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Facial Hair Shaping | Step-by-Step Guide

Facial Hair Shaping | Step-by-Step Guide

Three-quarters of U.S. men agree that they feel more confident with facial hair. If you are a facial hair lover, you should familiarize yourself with the best maintenance techniques for keeping a great-looking beard.

This guide will take you through various facial hair shaping techniques to help you achieve your desired look.

What Is Facial Hair Shaping?

Man doing facial hair shaping


Hair shaping is the process of cutting, texturizing, tapering, and thinning your hair using facial hair cutting tools to create a great-looking shape.

In this article, we have outlined everything you need to know about facial hair shaping. Keep reading to know about:

  • Types of Face Shapes
  • Shaping Facial Hair
  • Facial Hair Shaping Checklist
  • The Tools You May Need
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Facial Hair Shaping 

Read on!

Types of Face Shapes

Are you facing challenges in identifying the right style for your facial hair? Perhaps, this is because you haven’t identified your face shape. Determining the shape of your face is the number one step in choosing the right style for shaping your facial hair.

There are seven face shapes: square, rectangular, oval, diamond, round, triangular, and heart-shaped heads. Whether your head falls in any of the above face shapes depends on the following features on your head:

  • Forehead Length: Length of your face from the arch of your left eyebrow to the arch of the right eyebrow
  • Jawline: The measure between the peak of your chin and the point below your ear, where your jawbone curves upwards. Multiply the resulting measurement by two to get the total length of the jawline
  • Cheekbone: The measure of the stretch between the pointiest part of the outer corner of one eye to the pointiest part of the outer corner of the other eye
  • Face length: The extension from the middle of your hairline to the tip of your chin

You can use a flexible tape to take the above measurements. Depending on the measurements, your face shape should fall in any of the following types.

Squared Face

The face length, cheekbone, jawline, and forehead length are fairly similar here. And, the jawline is rather sharp rather than rounded.

Rounded Face

The face length and the cheekbones measure the same for a rounded face. Also, the forehead and jawline should measure the same but smaller than the cheekbone. This is not forgetting the jaw bone angle, which is a less defined jaw bone angle.

Rectangular Face

It features face length as the greatest measurement, while the cheekbones, jawline, and forehead have a similar size.

Triangular Face

The triangular face features a greater jawline than cheekbones and a smaller forehead than the cheekbones.

Oval Face

An oval face includes a rounded jaw angle and a greater face length than the width of cheekbones. Also, the forehead should be larger than the jawline.

Diamond Face

The face length measures the largest, followed by the cheekbones, forehead, and jawline in descending order. The chin is pointed.

A heart-shaped face has a broad forehead and a rounded cheekbone that connects to a smaller chin.

Shaping Facial Hair

Now that you understand the different types of face shapes, it’s now your turn to assess the shape of your face and then pick a style that would accentuate your facial looks. Below are some tips for shaping different faces.

Shaping Diamond Face

As mentioned earlier, a diamond face features a wide cheekbone and a narrow jawline almost proportional to the forehead. You should shape your facial hair in a way that offsets the more pronounced cheekbones.

To achieve this, make sure your beard is slightly longer on the chin and broader on the cheeks and the jawline.

The idea is to cover the chin and square off your jaws to hide their natural contours. Remember to keep your mustache short to accentuate the above features further.

Shaping a Rectangular Face

A rectangular face is squared off at the jawline and cheekbones and has a long face length. You need to use facial hairs to balance off the long-looking face.

In this case, you can go for options like a mustache or grow a full beard and then shorten it on the chin and the neckline. This would leave the hair on the cheeks, front beard, mustache, and sideburns to balance off the long appearance of your face.  

However, that doesn’t mean you keep these hairs unattended. You should trim the hair always to maintain the same great look.

Shaping a Round Face

A round face looks like a perfectly shaped orange, with the face length equal to the cheekbones and the forehead measuring the same as the jawline.

To draw attention from your face, you should trim your facial hair to create the impression of a longer and more prominent chin.

For example, you can shape your mustache and the chin into a great-looking goatee, which extends slightly on the chin to define your jaws. Don’t forget to maintain the hair on the cheeks and the sideburns short to avoid making your face rounder.

Shaping a Squared Face

A squared face features face length, jawlines, cheekbones, and forehead length, which are almost symmetrical. In that case, you should shape your facial hair to make your squared face rounder.

One way of doing this is lengthening your chin with a goatee beard to complement your wide jawbones while creating a rounder or a chiseled look.

That implies that you have to keep your sideburns and the cheek’s hair short and allow for more growth on the chin and the neckline.

Shaping a Triangular Face

With a triangular face, you need to shape your facial hairs to make the appearance of your face more even. In this case, going for a full-grown beard would give you the least wanted impression of a wider jawline.

Instead, keep a great-looking mustache and stubble sideburns to draw the attention away from your jawlines upwards. Remember to keep the hair on the front, neckline, cheeks, and other facial areas short to achieve an even facial appearance.

Shaping an Oval Face

Owning an oval face is worth boasting of. This is because the oval face can marry well with various hairstyles to give you your most desired facial appearance.

