Beard Trimming: Trim Beard With or Against the Grain?

trim beard with or against the grain

Should you trim beard with or against the grainAfter waiting patiently, you have finally grown a full, mane that you have been craving for. You also fought itchiness and dry skin like a soldier, and now your beard is impressive and desirable.

However, you still lack something. There are gents in your hood or around your workplace with beards no fuller or thicker than yours yet they look extremely fantastic. You keep wondering why theirs are neat well-trimmed.

Trim Beard With Or Without the Grain

If you find yourself in such a situation, then it’s likely that you’re suffering a case of bad envy. But did you know that you can get your thick mane to look fantastic if only you applied the right grooming technics? Well, it all goes down to whether to trim beard with or against the grain.

In as much as it depends on personal preference, most men do it the wrong. Fortunately, this article has got you covered and it will point you in the right direction within no time at all. Read on.

a pair of scissors /trim beard with or against the grain

Trim Beard Up or Down?

If you always find it difficult choosing between trimming with and against the grain, Ole Missian of Beard Board says that it depends on personal preference. What this means is that some guys will trim with the grain and get a desirable, attention-grabbing beard. Yet still, other guys will do it against the grain to get the beard look desirable.

For guys with full beards that have great density, it is good to go with the grain until you are satisfied with what you get. If you are trying to clean the mane a little bit, it is still advisable to trim with the grain of the hair.

If you happen to use electric razors for your beard, trimming against or down the beard will help you get hair bristliness down a bit.

As we said earlier, in the beginning, trimming with or against the grain goes down to personal preference. Some men find trimming with the grain far quicker and better.

Going with the grain provides you with more control over how much hair your trimmer takes off from your beard. It also gives you control over how hard you press while grooming your beard.

Trimming with the grain also helps your beard hair to blend well and grow naturally, simply because this technique gives you beard hairs of different lengths. In comparison, using the same guard setting or beard trimming leaves you with longer hair than if you used the same setting to trim against the grain of the hair. Trimming with the grain works best for men with long beards. Against the grain takes off more hair, which suits the needs of guys with short beard hair.

What all this means is that you should see which technique works best for you. Try grooming with the grain and if that fails to give a fantastic mane, try doing it against the grain, working your way up. It is important to note that whenever you try either beard trimming techniques, you should start on a very long guard setting.

Whether you decide to do it with or against the grain, you should know how to trim your beard like a pro. Wrong steps could leave you confused about whether to trim your beard with or against the grain. In real terms, this is where most men go wrong. Luckily, the steps below work to make the next step easier.

Maintain the Beard Clean and Soft

Dirty beard hair is never ideal for quite obvious reasons. Things get especially difficult when you start trimming a dirty beard. You should clean it first- using a shampoo made specifically for beard grooming.

After washing, condition the hair. This serves to align the hair properly, so it is much easier to decide whether to trim with or against the grain. It will also soften things to make the next step much easier.

Brush With or Against the Grain?

Brushing follows the same path as the process of trimming itself. After drying your beard hair, brush against the grain of the hair. This helps to keep your beard hair up and out. When the hair is up and out, it is way easier to trim and highlight length inconsistencies.


Use your razor to trim your beard hair. Start with a bigger guard setting to prevent cutting hair too short accidentally. If you are looking for a simple and short beard, and even length will work best for you. This implies that you should trim against the grain if you want a short, simple beard.

If, however, you want to keep it longer and maintain a desirable shape, trim with the grain. It is that simple.

There are tons of ways to play around with beard trimming to give you a fantastic look. 

For the mustache, once you have trimmed with the grain, do it widthwise as well. This will prevent your beard trimming razor from getting caught in the nostrils. A pair of mustache scissors will work best for your mustache hair. You can start lower, then adjust upwards to get desirable mustache hair. But you should note that this is a judgment call, so it depends on your personal preference.


Don’t miss our guide to how to fade your beard at home. Read more here!


Condition With Beard Grooming Oil

We said that choosing between trimming with and against the grain goes down to the care you had rewarded your beard and mustache hair previously. That is why you should keep your beard hair clean and condition all the time. By doing this, your hair will arrange itself naturally so trimming is made easier.

That said, it helps to finish conditioning your hair with oil. Just like the hair on the head, beard hair needs to stay moisturized and looking its best. Then run a comb through the hair to distribute oil and keep it in place. 

Doing this helps you to know the path to follow, so you find it easy deciding whether to trim with or against the grain. Additionally, this helps reveal strays that got passed over during trimming.

trim beard with or against the grain

So What Are You Going to do? Trim Beard With or Against the Grain?

To trim beard with or against the grain depends on personal preference and the look you want you want to achieve. The above guide says it all. Make your choices wisely.

Read our guide to the best 10 razors for beard shaping here!

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