The lumberjack beard is facing the chop, with stubble taking over its mantle as the hottest facial hair trend of the year. So how can you pull off perfect stubble?
Is it for you?
Stubble is perfect for blokes wanting to add a masculine edge to their baby face, or avoid the irritation of clean shaving their sensitive skin every day. Sadly, not everyone looks like a chiseled-jawed Ryan Reynolds with a couple of weeks’ growth on their face. Give your whiskers time to grow in before you decide whether stubble suits you — if your facial hair is too patchy, there’s no shame in retreating back to that clean-shaven look, but if your beard grows in nicely, gradually scale it back to a length you’re happy with. Electric clippers with adjustable guard attachments for different lengths is the tool you’ll need.
Stubble doesn’t mean that lazy two-day growth your dad had when he forgot to shave over the weekend — it requires maintenance, even if you are going for a rugged vibe. Every man’s facial hair grows at different rates, but most blokes want to keep their stubble at the length they achieve after about two weeks, trimming their whiskers back to that length with a couple of clips a week. It’s important to make plenty of passes with the clippers over each area of your face to guarantee a consistent trim all over, as well as to tidy up stray strands around your cheeks and throat. Don’t be too fussy, though — stubble’s charm is that laid-back, no-fuss vibe.
Like any other time you shave, exfoliating your skin to soften up your whiskers before a trim leads to better results, and moisturising your facial hair post-trim hydrates the skin and soothes any itchiness — unlike your full-blown bushranger beard, stubble exposes your skin, so it’s important to keep your face looking healthy. Chop off any remaining strays with a pair of scissors and make sure your neckline is nice and tidy — you want to gradually fade your growth around its natural border beneath your chin without being too heavy-handed with the clippers. Stubble is a rugged, masculine look, so you’re not wanting sharp lines so much as a scruffy, natural finish.