Beard Grooming 101 – Neck Line and Cheek Line

One of the toughest things to figure out about your new beard is where the borders should lie on your face.  If you set your neck line too high or your cheek line too low, you run the risk of turning your new look as a ruggedly handsome rennaissance man into that of someone who has no idea how a beard is shaped.  Don’t look like an oaf.  Follow my guidelines to get your beard in the ideal shape!


43 comments

  1. First off, awesome video!

    I am 23, just moved to China to teach for a year and am looking to explore the potential of my facial hair. While I have been able to grow a decent amount of facial hair for years, it has never seemed full enough where I would be tempted to grow a beard.
    Now I am a bit over 2 weeks in and I have the workings of a solid foundation coming in and am looking for advice. Normally I would leave my hair to continue growing for a couple more weeks before trimming but I have a scar about an inch underneath my chin that is about 1/2 the size of a credit card. Should I use that when determining my neckline? also, should I trim in a neckline at this point or should I just let it grow more?

  2. For the past year I’ve kept a small stubble beard with the hair stopping at my jawline. I am growing it out big for the first time. I’m on week 2 from starting off clean shaving and i have not shaved or trimmed anything on my face or neck. How long do i let it keep growing out before i shave my neck and do the two finger rule? Great video by the way Beard Coach. I have herd 2-3 months. How long did you wait?

  3. Hi Adam
    Great site, thanks for all the info.
    I’m in my 50s and growing a beard for the first time (wish I’d done it sooner, but at least the grey is symmetrical!); I’m about 3 months in and would kind of like my beard to be something like yours in the chin/cheek video. Am I best letting it grow pretty long and then cutting it back, or can I shape it to look like your’s?
    Thanks
    David

  4. Very inspirational videos Adam, thanks!
    I’m a 53 year old man growing a full beard for the first time…wish I’d done it years ago. After around 2 months I’m looking to create some kind of style to it…would kind of like it not too wide at the sides, but slightly thicker/deeper underneath; do I still cut it all over with a trimmer, or is there a trick?
    What I’d really like is a beard like your’s in this video (the neck-line one) – can you give us any idea about how you were trimming/cutting your beard around this period, especially the sides, chin and underneath?
    Thanks for any advice.
    Kind regards
    David

  5. Can’t thank you enough for this video. Your advice is far better than that offered on other sites.
    My Christmas beard has reached 4 weeks but you’ve convinced me to groom and keep it.
    Cheers to 2013 as bearded man!
    Many thanks

  6. First… coach Adam is smokin hot. Sorry. Couldn’t help sayin it. But my favorite trimmer by far, and can be used for *everything*, is the Wahl Lithium-Ion. This thing holds a charge forever, is sharper than sharp. Has every blade and attachment you can imagine (including shaver head, detail head, etc), is easy to hold on to, doesn’t vibrate like crazy, has a 5 year warranty and so on and so forth. For the beginner doing their own hair and beard I highly recommend as you can start with attachments and slowly become more comfortable to the point that you can remove all attachments and just use the blade to do almost everything. Here is the link on Wahls Website: http://www.wahl-store.com/detail/WAH+9854-600

  7. Liked the video. I have a pretty good beard trimmer, but it doesn’t do a great job with the neckline and when I use a razor it’s hard to keep it even, it kinda ends up looking like stairs. Any suggestions?

  8. The more I let this this go mostly naturally, the warmer I stay in the winter, this, I believe is a result of evolution. I will try some of your techniques of aforementioned beard trimming, and I will teach them in my monastery on the steppes of the Zao Mountains teaching my dragon-fu. May the stars lead your way sir bearded prophet. Ahra hrishkebob.

    1. Yes! A bearded man in his thirties like myself. It really is a great time to be bearded. Congrats on not missing out on a beard because you couldn’t handle a few days of itching.

      It’s no worse than a mild case of poison ivy, people. Like poison ivy that leaves behind a coating of awesome on your face. Suck it up and ride it out, like my man Jason here.

      1. 31 and also growing my first real beard. Like Jason the itch stage pissed me off, so much that every other time I’ve tried the beard got the big shave 2 weeks in.

        Was about to do the same again then found this on youtube and a tidy beard seems to help with the itches. Regardless I’ll be pushing the beard envelope this time.

        Cheers man!

  9. Damn it! I’ve been growing a beard for about a week and a half now and finally have some decent texture to it, and I go and rush a shave of the neck and trim it wayyyyyy too high… I’m talking to my chin high. Now my question is only 9/10 days in should I shave it off and start over or hang in there and let new growth blend in? What’s your opinion?

    1. Dude, do NOT shave off your whole beard for this! Just start shaving at the right place and let it fill back in. Your beard will forgive you – just don’t give up on it!

  10. Great website! I’m re-growing my beard for about the fifth time in my life. I always grew it for stage productions, but this time it’s forever. I started it on Labor Day weekend, and after four months, it looks damned good! I’m an athletic Texan (6’6″ tall, 255 pounds)with a full head of silver hair and a full, leonine silver beard. Soooo glad I did this, and my wife loves it!

    I discovered a super tip for older men (that is, graying significantly or white-bearded) who are still in the itchy stage of growth. Use a dry shaving brush dipped into talcum powder (real talc) to powder your beard after it’s washed and dried. It stops the itching all day long. It also makes your beard appear thicker as it’s growing in, and it’s always a great start to the day in our hot climate.

    Keep on growin’ them beards, y’all!

  11. I absolutely love this site, after discovering a video you had on youtube I had to check this place out. I’m glad I did, great source of info,inspiration and just generally cool stuff about beards. Also, the neckline rule you give really works as I’ve never been able to guess how high the line should be, I used the technique today….it rocked. Kudos on an awesome site. Keep up the good work!

