Should You Wash Your Beard Before Trimming? Here’s The Truth!

Should You Wash Your Beard Before Trimming

You go to the bathroom, approach your mirror and notice your beard getting a little too comfortable on your face. It’s probably time for a trim, but you might be thinking, “should I wash my beard before trimming?”

An unwashed beard accumulates a lot of build-up, making it feel dry and brittle to the touch. It wouldn’t be ideal to trim the beard then. Instead, a clean, patted-dry beard will provide healthier grounds for a better trim.

Stick around to know more about when and how you should trim your beard to get the cleanest cut.

Should I Wash My Beard Before Trimming?

It can be tough to answer this question for a few reasons. You might be wondering, “wouldn’t it be better to wash it after?” It might be better so you can get rid of all the annoying hairs that stay on your beard and cause severe itchiness.

On the other hand, you could also question whether it’s generally better for your beard health. As a whole, trimming the beard after a wash is always the best option.

If you trim your beard before washing it, you might risk having an uneven cut. A fresh and nicely combed-out beard will give you a more accurate trim result, as opposed to a tangled oily one.

If you’re worried about irritating your skin after the trim, you can resort to using moisturizing beard oil to keep things healthy and hydrated.

Reasons Why You Should Wash Your Beard Before Trimming it

Here are a few of the reasons you should note that favor a pre-wash trimming regimen.

Reason 1: Good for Skin Health

When you wash your beard before getting it trimmed you don’t want to be using scalding hot water that can easily dry out your skin.

Warm water is better because it can unclog your pores. It’s also preferable to keep your beard hair follicles warmer. That itchiness might also be a long-lost memory.

By getting a warm water wash, your beard hair will become much more manageable and softer, making it less of a hassle to trim.

Reason 2: Avoids Excess Irritation

Let’s say you get your beard trimmed before a wash. A freshly trimmed beard already feels prickly on the skin, washing it after will only suck any remaining moisture out.

Trimming your beard is already a challenging task since it involves a lot of pulling and traction on your beard skin area. Moving the blade around your skin causes abrasiveness, making your skin feel even tougher.

That’s why a pre-wash is needed to avoid over-drying the skin and causing more scratchiness and unwanted redness.

Reason 3: More Precise Shaping

If your beard is unkempt, it’ll prove difficult to shape. You won’t have the perfect canvas to work on.

Uncombed and unwashed beards will only yield unflattering shaping. If you do end up trimming it before a wash it won’t look the same after the wash.

How Should You Trim Your Beard?

How Should You Trim Your Beard

Now, there’s the question of how you can trim your beard. Having a well-thought-out routine will reward you with an exceptional finish.

Without further ado, here’s how you can trim your beard.

Step 1: Wash Your Beard

This is the most crucial step in this guide. We recommend using a specified beard shampoo, especially if you have particularly sensitive beard skin.

Make sure to get in all the crevices. To steer clear of dehydration, apply conditioner after shampooing.

Step 2: Dry Your Beard

Next, you simply need to blow dry your beard. You can optionally towel-dry it as well. The point is, it needs to be dry for the next step. Trust us, you don’t want shrinkage to affect your beard’s shape.

After it’s dry, give it a good brush so it becomes detangled and easier to course through.

Step 3: Start Trimming

All you need to do now is prepare your trimming materials and get to it. You can start around your cheek area, where you keep it a bit shorter than the rest, then move on to the mustache.

When starting, try to use a larger guard on the trimmer at first so you can avoid getting a cut that’s too short.

The mustache will require scissors to work through better. It’s all down to your personal preference in that area.

Don’t forget the neckline. You can use your Adam’s apple as a reference. Trimming the neckline under Adam’s apple could be your best bet at a tidier beard.

Step 4: Moisturize Your Beard

Finally, get your beard combed and clear any stray hairs out. Then, give it a quick rinse before styling it with a gel, pomade, or oil.

You can optionally use the trimming scissors to clip off any extra hairs or give it some final touches and you’re done.

What to Consider When Trimming Your Beard

What to Consider When Trimming Your Beard

There are a few factors you might want to consider before trimming your beard, especially if you’re trying to grow it out.

Here are some of them below.

  • Make sure your beard is dry before trimming it. Think of it this way, when your hair is wet, it’s usually longer than usual and then shrinks as it dries up. The same would apply to your beard.
  • Always carry the right tools before beginning the trim such as an electric clipper, trimming scissors, and a beard comb.
  • To keep the beard neater, focus on the three main points, neckline, mustache, and cheek line.
  • Try to always have a clear idea of the shape you’re going for. For instance, you might want to make it a circle, full, or ducktail beard.

What to Avoid Doing When Trimming Your Beard

When it comes to trimming down your beard, there are a lot of don’ts. When things go wrong, your beard might end up too messy and in the worst scenarios, clean-shaven.

Check out a few of our don’ts below.

  • Don’t trim without a plan. Try to add a 15 to 20-minute portion in your schedule dedicated to your beard.
  • Don’t let it go. What we mean by that is to try to monitor your beard’s growth. It can easily look like a cave man’s beard if left alone for a while. Also, remember that you don’t need to trim a whole lot to see a difference.
  • Don’t leave your beard unclean. A crummy beard will only lead to a bad skin reaction and more itching. It can also give off an unpleasant smell.

To Conclude

Should you wash your beard before trimming? Well, the answer is simply yes. Washing the beard will get rid of any remaining crumbs, dirt, and build-up that will end up giving you a rough cut.

By following our simple how-to guide on trimming your beard, you’ll be well on your way to a more refined look. Remember, a beard won’t look any good by leaving it alone. You need to have the right trimming routine down.

Check out our article, “How to Make a Beard Shaping Tool at Home: A Complete Guide” to nail down your trimming style.



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Hi, my name is Roland. I started Beard Guidance so I can share the knowledge I’ve acquired from years of beard-having experience in easy-to-read but informative and practical articles.

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