How To Trim And Shape A Goatee Beard

So if you’re not familiar with the “Goatee”beard, then quite simply it is a style of facial hair that covers the chin and meets up with the moustache. The history of the goatee goes back to ancient Roman and ancient Greek times where Gods were depicted with goatee styled facial hair.

It has also gained popularity around the 90s through to present times, with men being able to maintain and get creative with their beards with the advancements of beard trimming technology.

Maintaining a goatee can be difficult, especially if you don’t have the right tools and processes. For years men have only had disposable razors and sub-standard electric razors to tame the beast, and I still see guys struggling today. You only have to look on places like Quora or male grooming forums and groups on Facebook to see them asking for advice on the correct way to shape a goatee or what trimmers to use. It’s daunting when you have spent all that time and effort growing a goatee for you then to mess it up when you go to shape or trim it.

Trimming a goatee isn’t the hardest thing to do in the world. Let’s face it, it’s not calculus or quantum physics, however there are a few rules to go by in order to shape and keep a goatee in good order.

So here’s my guide on everything you need to know about goatees, which will cover shaping goatees, styling goatees and trimming them so they look neat, smart and well kept. I will go through the important stages a man should take to shape his goatee in the best way possible for the best outcome possible. Follow my lead and you will get the perfect goatee.

All that I am about to reveal is a product of my Father teaching me how he kept his beard and also through my trials and tribulations as a bearded man for much of my adult life.

Tools That You Will Need To Shape Your Goatee

It’s quite a simple little set of tools you will need to shape and maintain your goatee.

1. First up you will need a really good beard trimmer to be able to shape your goatee.
To get that really well kept look, an electric beard trimmer is a must. I’ve listed the best 3 beard trimmers here for you take a look.

2. Secondly, a nice sharp pair of scissors and a comb.

3. Thirdly, a good quality electric razor or disposable razor, whatever you prefer to shave with. Check out the best electric razors for 2017 here!

Lastly you might want to use some product on your beard like wax or a good quality beard oil. I’m not one for using any product at all, but I know some guys like to condition their beard as it makes it feel good and healthy looking. It’s up to you.

So let’s get started with my goatee grooming guide!

Step # 1 – The Growing

I’m going to state the obvious here but to get the best looking goatee beard you need to have a fair bit of growth. Go without shaving for a week or two to really get a nice full and thick beard to work with. This will give you more than enough to work with when you do actually start to shape your goatee.
It doesn’t take long to achieve this style of facial hair compared to other beards. A truly epic goatee will take no more than 3 weeks to achieve.

Step # 2 – Think about the shape of your goatee

When you’ve grown enough beard to be in a position to shape a goatee, then now is the time to get thinking about how it’s going to look. Goatees do come in different shapes and sizes. You might like the idea of a narrow goatee or a more rounded style to suit your facial bone structure. One tip I can offer when it comes to planning your goatee is to draw lines on your face with a market pen where you might want to shape to and see what that looks like. Just remember to use a washable marker and not a permanent one!

Here are some goatee styles to get inspiration from and to see what style would suit your face.

A goatee beard can do wonders for you if you have a small round face, because it can make your face seem longer.


If you have a long face long then you might want to go for a half goatee where you have a stubble moustache and a small beard on the tip of the chin.


A small chin-only goatee with a light moustache is a good style as it’s pretty much transferrable to any face shape, even more so if you have a small thin face.

johnny depp bread chin

Moving slightly away from the traditional goatee, you can have a chin strip which is a distant cousin to the goatee 😉 This suits square and triangular faces.



You need to be able to figure out how far you want your goatee to be in relation to your chin, whether you want to grow it down towards your neck or to have it stop at the edge of your chin. From my experience of having once had a goatee beard, I have found that a three finger width gap between your adams apple and the bottom of your goatee is a good measurement to work to.

So to do this just put your hand under your chin so that your three fingers are going from right to left. The fit two or three finger widths between your adams apple and your chin and go with the point to trim to. This isn’t always good for everyone, so please do what you feel is right for your face.
Your next decision is the length of your goatee from you chin. Do you keep it nice and short / tight to your face or have a bit of length coming down. This decision can be made over time as it takes longer to grow the length in a beard.


Step 3 – Comb the beard before trimming

To do the first shape on your soon to be goatee, you need to make sure that your beard is combed through. Get a fine-toothed comb or beard brush and brush it down through the beard. You don’t want any curled hair as this could mean you take a chunk of beard out and be left with patches. By combing through you will free up tangles as well.
Next you will want to take your beard trimmer and set it to the desired length you want your beard, so you get the beard nice and even in length.

Best Electric Beard Trimmers For Shaping Goatees

Electric beard trimmers are a great convenience for the shaping and upkeep of goatee beards. We have identified the best 3 electric beard trimmers for shaping and up-keeping a goatee beard and the best thing is that they don’t cost the earth.
Beard trimmers are an essential bit of kit when it comes to maintaining a goatee. They will get long and unkept looking if you don’t trim it now and again, and the easiest way to do this is by having an adjustable trimmer that will regulate the length of your goatee beard.

