Maintaining a perfect beard takes more than a beard trimmer. Learn the proper stubble length, moisturizer, and techniques for this style of facial hair.
The secret to well-maintained stubble is to strike a perfect balance between a rugged, yet sophisticated look. It will then project masculinity, without slipping into the ‘wild man’ territory of the bushier full beard and will look acceptable even in conventional workspaces.
But beware – stubble is not simply the effect you achieve when you skip shaving your facial hair for a few days. A proper stubble look requires regular maintenance. In order to sport this facial hair style with confidence and flair, a number of steps must be followed.
If this is your first time attempting a heavy stubble look, keep in mind that it typically takes at least three days of beard hair growth after a close shave for your five o'clock shadow to reach the right stubble length.
Invest in a Beard Trimmer
Firstly, you will need to invest in an electric beard trimmer. A trimmer will have adjustable guards that will allow you to maintain your stubble at exactly the right length – ideally, between 3 and 4.5mm. Hair clippers can be used as well, but only for areas with longer hair, such as the sideburns, as they do not cut as closely; they are especially useful for clearing away any overgrowth of the beard to make way for the final trimmer cut and refinements.Once you have your tools at hand, prepare your skin in the same way as you would for shaving. Preferably by having a hot shower first, or by applying a hot towel or flannel to open up the pores. The next step is to exfoliate the skin to clear out any ingrown hairs. Truefitt & Hill’s Daily Facial Cleanser will not only prepare your face by deeply cleansing and gently exfoliating the skin, it will also leave you with a clearer, smoother and even complexion.
Now is the time to wield the trimmer. Unlike a razor, trimmers can be used against the grain of the hair, but be careful not to put too much pressure on the skin – let the stubble trimmer do the work. If it is not cutting well, oil the blades or consider replacing it with a new device.
Many men have stronger growth of thicker, darker hair on the chin and upper lip area, so you may want to go a little shorter on these regions than on the cheeks, where hair normally grows more sparsely. The main aim is to use the trimmer to define the shape of your stubble on the cheeks and neck area and to ensure that neck hair and chest hair are visibly separated.
Define and Moisturize
The next step is to apply a shaving gel, such as Truefitt & Hill’s No 10 Sensitive Shave Gel, and massage it into your cheeks and neck. You should now use a razor to define the lines of your stubble on your cheeks in a line that runs at a 45 degrees angle beneath the cheekbones. For the neck line, shave in a semicircle from just above the Adam’s apple. Then rinse your face to get rid of loose hairs.Once you have finished this procedure it is a good idea to treat your skin with a hydrating moisturizer, such as Truefitt & Hill’s No. 10 Sensitive Moisturiser, or you can use Truefitt & Hill’s Ultimate Comfort Aftershave Balm, especially formulated to soothe and calm the skin after shaving. You may also want to apply a beard balm, such as our Gentleman’s Beard Balm, which thanks to its waxy texture, will perfectly smooth any stray hairs that refuse to lie in a uniform direction, or alternatively our Gentleman's Beard Oil to leave your stubble looking and feeling soft and well conditioned. Alcohol-free moisturizers and beard balms will also help to keep any discomfort, itchiness and dry skin at bay. Depending on your beard growth, you will need to maintain this routine every two to four days to create the elusive natural, but well-maintained balance.
Well-Maintained Scruff vs other Beard Styles
Sporting a neat stubble is certainly not an easy option, so you will need to make an informed decision on whether the look is optimal for you before investing in its upkeep. Another very important aspect to consider is your hair growth - if your beard length is somewhat uneven, stubble is not the best beard look for you.
While stubble can add a distinguished definition to the jawline and may well endow you with gravitas and masculinity, it works best with strong oval or square faces. However it will not add a chiseled look to plump or jowly shaped faces and is, therefore, best avoided. Fuller face types favor tapered full beards or a short boxed beard.
While your well-maintained stubble will make you look stylish, nonconformist, and sophisticated, and will not require adherence to a daily shaving routine, do not be fooled – to maintain stubble with a ‘natural’ look is not a low-maintenance process. Ensuring that you do not look unkempt and dishevelled is quite an art.