Trimming With A Beard Trimmer To Maintain Short Facial HairWritten by Advice Team on August 15, 2019
Our advice team recently spent time surveying the team at Shavers to find out what their personal grooming routines were and the products they used to maintain their facial hair. We found a big trend with our 22 - 35 year olds, in that all of them are now maintaining different degrees and lengths of facial hair over a clean shave.
Trimming With A Beard Trimmer
To Maintain Short Facial Hair
Beards aren’t a new trend despite what the media might tell us. Their surge in “popularity” came alongside men choosing to maintain longer facial hair when more product for both trimming and caring for facial hair became more widely available. It was typical for a man to use scissors and hair clippers to keep up the maintenance before, with cartridge razors and electric shavers dominating the market.
Something change a decade ago and there’s been a rise in beard growth and a more widely available product range to support the “fashion”, as well as acceptance of facial hair in the working environment. There was once a point where there was a level of expectation for men to arrive at work clean shaven or with hardly noticeable stubble. Gone are the days (mostly).
“I HATE wet shaving, it brings me out in a rash and I haven't wet shaved since I was in my late teens, my routine is to let it grow, keep growing, and maybe tidy up the cheeks and neck when it needs it.” - Dean
Many of us can relate. Wet shaving doubles the time taken for grooming routines and the time it takes can be a tedious chore. If, like Oli, you do suffer from a rash when wet shaving (and would like to give it a go again) We’d recommend using a pre-shave balm or oil.
We shaving puts the blade in direct contact with the skin and the only barrier is the hair you’re removing. Pre-shave products act as a barrier to the skin and give a blade a smooth surface to work against. Whilst foams are good, oils and powders can be better and don’t form a thick lather that can clog the blade.
If you’ve got sensitive skin (left with red, irritated or itchy skin from wet shaving), we’d recommend trying BLOCMEN Aloe Vera which is designed to calm and reduce shaving burn or the King of Shaves Sensitive Advanced, the world’s most advanced shaving oil.
Best beard trimmer of choice
“Been using for the last couple of years and went for the Pro. It has a bigger range of lengths for beards and I typically go for either the 5mm or 7mm” - Dean
The Philips OneBlade came out on top as the most used for maintaining varying degrees of facial hair style and beard length. The OneBlade achieves a faster shave with its OneBlade technology, with a fast moving cutter and Dual Protection System to efficiently cut hair for a smooth, more timely trim, edge and shave. Including 3 stubble combs (1mm, 3mm and 5mm), the OneBlade follows the contours of the face, is water-resistant and with blades that need replacing every 4-months.
Post-trim aftercare for facial hair
“Never used beard oil or balm but do moisturise my face, never really had beard itch but my skin is prone to being dry!” - Aaron
Interestingly, most of our team either moisturised (with a non-shaving specific moisturiser) or didn’t use any product for their beard at all. Some found that their moisturiser kept their skin hydrated, whilst others did find that they were prone to dry skin. Why is that?
Whilst moisturising is great and good to keep your skin supple, hydrated and looking young, many generic moisturisers contain alcohol which will dry the skin.
Hair that grows from the face, no matter how long, naturally soaks the moisture from skin to keep the hair hydrated and healthy, and that’s why skin starts to dry out. That’s where facial hair specific beard oil or moisturisers come into their own. They are made to keep hair hydrated and healthy and stop the hairs from stealing all of the moisture from the skin.
Ever had beard itch? Ever had red or blotchy skin beneath the hair? Dry skin that feels tight, looks cracked or flakes? That’s because your facial hair is taking the moisture from the skin and causing it to react and is in need of some hydration.
The Bearded Man Co. is a firm favourite for beard oils and comes in a range of scents. Whilst seemingly expensive, only a small amount is needed to keep facial hair hydrated, softer and smelling great. If you don’t like the feel of oil, then consider a beard balm instead. BoBo’s Beard Balm range contains the finest Moroccan Argan Oil and we’re fond of the peppermint scent.
Whilst “as little time as possible” was a common response, routine seemed to differ most amongst the team at Shavers.
“Moustache first, on one setting (1.5mm), then the beard on a slightly higher setting (3mm), then the bottom of jaw / top of neck - 0mm - No attachment” - Craig
Craig finds that his moustache is a lot denser than the rest of his facial hair and has to use the trimmer at different lengths to ensure he’s getting a more even appearance.
“I tend to do the sides then the bottom of the neck and then work up to my chin. Shaving in general is annoying, but the mess it makes around the sink is the most annoying.” - Rubin
Rubin admitted he was particularly lazy when it came to his grooming routine for trimming his facial hair. He found the whole process a chore and tended to always trim before showering to avoid the added clean-up of hair after.
Some of the team didn’t really have a routine at all, simply moving from one side of their face to the other, and doing this when needed or every two weeks. But what is the “common” routine for trimming facial hair and what will save time?
Generally, a beard trimmer that’s water-resistant and cordless is going to cut down time when it can be done in the shower (if you’re not styling and edging too). Fogless mirrors are available that have suction cups when in the shower for easier grooming. Blades and age of the trimmer will always play a big factor into how well it cuts too. If your blades are older and the trimmers motor has seen some better days, then you will find that you’re starting to have to go over the same area multiple times.
Recommended routine for trimming
Getting the hair settled into one direction is going to save time and be less hassle when it comes to changing trimmer head attachments multiple times. Comb the hair from moustache to cheeks to the neck to settle the hair in position.
Use a trimmer to fade along the hair at the cheeks to give a subtle, fade-in from the cheekbone and below. Then use the trimmer to even the hair length at the neck to the chin always moving outward.
Comb the hair outward and use your desired length attachment to trim the hair. Then comb the hair downward over the lip, remove the clip and trim any hair that hangs over the lip for a neat finish.
Strays can be snipped with scissors if you’re conscious of accidentally slipping with a trimmer and cutting facial hair shorter than desired.
Use a beard oil or balm to keep hair healthy, hydrated and soft to prevent dry skin and beard itch.
Additional annoyances and tips
“Most annoying thing is when my trimmer doesn’t get all the hairs and I have to go over the same spot, like on my adams apple, about 10 times.” - Aaron
Definitely annoying but likely down to the blade having dulled from use or that the cutter is in need of oiling, so it’s moving smoother against the blade.
“Most annoying thing is stray / light hair that I've missed.” - Dean
Always make sure your beard is dry and combed before trimming it, so it’s easier to see exactly where hair is and keep it all in the same direction for cutting. We’d always recommend having a pair of scissors handy for those few hairs that we all somehow manage to miss.
“I wish what I use had a closer shave without the attachment (bottom of jaw / top of neck).” - Craig
One of our favourite tools for facial and beard hair trimming is the Panasonic ER-GD60 which allows for precise styling in harder to reach areas like under the jaw. The detail attachment reduces the trimmer head for precise stubble edging and changes cutting lengths with the turn of a dial. With 20 different cutting lengths and an “I” shaped design, the ER-GD60 makes for easier and quicker beard trimming for dry shaving. The rounded edges of the fixed blade ensure minimal contact with the skin, while the narrow gaps on the blade protect the skin from any nicking.