Before the days of hipster beards and incongruous sleeve tattoos to mark the arrival of one’s manhood, there was stubble.
That short facial hair that sat perfectly between ‘I’ve been up for more than 20 hours’ and ‘Mummy, wow! I’m a real man now’ has been, and will continue to be the mainstay for men around the world who want to rule the rugged look with a bit of classy restraint.
With an endless lineup of iconic men who’ve championed the look in the past and continue to do so well into 2015, it’s due time we provided you with a magnificent bastard’s guide to owning your own stubble.
And yes, I’ve had my stubble since high school (read: Ship To Shore days) so I’ll be exonerating a few of my own findings here. Clean shaven and scruffy is out, masculine definition is
like, totes in.
Grow and behold.
Attain & Maintain
Advantages Of Stubble
The first step to killer stubble is entirely up to Mother Nature. If you’re not blessed with an abundance of facial follicles then it’ll take you a bit longer to work with what you’ve got. On the flip side, rocking the styled stubble can greatly enhance your facial features (or lack thereof) by accentuating the lines of a man’s face.
No chiselled jawline? No problems. Stubble helps provide that much needed ‘edge’ to highlight where the frontal region of your face ends. This simple grooming hack can also work for the larger gents who often have the issue of their necks blending into their chin. A little stubble can go a long way here.
Owning The 5 O’clock Shadow
Once your beard has grown to a length of about 2-3mm, get hold of an adjustable beard trimmer with an adjustable guard that can provide you with pre-set shaving depths. If you’re oldschool, clippers with a short guard will also do the job.
Ensure that as you’re trimming, you make multiple passes whilst checking the mirror for any missed spots – neck, sideburns, chin and under the ears. We can’t stress this enough, being someone who’s walked out in public with a 3/4 stubble shaved face.
Once you’re happy with the overall trim, wash your face to remove the cut hair and dry off with a towel. Next, have a pair of grooming scissors handy to clean up the end tips of your moustache which are usually hard to get with the trimmer.
This also goes for your Adam’s apple which the trimmer will cut unevenly. Any other stray hairs should also be removed with the scissors or the trimmer sans the guard. These are best spotted under decent bathroom lighting.
Depending on your rate of growth, the usual stubble trim occurs around every 2- 4 days for most men. Leave it any more and you’ll be venturing into bearded territory.
Skincare For Facial Hair
You’d be suprised, but a lot of men actually grow out their stubble because of skin irritation caused from regular clean shaving with a razor. Every time a man clean shaves, he’s essentially scraping off a thin layer of skin off with the hair, so repeated shaving can have dry and damaging effects.
This is especially true if you don’t let it the skin rejuvenate before your next shave.
Pursuing the perfect stubble can also have a similar effect but to a lesser extent. It’s for this reason that we recommend you also use a good moisturiser in accordance with your beard trimmer. Brands such as MILK, Lab Series and Bull Dog provide the perfect companion in helping your skin stay healthy when going for the stubble look.
As much as we endorse the rugged look, it is not for everyone. The three reasons a man should grow his stubble is to 1] avoid the baby faced look, 2] to manage sensitive skin due to shaving or 3] for landing the look between a beard and a clean shave.
The one defining factor as to why you shouldn’t grow stubble is rather obvious – you simply can’t. As mentioned, only some men are blessed with even growth of facial hair so for those of you who don’t have it, keep it clean. There’s nothing creepier to your potential date than blotchy stubble with bum fluff which they will never go near – this also means no kissy-kissy for you.
Maintaining it is rather easy, I’ve found, but if you’re lazier than me then don’t bother with the stubble look. It does take some TLC every few days and if you’re the laid back type then you’ll look like you live under a bridge in no time.
Bearded Wise Man Says…
So with this advice, we’ll be leaving you to your beard trimmers and our gallery of inspiration. Gandhi once said, “If you can grow it, then flaunt it.” Not really. We just made that up. But if Gandhi had stubble that’s what he would say.
Click through the gallery for stubble inspiration and looks