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Repairing a bad neck line or cheek line for your full beard

More new beards reportedly are ruined and abandoned by improperly defining the neck line than any other error. This often happens when defining a neck line too early in the growing process. A close second for ruining new beards is defining a bad cheek line. If you have committed either of these "crimes" with your new beard, take heart. These errors can be corrected easily with some commitment and patience and without having to start all over again. Following either method below, you'll find that the new growth will start blending in sooner that you might think. Before you know it, you'll have a new and improved neck line or cheek line or both! You can be even more proud of your newly-improved beard!

The photos used with this article appear courtesy of Will. He kindly altered his full beard's cheek line to provide these helpful photos. Be sure to also see Will's beard feature.

Repairing a neck or cheek line: all-in method

  1. Using this method, just stop shaving again altogether.
  2. Let all of the beard grow outside the neck or cheek line that you wish to modify.
  3. Optionally trim back your existing beard growth. This is not required, but doing so means that the new growth will not have as far to go to "catch up"
  4. Give the new growth enough time to grow out so that you can start to see the proper location for the new neck or cheek lines. Allow at least a week or two, possibly more. The more it grows, the more it starts to blend with your existing beard growth.
  5. When you're ready to go for it, follow the directions here for defining your new neck or cheek lines:
  6. After you've sucessfully defined your new neck or cheek lines, you can periodically trim back your existing beard growth while letting the new growth continue. Soon, they will even out.
  7. Congratulations on your new-and-improved beard!

If you go through the above process and still did not manage to define the optimum neck or cheek lines for your beard, you can try it again or give the iterative method a try.

Repairing a neck or cheek line: iterative method

The iterative method is a more gradual and discreet approach to neck or cheek line modification. It may take more than one cycle to obtain the best results.

  1. Using this method, go for at least a day or two without shaving at all.
  2. Define a new neck line below the existing neck line or define a new cheek line above the existing cheek line.
  3. Refer to the directions here for guidance:
  4. Continue to maintain your newly-defined neck or cheek lines, allowing the new growth to fill in.
  5. As the new growth fills in, evaluate the new shape of your beard. If you are satisfied, keep the new lines. If you are not satisfied, repeat this process, defining a new neck or cheek line.
  6. When you are satisfied with your new neck or cheek lines, you can periodically trim back your existing beard growth while letting the new growth continue. Soon, they will even out.
  7. Congratulations on your new-and-improved beard!

Illustrated example of cheek line modification

let the cheek line go natural

Here Will is letting the cheek line go natural in anticipation of defining a new, higher cheek line.

new growth blends in

The new growth continues to blend in.

success with a new cheek line!

Success! Here you see Will's beard after a successful cheek-line modification. A similar process can be used to modify a beard's neck line.


Many thanks go to Will for providing great photos for illustrating this article. Be sure to see Will's beard feature.

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