Philips Series 9100 Laser Guided Beard Trimmer

I use this trimmer all the time. I love it as it has a laser to guide you when you are shaping your goatee. It’s ideal for those who have an eye for exceptional facial hair detail and for those who are complete newbies when it comes to beard growing and shaping. The laser just makes everything 10x easier! This amazing bit of beard trimming kid is one of the most advanced ways to keep your goatee in order and easiest too. Achieving perfectly straight lines is a breeze and if you want to try out more complex styles like linking up the side burns with your goatee then this is the trimmer for you.

It features 17 LED displayed lengths from 0.4mm to 7mm, which means that you can not only go close shave, but also trim the longer bearded areas of you face. The Philips 9100 has steel blades which are really durable and will last you years. It’s totally waterproof, so you can use it in the shower if you want and it’s perfect for on the go. Another great feature about the Phillips 9100 is the dual sided trimmer to get in and shave those hard to reach areas like under the nose or under the chin. This is my number one choice of beard trimmers for goatee beards.

BaByliss for Men Super Stubble

Like the Phillips 9100, the BaByliss super stubble is one of the best ways to maintain your goatee beard. The Babyliss Super Stubble is designed for guys who want total control of their goatee beard, giving them the tools to shape and trim. There’s 24 precise settings on Babyliss super stubble, so you can go short or long, as it uses a motorised length control. Get the exact length and look you want at a touch of a button. It has a floating head feature which allows the razor to follow the contours of your face. Get close in to the defined line of your goatee with the electro-chemically sharpened blades for a super accurate cut.


Braun cruZer 6 Face

Another reliable and versatile shaver for the goatee beard wearer. Braun’s cruZer 6 Face is great value for money for a well built and functional beard trimmer. With this trimmer you can do all three of trimming, styling and shaving, which makes the Braun a jack of all trades and master of all!!

You get 4 trimming lengths on this trimmer which is ideal for maintaining a goatee. Add this to the SmartFoil technology and the Braun can capture hairs growing in different directions. It’s fully waterproof so you can use it in the shower. The cruZer 6 also has a twistable, two sided trimmer which makes trimming and finishing off a goatee style easy as pie!


Step 4 – The Outline

This is the most important stage of achieving the perfect goatee. Outlining the shape is vital and as a guide you should use the angle of your moustache, as this will tell you how wide your goatee will be on your chin. As I mentioned earlier, you could use a washable marker to outline the design and create a cutting guide.


Step 5 – The Cutting

Once you have the outline sorted and you’re happy with what you see, you can then start the exciting part of the process…the shaving!!

Three weeks of growth, itching and wanting to have a shave is about to come to an end! You will finally have a badass goatee!

What you will need to do next is to cut to the outline of the goatee. Define this by using a very sharp razor or a trimmer that doesn’t have a guard. I find the best way to define the goatee is to use the sharpest razor possible. I use a Gillette Fusion for this, as it gives that sharp definition you need for a goatee. Shave right up against the sides of the hair. Make sure your beard has been wet with nice warm water as this makes shaving it easier. What you will get is an incredibly well-defined line at the sides and underneath.
I like to start from my neck by making small shaving strokes against the growth direction of your beard at all times. Shave up to two to three figure widths from the adams apple, so you get a basic idea of how your goatee will take shape. This way you’re not cutting too far in to the goatee as its always easier to take more off, if need be once you have a look and assess where you are at.

Step 6 – Making Amends To The Shape

So you have cut to your outline using either a razor or an un-guarded trimmer, and you now have a goatee shape. Now what you want to do is take a look at what you have and see if you need to make any more amends to the shape. You may feel that you want to bring up the goatee under your chin or make the sides thinner. If that’s the case then just make another outline on the areas you want to trim and repeat the process.

Step 7 – Shaving the rest of your beard.

When you grow a goatee you really need to just grow a full beard to start with, as this makes it easier to shape. Once you have shaped the goatee, you will need to shave the rest of the face that will remain clean shaven. Bath the face in warm water to make the beard nice and soft. Massage in some shaving foam to prepare my skin for shaving. I use clear shaving gel, so that I can see the defined edges of my goatee, so I can get it nice and close to my hair line.
To get a close shave to the definition line of your goatee, always shave away from the goatee line. Because the skin is soft and slippery because of the gel or shaving foam, the razor can easily cut more than what you would have wanted to. The last thing you want is to take a chunk of hair out of your newly defined goatee! You’d have to start again! Put the razor on the defined line of your goatee and shave away from it. This applies to guys who are using an electric razor as well.

Step # 8 – Step Away And Take A Look

After every major cut, just step back and take a look at your efforts. Check it out from a distance and see what it looks like. Make sure you have a close up look as well, as you can miss out things when you are concentrating hard on the outline of the goatee.


Step 9 – The Clean Up

Once you have completed all of the steps listed above, it’s time to clean up and reveal your awesome new goatee! Wash you face in some clean warm water to wash away all the loose hair and soap from your beard and face.
You can then apply different products to enhance the beard and moisturize the beard, but this depends on each person’s own personal preference.

Shaving and goatee trimming can be very messy, so make sure you clean the bathroom after or you will be in deep trouble with the woman / women in your life!


Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, how you decide to shape your goatee is completely up to you as its your goatee and you need to feel comfortable with it. Make it unique to you and have it fit your own sense of style, but ultimately keep it well and make sure you trim every two weeks so it looks nice and tight.