The 6mm beard is significant for one very important reason – it marks the beginning of “short beard” territory. As you may already know from our stubble tutorials, “stubble” refers to facial hair less than 5mm long.
Anything more than 5mm, and it’s considered a “short beard”. Because of this, the 6mm beard does play by a different set of rules. Rules we’ll go on to discuss in this article.
What we’re going to discuss is how to decide whether this beard length is for you. If after this you’re still intrigued, we’re going to talk in-depth about exactly how to groom, trim and maintain the 6mm beard.
The trimmer we’ll be using for this tutorial is the Philips Norelco Oneblade QP6520/70. It’s high quality, waterproof, and cordless. More on that later, but if you’re interested you can check it out on Amazon here.
Plus, check out this article listing my most recommended beard trimming and grooming products of the year.
Without further ado, let’s get to it.
How long does it take to grow the 6mm beard?
The generic answer to this would be that every man grows facial hair at a different rate. But that really isn’t very helpful to you.
On average, it will take a man between 12 and 14 days to grow a 6mm beard. But of course, do allow for some variation.
It’s also important to note that different parts of the beard grow will grow at different rates. It’s very normal to have certain parts of a beard slightly longer than others.
This leads to the illusion of the beard looking thicker or thinner in certain parts.
The way to combat this is by using intuition to vary the length of the beard hairs very slightly. This is done using your beard trimmer and is something we’ll go on to discuss later on.
But yes, 12 – 14 days is how long it will most likely take you to reach approximately 6mm.
Is the 6mm beard for you?
This beard length is very common. It is seen everywhere but almost certainly not recognized as being this length.
You have the option of maintaining this beard length using the steps we’ve outlined below. But if you’re unsure if its the length for you, ask yourself whether you fall into one of the following categories.
1. Men who want to be definitively “bearded”
There’s something quite special about crossing that threshold from stubble into a short beard. Although it may not appear as obvious to others, you will know it and that’s what matters.
The 6mm beard really does share a lot of the same qualities, only slightly exaggerated. It’s still versatile, it’s still attractive, but it is definitely more eye-catching.
You’ll be seen as a bearded man, as opposed to just a man with stubble. To some, that is hugely important.
2. Men who don’t mind a little extra grooming
It’s no secret that the longer your facial hair, the longer your grooming routine will be. Sure, the 6mm beard is by no means a Yeard.
But it’s still longer than stubble and as such needs a little extra care to keep it looking sleek.
As we’ve discussed before, beard hairs tend to grow in different directions, as well as clump together. Incorporating a quick brush using a beard brush into your morning routine can make it look a lot neater and more uniform.
Applying a bit of beard oil after your morning trim can give a short beard a slick shine and make it feel softer.
We’re not talking about hours of pruning and preening in front of a mirror. It’s still very short facial hair, and won’t take up a huge amount of time. But it will need some attention if you want it looking it’s best most of the time.
3 benefits of the 6mm beard length
1. It’s more masculine than stubble
There’s no denying the rugged masculinity of the testosterone-dependent growth of facial hair. Although it may sound simplistic, the more of it you have, the more masculine you probably appear.
Stubble may win in terms of aesthetics, partially because it’s generally able to contour the angles of the face better.
But as you delve into “short beard” range, you’re opening up a whole new set of doors while holding onto some of the benefits of stubble as well. These include versatility and professionalism just to name a couple.
2. It can feel softer than stubble
Stubble can be prickly and abrasive against the fingers, or the cheek of a romantic partner. They’ll be the first to tell you.
In my article on how to prevent stubble rash in your partner you’ll see that one of the tips is to grow it out a little longer.
Shorter facial hair has less even edges, which is what causes it to feel harsh and sandpapery.
You may be pleasantly surprised by how just growing it out a couple of millimeters can make it feel considerably softer.
The 6mm beard often lies in that sweet spot where it feels softer and also looks less patchy. This is particularly the case when you just have one or two patches that need covering up.
3. It’s noticeable but not overbearing
It’s versatile. There’s no doubt about it. If ever you were concerned that having facial hair may not be appropriate for a particular situation, the 6mm beard is a fairly safe bet.
This is because it isn’t usually the first thing people notice. It just isn’t long enough to be. But the beauty of it is that it is noticeable in a more striking way than stubble would be.
Again, it strikes that wonderful sweet spot between being noticeable but not too noticeable.
The trimmer you should use for the 6mm beard
Of course, there are several great beard trimmers out there perfectly capable of trimming this glorious beard length. The reason I opt for the Philips Norelco Oneblade QP6520/70 is that it really is the full package for a very affordable price. It trims, edges, and shaves very effectively.
Take a look on Amazon by clicking here.
It’s lightweight, sleek, easy to grip, and it’s premium dual-edged blades are a dream. It allows you to edge in both directions, leading to much more precise and defined borders.
The head is able to follow the contours of the face. It really does effortlessly glide across the beard to produce consistently excellent results.
It comes with 14 length settings between 0.4mm and 10mm. Bear that in mind if you may one day want to grow it longer than this. But for a 6mm beard, it really is perfect.
How to grow, trim and maintain a classic 6mm beard
What you’re about to learn is how to achieve a simple, stylish, 6mm beard. It will consist of hair on the chin, cheeks, and mustache.
It’s the easiest and most common way to style this beard length and never disappoints. Once you’ve mastered it you’re free to try out more technically advanced styles if you wish to.
Grow it out first
Ideally, you want to trim down to 6mm from a longer length. Doing so will enable you to see how your beard grows in a longer form before trimming it. You’ll be able to follow it’s growth pattern and contours.
