Beards can change the entire look of a man, but they require a lot of work. While it’s still true that most people think of going clean-shaven as an impressive look for professional environments, I always say that a well-groomed beard is a timeless fashion statement.
However, that’s the key issue here: beards aren’t any good unless they’re well-groomed. A well-maintained beard looks better, presents fewer hazards for your health, and something that women pay a lot of attention to.
And while shavers can do the heavy trimming, you’ll always get the best results with a practiced hand and a quality pair of scissors. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in learning more about, here’s a brief guide on how to trim your beard with scissors.
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Why Use Scissors?
Let’s get one thing out of the way – I am not saying that you should never use electric shavers to trim your beard. They’re an easy and efficient way to get things done, and they’re one of the best grooming tools that any man can have.
But let’s face facts: not every guy has the money to buy a high-quality pair of shavers. Shavers can also be pretty tricky to work with, and they can be disastrous if you get it wrong. A little jerk of the hand or a slight bump to your arm, and all that hair you’ve been building up for months just gets buzzed clean off.
Scissors aren’t like that. They’re simple, easy to use, and more suited for day-to-day trimming than electric shavers. They don’t require a lot of practice to get right, and you can use them to make precise, incremental changes, which are crucial if you want to maintain a look.
I’ve always thought that the best beards are groomed by men who use both electric shavers and scissors with their grooming routine. And so far, I haven’t been proven wrong!
How To Trim Your Beard With Scissors
So how do you trim your beard with scissors? While the exact method that you’ll use will vary depending on your beard length and the look that you want, here are some of the things you should always keep in mind:
Take A Shower, But Dry Your Beard Beforehand
Beards can accumulate a lot of dirt throughout the day, so always make sure that you clean it before you trim. Any gunk trapped in your hair can affect how clean your scissors will cut, so always make sure that you shower before you trim.
However, never trim your beard while it’s wet. Water weighs down your hair, so you’ll always end up trimming off more than you want. Use a bit of shampoo and give your beard a thorough combing once you’re done.
This is especially important if you use anything like beeswax or beard cream regularly, since these oils can dull your scissors. I’ve always found that a clean beard is an easy-to-trim beard!
Comb Before Cutting
Aside from clearing out knots, a well-combed beard can give you some idea of which parts to cut. Using a rigid, polished, and narrow-toothed comb is the best choice since it can get a lot of tiny little knots out of the way. Your comb is your scissor’s other half! Used together, they’re a versatile grooming tool that can easily trim your beard the way you want.
My personal advice for selecting a comb is to make sure that you don’t get the cheap plastic ones you can get in a store. I’ve used a few of them when I didn’t have my usual comb, and they’ve always given me horrible results.
I’ve found that the best combs are:
- Not machine-punched
- Made of molded steel, plastic, or wood
- Hand or machine-polished
I personally use a saw-cut comb like the ZEUS or Kent comb, since they’re extremely durable and are great to handle when combing your beard. You don’t have to worry about the teeth snapping off no matter how tangled your bush is, and they won’t cause any split ends when you brush.
Cut From The Bottom To The Sides
Always start from the bottom, going to the sides of your beard. I recommend starting from the chin area and follow your jawline when you trim. It’s a clean look that works well in casual and office settings, and it doesn’t require any fancy styling on your part.
One thing that I see men constantly forget when trimming their beards is to trim the sides with their chin. Beards grow all over the place. While you may have more hair to trim away at the chin and jawline, your cheeks and sideburns also grow at the same rate!
Finally, you need to pay special attention to the hair on your neck. This can be a tricky area to style since you can’t see it that well, but an excellent method I’ve found is to just make sure the hairs on your neck are shorter than the hair on your chin. This gives you a cleanly trimmed look that’s easy to maintain.
Repeat after me: beard balm and beard oil are your best friends. They’re the stuff that can push your beard from bushy to beautiful, and you should never try growing a beard without them.
Beard oil contains carrier and essential oils, which basically mimic the natural oil your skin produces and gives your beard some fragrance. If you have a significant other who loves burying their face around your neck, they’ll go nuts if you use the right beard oil.
If you want to make your beard more presentable, then you should invest in a good beard balm. Aside from containing all the stuff that’s already in beard oil, beard balm can help give your beard hold its shape better while hydrating it at the same time. This makes your beard less likely to experience split ends.
It’s A Daily Routine
Unlike shaving, you need to be a lot more on point with how often you trim your beard. Beards can grow fast or slow depending on a lot of factors, but that just makes it more important for you to check how well it’s growing every day or every other day.
If you want to grow and maintain a beard, put the effort in. While your barber can help a little when you come in for a trim, you need to put in the consistent effort to maintain and trim your beard between visits.
I’ve seen a lot of beards that look absolutely amazing fresh off the barbershop, but look terrible three days after because the guy didn’t know how to trim it. Beards. Need. Work. If you don’t think you can commit, it might be best to hold off on growing one for now.
One last thing I see a lot of guys ignore when using scissors to trim their hair is maintenance. Remember, your trim will only be as good as your tools. If you don’t take care of your scissors when you cut your hair, you’ll end up with a nasty-looking trim that can be difficult to fix.
Luckily, scissor aftercare isn’t that hard. Here are some tips I’ve discovered that you can use to keep your scissors in good shape:
- Avoid holding them by the blades too often. This prevents them from being affected by the natural oils found in your fingers, and any other things that may gunk up the blades.
- Use a small brush to clean off bits of stray hair. Any hair that gets locked in pivot points can affect the swing of the scissors, which can cause botched cuts.
- Oil regularly. I personally put one to two drops of oil on my scissors twice a week, though you may need to do it more if you trim your beard more often.
- Never use your scissors to cut anything else aside from your hair. Your beard scissors should only be used on your beard!
- Clean with warm soapy water, then sanitize after each use. This helps the blades stay free from bacteria and other bits of dirt that might’ve been lurking in your beard.
High-quality scissors don’t need as much maintenance, but you still have to make sure that they’re in good working order to get the best trim possible.
Using a scissor to trim your beard might be a challenge, but I can guarantee that you’ll find your grooming routine going a lot easier when you get used to it. Once you learn how to trim your beard with scissors, you’ll be well on your way to having a beard to be proud of.
Just remember the basics of trimming: cut, comb, and condition. Once you get these three things down pat, trimming your beard becomes a breeze. And once you master these basics, you can experiment with different styles and beard lengths for a versatile yet well-groomed look.
If you’re not sure about what kind of look to follow, there are plenty of resources that you can consult online, though one of the best places to consult would be your nearby barber. I’ve gotten excellent advice from my barber about what beard style looks best for me, and tips on how to handle my scissors.
With enough practice, the right tools, and a bit of patience, your beard will look as magnificent as you’ve always wanted it to be.
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