How to Maintain the Ideal Beard Length

Growing a beard is one thing, huh. Maintaining the ideal length? Well, that’s another box of frogs, as they say. A different kettle of fish. Once it’s reached the optimum length, you wouldn’t want to ruin months of patience by over-trimming your beard.

Getting your beard to chill at the desired length can be an intimidating task, for sure. Whether it’s keeping the shape of a longer beard or knowing when to prune to stray hairs out of a short one, the delicate prune is an art form of its own. It’s time to learn how…

Keeping it dapper with a short beard

If you’re looking to keep it casual with a shorter beard but don’t like the Rugrat connotations of being clean-shaven then you’re not alone. With a bit of beard care, it’s easy to rock a short beard pretty much permanently.

Maintaining the length of a short beard is child’s play.

How?

By getting jiggy with the beard trimmer. What? You haven’t read our ultimate guide on how to use a beard trimmer? Okay, well… do that now and come back in a second.

For shorter guards, length maintenance is pretty much just a case of popping a guard on the trimmer and mowing the lawn.

Be warned though – converse to popular logic, the short beard is often considered harder to maintain by those in the know. When a wise man decides to dedicate his time to the pursuit of long beards, he can afford to allow his neckline to grow wild without being tended.

Short & Shapely

The real art of the short beard is a delicate prune.

This might mean ensuring that your moustache is trimmed above your upper lip with a pair of nail scissors but allowing each end to grow out slightly.

It might mean clean-shaving above your cheek line to ensure there’s nothing stray, unkempt or out of place.

And it damn well should mean making sure that you look after your neckline. Keeping that puppy at a consistent height above your Adam’s apple is a surefire way to strengthen your jawline and enhance your face shape.

Living it up with full-on beard length

Like the roots of a gnarled old tree, your facial hair will grow longer as you steadily become wiser. But forget not this my friend – whilst time may waste you away, beard style is forever. Especially if you learn to keep it at a consistent length.

You could argue that maintaining a long beard is the yin to the short beards yang. Once your beard reaches a decent length, shaping it can become easier. After all, you can grip a long beard between your fingers and clip out any strays.

Then it’s just a case of shaping up with scissors.

Shaping a long beard isn’t so much about the neckline – because chances are that the beard growth you have will fall to below this line anyway. No-one’s going to be able to see your neckline unless you’re looking at the sky – or maybe having an exorcism.

Furthermore, longer beards tend to be more forgiving of stray hairs and can recover from the odd straggler above the cheek-line. In fact – and this is news just in – this kind of thing is even considered attractive these days.

But how (oh how!?) to maintain long length?

There’s an old saying in the Beard Community

And it goes like this:

“Don’t waste precious hair growth by trimming in haste… Or the effort you put into it will all go to waste…”

OK, you got me – literally no-one’s ever said that. But I don’t exactly claim to be the next Kanye, mate. Just making it up as I go along, aren’t I? Improv and that.

Unfortunately though, many a man has chopped off too much beard whilst in a hurry – usually only on one side, but you have to even it out if you want to avoid looking like a plonker. And then you’re back to your short beard again, reading the first half of this article… Thinking about what was and could have been.

Long Length Maintenance

Without the security of a trimmer guard (which you know will cut your beard to the same length, every time), you’re forced to go it alone on a long beard. With scissors.

Now, there are a few things you can do to maintain the length of a long beard. The first is to approach such a task after a good thorough wash with some beard shampoo/conditioner.

Dry your beard with a hair dryer – completely dry mind, as a wet beard may seem a different length than it actually is. Also, be careful to watch the heat – keep it to a low setting. As nice as a constant stream of hot air might feel, it’s not going to do wonders for your hair and underlying skin.

Perfect – now apply a bit of beard oil and give it a nice comb out.

Once it’s feeling fresh, you’ll want to use a beard comb with a straight edge to preview different trimming lines until you find one that’s the length you’re happy with.

And then – remembering what you’ve learned – chop it a bit longer. Just in case! This way, you’ll never have to worry about the frustration of being short-bearded. Remember – chopping off a tiny bit more is quicker than growing it back.

Want more top-tip grooming advice and ridiculous prose from the boys at Mission Beard? You know what to do, amigo! Sign up for our mailing list and get the latest. You can’t afford to miss insights like this…