How To Trim Sideburns With Scissors – Detailed Manual For You

While stylists still prefer dividing styling into feminine and masculine approaches, there are many treats all the genders share and can benefit from combining those two. One of these things is sideburns.  Here we will discuss how to trim sideburns with scissors.

Originally, this part of facial hair is quite popular with men and male sideburns have many ways of styling it, women can also benefit from them. In fact, we all have them, yet not everyone decides to style them. And though it works out quite fine with medium and long hairstyles, shorter ones may have a problem with unstyled sideburns.

Sideburns, being located right in between your face and your ears, seem to occupy one of the gentlest spots, and maintaining them sounds like a tricky business. Yet, you do not need to bother your hairdresser too often about them, because in this guide we gathered all the information you need on how to trim sideburns with scissors. Not only you will save yourself some time and money by maintaining your sharp sideburns on your own, but also gain a bit of self-confidence too; after all, not all people are brave enough to do it.

What kind of sideburns can we have?

Before getting to practice, there is some theory you should know; this knowledge will make your styling experience way easier and more pleasurable. And the very basics that we will start with include the various types of trimmed sideburns that you can make for yourself (or someone else, if they trust you with their bushy sideburns ).

Long sideburns

how to trim sideburns with scissors
Long sideburns

“Go big or go home” could be a motto of most people with long sideburns, as these things are calling for an all-or-nothing mentality. These sideburns would often finish below the ear and thank to that they actually do a great job with framing the face. This is also why it is important here to consider your face shape before trimming sideburns; thin long sideburns have the elongating effect, which makes them a perfect fit for broad, round and square types of face shapes. On contrary, with a narrow face shape, it is better to go with a wide variation of long sideburns.

Short sideburns

trimmed sideburns
Short sideburns

Short sideburns are probably the most optimal and most official-looking type of sideburns. You can make them sharp, can make them smooth, can make them almost invisible. They are the perfect choice for those with minimal facial hair and clean-shaved faces; many women wear these without even realizing it. Usually, the idea is to keep such sideburns sharp and short, with the cutline above your ears, though there are different variations you can go with. For instance, you can try to taper them, or try different angles.

Tapered sideburns

How to trim sideburns
Tapered sideburns

Taper sideburns are the most modern look of the classic sideburns. The point with the tapered sideburns is to create a faded effect. As a rule, such an effect can be reached by playing with various length and thickness of the hair. Whichever variation of tapered sideburns you want to roll with, make sure that the thinnest part (the transparent sector) is right below the bottom of your ear.

Before deciding on taper sideburns, please note that you would need to trim them regularly to maintain the look. Also, note that it is probably the best solution if you have uneven facial hair since this type of sideburns smooths the unevenness down.

Skinny sideburns

trim sideburns
Skinny sideburns

In terms of length, skinny sideburns stand right between long sideburns and short sideburns; as for the width, as one could tell from the name, it has to be as thin as possible (but not necessarily the shape of a needle, that said). For classic skinny sideburns, one should keep them right below the bottom of the ear, or for more modern variation it is possible to integrate them naturally into the beard. Apart from the sharp narrow look, it is not too different from other types of sideburns; and just like them, it needs regular maintenance for keeping the look away from stray hair.

Mutton chops

trimming sideburns
Mutton chops

Mutton chops may be the most favorite style for “manly man”. With this style, thick sideburns extend all the way down to the covers of the mouth and increase in width as they go down. They have an effect of smoothing down harsh lines of the facial structure, which makes them a perfect choice for those with angular cheekbones, or rugged jawlines, or any other shapes of the face that one would wanna hide.

Making them is fairly easy; just let the sideburns grow down till meeting the beard. Once they do, style them however you want with scissors or clippers, there are no rules here (which is why they are considered to be super easy to maintain). Some of those wearing mutton chops combine them with the clean-shaven chin, they say it softens the look. Try it out, maybe it would suit you well too.

Why keeping sideburns?

We mentioned during the descriptions of the sideburn types, in most of them, that they need maintenance and attention in order to maintain the appearance. And if you think that it is too much effort to keep them at all, here are some reasons that will encourage you to do so.