  12. Thanks, man. I can’t tell you how many websites I had to go through before I finally came to yours looking for good advice on the neck line. Like you, my check line forms naturally, but in growing my first beard, I had no idea how to begin shaping the neckline. This is good stuff, easy to follow and provides a fine looking, great shaped beard.

  13. Great video Adam! I’ve been growing a beard during the winter months for the past few years and am about to start another one… Is there a trick (like the finger trick) to use further back where it makes the transition up to your ear / sideburn line?

    1. Hey Bryson,

      Glad you liked the video! Also glad to hear you are on the path to beardedness again. You know, I don’t have a rule for the beard corners by the ears. I just let mine do whatever it wants back there. I think you just have to have faith in your beard to bend in the right place and not accidentally find its way around to the back of your neck.

  14. Love the video, Adam. I am three weeks into my first proper beard experience, having previously never made it past a week or so. I had a go at creating a neckline a few days ago and made the mistake of shaving about two fingers too high and possibly shaved a little too much from the cheeks. I shall follow your advice from now on, much clearer and simpler to follow than anything I’ve seen so far and staring too long at other beards on the street!

    At first, I was toying with shaving it all and starting from scratch again, but I think within a week or so the extra under chin growth should start to blend in. After attempting a bit of minor trimming /butchering with scissors, I feel that I should be getting a beard trimmer – do you have any preferences? From the vast array of options available, I am settling on a Remington MB320C Barba after reading excellent reviews on Amazon.

    Anyway thanks again.
    Best Wishes,
    Rob

    1. Hi Rob,
      Glad to hear you enjoyed the video! I have a Norelco of some sort with interchangeable trimming heads. It does a good job of keeping my moustache from conquering my entire mouth opening so that I can eat somewhat neatly.

  15. Great video. I’m growing my first beard and found an explanation on another website, but not nearly as easy as this one!

    One question, how long should I wait before defining my neckline. Another website suggested waiting a full month of not shaving anything, then to groom it at that point. Just wondering what you opinion was. I’m about 1 week into my beard journey, which is big for me because I’ve always thought about doing it and have never made it past 3 days. I decided to commit to at least 1 month to see what it turns out to be (I’m a personal fan of the hugh laurie and george clooney scruffy beard)

    Anyway thanks again for this website,

    Joe

    1. Congrats on making it farther in your beard journey than ever before! In my opinion, I think you could define the edges of your beard after about three weeks. Maybe four or five days sooner if you get impatient. I think the reason people say to wait a month is because you’ll be tempted to shave the neckline incorrectly and then just give up and cut it all off. Now that you have a decent guideline to go by, I think there’s a lower risk of messing things up.

      Bottom line, it’s your beard to trim when and how you like. So wait at least another week or so and trim when it feels right. Just don’t give up on your beard!

  16. Good video, Adam! I had actually been a bit curious as to proper beardlines myself, and I now realize that I’ve been bringing it up maybe a fingerlength too high.

    1. Thanks, Kyle… glad I could help. But remember, it’s just a guideline. You can tweak your beard borders to suit your personal style. Within reason, of course. I think we’d all agree that the pure neck beard is best left in the past.

    1. Shaun, old pal, thanks for bringing your patented dirty humor to my blog. You’re still the king of innuendo.

      By the way, I hope everyone who reads this will go check out Shaun’s site right now. People, if you like original art with a demented bent to it, go check out Shaun’s stuff!

  17. Like the video, is a much more simple guide than others ive seen which is great!

    Love the beard Adam, ive found myself constantly comparing facial hair and stubble among any faces that i see. Its interesting to see how each persons facial hair patterns change around their mouth.

    Did you see Hugh Laurie with his beard? http://www.accidentalsexiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/hughross.jpg

    love it!

    Is there anyway to help even the growth of a beard? under my chin and around my moustache seem to grow really fast but my cheeks and jaw line are much slower.

    Keep up the good work! love the site

    1. Glad you liked the video, Tom!

      I had not seen Hugh Laurie’s beard… he can grow a really good one! His mustache in particular is super thick, which always makes for a solid beard.

      My advice for your particular growing situation is just to keep trimming the faster-growing parts back with an electric beard trimmer while the rest of the face catches up. I’ll occasionally use that technique if I want my chin area to gain a bit of length on my cheeks. Try it out!

    2. Holy Crap! Thats a decent beard on old Hugh!
      And Tom, I have the same problem with uneven growth. I do the same thing Adam recommended, just trim the fast bits and allow the slow ones to catch up. Easy!

  18. Great Work Adam!
    A Welcome addition to an already fantastic Website.
    It really cleared up the mystery of beard maintenance. Although I found a little experimentation to be helpful too, I messed up my beard last month when I was trying something new and ended up looking like something furry had died on my face! So lesson learned, I shaved it all off and started again. One of the great things about a beard is that they grow back (even if you have to go through that itchy stage again, its worth it)

    So thank you Adam for taking the time to help us already bearded foke and for enlightening those who are yet to be bearded.
    Kind Regards,
    Daniel Richard

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Daniel. I’m really glad to hear that you dig the site!

      I agree with you that a great part of being able to grow a beard is experimentation. Like you said, if you take a risk and lose, you’re just a few weeks away from being back where you started. And you’re right, the itchy stage is nothing! There aren’t many bigger rewards for putting up with a bit of discomfort than ending up with a beard you’re proud of.

      Do you hear this, my smooth-cheeked friends? What are you waiting for?!

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