Grooming 101: Growing and Maintaining Stubble
Stubble is like the Goldilocks of the facial hair world.
It gives the presence of a rugged personality without all the bushiness and itching of a full-grown beard. It’s also a great way to take care of your mug if you’re prone to irritation from regular shaving.
However, there’s a right way – and a wrong way – to grow and maintain it. We’ve assembled some tips to help you keep that dash of facial coverage in check as a new year-round look.
Clean and Exfoliate First
Like any great masterpiece, you need a clean canvas to start on. You can scope our face wash and lotion recommendations here. This necessary step will help clear away dead skin cells and prime your face for the incoming hair.
Pick the Right Trimmer/Shaver
Again, we have a few favorites. However, the final decision is one that you need to make. Trimmers come in a variety of styles, sizes and budgets. Regular shapers may want to invest in a nicer model, while those with slower facial growth could get by with our budget options. Frequent travelers will want a speedy, miniature version.
How to Find the Right Length for You
Any beard trimmer or shaver that you buy should come with several blade guards to allow you to maintain different lengths of stubble. If you’re going for your first foray into the five-o’clock-shadow, we suggest growing out your beard and then trimming it down to your desired length. Start with the longest blade guard and test it out. Too long? Size down. Still too long? Go one lower. The worst that could happen is you have to shave completely and start all over again. The best, you’ll look like Bradley Cooper.
A Note on Beard Color: If you have lighter colored facial hair (or multi-colored facial hair), it’s important to let this stubble grow a little longer than our darker bearded brothers. Going too short on a blond beard can subvert your goal of maintaining an appropriately cool stubble. If your beard is too light, in some instances, it may appear to not exist at all. Men with extremely dark beards, on the other hand, can sport extremely short stubble without looking any worse for the wear.
Take Time to Sharpen Your Look
Facial hair has a tendency to grow outside normal areas on the face. Patches can and will appear randomly, so take care to shave those and keep uniform lines to complement your structure. This is where the time and effort you took picking out a trimmer pays off.
A Note on Shorter Beards
Take it from us: “The best way to remain semi-presentable while cultivating your beard is to avoid the dreaded ‘neckbeard.’
Trim only about one inch above your Adam’s apple, or you’ll risk losing the depth of your beard growth. This is a great way to make your beard stand out early on; the contrast between beardliness and non-beardliness will let people know you’re serious…Trimming the cheeks is also an essential for properly shaping your beard. Again, you don’t want to overdo it—just use a razor to wrangle a few stragglers that wander too far north. If you have something akin to a Chewbacca beard, you’ll need to take more drastic measures. Shave your cheek hair so it’s even with the bottom of your nose.”
Don’t Skimp on Beard Oil
Before you wrap things up, massage in a few drops of beard oil. There are dozens of options these days to complement any skin type. Even on short stubble, it helps maintain a solid luster and prime it for additional growth should you want that.