Most barbers not only offer full face shaves, but also beard and mustache trims. Your client may be growing his facial hair out for the first time and need some guidance on how to properly maintain it, or he may have been visiting barbers on a regular basis for years to keep his beard tight.
Although many men perform beard and mustache trims at home, you can offer a professional look that incorporates a gradual fade in the beard line and a super-soft beard at the end of the trim session. You’ll also be able to recommend flattering beard shapes for your client’s face shape, resulting in a more well-groomed appearance.
Your job is to listen to what your client wants and create the look that he’s going for. As a professional barber, you’ll be able to offer clients a cleaner, tighter, more polished look than they could hope to accomplish on their own.
Standard barbering curriculum will cover how to use clippers and shears to create the perfect trim, and how to care for facial hair through special beard washes, beard oil, and mustache wax.
If you’d like to learn advanced techniques or are interested on brushing up on how to appropriately fade and blend facial hair, you might consider attending barbering workshops available at tonsorial colleges, and occasionally at top barbershops.
Barbering academies throughout the country offer one-day workshops and multi-day courses that cover beard trimming techniques specifically designed to help licensed barbers improve and refine their skills.
How to Trim Your Client’s Facial Hair
Before beginning the trim, it’s important to get a grasp of what your client is looking for. Does he just want to clean up the beard or mustache? Even out the length? Take off length? Add some shape? Communication between you and your client is an essential part of building an excellent barbering practice. If you can deliver the style that your client is looking for, you’ll have a satisfied client who will likely return to you in the future.
You can use clippers and shears to shape the beard and mustache. Clippers would achieve a uniform length, either for the entire beard, or just the sideburns and mustache, while shears will allow you a greater degree of control when shaping a longer beard.
You’ll then comb out the beard entirely to get an idea if there are any uneven patches. Then, if you’re going to use clippers, you’ll use a clipper to take off length or do general shaping.
After taking off as much length as needed, you might try combing the beard against the grain to reveal any sections that are long and uneven. You can trim any uneven patches with scissors. You can also trim the mustache by combing it over the lip and trimming whatever hangs over the lip (with clippers or scissors).
Blending the neckline is an important step of the shave, and you’ll do this next. As you move towards the edges of the beard, you’ll use smaller clipper settings in order to achieve a gradual fade effect rather than a straight, harsh line.
You’ll finish the shave with beard oil. The oil will moisturize not only the beard and mustache hair, but the facial skin as well. It softens the hair and helps it to have a shiny, well-groomed appearance.
Client Considerations and Recommending the Most Flattering Beard Shape
Depending on your client’s face shape, you may recommend complementary beard shapes that would be most flattering to the natural angles of the face.
Round faces appear more chiseled by trimming the sideburn angle more drastically and keeping the sides of the beard trimmed shorter than the end of the beard. It’ll add an angle to your client’s face and reduce the round appearance.
Square faces tend to look best when the beard is finished with rounded edges.
Long or angled faces are also flattered by rounded edges on their beards.
Oval faces look well-groomed with a beard style that’s the same length on the sides and the bottom.
When offering beard and mustache trims, the most important consideration is barber-client communication. Even if your client isn’t offering much in the way of direction on what they want their facial hair to look like, they most likely have a vision of their ideal beard or mustache.
Building a practice with plenty of repeat clients is easy if you leave your customers satisfied, so be sure to get a good idea of what your client is looking for before beginning the trim.
Using the Best Products to Perfect the Trim
Don’t underestimate the power of a good pair of clippers—a high-quality pair of clippers will help you to create the most well-groomed beards. You’ll also need to be familiar with the different clipper guards and clipper settings in order to judge the best settings for beard and mustache trims.
Some high-end clipper brands include:
- Andis Professional
- Wahl Professional
- BaByliss for Men
You’ll also need a high-quality pair of shears to have control over the finishing trim. Some great brands include:
- Anastasia Beverly Hills
- Suvorna Ador
- The Beard Baron
- Texas Beard Co.
- Garrett Wade
Having a trusted beard oil is essential to performing the best beard trims. Made from aromatic ingredients like jojoba, grapeseed, or coconut oil, some of the best beard oils and balms are made by the following companies:
- Portland General Store
- Mayron’s Goods
- Brooklyn Grooming
- Lucky Scruff
You might also recommend specially-crafted beard washes or mustache waxes if your client is looking for additional grooming tools.
Although beard washes may sound like another name for shampoo, most beard washes are actually meant to be more gentle than shampoo so as not to strip away the natural oils of the face. Your beard will need those oils to be properly moisturized and healthy. Mustache wax, made of ingredients like beeswax and petroleum jelly, might be needed by your clients who prefer a very well-groomed look.