Hopefully you have been growing your beard for a while.

Once it reaches a certain length you’ll probably want to trim your beard. It might be too itchy. Or your partner might be moaning at you. For me, it’s the latter!

You have two options. First of all, you could try and do it yourself. This is of course possible, but requires a great deal of patience…. and skill!

The other option, is a barber. They are obviously well trained and know what they’re doing. But there is still a risk. Will they cut too much off? Clearly you can grow it back, but for many, growing a beard is a big challenge in the first place.

I recently had my first ever beard trim by a barber. Here is the result:

niall sullivan

Luckily it worked out great. I was apprehensive beforehand as I had gone for a haircut a couple of years ago and for some reason the barber decided to start shaving my beard off. You won’t be surprised to know I never went back!

To help you avoid such pitfalls, I have put together some tips so that your barber beard trim doesn’t end in tears.

Choose a good barber

Obvious right?

But not always easy. After my previous bad experience, I have been very wary of trying a new barber.

To avoid this in future, there are certain things that I look out for when choosing one:

  • Recommendations – If you have a mate or a family member with a nicely trimmed beard, ask them who their barber is.
  • Online reviews – A quick Google search will reveal a lot.
  • What they offer – Some may offer just trims, while others may offer trims, shaping, washing and more. Greater choice usually indicates that they take beard care more seriously.
  • Their beards – Let’s face it. If the barbers themselves have great beards, then surely they must be able to trim and shape one?!

Grow it out

This has become a bit of a mantra for me but it is worth repeating.

In order to see your beard’s true potential, you should grow it out for a couple of months at least. It will then be easier for you to decide on which style suits you the best.

Think about it. You wait a couple of weeks and head off for your barber beard trim. Your beard has a few patches on your cheeks so you immediately decide that a goatee is the best course of action, (which is fine of course.)

On the face of it, (pun intended,) that decision makes sense. But are you missing out by not seeing your beard’s full potential first? Another month or so of growth and the picture could look a whole lot different. Remember, beards grow at different paces and it’s entirely possible that your patches will fill in with a bit of time.

Choose a beard style before your visit

beard styles

A little bit of research goes a long way.

The best way to do this in my opinion is to look at Pinterest. Not only will you find countless charts that contain every beard style imaginable, there are also plenty of pictures of bearded models and celebrities for you to draw inspiration from. I guarantee it won’t take you long to find your perfect style.

However, if you’re still unsure, ask your barber. They have seen plenty of face shapes before and will be able to recommend the best beard style for you.

Either way, knowing exactly how you want your beard to look before your trim will make it a whole lot easier when you’re trying to explain it to your barber.

Look for maintenance tips

Now that your beard has been sculpted to perfection, you will want to know how to keep it that way.

But where do you start? Here are some points that you will need to consider:

  • Beard products – Which beard products are best for your style of beard? This useful guide from the guys at Balding Beards should help get you started.
  • Beard oil – Don’t know what this is? My ultimate guide to beard oil should help.
  • Trim your own beard – If you fancy saving some pennies by trimming yourself, you will probably need some guidance. Luckily, the guys at Birchbox have put together some great tips.
  • Ask your barber for advice – As an expert in their field, they are well placed to offer you advice on how to maintain your beard.

Stay calm if it doesn’t all quite go to plan


If you have followed the first three tips in this blog post you shouldn’t have a problem.

But you can never say never. Anyone can make a mistake, especially if they’re not experienced enough or don’t fully understand your requirements.

The important thing is to stay calm. Let’s face it, getting angry and storming off isn’t going to help!

If too much is trimmed off, allow them to even up your beard and try to rectify their mistake. You can then explain to them that you think that they have trimmed off too much of your hair. Trying to fix it yourself is ill-advised, as you might be tempted to shave the whole thing off in the heat of the moment.

Look on the bright side. At least you never have to use them again to trim your beard!

Have you ever had a bad experience with a barber? Or do you only trust yourself with your pride and glory? Let me know in the comments below.