What Are the Best Tips for Trimming Sideburns?

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  • Written By: Kaiser Castro
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2019
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Sideburns are a bit tricky to remove due to their location, as they are too close to be removed with cutting shears. When trimming sideburns, it is best to use a small, handheld hair clipper. Rubbing alcohol, a trusty friend or family member, and a facial comb are good tools to have during the sideburn trimming process as well.

Before trimming sideburns, the hair should be cleaned with a cotton ball dampened with alcohol. Cleaner hair is easier both to comb and trim. The alcohol will also sterilize the skin, effectivly warding off infections from accidentally cut skin.

Sharp, clean clippers should be purchased from the local hair care or beauty supply store for use in trimming your sideburns. Avoid using scissors unless the hair is extremely long, as they will be difficult to use in this detailed area. Specialized facial hair trimmers are also available that are smaller in size than regular hair clippers, which are perfect for trimming the small sideburn area.


If possible, you should try to avoid trimming sideburns yourself. A person trimming his or her own sideburns can involuntary tilt his or her head to an angle, potentially resulting in lopsided sideburns. They should grab a family member or a trusted friend who has good vision and a steady hand, preferably someone with experience trimming facial hair. You should sit down on a high chair at about eye level with the person who will trimming your sideburns. All items should be laid out for easy accessibility, including the clippers, rubbing alcohol, and facial comb.

One tool that commonly overlooked when trimming sideburns is the facial comb. These tiny specialized combs will have closely-spaced teeth, allowing it to grab the small hairs for careful trimming. Most cutting clippers will usually come packaged with a facial hair comb that is to be used in conjunction, which enables the hair to be trimmed gradually by using the comb as a makeshift guard for tight trimming. Sideburns should be brushed forward towards the center of the face with the facial comb in order to displace the hairs, allowing it to be easily removed with the clippers. Long, stray hairs should then be removed with the hair clippers.

After the excess hair growth is cut, the sideburns should be brushed back towards the ear. Excess hair that is sticking behind the ears should be removed with the clippers. Trimming sideburns will require that the comb be inserted into the bulk of the hair at an angle so that the hairs are sticking straight out for easy removal. The length of your sideburns can also be customized to your liking, however, most face shapes will do well with sideburns that are cut anywhere between the top of the ears and the earlobes.


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Post 3

When I was a teenager, all my friends and I wanted to grow sideburns like the famous musicians and athletes were wearing back then. By the time I was a senior in high school, I had an impressive set of sideburns. They were long and thick. Technically, I guess they would have been called mutton chops.

I was trying to trim them one day with my father's electric razor and the razor took off such a big chunk of hair that I ended up saving my face clean. Looking back, that razor did me a favor.

Post 2

@Feryll - Your friend may have developed the rash after the barber trimmed his sideburns because the clippers the barber cut with were not sterilized regularly. Think about how many people the clippers are used on each day.

Believe it or not, some barbers don't clean their equipment everyday, and some of them who do clean their equipment daily don't do the cleaning as thoroughly as they need to in order to protect their customers from infections.

The article talks about the importance of using alcohol when you trim sideburns. Alcohol should also be used to clean clippers, combs and other barbering tools.

Post 1

I had a friend in high school who would always breakout when the barber trimmed his sideburns. It was strange because he could shave the rest of his face and not have any problem with rashes or razor bumps, but when the barber would trim his sideburns the little bumps would pop up every time and it would take several days for them to disappear. Usually, the bumps cleared up a few days before he was due another haircut, so he had the bumps on his face as often as he didn't have them

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