Designer stubble can be a rugged way of adding interest to your face, it can give a dashing, even slightly dangerous appeal, the stubble will make your jaw look more angular and give you a more masculine look, and as workplaces the world over move ever closer to a permanent state of casual its becoming more and more easy to carry the look successfully.
Wearing a suit while sporting stubble projects a look of independence and instant cool, think Andre Agassi playing in the stuffy conservative atmosphere of Wimbledon back in his heyday. If however you don’t think your work place is quite ready for you to show up looking like you haven’t shaved for days and that doing so might create a Richard Nixon in the 1960s presidential elections moment, you can still create the masculine look but with more cultivated designer stubble image similar to something Craig David wears.
Designer stubble is for those who dont want to go full beard, but still want a ruggedness style and look to the face. Originally popular back in the 1980’s when George Michael cultivated the look, and now sported by big names like David Beckham and Jason Statham. Designer stubble is still as popular today and is even becoming more fashionable. So, if you’re looking add a bit of maturity and sex appeal to your look, without the need to sport a full beard, follow these tips below.
Types of Stubble
Probably the most popular type of stubble for men is known as the ‘five o’clock shadow‘ or ‘designer stubble‘, which is the very light stubble that grows during the day between morning shaves. So how do you get that classic look and how do you grow stubble?
For some men with fast growing facial hair it can be visible in the evening after a morning shave, while in others it may take 2-3 days. The short hair growth looks like you have a shadow on the bottom of your face. However stubble can also apply to faces that have grown beard and moustache hair a little longer so that it almost becomes a very short beard.
Reasons why you SHOULD grow stubble:-
- You hate shaving.
- Your face reacts badly to shaving or your skin flares up.
- You want to look more manly and less baby faced.
- You are not able to grow a beard due to work or personal reasons but want a less clean cut look.
Reasons why you SHOULD NOT grow stubble:-
- You are not able to grow nice thick stiff stubble but can only produce soft whispy ‘bum fluff’.
- You are too lazy to trim, shape and maintain it.
- Your family, partner and kids react badly to kissing a lump of sandpaper which is what your face will feel like.
How to Grow Stubble
It’s a simple technique, just stop shaving and wait. To get the designer stubble image you should obviously refrain from shaving for a day or so depending on how quickly your facial hair grows. The problem is that nobody (or very few anyway) have hair that grows evenly across the entire face, so it will need styling and trimming to avoid having patches and varying thicknesses of stubble. So you will need to get it shaped for that perfect stubble look or to have it just as you want it to look.
Top Tip – Although there is no magic cure to growing stubble or a beard faster, you can use a good beard oil that has all the nutrients to feed your skin and hair folicles and thereby make growing quicker. Check out a great beard oil here.
Shaping your stubble – Many men get hair growing in all kinds of uusual places such as high up the cheeks and down past the adams apple, for this reason you may want to ‘shape’ your facial hair and get that cleaner, sharp, and well groomed look.
Shaping your facial hair means to remove all the hair outside the natural growth area including the tops of your cheeks and the low neck area and maintain a nice edge to stubble. You may be lucky and have a growth that doesnt need much shaping.
Top Tip – Make sure that for any shaping you dont use a shaving foam but instead use a shaving oil or gel that produces no lather or foam. This way you can clearly see where to shave.
How to Maintain the Stubble Look
One of the problems men encounter is how to maintain stubble? In order to keep the rugged stubble look, you will have to maintain it. Although not every day you will still have to cut, clean, and maintain it 2-3 times each week to prevent you looking like a scruffy bum. you will need to either shave every couple of days, which will keep the shadow look without it developing into a full beard, but has the negative effect that you are clean-shaven for a while.
Alternately a set of clippers similar to those used by hairdressers are quite cheap and easily available, using clippers means you can keep the hair at acceptable levels without having to shave back to the skin. Try to choose clippers which are adjustable so you can select your level of length or prickliness. For a really short shadow look you should set the clippers to around 0.5mm and up to 2mm for a slightly longer style. Make sure you trim in the direction your facial hair grows.
If you use clippers trim the hairs in the direction of the beard growth and avoid applying too much pressure otherwise you could risk making your stubble look patchy. Pay attention to the rate of your hairs growth, if it grows faster you’ll need to trim it more often, unfortunately designer stubble is an on going process of upkeep, you can’t just shape it and leave it.
Whist you are growing the whisker out, fight the urge to cut it straight back, it will itch a lot when it gets to a certain level, this is due to the unfamiliar feeling of having hair this close to your skin, it is extremely important to keep the skin clean, cleanse the skin daily and keep your whisker clean with a hair shampoo, the itching will pass, but when it does its still important to keep the skin and hair clean.
If you want to have a more polish look establish a line on the neck and shave below this regularly, for an ultra polish look start another line following the cheeks to shave above regularly.
To prevent your face getting the ‘scruffy unkempt vagrant’ look you will need to maintain your facial hair. Make sure you do not neglect your new look and follow these steps:-
Regular grooming – Make sure you give your stubble a trim every couple of days or it will become a beard. Depending on how fast your hair grows you may need to trim more or less frequently to keep it in it’s optimum shape. Start by trimming it slightly longer than you want to get a nice even length. Then shorten the trimmers slowly until you reach the perfect length for your beards.
Keep it Clean – You need to keep that new patch of hair clean at all times. Be sure to wash your face regulalry using a facial cleanser, and exfoliate a couple of times each week as well.
Do’s and Dont’s
- Try to compliment the look by wearing soft preferably smooth fabrics which contrast with your prickly whiskers, things like silk, linen, lightweight cotton, soft wool blends etc will go well.
- Ditch the scruffy clothes, 3 days worth of beard growth with a combination of scruffy clothes will be simply too much leaving you looking unkempt and dishevelled, your going for the rugged look not the ungroomed and smelly look, same applies to intentionally messy hair cuts.
- Keep the hair clean and well groomed you can use the same shampoo as you do for your hair, after you’ve washed make sure you rinse the shampoo out thoroughly.
- Invest in a good conditioner and keep the hair as soft as possible, your girlfriend liking the look yet not wanting you to come any where near her because its so rough on her skin is not the desired effect.
- See how you look in the mirror with different facial expressions, it may sound silly, but designer stubble will have a different effect depending whether your serious, smiling etc.
- Try and start the growth when your off work, you can then let it grow out a bit and then trim the hair back to achieve the look you want, going back to work when your comfortable with your new appearance.
- Watch for razor bumps, this is when the hair grows a little bit then turns back on its self pushing into a pore in your skin creating an angry looking bump, the best treatment is to remove the offending hair using tweezers. Also to stop razor bumps occurring comb your whisker regularly.
- Remember if it doesn’t work, your hair just isn’t suitable, or you look more like Yasser Arafat after a heavy night of negotiations than you do George Clooney in three kings, or if you girl friend refuses to let you sleep with her till its gone, or if your boss looks like he’s gonna sack you then reach for your razor because the process can be easily reversed and you can then pretend like it never happened.
- The best method we have found for keeping your stubble in trim is by using electric beard razors that come with adjustable trimmers and attachments, these tend to work a little better than hair trimmers as they can be set at exactly the short length you need.