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How To Shape A Beard For A Clean & Tight Look

People want their beards to look professional. We’re tired of stray hairs and crooked cheek lines. We want a system that’ll keep our beards clean and tight, the way we intended.

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It’s never been easy. Without the correct information, a beard can quickly transform from a good idea to a facial mess. The internet is full of grooming articles, but none have all the information in one place. None of them apply to all beards. 

Until now, that is. Below, you will find a step by step process on beard shaping perfection. Take out your trimmers, fellas. Let’s get clipping. 

Step One: What You Need to Start Shaping Your Beard

Most men think you only need a couple of tools to shape a beard properly. A trimming machine and some shaving cream should do the job, right? Wrong. A good beard groomer should have:

  • An Electric Shaver: For trimming and shaping.  
  • A Razor:  For getting those beard lines extra tight
  • Beard Oil/Cream: For maintenance, styling, and hydration

Once you have these, you’ll be ready to get started shaping your beard. The razor is essential, especially if you have stray hairs that go up to your eyeballs! 

Step Two: Choose Your Beard Shape

How To Shape A Beard glasses

Faces come in many shapes and sizes, and a different face calls for a different beard. There are four key measurements. You’ll need to measure the distance between the following: 

  • The curve of each eyebrow
  • Your cheekbones
  • Your jawbones (just below the ear)
  • Center of the Hairline to the tip of the chin

Once you have these measurements, use a face chart to find your match. A beard and the jaw are best friends. These two need to work together to make the perfect match and form a sleek rounded edge. Many styles correspond to each face shape. We will focus on the four general types of long, medium, short, and square for this article. 

Step Three: Shaping and Different Styles of Beard

How To Shape A Beard For A Clean & Tight Look

We’re going to describe the steps generally so you can apply them to your beard. Then we’ll go over the different procedures for each style.

  1. Thorough Washing: You don’t want to be styling a beard with food in it. Plus, if the hair is recently washed, it’s smoother and easier to work with.  
  2. Detangle your Beard: Run a wide-tooth comb from the tip of your chin to the end. You’ll know you’re done when you can run it all the way across with no resistance. 
  3. Trim the Interior: Trim the side of the cheek and the bulk of the beard. Angle your clipper downward and form a wall between the cheek and the tip of the beard. Use the guard on your trimmer to prevent mistakes. Just get the outer hairs that are sticking out. Repeat this process for the other side and the front. 
  4. Trim the Shelf: This is the under part of your beard. Tilt your head back and work the shaver from the base of your beard to your adam’s apple at your preferred angle. 
  5. Trim the Outline: Work your way along the outer edge of your beard from sideburn to tip. Then do the mouth line underneath your mustache. The top line is next, the area between your sideburn and mustache.
  6. Use Razor to Make Edges: Once you’ve made the shape with the trimmer, take your razor to make those lines even sharper. Remember to move slowly, and you’ll avoid cuts or crooked lines. 
  7. Rewash and Condition: Give it another wash to get rid of those stray hairs, then toss some beard oil in there to keep it moist. 
How To Shape A Beard shave

How to Shape a Long Beard

Long beards are a lot of work to maintain but can also be the most magnificent. Always remember to wash your beard with quality shampoo to keep it hydrated and looking smooth. Long beards require extra attention with shampoo and conditioning. More hair means more opportunity for things to get stuck in there and also makes them dry out quickly.

Men with long beards usually leave their mustache longer to match the rest. Make sure always to work from top to bottom when shaving to preserve length. 

How to Shape a Medium Beard

While you’re growing out your beard, make sure to trim it regularly. Only allowing it to grow and then cutting later will make the shaping process much harder. Trim the sideburns extra tight so that they don’t add unneeded width to your face.

Comb out the area under your chin, so you know it’s length before you trim. Otherwise, it can get puffy. Make sure you hydrate this beard well because dandruff can rise to the surface quickly on medium beards. 

How to Shape a Short Beard

Use a trimmer with an adjustable guard. This way, you can have more flexibility with the length of your stubble while also preventing mistakes. After that, a razor will be an essential tool for everything below the adam's apple and around the neck. Make sure you don’t follow the jawline when choosing an edge. Barbers recommend just above the adam's apple as a finishing point. 

How to Shape a Square Beard

Depending on the length, you can follow the steps and the tips above. Just remember, if you want it to be squared, you should probably take some measurements (aligned with points on your face). You can even use a straightedge to get the perfect angles. 

Tips for Beard Shaping

How To Shape A Beard barber

Now that you know the basics for beard shaping, you probably have some questions. Below we’ve answered and provided tips for some of the most confusing things in beard shaping.

How to Shape a Beard Jawline

Keep your sideburn area and below longer than the midsection of your cheek. Make sure everything is aligned before you make the final trims. Keep your chin longer to distinguish it from the jaw. 

How to Shape a Beard Cheek Line,

Many men like to place their cheek line higher up the cheek because it can make the cheeks look bigger when it’s low. If you have a thin face and a strong jaw, you can make the line lower. You’ll also have the option of a straight or curved line. Curved lines are more common, but if you have a broad face. 

How to Shape a Beard Neckline

The recommended end for a neckline is about an inch below the jawbone. Neck hairs around the adam's apple can make the neck look thicker than it is. As you move across your neck, follow the structure of the jaw to give it more definition. The neckline should end just about the adam’s apple. 

How to Shape a Scraggly Beard 

The first thing you should do is get your beard shaped by a good barber. After the barber sets a good base, the beard should grow more tamely. Beard products are also essential. Some wax can tame even the wildest of beard, while good conditioning and oils will keep it silky smooth. Also, make sure to pay close attention to the interior of the beard, trimming regularly. 

How to Shape a Goatee 

Trim the beard surrounding your goatee down to 10mm. Then remove your guard and begin shaping the outline by slowly working the trimmer inward. Once you feel the goatee is a good shape for your face, you can take out a razor or precision trimmer to do the edges. 


Your beard is the centerpiece of your face. You want it to reflect the well-put-together man that you are. Use these steps and tips to bring your beard to a place of admiration. Not just from onlookers, but also when you look in the mirror.

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David Schwartz

Born and raised in Austin, David is a dedicated writer and avid fragrance lover. When he's not trying out perfumes, he enjoys traveling and exploring new restaurants.