Post date: March 21, 2024 | Blog

How To Trim, Shape, and Style A Short Beard

Beards have been steadily increasing in popularity for the last two decades. And there has been no more popular beard in recent times than your typical short beard!

There are inherent pros and cons to every beard length and style. Shorter beards, for example, are easier to maintain, more convenient in daily life, and often more complementary to people’s face shapes than their long-haired counterparts.

Today, we want to dive into the best ways to trim, shape, and style a short beard so you have everything you need in order to get the sharpest and cleanest beard possible.

Here’s what you’ll need:

There are plenty of useful tips and tricks in here about key ways for making your beard look better once the whole routine is finished, so don’t miss out.

How Long Is A Short Beard?

Screen Shot 2022 12 22 At 10.34.15 Am

Short beards are beards that have just exited the “stubble” phase, and can be characterized as having hairs that are long enough to overlap minimally, usually between 4mm-15mm in length.

To measure the length of your beard hairs, first you’ll have to take a look at how the hair grows. Facial hair that grows straight tend to look longer than hair of similar length that grow wavy or curly.

The benefit of straight beard hairs is that they make a beard appear to grow faster, the benefit of curly or coiled beard hairs is that they are great and making a beard appear fuller and hiding patchy areas.

How To Trim A Short Beard

Screen Shot 2022 11 02 At 1.32.40 Pm

A lot of people assume that trimming and shaping a beard are the same thing, but they can’t be more different.

Trimming refers to altering the overall length of the individual hairs that make up the beard. Shaping means altering how the beard looks by shaving certain parts to give it a different silhouette.

Think of trimming like mowing your lawn, evenly cutting all the grass to a uniform length. Think of shaping like weed-wacking or landscaping, and removing certain parts of the lawn to give it an overall sharp look around the edges.

Trimming is the simplest step of the process. All you have to do is decide how long you want the beard to look, and correlate that with the adjustable guard on your electric razor.

Typically, “short” facial hair ranges between 4mm-15mm.

One surefire way to get used to what length of guard is right for you is to pull an average hair out straight before measuring with a ruler, this way you don’t unintentionally trim longer curled hairs too short, causing the beard to look far shorter than it otherwise would.

For example, if you have coily facial hair, which appear to extend 5mm from your skin’s surface, but are simply coiling around themselves and are actually 10mm long, you’ll want to pull the hair out to measure.

Coily hair causes the hair to appear shorter and fuller, so if you end up using a 5mm guard instead of a proper 10mm guard, then the length of the beard may appear the same, but the apparent thickness of it will decrease.

Once you’ve found the right length, simply take your shaver and give the whole beard a good pass from multiple angles to catch any stragglers and even everything out. Keep in mind your facial hair won’t look perfectly clean right now, but trust the process.

How To Shape A Short Beard

Shaving Gel

Shaping a short beard is where the magic happens. Shaving certain areas to give your facial hair a defined edge and overall shape is what “cleans up” the appearance the most.

When shaving, we highly encourage you use a clear shaving gel like Volt’s Clear Shave. This way, the foam isn’t covering up the lines and causing you to shave unevenly without seeing what you’re doing.

We’d also recommend following up with an aftershave like this one, just for the health and longevity of your skin.

Shaping a short beard is fairly simple, just keep in mind these three lines:

  • Neck Line
  • Cheek Line
  • Lip Line

These lines make up the overall shape and style of your facial hair in general.

Trimming Your Neck Line

razor burn

The neckline makes the largest difference in terms of cleaning up your beard. Getting rid of all the stubble extra hair on your neck gives your jawline much more definition and structure.

To find your neckline, keep your head up straight and look forward. Take a straight object like your finger or a ruler and slowly slide it underneath your chin towards your neck.

At some point, your neck will block it from moving further, keep the straight object there and slowly tilt your chin up so you can see where your neckline should lay across your neck. Shave everything below this line.

Pro-Tip: Make sure to keep the angles at the edges of your jaw straight and sharp to give the beard that full masculine pointed look. Trust me, having rounded or “cut short” edges is not a good look.

Trimming Your Cheek Line


Your cheekline is usually what gives the beard a defined character. Low cheek lines give you that Hulk Hogan “horseshoe” look. Having a high cheekline gives you that full-bearded look, and everywhere in between.

To find your maximum possible cheekline, you’ll once again want to employ your straight object.

Rest the object at the connection point of your ear and your heard, and slowly tilt it down to find the corner of your mouth. Shaving anything that is above that line for a sharp and clean look. Shaving anything more will give you a different style.

Trimming Your Lip Line


Lip Lines are usually optional for most men, however for short beards, I would highly encourage you to trim your lip line frequently to upkeep the sharp and tidy appearance.

Not only is it annoying to be constantly chewing on mustache hairs, but having a wild mustache in an otherwise tidy and controlled facial hair style is a strange combination.

This part is the easiest, all you have to do is trim your mustache hairs to slightly above your top lip line, so that they are even with each other all the way across. That’s it.

You can either use a pair of small grooming scissors to do this, or you electric trimmer if you are skilled enough to do so.

How To Style A Short Beard


Styling a short beard is absolutely not as difficult as it may seem. After all, less hair means less mass with which to control and style.

To style a short beard you’ll need some kind of styling product such as beard balm or mustache wax.

Balm is going to combine the hydrating benefits of beard oil with some light hold of wax.

Mustache wax is going to be full-on strong hold and style without the added moisturizing and softening benefits. The choice is up to you.

Either way, what you’ll want to do is first brush your newly trimmed and shaped beard with a brush like Volt’s Octo Brush that has natural boar bristles.

These boar bristles helps clear skin cells, dirt, and debris from out of your facial hair, ensuring that the product you choose will last longer when applied to the facial hair.

Next, apply either your beard balm or mustache wax and wipe it downwards to direct the hairs to lay in line with each other for consistency and a tidy look.

Feel free to style your mustache however you want, handlebars or any other shapes can be fun to experiment with.

Next, take your comb and brush it downwards to separate any hairs that may be stuck to each other to make the end result look natural and clean.

Overall, trimming, shaping, and styling a short beard is a simple process and can be done in a matter of minutes.

Once you get it down in a way that works for you, just do it once or twice a week and your facial hair will look clean, tidy, and consistent for as long as you want it to!

You May Also Enjoy

Complete 2024 Beard Care Guide

Does Washing Your Beard Too Often Harm It?

What Beard Length Is Best For You?

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
      Calculate Shipping