One thing that we have found about having a long beard is that you tend to feel a bit of pressure to keep it long. It becomes such a staple for your look, that you (and others) begin to associate your beard length with your personality. This can prevent you from being a bit more creative and experimenting with and evolving your look, which is often one of the reasons that you started growing a beard to begin with. We will talk more about styles and techniques for trimming in upcoming posts, but for now, we’re going to focus a bit more on some advice if you’re thinking of going from a long beard to a short beard.
Don’t Rush It
One of the first pieces of advice we can give you here is not to rush into trimming your beard or making any snap decisions to trim it. Everybody has bad hair or beard days from time to time. Even a few in a row may not really warrant any extreme trimming. Just a touch up could put you back in the game and keep you from making a drastic mistake.
Have A Plan
When you do decide to trim it, make sure you have a plan and have a clear mind to focus on the task. If you don’t, you will be much more likely to make an error and may end up losing you beard altogether. If you suddenly go from 6 or more inches of beard, that you’ve been cultivating for a few years, down to nothing, it will take a pretty emotional toll on you.
It is much better to work with smaller cuts that you can manage, shape, and stop when you need to rather than go in and just start hacking and then realize you’re in over your head.
See A Professional (Maybe)
In some cases, if you want to make major changes, it is better to get the foundational work done by a professional. You will have an easier time maintaining a professional, and well done trim, than continually having to adjust your own amateur work.
This is not to say that all barbers are created equal though. If you are going to have someone else do it, make sure that they are skilled and experienced with beards. Trimming a beard has different nuances that cutting hair and having to pay for a bad beard trim by someone who doesn’t really have much experience with beards can be painful. Especially if you have to find someone else to fix their work, end up with a much shorter beard than desired, or end up having to shave it off altogether.
Wash, Dry, and Style
After your beard is trimmed, it is almost in a state of shock. In order to see what you are really working with, you will need to hit the reset button. Take a nice warm shower and wash and soak your beard. When you are done, thoroughly dry your beard, and we recommend using a blow dryer to help straighten and style it. Don't forget the beard oil. A freshly cut beard can need some behavioral modifications, and if you just let it air dry, your initial styling won’t hold very well, and you may find yourself quite disappointed in the look.
For some people, a really dramatic change to their look can be quite emotional. In that state of mind, you might be tempted to make some rash decisions. Just give yourself a couple of days to get accustomed to what you have done before you attempt to make any further changes.
Assess the Situation
After a few days, when your beard is a bit less shocked from the change, you will be able to have a much better feel for the shape and style that your beard really has. At this point, you can start to think about what adjustments you may want to make.
One think to keep in mind that you may not have noticed in a while, is that with less hair and less weight pulling your beard down, that the hair may grow in different directions on different parts of your face and neck and could create some interesting patterns or imbalances to address. You may also see that your hair is curlier in some places, sticks out more in others, and is maybe thinner in others. After waiting a few days to observe the patterns that your beard reveals, you will be in a much better place to make the adjustments to fine tune your look.
There comes a point when everyone wants to experiment with their beard. We hope that this advice will prepare you a bit for what you might expect after you’ve decided to go under the knife, so to speak.
Until next time, keep growing.