Ahh, the good old fashioned beard stubble...
Stubble is a timeless look that perfectly balances the boyhood of a clean-shaven face with the manhood of a burly beard. Whether your stubble is a result of this morning's shave, purposeful intent or just a temporary destination on your beard journey, we have some tips to make your experience a little easier.
Here at Zeus Beard, we know how difficult dealing with stubble can be. No one wants an itchy or irritated chin. Luckily for you, we're here to help. To break things down, we broke down everything you need to know about the new hair on your face and how to care for it.
To start off, let's define the five-o'clock shadow.
Photo via Instagram / @dhood84
You wake up in the morning to a large cup of coffee and the bathroom beckons you to enjoy a relaxing shave. After cleansing your tresses and gliding a razor across your chin, you are left with the refreshing feeling of cold air hitting your clean bare face. You are calm and ready to take on the world.
However, a lot can happen in 10 hours. When five-o'clock rolls around, you may notice your face looking and feeling a little different than it did in its morning glory. So, what is the five-o'clock shadow? During this time, your face takes on a shadowy appearance as the hairs fight to bud back into a beard.
Enter the issue of stubborn stubble. This darkening illusion is created from the thickest part of your hair follicle being exposed. While your face may not look bad with the darkening from a little extra stubble, you will have to fight off the itchy sensation it brings with it.
Here's how to deal when stubble is the intended look.
Photo via Instagram / @theunabashedmale
Stubble isn't necessarily a bad thing when it comes to style. In fact, science says that women are attracted most to the men in their five-o'clock shadow phase instead of clean-shaven faces or burly beards. As the perfect in-between, stubble seems to say, "I care about keeping up with my appearance but I also have a flare for the wild side."
According to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, women found men with stubble to be most physically attractive. However, the results also showed a correlation between commitment to a beard and perceived commitment to a partner. Women voted men with more hair on their faces as better for long-term commitments, while they deemed men with budding bristles more suited for short-term encounters.
When preserving the "just-enough-to-tickle-her-face-with-your-whiskers" look, maintenance is imperative. Let's face it, stubble can attractively outline your facial features, but it can also be very itchy and uncomfortable.
Using products like beard oil and beard balm can help treat irritated skin and combat discomfort. For instance, Zeus Beard Oil ($32 / 1 fl oz) uses Safflower Seed Oil to lock in moisture and fight beard itch and dryness. Zeus Beard Balm ($22 / 2 oz) is also useful for taming short bristles. In addition, it uses non-clogging oils that will keep your stubble soft without the bothersome itch.
READ MORE: "The Zeus Guide to Stubble, Part 1: Shaping"
Here's what to do when stubble is a stepping stone to a full beard.
Photo via Instagram / @jonaweinhofen
Another issue that plagues men first introducing new hair to their face is acne. The skin underneath your budding beard is not used to the oils your new hair brings with it. This can often cause skin irritation and acne in these sensitive areas.
However, there are ways to prevent skin problems, which is good for you since you're in the beard growth game for the long run. Growing a beard is a process that takes patience and dedication at every step. Don't skimp out in the scruffy stubble phase thinking that short hair doesn't matter yet. This is when it is most important to build a solid foundation for your future beard.
Beard oil and beard balm are also useful for men in the in-between phase. For example, Zeus Beard Oil ($32 / 1 fl oz) uses Grape Seed Oil, which contains anti-inflammatory properties and a mild astringent for acne-prone skin.
However, styling and after care products should not be the first step in your beard care routine. Before anything else, invest in yourself with a healthy lifestyle. Practice implementing a regular workout schedule and a balanced diet.
In addition, try adding products like Zeus Beard Shampoo ($16 / 8 fl oz) and Zeus Beard Conditioner ($16 / 8 fl oz) to your shower sill. Keeping your budding beard clean and moisturized will also help fight acne and irritation. In the conditioner, the combination of pro-vitamins, B5, aloe vera and avocado oil help fight flaky skin and calm the skin.