If you’ve been clean-shaven all your life, maybe now’s the time to consider accentuating your features by growing out some of that facial hair.
It’s no secret that beards are hot right now given how Hollywood actors like Chris Evans, Jason Momoa, etc have made their beards a cultural icon in itself. But while beards are cool, not everyone can grow them as thick and long as Thor’s or Aquaman’s.
You don’t need to have the beard gene in order to grow out your facial hair. One of the easiest beard styles to grow and maintain on a regular basis is the stubble. It also happens to be the most attractive way a man can wear his facial hair.
Also known as the 5 o’clock shadow beard or the 3-day beard—depending on how fast your facial hair grows—the stubble is a style that is characterized by a short growth of hair that first became popular in the 1980s.
It’s a compromise between being clean-shaven and/or having a short beard. Although a stubble is similar to a short beard, its lesser length means that the hairs don’t come away from the skin as much. This means that you can create a distinguished and manly look without getting all wild and hairy with a full beard.
When done right, it will look effortless and perfect. While a regular beard can be groomed stylishly, the short length of a properly maintained stubble will always appear more polished and neat than a beard. For guys whose workrooms won’t allow a full beard, a stubble is a great compromise. It gives them the same masculine appeal without making them look, well, hairy.
In general, the stubble is a great beard style for any kind of facial shape. It’s ideal for men who don’t want or can’t grow a full beard but do want to lose the baby face. Guys with round faces will most benefit from a stubble because it structures the jawline and creates an angular shadow on round cheeks.
It’s also a great choice for men who have sensitive skin. Growing a healthy stubble can do away the irritation caused by regular shaving. One can just let it grow out and trim it every now and then. It can even work for those who have patchy hair growth.
All in all, its major strength derives from how it can emphasize, harden, or soften facial features.
There’s also some cool benefits to a stubble. While it certainly can accentuate your features, it’ll also make you even more attractive to women. There’s research to show that when asked to choose between a full beard or stubble, women generally liked to go out with guys that have stubbles. So that’s great news for your dating life.
A stubble's major strength derives from how it can emphasize, harden, or soften a man's facial features.
— Derek Dodds, Naked Armor Founder
Your genes play a role in how quick or thick your stubble will grow. But that’s not the only reason. Other factors can also affect the rate of growth of your facial hair. Things like bad diet or stress can all slow down and affect stubble growth negatively.
If you’re starting with clean-shaven face, let your stubble grow at least 24-48 hours in order to get it into a workable length. If you’re follicularly challenged, wait for three days until you start trimming the growth. In extreme cases, you might want to wait a week or so in order to grow the facial fuzz needed to make an awesome stubble.
Now that you’ve got some facial hair to work with, you’re ready to trim it into a stubble.
Before starting, however, exfoliate your skin by washing your face with a quality facial wash or facial scrub. Use a washcloth to gently scrub the skin. Then, apply some pre-shaving oil and leave it for 30 seconds to soften your facial hair for trimming.
Decide your stubble beard length. A stylish stubble is normally between 1mm and 3mm. If you want a heavier stubble, you can go higher than that. Once you’ve decided on the length, begin trimming your whiskers.
Ideally, you can use an electric trimmer to cut your whiskers into the desired uniform length. When using one, always maintain a light hand to create an organic appearance and avoid creating obvious straight edges or sharp line. If you don’t have a trimmer, a pair of scissors can do the work nicely. Just be careful when snipping your whiskers off. It needs to be cut uniformly.
Once the main area of whiskers has been trimmed, begin blending the edges of your stubble. If you’re using a trimmer, just set the settings slightly lower then trim the edges. Do this manually with a scissor. The objective here is to create a natural-looking fade from stubble to bare skin.
The next step is shaving the areas outside your stubble such as the cheeks and your lower neck. Doing so will create a cleaner look and eradicate stray hairs. This will also highlight the stubble. To do this properly, you need a single blade razor. A straight razor, for instance, is the only razor that can give the closest shave.
Apply some lather on the cheeks and your lower neck. Map out the edges with your finger on the lather to provide a guide when shaving. Using a 30-degree angle, begin shaving gently and slowly.
Slowly shave your way around the edges of the stubble. Then trim the sides carefully to give the stubble a sharper appearance.
Although this depends on your preference, try not to go too wild on the edging. If the stubble's outline appears too sharp, it can look a little forced.
Once you’re done with the cheeks, continue cleaning up stray hairs on your lower neck. Begin shaving upwards your Adam's apple up to the level of your chin. The ideal beard line will be somewhere between the top and bottom off your Adam's apple. Afterwards, apply some aftershave to calm the skin and soothe irritation.
Rinse off your face with cool water. Towel off and then apply a hydrating aftershave lotion or balm to help soothe and moisturize your skin.
Now that you’ve achieved your stubble, you’ll have to maintain it by regularly trimming the edges. Go over it every 3 days or depending on how fast your facial hair grows. Use facial cleanser daily and beard oil/stubble softener regularly for soft and itch-free facial hair.
Of course, it’s much easier to trim facial hair into a stubble when you have a beard grooming kit. A kit, such as the Grizzly Bear’d Grooming Kit, contains all the items you need to get that clean-shaven edges of your stubble perfectly. It even comes with a shavette razor so you can get the benefits of a straight razor clean shave without the tedious routine of stropping and honing.
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