First of all, sideburns are the easiest way to frame the face the way you need it. One could compare them to the photo frames, or curtains framing the window, only this time it would be one’s face. With sideburns, you can make your face appear skinnier than it is, or wider than it is, can smooth the sharp features or make them stand out; finally, you can make them almost invisible, or draw attention to them. All you need to do – choose your type of sideburn that works well with your face and frames it the way you want it, put a little effort and time into maintaining them, and get ready to rock!

Secondly, sideburns are a great way to compliment the look of any hairstyle you can think of. This is the reason hairstylists usually do not recommend shaving them off unless it is exactly the way you want your new look to be. In other words, if you do not want to invest in this and are hesitating if you should leave them alone or shave them completely, it is more beneficial to leave them on.

Another part of it, which would be particularly interesting for men, is that sideburns are perfect for compensation for facial hair deficiency or unevenness. Some people believe, they can enhance one’s look of a man. We believe, these are the very same some who find pleasure in growing sideburns as much as possible.

Finally, even though they do need some attention and time, maintaining sideburns is generally easy and not too costly, unless you prefer visiting a barbershop every time you need to trim them. However, there is absolutely no obligation to do so; you can simply get a pair of scissors or a shaving machine to trim them on your own.

male sideburns
Long sideburns

Trimming sideburns with scissors: guiding step by step

In this part, we gonna learn step by step how to cut your sideburns with scissors. It is best to use scissors for a haircut since they give more control over the process and fluidity of movement, however, some people prefer using a guarded razor or a shaving machine. A comb with fine teeth would come in quite handy too, to straighten the hair as you trim them and brush out the cut parts that refuse to fall on their own. Sure enough, it will take you some time to get familiar with the process and find your perfect length but continue practicing, and in no time you will become a pro!

Step 1: Comb your sideburns downward

Downward is the natural direction of your hair to grow. You can comb them down dry or slightly wet – the last one is preferable for skinny sideburns as they allow more detailed work.

Step 2: Trimming

Run the comb through the sideburn once again, but this time keep its teeth up and under the hair. At this point, you should be able to see a small amount of hair above the teeth. Put the combat the angle just right to make the cut that you need – all the hair you are about to get rid of must stay above the comb teeth. Snip this hair away with the scissors.

Step 3: Style the hair

Next, with the tips of your scissors cut the excess hair next to your ear, and be careful not to cut yourself. The angle at which you would need to cut depends on the end result you are aiming for: for a sharper cut, place the scissors diagonally and move along the line of the sideburn, for a smoother line put the scissors vertically, blades up, and move along the same line (note though that for the vertical cut you would need a substantial amount of hair left after the step 2.

What is important to remember, is that you actually need to come up with a specific style before you get into the process. Sideburns are going to grow up with time, but it is not the thing you would want to sit around waiting for, and it’s better not to mess it up from the very beginning. Another tip: take your time both thinking the style through and actually trimming it. After all, it is your own face that is at stake, both literally and figuratively.

sideburn types
Short sideburns

Growing sideburns fast

Sometimes things refuse to go the way we want them to; the cut may have gone wrong and you got stuck with the sideburn you did not want, or maybe you did not have enough length for the sideburn you wanted in the first place. It is not a sign to put your hands down and give up, it is a sign to go for the new strategy. And we are here to provide you some tips that you may find useful to use on your way to the perfect sideburns.

Tip 1: Keep it clean

Adults were right to teach us the importance of regular cleaning and proper skincare. Proper cleaning and regular exfoliation help you to get rid of the dead skin cells from your face and head, which form at their own pace and are a perfectly natural way for the skin covering to renew itself. Without these procedures, these cells risk plugging up the hair follicles, resulting in slowed down hair growth, skin irritation, hair growing under the skin. Once you establish your skincare routine and get these follicles opened – and keep them this way – you will notice the change in your sideburns growth. It would be also beneficial to apply moisturizer to keep your skin nourished and hydrated.

