How to Trim Men's Sideburns

Keeping Your 'Burns Looking Their Best

Man getting haircut
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Sideburns are an important part of a guy's haircut. Sideburns can be trimmed conservatively to mid-ear or can be grown to the bottom of the ears or beyond to add flair to a trendy haircut. These are a few factors to keep in mind about trimming the 'burns:

  • Most haircuts look better with sideburns, which can help balance facial features.
  • Never cut the sideburns higher than the point where the top of the ear attaches to the head. At least some sideburn is nearly always preferred.
  • Trim sideburns so they are even with each other and ignore your ears. Everyone's ears are off balance, so trimming sideburns even with the ears will make them lopsided.
  • Sideburns can help fill out a thin face, but can make a wide face appear wider.

When trimming the sideburns, it is helpful to use a trimmer such as the Wahl Groomsman to enable you to shape the bottom clearly before shaving. I also love the Gillette Fusion which has a single blade on the backside of the razor's head. This blade is perfect for creating a clean line at the bottom of the 'burn.

To tame unruly sideburns between haircuts:

  • Comb the sideburns neatly, following the direction of growth -- normally down.
  • Hold the trimmer facing you in a vertical position and trim the sideburns in a downward motion.
  • Comb the sideburns forwards and trim off any hairs which extend beyond the natural hairline.
  • Comb the sideburns back and trim off any hairs which extend beyond the natural hairline.
  • Trim the bottom edge parallel to the floor.
  • Look straight into the mirror and place your index finger at the bottom of each sideburn to check for evenness. Adjust as needed.

Proper shaping and trimming of your sideburns will give you a more groomed appearance between trips to the barber shop.