It will also allow those slower-growing hairs to sprout and catch up before you start the trimming.
Sometimes a small bare patch can thicken up if you just give it a little bit of time before prematurely trimming down.
To ensure you’re over that 6mm threshold, give your beard enough time to grow. 2 weeks is a safe bet, but 2.5 weeks is even safer. Remember, every man’s rate of beard growth is different.
You’ll most likely be looking quite unkempt by this point. If you’re particularly uncomfortable with this, there’s no problem with neatening things up a little while you’re growing it.
While you should leave the actual body of the beard alone, you can neaten up the borders a little (as per step 3) now and again. But don’t spend too much time on it.
Once you reach your starting point, you have a beautiful 6mm beard to look forward to.
Trim down to 6mm
Once you’ve grown it out to longer than 6mm, it’s time to trim down.
Set your trimmer to 6mm and get to work.
I generally like to start with the cheeks and move on to the chin and mustache, but there’s no rule here.
It’s important to remember that beard hairs are notorious for growing in different directions. Because of this, vary the angle of your trimmer so that you’re trimming up, down, left, and right.
This should ensure you catch even the more elusive hairs to maintain a nice and even-looking trim.
Keeping the skin gently taut will also help you catch those more difficult hairs, and also reduces the risk of cuts.
The area immediately under the chin can be difficult to trim. A neat little tip is to gently pull the lower cheeks upwards so that the skin immediately beneath the jawline comes into view.
Once it does, it becomes a lot easier to trim.
Once you’re confident you’ve trimmed your entire beard down to 6mm as evenly as you can, it’s time to move on.
Define the borders
The borders I’m referring to are the neckline and the cheek line. Not clearly defining these borders can make the 6mm look very untidy and not worth pursuing.
There is nothing attractive about the “accidental beardsman” look. It’s something you’ll want to avoid at all costs.
The neckline is the border between your neck hair and your neck skin. To clearly define that border you’ll need to remove your neck stubble.
But when doing so, it’s important to not let that neckline get too high. A high neckline can lead to an unusual double-chin appearance we don’t want.
Follow these steps for the perfect neckline:
- Assess your neck by tilting your head up. A handheld mirror is also great for this.
- Put your second and third fingers horizontally above your Adam’s apple.
- The point immediately above your top finger will be the lowest point of the neckline. Make a mental note of it.
- Then, visualize a U-shaped curve passing through this point, running from earlobe to earlobe. This is a crude version of what your neckline will become.
- It’s important to maintain a natural-looking curve, but slanting upwards in each direction so that it roughly follows the angle of the jawline. This can actually make the jawline look well defined.
- Grab your beard trimmer and remove the size guard, leaving just the naked blade. Outline this neckline you’ve just visualized, and trim everything beneath it. In other words, remove all neck stubble beneath this line.
The cheek line is the border between your cheek hair and cheek skin. Scraggly hairs crossing this border can also look very unkempt, so it’s important to define this border as well.
Some people prefer to leave it looking more “natural”, and this is down to personal preference. If you’d prefer a neater look, follow this guide.
When sharpening up the cheek line, it’s important to appreciate your natural cheek line and just accentuate it. Some people have straighter cheek lines, and some people have more curved cheek lines.
A general guide is to visualize a straight line running from the bottom corner of your sideburn, down to the corner of your mouth. Then just see where your natural cheek line falls either side of this.
Again, using the naked blade of your trimmer, trim any stray hairs that fall outside this line. This will make it look a lot neater.
If you’d prefer, you can even try fading the cheek line by trimming the very edge using a shorter size guard. For example, a 3mm guard.
This can make the transition between the beard and cheek skin look more natural and less sudden.
Shave outside the borders
A trimmer can only cut so close to the skin, even with the naked blade. To get the cleanest and sleekest look possible, it’s important to shave outside the borders.
Getting a close shave in these areas will make the beard very well-defined and intentional looking.
The device you use is down to personal preference, as both a manual razor and electric shaver are both perfectly acceptable.
The technique is more important than the device. If using a manual razor, it’s important to lather up the areas outside the borders (i.e beneath the neckline and above the cheek line) before shaving. Use a moisturizing shaving get or foam.
Keep the skin taut, avoid re-strokes, and shave with the grain (in the direction of hair growth). Shaving with the grain will reduce the risk of irritation, nicks, and cuts.
Trimming and shaving leads to dry and irritated skin. The best remedy for this is moisture. Using a thoroughly hydrating moisturizer after each trim and shave will leave the skin feeling happy and healthy.
Glowing skin coupled with a neatly trimmed and shaved 6mm beard is an irresistible combination.
Apply some beard oil
I did mention this briefly before. People are often surprised when beard oil is suggested for short beard lengths.
It gives the beard a nice shine and can leave it feeling softer and smelling great. There is a lot to gain and nothing to lose.
They usually consist of essential oils such as jojoba oil and argan oil which are also very good moisturizers.
Massage the beard oil into your beard at the end of your routine. You can use a comb to ensure it’s evenly distributed across the beard.
It really does differentiate the amateur beardsmen from the professional beardsmen.
The 6mm beard has a lot going for it. It’s relatively easy to maintain, and incredibly versatile.
The simple elegance of it cannot be denied and its masculinity has been proven time and time again.
You’ve learned how to determine whether this is the beard length for you. If the answer is “yes, it is”, you’ve gone on to learn exactly how to grow, trim and maintain this beard length in the simplest way possible.
Do you have any tips or tricks regarding the 6mm beard? If so, drop them in the comments below!