Tip 2: Take a nap

Believe it or not, but hair growth is proven to be faster during sleep than the active state. Applying it to our case, we suggest you evaluate your sleeping routine and make sure you have enough hours of sleep on daily basis. It will also help with building up resilience to stress and bring your mental state to a whole new level. All in all, even if growing sideburns is not your goal, take this tip into account and at least try it out.

Tip 3: Pump it up!

Another suggestion for overall health improvement, which also has a tremendous effect on hair growth, is to get enough physical exercise and maintain your body in good shape. A healthy body has a better opportunity of producing healthy hair. Apart from that, exercise is found to be one of the most efficient ways to reduce stress and manage anxiety.

The reason why we talk so much about overall health and stress management is that the elevated stress level often results in weak and dry hair. While stress may have many reasons for appearance and many various impacts on our body, exercising pushes your blood flow around your body, forcing blood to distribute nutrients faster. With more nutrients supplied to them, hair follicles have more power to grow healthy strong hair.

Tip 4: Food matters

You are thinking it right – not just any food in general, but a balanced healthy diet that is designed particularly for you. There are reasons the healthy diet is called balanced, one of which is that the minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients are all essential for a proper chemical chain reaction in our body. If you break the balance, the chain stops operating the way it is intended to, including growing proper hair cover.

If for any reason you cannot get all the nutrients you need, using supplements can improve your case, however, we suggest avoid self-diagnosing and consult your physician. The most common deficit of nutrients when it comes to hair issue is iron and biotin. You may also want to pay special attention to vitamins A, B, C, and D; they are easy to find in various vitamin formulas.

male sideburns
Short sideburns

Growing better sideburns with essential oil

There is always a lot of buzz around essential oils, and that’s probably why people brush them off so much. Yet, they do have a certain impact, and if you know how to use them in your favor, you get a head-start.

Jojoba oil

With the same structure as sebum, jojoba oil improves greatly the natural flow of sebum oil in the hair follicles, which in its turn ensures better hair growth and less grease. That also means that it solves the problem with the bold spots too. Jojoba oil does a great job of moisturizing the skull skin and keeping it hydrated. And last yet not least, thanks to its antioxidant features, it can help to keep your hair away from infections.

Sunflower oil

If your problem is very rough skin that dries up easily, sunflower seed is just for you – there is no better emollient, nothing can maintain moisture on your skin better. With this enhancement of the skin protection layer, your beard and sideburns will be safe from UV light and sun damage, which we all know is no joke.

The effect of smooth skin is reached also with the help of Vitamin A present in sunflower oil – it exfoliates the skin and leaves it with better sebum regulation.

Avocado oil

Avocado is a superfood well-known for the healthy fat it carries. Yet the same fruit is quite useful for the haircare routine; if you ever studied the impact of avocado on your diet, you may have an impression of what it is capable of doing for your hair. Excessively dry skin, dandruff, sensitive skull skin – these are the missions perfect for avocado oil. This oil is a bundle deal with the vitamins A, D, and E, thus it enables you to pick up the nutrients you may have been lacking in your diet.

Coconut oil

While it is perfect for removing the strongest water-proof make-up, coconut oil is also a great choice to fight pathogens, viruses, bacteria, and fungi that may found their home in your hair follicles and cause an infection. You can also trust it with taking care of dry skin and reducing eczema, which in result will leave you with healthier skin for healthier hair. Not to mention, the scent is amazing.

All in all

Taking good care of yourself and your hair is always a good idea. Whichever hairstyle you choose, there are some ways to complement it with different little details, and sideburns are one of the best of those. It is fairly easy to trim and maintain them, yet you should be careful about choosing your type of sideburns – they should work best with your face shape.

Do not let the first problems discourage you; the first attempts may not go the way you want, but practice makes perfect. It should only take you several attempts to get your moves straight.


Author of article
Nancy Norman
Hi. My name is Nancy. I've been doing hairdressing for 12 years. I cut and cut from day today. And I like it. I love trying out new hair clippers. Search for new things, share opinions, and look for pros and cons. Recently, I came up with the idea to create my own website and share information with readers. I hope it will be useful.  
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