your lines.) This is your cheek line, and you don’t want to go under it while shaving. To create your neck line, start under one earlobe and draw a line across your throat to the other earlobe. This line should be about 2 finger widths above your Adam’s apple (lean your head back if this gives you a more accurate reading). This is where your neck should begin to be visible — shave below this line. Shaving too high is a common mistake that’s easy to avoid.
Shave slowly, stopping to check the lines to make sure you’re not deviating from your own personal beard pattern.