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Last updated: February 09, 2024

Beard Grooming 101: 5 Tips For Beginners

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Men’s grooming is something most of us have to pick up during an apprenticeship or learn along the way in our career. For something as common as a line up or beard trim—one small mistake can change your client’s entire face. Read these tips from barbering experts to gain confidence to take on more male clients.



1. Test Your Guard Before Using A Clipper

Sport Clips Artistic Team Member Meghan Blanchette (@meghandleshair) demos that even as a pro, she likes to run a guard through her client’s beard before attaching it on her clipper to use. Depending on the texture of your client’s beard (especially as a beginner) the amount of hair a guard will take off could be deceiving. 


Here’s how you can try Meghan’s trick:

  • Run your guard through your client’s hair in the direction of hair growth.
  • Notice below when Meghan flips the guard upside down (to simulate cutting against the grain) the amount of bulk the guard takes off.
  • ALWAYS trim beards going against the grain of hair when you’re doing a cleanup.



2. Understanding Men’s Face Shape Goals

No matter your client’s face shape, Meghan demos how male clients typically want to go for an angular face shape—square at the top, pointed toward the bottom. (See reference diagram below.)

Although the end goal may consistently be super angular, not all beards should be cut the same. Understanding your client’s contours and natural beard pattern is super important before picking up a trimmer. 



3. Creating An Angular Beard Shape For Any Client

Although the majority of male clients prefer an angular shape, getting to that result will require adjustments on each individual client. 


Your client’s face shape will determine how much hair you leave around certain areas of the beard. Megan explains that because her client has an oval face shape, these are some go-to tips you can try. 


Creating an angular beard on an oval face shape:

  • Remove bulk around the chin. Taking off length and weight around the mouth and chin will slim the face and begin to create the pointed edge like the diagram above.
  • On the cheeks, only trim to where the beard hair becomes full. Trimming just the sparse areas that creep up onto the cheeks will ensure you keep a strong line angling toward the mouth.

Pro Tip: When lining up your client’s face, flip your trimmer upside down. This allows you to be able to see exactly what line you’re creating without the guess-and-check method.



4. How To Blend A Beard Into A Fade 

To feather your client’s fade into their beard seamlessly, you’ll want to grab your trimmer. 


“I bring my trimmer down the side burn where the fade connects to the beard,” explains Meghan. “Using my trimmer with the moving blade away from the client’s face, this technique allows me to create a feathered, blended look that doesn’t take off length.”



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