Skip to Content

The Number 4 Beard: Guard, Length, Styles (Pics)

May 2, 2023
The Number 4 Beard: Guard, Length, Styles (Pics)

One of the difficulties with trying out a new clipper guard is not knowing what to expect. Here’s everything you need to know about the number 4 beard. 

What length it is, what it looks like, and more. 

Let’s get to it. 

What Length Is A Number 4 Beard? 

A number 4 beard is 13mm long and can be produced using the #4 clipper guard. 

number 4 beard
Image From Deposit Photos

It’s unusual to refer to a beard length by a “number” because this is usually reserved for haircuts. 

Hair is typically trimmed using a pair of clippers and these have detachable length guards labeled with specific numbers. 

The number will let you know what length the guard will trim down to. 

Here’s a table listing the grading system used by most clipper brands: 

Number 0 1.5mm1/16 inch
Number 13mm1/18 inch
Number 2 6mm¼ inch
Number 3 10mm⅜ inch
Number 4 13mm½ inch

Unlike hair clippers, beard trimmers don’t usually come with numbered length guards such as these.

The guards will usually just tell you exactly how many mm or inches the guard will trim down to or will simply have an adjustable blade instead. 

That’s why it’s less common to refer to beards by a “number”. 

When someone is referring to it by a number, it’s pretty likely that they’re looking to trim their beard with a pair of clippers. 

This is perfectly acceptable if you’re looking for a rough and ready trim. If all you’ve got is a pair of clippers, pop on that #4 clipper guard and go for it. You’ll achieve a number 4 beard. 

However, if you wanted more control and a neater finish, the narrow blade of a beard trimmer would be a much better option. 

What you’d need is a beard trimmer capable of trimming to approximately 13mm in order to achieve a number 4 beard length. 

What Does A Number 4 Beard Look Like? 

A number 4 beard will look like this: 

another 4 week beard
Image From Deposit Photos

As you can see, it’s well beyond the range of heavy stubble and can easily be labeled a proper short beard. 

When trimmed and defined, however, it’s still short enough to contour the jawline and facial features. 

It strikes a fine balance like that.  

How Long Does It Take To Grow A Number 4 Beard? 

A number 4 beard will take approximately 4 weeks to grow. 

This means that it would take approximately 4 weeks for facial hair to grow out to approximately 13mm in length if you were starting from a clean-shaven face. 

This is an average amount of time you can expect it to take. 

People vary a huge amount in terms of their rate of growth. Some will get there faster, while others significantly slower. 

However, overall, 4 weeks would be a pretty reasonable expectation. 

If you were looking to trim down to a number 4 length, you’d need to grow it longer than that to begin with. 

Letting it grow out for around 5 weeks should give most people enough length to work with. After that, you should be able to trim down to a #4. 

The Pros And Cons Of A Number 4 Beard

A number 4 beard has some pros and some cons when compared with other beard lengths. 

The Pros

One of the main advantages of the number 4 beard is that it’s a length that’s pretty easy to maintain. 

You don’t have to do a huge amount with it to keep it looking good. 

You’ll probably only need to trim every 3 to 4 days to keep it looking sharp. It isn’t really long enough to benefit from combing, balming, waxing, and so on. 

One habit you should usually adopt at this length, however, is brushing with a boar bristle beard brush.

But other than that, there isn’t much maintenance required. 

 number 4 beard 
Image From Shutterstock

Another benefit of the number 4 beard is that it would rarely be confused for an “accidental beard”. In other words, people wouldn’t usually ask you if you’d simply forgotten to shave for a few days. 

That’s the benefit of having a beard that’s long enough to look intentional. 

At the same time, it’s still short enough to remain low maintenance and to also contour and define the jawline and facial features. 

The Cons

The number 4 length does have a couple of downsides worth considering. 

Patchiness is one of them. 

Unfortunately, the 4-week mark is considered an “awkward” phase of growth because it’s where patchy areas of growth really start to become obvious. 

The reason for this is usually that there’s simply more contrast between the thick areas and the not-so-thick areas as the hair grows longer. 

At the same time, it hasn’t really been given enough of an opportunity to really fill itself out yet either. 

If you encounter these issues at this length and find them tough to tolerate, consider trimming it down to a number 3 length instead. 

With the hair a little shorter, there’s usually less contrast between the thick areas and patchy areas. As a result, the patchy areas tend to look a little less obvious. 

Alternatively, you could consider growing the beard out longer than the number 4 length and give that patchiness a bit more time to fill itself out. 

How To Trim And Shave A Number 4 Beard

Here are some tips for trimming a number 4 beard and getting the best result possible. 

  • Make sure your clipper or trimmer is charged, oiled, and cleaned before trimming.
  • Trim against the grain (i.e against the direction of growth) to achieve an even and tidy end result in an efficient way. 
  • Define the neckline. It’s usually best to ensure it’s approximately two finger-widths above the Adam’s Apple and roughly follows the angle of the jawline in either direction. 
  • Consider whether you want the cheek lines to look natural or whether to sharpen them up by removing the stray hairs above them. 


There you have it. 

Hopefully, everything you could want to know about the number 4 beard. It’s a short beard length that’s easy to maintain.