It has become synonymous with shut-ins and social outcasts.
When you’re growing a beard out, one of the most important things to learn is how to trim a beard neckline for a clean neck shave to avoid the dreaded neckbeard.
Besides looking like a nerd, but not in a good way nerdy, a messy neckline is unprofessional looking and wouldn’t pass muster in most office settings.
And, it is usually uncomfortable.
In this article, I am going to lay out some easy steps for a nice, trim beard neckline.
With this guide and the right tools, you can get started shaving neck beard for a clean and comfortable look.
Finding where you should put your neckline when you’re trying to give yourself a neck shave is a bit tricky if you are new to it.
Where Should My Beard Neckline Be?
This is probably the trickiest part that confuses guys that are trying to grow a beard and look like a socially adept human being.
Unless you’re going to trim beard neckline for a chinstrap, then there really is only one way to determine where the line should be.
A key feature of the proper beard neckline is straight lines. Don’t try to make a round line across your neck. This will make your face look rounder than it might already be and direct attention to the line instead of your glorious facial hair.
When looking at your beard from the side, there should be two straight lines. One line that runs along the sideburn to under your ear, where it stops and then another line runs straight from that point to above your Adam’s apple.
To create these lines, take two fingers together and place them above your Adam’s apple. That is the height of the bottom line. Then, with your head tilted back. That line should be parallel with the back of your ear.
When your head is at its natural position it will run at a slight angle going up towards your earlobe.
How Do I Shape My Neckline?
Hopefully, you have been doing a proper beard maintenance routine and your beard is not unruly.
If you haven’t been caring for it, this is a good time to start, but at a minimum, brush it out and make it smooth.
Get in front of a mirror, a three way one is best if you have one, and visualize where the line should be by doing the previous step.
Then, tilt your head up to keep your skin taut. If you don’t have your skin tight as a drum, then your trimmers will catch and you can get nicked.
Take a trimmer and use it to make a line starting from your Adam’s apple to under your earlobe. If you’re using adjustable clippers then they should be closed to get the lowest setting.
Now that you have the line made, just shave off the excess hair underneath that line with the trimmers.
If you have hair coming up from your chest that connects with the beard, then shave all the way down to at least where the collar is.
If you don’t trust yourself to do this freehand then you can use a beard template.
This is like a stencil that will help you keep a straight line and steady hand as you’re shaving neck beard and the hair on your cheeks.
Check out our guide on how to use a beard template to trim beard necklines to get in depth advice.
If even that is intimidating, the best thing to do is go to a barber where he can give you a professional neck shave and then you only need to follow the lines he laid out for you after that.
Essential Tools for the Neck Shave and to Trim Beard Neckline
If you don’t have time to follow the links to the in depth articles, then here is a brief rundown of what you really need to do this neck shave on your own.
Three Way Mirror
If you are growing any kind of beard style, then you really need to have a three way mirror set up in your bathroom or wherever it is you plan to groom your beard.
Without it, you are making your life really difficult. You need to be able to see every angle of your face the way others see it to be able to get the angles right and the lines straight.
Beard Brush or Comb
You should already have at least one if you are serious about growing a beard. Having a good beard brush or comb is going to keep your beard healthy, full and will attract attention for all the right reasons.
If you have been growing a beard and don’t already have one, then you’re doing your beard and yourself a disservice. As well as everybody who has to look at your scraggly beard!
You don’t have to spend a fortune here, but get the best beard trimmers that fit within your budget. You don’t want to go to cheap if you plan on having a beard for years, since you will find yourself replacing them too often.
You should have something that is adjustable or has plastic combs to adjust the length.
You thought you could toss your razors once you started growing a beard, didn’t you?
If you are going to trim beard neckline then you will also need to be shaving neck beard off with a good razor.
Again, no need to go all out here but have yourself a good razor and quality shaving soap to make sure you don’t end up with ingrown hairs.
Having a way to keep your area clean from beard hair will make sure you actually take better care of your beard.
When you procrastinate trimming your beard because you don’t want to clean up after, then you really need this beard bib.
If you think you only need it when you do your first neck beard trim, then you’ll be surprised how often you use it to keep your beard groomed on a regular basis.
