Somewhere between clean-shaven an the full commitment of a beard, stubble seems to have taken over as the trending look for 2018. I asked Baxter Finley barbers why. “Stubble is cool. It's timeless. It’s the look like "I’m not trying too hard" and it’s actually a low maintenance substitute to having a longer beard or baby face.”
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But how do you get that theoretically effortless look? Calvin Quallis, founder of Scotch Porter gave me his step-by-step stubble tutorial:
How to Get Perfect Stubble
Step 1: Start by not using a razor or clipper for a few days or so.
Step 2: Shave close, along the line where your chin meets your neck.
Step 3: Then use a stubble trimmer, like Philip Norelco’s Stubble Trimmer to fade in a bit around the neck before moving up and shaving the rest of your face. Preferably, use the trimmer with a 0.5 millimeter guard.
Step 4: Last make sure you clean up any rogue nose hairs and finish off with a lineup of your face and mustache (if you have a mustache). I recommend the Andis T Outliner for a sharp lineup.
Then I asked guys who have embraced the stubble-look how they trim and maintain it.
Best Stubble Trimmers and Maintenance Hacks
“The best way to do it is to buy a good clipper (I love the Panasonic ER-GP80.) The Panasonic is best without the guard on using the longest setting all over and shortest setting on the goatee area which is always coarser.
You’re going to have maintain this by doing it every 3-4 days. Make sure you go the opposite way your hair grows to get the same length everywhere. In addition to maintaining the stubble, I also suggest doing a face scrub to avoid ingrown hairs and keep your beard area moist using the Martial Vivot beard and face oil.”
— Jerome Obry, Martial Vivot Salon Pour Hommes
“I have been going with the stubble look since beginning of 2018 and I am loving the results. I have got multiple compliments from my clients. Two women have told me I look more intense because of the stubble. I bought a Philips Norelco QT4022 trimmer from a department store and trim it every day.”
—Jesse Harrison, CEO Employee Justice Legal Team
“I decided to grow out my stubble / beard for #NoShaveNovember. But a couple weeks in, I found the benefits of the look to be two fold; First, because of my heritage and kinky hair, I am prone to annoying, itchy bumps and razor burns — growing out my fuzz means it's no longer an issue, so if there's ever an occasion where I need to shave like a job interview, client meeting or wedding - my skin will be super smooth underneath.
Second, even though I'm almost 31, I still am regularly mistaken for someone in my early twenties - I found the first time my stubble really looked great, that I got a lot more attention from people for my looks AND more respect in professional circles. I stopped having to answer the question where's the coffee machine?
As far as my go-to products:
Clarisonic Men's Alpha Fit System to exfoliate - again, super important for making sure I cleanse the skin under my stubble and remove dead hairs.
And my key secret - A coating of Vaseline (name brand only, the other stuff is too gritty) each night right after a shower. Moisturizes my skin, keeps my stubble soft and is a great way to even out oily skin - believe it or not.”
— Michael Cole, Senior Manager, Influencer Marketing + PR
“In real estate most everyone is clean shaven. By maintaining stubble I am able to stand out from the crowd. To maintain my stubble I use an electric shaver to keep my facial hair tight past the jawline. There's a fine line between trendy stubble and having a neck beard.”
— Evan Roberts, Real estate agent and house flipper with Dependable Homebuyers
“I have been wearing stubble for a couple of years now, the reason I wear it is that I had compliments on it looking better than the clean shaven look. My new girlfriend loves it. I use a stubble trimmer from Babylissmen and I set it to between 3mm and 5mm depending on if I want shorter or longer stubble. ”
— Marcos Clowes FCILT, Logistics and Transport Expert
“I grew my first beard before my senior year of high school. It was not an impressive beard, but it was a beard. In college, I frequently grew my beard and at one point didn’t shave for about a year. Since then I have more or less maintained at least stubble if not a beard.
Stubble just makes you look a little more rugged and more professional than growing out a long beard which requires more maintenance because beard hair always seems to grow different lengths.
To keep up my stubble usually requires trimming it at least once a week with a beard trimmer and shaving my neck once a week as well. ”
—Andrew Selepak, Telecommunication Professor, University of Florida,
“I've been rocking the stubble look for about 6 years ever since I had an ex-girlfriend tell me she thought I looked hot with the slightly more than a 5 o'clock shadow look.
You're being deliberately well groomed while at the same time not grooming so much that it looks like you did it just because the boss said you have to. There is an element of rebelliousness in the look. The look works really well for my job where I have to play a physically dominant Alpha male all the time.
I also shave my head with a Philips Multigroom so I use the same clippers for my facial hair, I don't use a guard at all so it's a number 0, but I'll also shave my neck with a razor so that I have part of my face clean shaven to show some contrast.”
So there you have it, perfect stubble trimmed, maintained and certified sexy from a porn star.