In today’s world, a clean shave is no longer the only way for a man to look sharp and well put together.
Acceptance of the stubble look has been slowly increasing for years. This was sped up by remote working and stay-at-home lifestyle changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, but we think that the stubble look is here to stay.
While stubble used to be considered scruffy, sloppy, or the mark of someone “too lazy” for a clean shave each morning, many men’s style icons have been seen sporting a stubble look that is not only stylish but actually sophisticated.
However, there is a fine line between your stubble looking stylish (like John Hamm) or scruffy (like Daniel Radcliffe) so let us help guide you to maintaining a stubble that can keep you looking dapper as ever!
Why Should You Consider Stubble?
At first, you might think that stubble is just for lazy guys who don’t want to shave, but there is another advantage of stubble that people don’t talk about: it changes the way you “age.”
Stubble is a great equalizer: it makes young men appear older and it makes older men appear younger.
For example, if you are a young man, some stubble on your chin can make you appear older and more mature than your baby-faced, clean-shaven contemporaries.
On the opposite end, if you are an older gentleman, the appearance of stubble can make you seem more hip, cool, and “with the times” compared to a full beard or a clean shave.
Women love stubble more than any other men’s facial hair type.
Also, if you have a weaker jawline, stubble can help to cover it up and make you appear more attractive.
Who Should Not Go For The Stubble Look
Outside of some professions that call for a clean shave, there are a few scenarios where the stubble look may not be right for you (at least right now!)
If your facial hair comes in patchy or uneven, stubble might not be the look for you.
There is no shame in having a patchy beard or places where hair doesn't grow.
However, you are going to run into a problem if you are going for the stubble look because you will look like an adolescent who is not quite ready to grow facial hair.
Here’s a simple rule to determine if you should keep your stubble or not: if people still ask if you forgot to shave after a week or two, the stubble look might not be for you.
Maintaining stubble is not as carefree as it appears, but it doesn’t have to be overly complicated either. There are a few basic steps you should follow for keeping your stubble stylish without looking homeless.
You don’t need a specialized cleaner for your stubble, but you should definitely be using a facial cleanser to keep it and your skin clean.
Unlike a beard which should only be washed 2-3 times per week, your stubble can be washed every day in the shower at the same time when you wash the rest of your face.
An exfoliator will help to scrub away dead skin cells and help to prevent ingrown hairs after you trim your stubble.
Because it is more powerful and rougher on your skin than a facial cleanser, you should limit exfoliating to no more than 2-3 times per week, or every other day at most.
If you already have a beard, you can use a beard trimmer with an adjustable guard to trim down your facial hair. We recommend you start with a 6mm guard height and trim down from there if you want it shorter.
One important thing to note about trimming is that you should use the next smallest guard height to trim the boundary line between your stubble and the skin on your face.
For example, if you are using a 6mm guard for most of your stubble, you should use your 4mm guard on the boundary line between your hair and your skin so you have a more gradual fade between the hair and skin.
Check the borders
Maintaining a well-defined border can be the difference between looking like your stubble is intentional or just the lazy result of a lack of grooming
Once you have your stubble trimmed to a length you like, you want to trim any hairs outside of your boundary area so your stubble has a neat appearance.
On your cheekbones, use either a slightly rounded curve or use a straight line from your earlobes to the corner of your mouth to define the top edges of your stubble.
The neckline can be a little harder to define, but just make sure that your stubble does not extend beneath the adam’s apple to prevent too much of a neckbeard appearance.
Keep in mind that the skin on your face is more sensitive than the rest of your body while your facial hair is more coarse than the rest of the hair on your body.
Now that you’ve got your stubble trimmed to length and the borders clearly defined, let’s talk about maintenance.
As we mentioned before, there is a minimal amount of maintenance needed for your stubble, but you have to stay consistent to keep yourself from looking scruffy and unkempt.
The good news is you don’t have to use a trimmer every day!
In fact, we recommend you trim your stubble to the proper length every other day or every three days at most. If you wait four or more days to trim your stubble you run the risk of looking too sloppy.
You also need to regularly trim the areas outside of your stubble line to prevent any stray hair from popping up.
A quick pass with a razor blade or electric trimmer every other day should be enough to keep your facial hair within the boundaries of your stubble.
Memorism’s Stubble Maintenance Plan
Following this schedule can help keep your stubble looking sharp without doing too much grooming on any single day.
The following schedule gives you 5 days of grooming with 2 days where you don’t have to do any stubble grooming at all.
Sunday – Trim neck (using a razor or electric trimmer)
Monday – Trim stubble (beard trimmer) & apply moisturizer
Tuesday – Off
Wednesday – Trim stubble (beard trimmer) & apply moisturizer
Thursday – Trim neck (using a razor or electric trimmer)
Friday – Trim stubble (beard trimmer) & apply moisturizer
Saturday – Off
If you have any questions about stubble or tips we may have missed, let us know in the comments below!