Stubble is the perfect middle ground – not too lumberjack, yet not too clean. A hit with the ladies, according to a 2013 study that found that women prefer men with heavy stubble because it makes them look mature but assertive.
But is stubble right for you?
Five o’clock shadow is a popular look for guys right now, but there are other solid reasons to sprout some facial hair. For instance, shaving may highly irritate your skin, even causing ingrown hairs if your hair is thick, coarse, or curly. Or perhaps your workplace simply doesn’t allow beards.
Before embarking on stubble growing, stop shaving for a week (or two) to determine how your beard grows. Grow your beard about ¼” longer than what you would keep for stubble. Basically, grow a short beard.
Some guys find that their beards come in on the patchier side, so rocking stubble may not be in the cards for them. If you have patchy hair growth, we suggest growing a full beard so the patchiness won’t be as obvious. You can check out our post on how to fix patchy beards here.
If your hair grows in relatively evenly, proceed with the following.
ShapingHair may be growing where you don’t want it to – like your Adam’s apple or high on your cheeks. Remove this excess hair and trim the edges of your stubble to form a shape that compliments your hairline, neckline, and face shape. Just remember not to sculpt with too much precision – you want a natural, masculine look, not chinstraps.
Depending on how fast your hair grows, you will need to repeat the following four steps every two to four days, or else you’ll end up with a beard.
1. Use the right shave gel
To see what you’re trimming off, use a clear shave oil or gel like Clinique For Men Aloe Shave Gel, which is formulated to reduce razor burn.
2. Shape carefully with a trimmer
First, use a longer setting on your hair trimmer to trim your entire beard to one uniform length. Then, shorten in increments. Choose a slightly higher guard setting like a 3 (the exact number will vary depending on where you’re trimming) and crop the length on your cheeks and jaw.
3. Clean the edges
Once you’ve achieved your desired length, remove stray hairs, patchy spots, and asymmetrical sections with a pivoting razor like the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power Men’s Razor, which is great at creating accurate edges. For tighter, harder-to-reach spots along your neck and moustache, we recommend the Zeus Mustache and Detailing Safety Razor. Its small single blade produces a precise, irritation-free cut.
Places to focus on when cleaning up? Your cheeks (especially if you grow hair far up on your face), and particularly the cheekbones. Trim hair just below your cheekbones, parallel to your jawline.
Want to keep some neck stubble?
Make the transition from your jaw to your neck smooth by creating a fade. Switch to a lower number on your guard as you work your way from the jaw to your Adam’s apple. Then remove any hair below your Adam’s apple using a razor or trimmer without a guard.
Want a cleaner look?
Shave your facial hair just below your jawline. This allows the stubble to extend beyond the visible portion of your jawline, so there won’t be a stark contrast.
4. Trim your moustache
Designed to quickly clean up your moustache as well as any other stray facial hair, Zeus Stainless Steel Scissors keep your stubble looking fresh. Throw it into your dopp kit for touch ups on the road.