Beard Trimming: Scissors vs. Electric Trimmers

One of the most common beard grooming questions we hear is about trimming. Like the hair on your head, your beard doesn’t necessarily grow evenly, which can result in a nasty and unkempt look. Some people might call it wild and natural, and I’m all for that. But the health of your beard depends on keeping it well-groomed. Split ends can hinder growth and make your beard generally unhealthy, making trimming an important part of beard care.

How to trim, exactly, is the question though. A lot of guys like using electric razors, and for good reason – they’re convenient as hell. Before I really started letting my beard grow out, I almost never used an actual razor, preferring to use the electric trimmer to buzz the hair back to a five o’clock shadow. So I still have a nice Norelco in the drawer in the bathroom that I can whip out whenever I need a beard trim.

But I don’t. Because it’s fucking wrong.


This picture shows two beard hairs under a microscope. The one on the left has been cut with a proper blade, while the right has been cut with an electric trimmer.

The blade gives the hair a nice, clean cut, while the electric trimmer hair looks jagged, like it was torn rather than sliced. It seems unlikely that the ripped hair will end up as healthy as the cut one. But if you’re trimming your beard, you’re not going to use a razor, are you?

For trimming, a good pair of metal scissors is what you need. You’ll get a cut similar to what you see with the razor in the above picture. You will also have more control, and don’t have to worry about accidentally moving the wrong way and having that electric razor take a chunk out of your precious mane.

Give your beard a good trimming to keep it in shape once a month or so. It’s also an option to have a barber take care of it, and they’ll usually do so for pretty cheap.