The versatility of the oval shape is because it combines aspects of the round, rectangular, and square faces, hence allowing for a variety of facial hairstyles, with nothing to draw out of attention.

That means you can go for a fuller beard that is well trimmed to a square-like shape on the jawline to give you a fuller jawline and a more impressive look.

If you don’t like fuller beards, you can experiment with any style of your choice, provided that it makes you prettier than your average Joe.

Shaping a Heart-Shaped Face

If you realize you have a heart-shaped face, do not rush for full-grown facial hair as it will make your face look even smaller. Also, going for longer hair on the chin will down your chin, giving you a more terrible look.

Instead, go for a well-trimmed goatee to make your jawline more prominent. A Stubble style on the sides can also give you a prettier look. All you need is to trim the sides and the goatee regularly to maintain your elegant looks.

Facial Hair Shaping Checklist

Man shaping facial hair in the mirror


This section will look at the various steps and tools you may need to take your beard shaping job to the next level. Keep reading to learn about the process and the tools.

The Process

Now that you are aware of the various face shapes and the best hairstyles for each, the next step is to look at the general steps you need to follow to accentuate the appearance of your facial hair effectively.

Clean Your Facial Hair

The facial hair traps food particles, dust, grime, and other debris. You should clean your facial hair using a quality washing solution before trimming your hair so that no foreign material comes between your hair and the trimmer during the cuts.

Comb It

After washing, allow the hair to dry out and then comb it in the direction of its growth using a fine-toothed beard comb or a brush.

Don’t forget to comb the area above your lips and below the jawline. While combs straighten your hair for trimming, they train the facial hair to grow in your desired direction.

Start with a Little Takeoff

If your facial hair is too large, use a clipper to reduce the size of your hair to pave the way for closer cuts. Make use of the guard combs that come attached to the clipper to get the desired length of your hair.

Note: During the cuts, always remember to work from outside in. For instance, you can start cutting your hair from the cheeks, then move your way to the chin, mustache, and neckline.

Shape It

Now that you have reduced your facial hair to easy work size. You can shape it to the style of your wish to accentuate the appearance of your entire face.

This is the critical step where you need to consider your face’s shape and hair growth pattern and then sculpt it using the tips we discussed in an earlier section.

Do the Final Touches

After working on your facial hair, always clean the affected area using a quality washing solution, disinfect it and then apply a balm to prevent the skin from becoming too dry.

Also, disinfect your facial hair shaping tools and store them properly. You can shape your facial hair as frequently as you wish, depending on your facial hair preferences.

The Tools You May Need

Tools you need to do facial hair shaping

Monica Lorenzo/Shutterstock

Having covered various aspects of facial hair shaping, it is worth looking at the various tools you may need to execute the facial hair shaping job. These tools may include:

The Mirror

You need a mirror to monitor every step of your facial hair shaping project, especially if you want to make the beard shaping task a DIY project.

Beard Brush and a Comb 

Before trimming your hair, you should straighten the hair to clear tangles and remove foreign particles that might have gotten stuck in your facial hair. This is where the beard brush and the comb come in handy.

Facial Hair Scissors

Facial hair scissors is an essential tool for cutting off stray hairs and hairs in undisclosed spaces where trimmers cannot reach


After doing all sorts of preparations, you will need some cutting machines to help in shaping your facial hair. The handiest tools for shaping your hair are hair clippers and trimmers. The hair clippers can help you reduce your hair size.

But the trimmers can help you make closer and more precise cuts. The smart thing about trimmers and clippers is that they come with a shaping guide to help you make precise and even cuts. You can also execute your cuts using razors.


Hydrators like beard oil, utility balm, and beard balm make the facial hair shaping job easier. They also improve the health and the general appearance of your facial hair.

Read Next: How to Use Beard Balm

Frequently Asked Questions about Facial Hair Shaping

Below are the various questions that people have asked about facial hair shaping:

Can I train my facial hairs to grow in a certain direction?

Yes. You can train your facial hairs in your preferred direction by combing them in that direction.

How do I prepare my facial hair for shaping?

Start by cleaning your hair to remove unwanted materials, then comb your hair to remove any tangles. If your hair is too long, you should reduce it to a manageable size using a clipper and move to the shaping stage.

Is there a need to shape my stubble?

Yes. You need to groom and shape it regularly to maintain its great look. However, you should be careful not to overdo it to preserve your face's rugged and natural appearance.

What is the best beard style?

The best beard style is the one that marries well with your face shape, covering more of what you don't like about your face. Generally, a goatee hairstyle works best with almost all face shapes.

How can I choose my facial hair style?

Your choice of facial hairstyle will depend on the shape of your face and the growth pattern of your hair. So, the first step is to identify the shape of your face and then consider your hair growth pattern to choose the most appropriate style. For instance, you can only opt for a full-grown beard if your hair can grow along the jawline.

So, How Can You Achieve Facial Hair Shaping?

Before doing any sort of facial hair shaping, you need to understand your face shape and your hair growth pattern. Then use the various tips discussed in the article to achieve your most desired facial look.