Do I Need a Shaved Neckline?
There are certain types of beards when you really don’t need to worry about keeping a trim beard neckline.
For instance, if you are going for a stubble beard, you could choose to go for stubble all over. In which case, you won’t have a neckbeard and then there is nothing to worry about.
And if you’re trimming a stubble beard, you can even go higher up with the neckline and shave it right below your jawline.
Chinstrap beards also don’t need to have a neckline as they also follow the jawline.
Then there are the lucky guys whose beard has natural edges that stop where they should. You should still keep your beard edged, but you don’t need to worry too much about learning how to trim a beard neckline since the beard has already decided where the line should be.
How to Fade Trim Beard Necklines
If you are really confident with your freehand beard trimming abilities, you can fade your beard into your neckline.
If your beard grows down to your chest hairs, then use the Adam’s apple as the guide. You’ll want to have it shaved under that point and then start the fade right where it begins.
Start with a low clipper setting and trim it up about an inch past the Adam’s apple, Then switch to a longer setting and start trimming but quickly flick out. You don’t want to go up more than a half inch for this part.
Continue to do this with gradually longer clipper settings until you get below the chin. This should be the longest part of the beard to give it a nice concave shape on your neckline.
How to Fix a Neckline Gone Bad
Doing your own neck shave to trim beard necklines is not easy and if it is your first time, chances are you’ll make a mistake or two.
Don’t despair if you shaved up too high or if the line is uneven.
There is a way to fix it.
Actually two possible ways.
The most common mistake is an uneven line. Instead of chasing the line and risking going up way too close to the jawline, your best bet is to let it grow in for a few days and then try it again. Incidentally, this is just enough time to wait for your beard template to arrive from Amazon.com!
Once you have a blank template again, so to speak, you can start from the beginning.
The other possibility is to trim your beard shorter, or fade it in as I described in the last section. This is a good way to let your beard grow back in evenly instead of just waiting a few days for it to grow back.
If you went up too high with the original line and don’t like the way it looks, then you really can’t do anything aside from letting it grow back. Or, you can trim your beard way down so the line doesn’t look so high. A high neckline only looks bad when you have a long beard.
If you do decide to grow it out, you will need to start a new neckline as soon as you have stubble to define where you actually wanted it. Then wait for it to grow back to the original length while you continue to shave to the edge.
This actually takes a bit more patience.
Other Shaving Neck Beard Considerations
I mentioned earlier that ingrown hairs can be a problem when shaving neck beards. This usually happens when you are shaving down long beard hairs that grow in different directions. This is why it is a common problem since this is the spot of the beard that can grow straight up instead of top down like your cheeks and chin.
Always shave with the grain, especially if your skin in this area hasn’t been shaved in a while.
And, take your time to do a good shave by getting your skin and beard really wet and using a good shaving cream. You may be tempted to do a quickie shave since you aren’t doing your whole face. Resist this urge and you can avoid ingrown hairs.
When is the best time to trim beard necklines?
Trim up the beard portion when you create the neckline and then shave off the rest of the neckbeard before the shower. One reason is to wash off the stray hairs from when you trimmed it.
Do the neck shave portion after the shower when your skin is properly hydrated and you will be rewarded with a smooth and irritation free shave.
Remember to regularly maintain the neckline so you don’t have to start from scratch everytime. Ideally, you’re shaving under the neckline every day or two, but if you let it go longer, make sure the line is still visible when you’re ready for shaving neck beard again.
Wrapping It Up
Even though this guide on how to trim your beard neckline is pretty straightforward and should be easy to do yourself, there is nothing like having a professional take care of it for you. At least the first time.
And, I can’t reiterate enough how important it is to maintain this beard neckline. Whatever it takes to get it done, you should do. Whether it is going to a barber, trying to freehand or using a beard template.
Once you have a trim beard neckline you also need to get the rest of your beard in order so you can start looking like the guys you see in the magazines!
Got any advice for the guys that are finally coming out of their mom’s basement and want to have a glorious beard with sharp edges?
Leave a comment below if you need help or want to give up some advice to those poor souls!