How to Grow Mutton Chops Sideburns


Wondering how to grow mutton chops to look amazing? Check out these tips.

Grow Mutton Chops
Thinking about the best way to grow mutton chops? Good call. They are one of the hottest looks in beards and sideburns right now. Probably due, at least in part, to the popularity of The Wolverine and Hugh Jackman’s smoking hot chops.

But whatever the reason, I’m glad the look is taking off. Why? Because I’ve been sporting mutton chops for years and now the style is finally catching up to me. I like the beard because it looks good no matter what your facial shape or how thin or thick your facial hair grows. But there’s a right way to grow them and a disaster-in-the-making way.

Trust me, I know. For the first two years I had mine, no matter what I tried, they wouldn’t grow the way I wanted. Then, after lots of slip ups, I finally got the process nailed down. So I thought I would put together this how-to to help you grow out your mutton chops the way Hugh intended.

1. Decide on the Style You Want

how to grow mutton chops
Grow Mutton Chops | Photo Courtesy of

There are a few different styles of mutton chops a man can rock. You need to decide which style works best for your face shape and facial hair situation. Your first step should be reviewing pictures of different styles.  

Google has a ridiculous number of images of mutton chops. Check them out and decide which ones you think would work best for you. Once you’ve selected the look, it’s time to grow out your killer mutton chops.

2. Grow Out Your Beard, Without Trimming, For 4 to 6 Weeks

how to grow mutton chops

If you want your mutton chops to look their best, you’ll need to start off with beard hair that is all the same length. Maybe you are sporting a larger beard style right now, like a Ducktail or Yeard, it will be hard to trim it so everything looks even.

If you’re already rocking a beard, my advice is to shave if off and start from scratch. Say what? Do you have to do this? No. But if you want the best results this is the way to get there. Believe me: I’ve tried trimming my beard down from a bigger style to a smaller one, and it never looks as good as when I start from nothing.

Just shave off your beard and let a new one sprout up in its place. I know it’s a painful thought, but this will give you the best results. When the new beard is about six weeks old, you’re on track to take the next step.

3. Shave Your Chin and Neck – Carefully

how to grow mutton chops

As you no doubt already know, mutton chops are when your sideburns grow down to the edges of your mouth. The rest of your face should be completely free of hair.

Your goal in this step is to remove all the hair on your neck, chin, and mustache area. Start shaving the hair on your chin by drawing an imaginary line down from each end of your mouth. Be careful not to nick or trim the sideburns themselves. You’re just removing the hair below your mouth, between the two imaginary lines.

Next, make sure your neck is completely clear of hair, just like your chin. To do that, make sure the bottom edge of your sideburns is trimmed right at your jaw line. Anything below the jaw line should be free of hair.

Now carefully trim the area above your mouth. This is where you would normally have a mustache, but for your mutton chops beard (as opposed to friendly mutton chops) the area should be free of hair. This will complete the basic outline of your new look.

4. Trim the Upper Edge of Your Mutton Chops – Also Carefully

how to grow mutton chops

Using a good beard trimmer (more on trimmers later), trim an imaginary line from the outer edge of your sideburns down to the corners of your mouth. Right at your cheekbones is a good place to begin. This should give you a couple of inches of hair between the top of your mutton chops and your jaw line.

You will need to use a lot of care as you make this trim. This top edge of your mutton chops is the most visible part, and any mistake will be easy to see. You should try to get a clean, natural line following the curve of your face from your sideburns down to your chin.

5. Now Just Let ‘Er Rip

how to grow mutton chops
Grow Mutton Chops | Photo Courtesy of

You can let this sucker grow until the cows come home. Or even longer if you are cow-less. Unlike many other beard styles, the beauty of mutton chops is they will remain mutton chops no matter how long they get. So if you’re into that big, billowing, burly, bulldog look, just let ‘er rip.

But frankly, I don’t suggest you let it grow too long. Aside from the fact that weirdly overgrown cheek-beards give me, and most sensible people, the willies, it just doesn’t look right. Why wear something on your face that creeps people out and looks like crap to boot?

Remember, mutton chops are just a fancy name for long sideburns. And you wouldn’t wear big, bushy sideburns with a clean-shaven face, would you? I certainly hope not. My mutton chop beard is about the same length as our good buddy Mr. Jackman’s.

I think his chops rock and a lot of people seem to back me up. They’re the perfect length for this style of beard. And, after all, isn’t that what all true beardsmen desire? The perfect beard?

The mutton chops style even looks good as stubble. But I wouldn’t let it grow more than a couple of inches. Otherwise, it tends to obscure the look you want.

6. Grooming Tools

The final phase of growing mutton chops is making sure you have the right tools to finish off the beard. Depending on the look you’re going for, you’ll need to keep a close eye on the trimming. You should plan on hitting it about once a week, more if you want it shorter.

Mutton chops are not a big beard style, like a Gnarly or Majestic. Those beards can grow for many weeks, or even months, without needing a trim. But you do have to stay on top of your chops. Here’s what you’ll need to do that:

Beard Trimmer

how to grow mutton chops

A beard trimmer is essential for trimming your chops. That’s why you should make it a good one. It will be the biggest one-time investment you will make in grooming your mutton chops. I like this one because of the vacuum feature. This will keep your bathroom sink free of annoying beard clippings. A trimmer like this one is the best way to ensure your chops stay trimmed to a uniform length.

Beard Brush

how to grow mutton chops

A good beard brush like this one will be necessary, not only for making your chops look good, but also for the shaving and trimming process. When you have a mutton chops beard, you’ll have to brush it all in one direction, so the hairs will lay down flat. This will help you get a more accurate and easier trim and shave.

Safety Razor

how to grow mutton chops
A good safety razor like this one is vital to get a super close shave on your upper lip mustache area, as well as your chin and neck. I like this one because it has an excellent balance, does the job and doesn’t cost a fortune.  

Keep in mind that safety razors are very economical. Blades for this razor are way cheaper than disposables or cartridge refills. Because the blades are so good and so cheap, this razor will pay for itself in two or three months.

Beard Shampoo

how to grow mutton chops

Here’s a good beard shampoo specially formulated for beards. Using it will ensure you don’t strip away essential oils. Don’t be fooled into thinking you should use the same shampoo you use on your head. Those products can contain harsh chemicals and detergents that will dry out your beard. And forget about soap and water, unless you want a dull, dry, brittle mess.

Beard Oil

how to grow mutton chops

After washing your mutton chops beard, you should apply a beard oil like this one to keep it looking its best. A daily application of beard oil is essential for the health of your beard. It supplies your beard and facial skin with the moisture and oils they need to look and feel great.

To grow mutton chops takes a particular breed of man. It’s a cool look, although somewhat unique and unusual. It has to be worn with confidence or not at all. Picture, if you will, our pal Hugh Jackman. He oozes confidence, which enables him to pull off the mutton chops look with great élan. If you have the right attitude, the beard will take you home.

As I mentioned at the start of this post, it took me a few years to figure out the best way to grow and groom my mutton chops beard. Now it looks exactly the way I want, no muss, no fuss. I believe if you follow these steps, you will sport a mutton chops beard you will be proud to wear.

Let me know what you think of this post in the comments section. And if you feel it was worthwhile, be sure to share it with your friends.

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Mr. Wood has been growing a beard since he could first sprout facial hair. He lives with his wife, two boys and a mentally unstable dog. He loves to be outdoors and thinks that the best stories start with "Here, hold my beer..."