It’s the hottest trend in facial hair right now . . . but what are the keys to successfully pulling off the perfect five o’clock shadow?
Do groom it
Sure, stubble’s meant to look a little unkempt, but refusing to shape your growth can leave you looking overly dishevelled. Square off your beard at the corners of the jaw and define a neckline just above the Adam’s apple, as well as a tidy line along the cheek, with a beard trimmer a couple of times a week to keep your whiskers tidy and at a consistent length.
Don’t forget to moisturise
The grooming doesn’t end with the clippers. Facial hair draws natural oils away from your skin so fight that itchiness with a moisturiser or even a couple of drops of beard oil, if you’d like to add some fragrance. That’s not only good for your skin — you partner will thank you for the softer, less prickly whiskers.
Do accentuate facial features
Squaring off your stubble around the corners of the jaw adds extra definition to your jawline, making it appear stronger and more masculine. The sprinkling of hair also helps conceal any little blemishes like acne scars or uneven skin tone.
Don’t worry if your beard is a little patchy
If you’ve always wanted to grow a full-on lumberjack beard but your coverage is closer to Fu Manchu than Zach Galifianakis, you can get away with stubble much more easily than other styles. Unevenness doesn’t matter so much when all your strands are cropped back to the same short length.
Do make sure it works for you
There’s a reason Jason Statham looks so damn fine despite the fact he’s got about as much hair as Homer Simpson — the unmistakably masculine hair on his chin distracts from the lack of feathers up top. Stubble also suits blokes with baby faces who need an extra edge, men with long faces who shouldn’t extend the proportions of their noggin with even longer facial hair, and round-headed men who benefit from the extra angular definition around the jawline.