Stubble Styles and How to Rock Them

Stubble Styles

Let’s be honest, there isn’t a single man out there who hasn’t tried to rock the stubble. Hell, I’m sure there are plenty of women too, but that’s a whole different topic. The year 2015 saw the rise of the beard in popular contemporary grooming, with popular figures like Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp and Fidel Castro (sorry not sorry) all wearing hair on their faces.

But how does one achieve such splendiferous facial fur I hear you ask? Well to be honest we’re not going to look at the really long stuff, just in case be spill over into the realms of science. Instead we’re going to concentrate on succulent stubble, how to grow it, and why it’s the new trend taking over the hipster beard.

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The Classic Look

Gone are the days when to look classy, you had to walk around with a face so clean-shaven, you had to take off ten layers of skin as well as your hair. My grandfather shaves twice a day which; given my awfully sensitive skin, just sounds like a physiological impossibility. Let’s hazard a guess that it’d probably be too much effort for most men too.

Thankfully it seems that stubble is acceptable these days, so don’t panic shave if you’ve got an interview lined up, or you’re meeting your girlfriend’s parents. Stubble is in – the public loves it, but more importantly so do the chicks. Anyway, if you want some classic examples of well-groomed stubble go check out pics of David Beckham or Gerrard Butler. We’re here to talk styles and grooming.

Gerard Butler

Gerard Butler's Stubble

Styles of Stubble

Gone are the days when to look classy, you had to walk around with a face so clean-shaven, you had to take off ten layers of skin as well as your hair. My grandfather shaves twice a day which; given my awfully sensitive skin, just sounds like a physiological impossibility. Let’s hazard a guess that it’d probably be too much effort for most men too.

Thankfully it seems that stubble is acceptable these days, so don’t panic shave if you’ve got an interview lined up, or you’re meeting your girlfriend’s parents. Stubble is in – the public loves it, but more importantly so do the chicks. Anyway, if you want some classic examples of well-groomed stubble go check out pics of David Beckham or Gerrard Butler. We’re here to talk styles and grooming.

Grooming Those Goatees

Ok so we’re not talking about goatees but that alliteration though am I right? Anyway, here are some things to consider when it comes to growing and maintaining some healthy hairs.

First off you need to ask yourself if the stubble look is for you. Is your face ugly? If it is then just whack a beard straight over that thing. But if the answer is no then yeah you might be worthy of the stubbz. You should grow stubble if shaving regularly causes the skin to flare up, if you need a boost of manliness, or at the request of your sassy but totally smart girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband.

Obviously if you just physically can’t grow a beard, don’t attempt it at home – get down to the doctor for a nice big needle full of hormones. If you’re not prepared to maintain the stubble then stop right there, because you’ll not enjoy the maintenance it requires. Also remember that sassy yet smart girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband? If they don’t like the rugged look and feel, then probably best not to anger the powers that be.

OK, So What Do I Need to Do?

Shaping up your stubble requires precision. It is a craft, and with and piece of craftsmanship you’ll be needing the right tools. What does an aspiring stubblenter or stubbletrician need in their toolkit then? Well you’re going to need an exfoliating face scrub, some shaving gel and a decent razor; preferably a wet-shaving blade and an electric razor.

I can’t stress enough that you can’t skimp on these pieces of kit – they can make or break a shave and when it comes to stubble, there is no surrender.

The exfoliating wash is the first step in the shaving process and as such it lays the foundation for the real craftsmanship. Think of it as the sanding down a piece of wood before you carve it up into a series of flourishes and intricate detail. Buy a high quality scrub and make sure you exfoliate that face good; removing dead skin and lifting your hair for a smooth glide.

Next you’ll be taking that shaving cream bottle in front of you. No not that one, the other one. The expensive one you just paid an absolute bomb for. So take the shaving cream/foam/gel and apply to the area you’ll be shaving. Make sure it’s absorbed in; preferably for around 30 seconds, before diving into the action. This helps to soften the hairs and open the follicles, to give much smoother shaving experience.

Finally, you’ll want to take your weapon of choice and begin shaping the stubble. This is where the real skill comes in, so enjoy and savour the movement. It’s really important to shave in the direction the hair is growing, as this’ll reduce any tugging and pulling that can lead to rashes and nasty stuff.

At the shaving stage it’s pretty key to take your time, don’t rush. We all know you want to show off your new-found facial fur but just hold on for a second. Keep track of how much hair you’re taking off too, because you don’t want to remove too much stubble and be left with a chin strap – they were only cool in the 90s.

So you’ve finished and it’s all looking great. What happens though when that luscious shape starts to grow wild and unruly, like a navy dockyard after all the bars have thrown out for the night? Well we recommend using that electric razor we told you to buy. Electric razors are great tools for maintaining your stubble at a set length; especially as most electric shavers will come with a gradable clipper head.

Whilst the major work comes in the first three steps of grooming, this final stage is essentially the bread and butter for sustaining stubble. Keeping that beard in trim (no pun intended) will be what makes it appear well tended, whilst avoiding the potential for looking scruffy and uncouth.


Without further ado, let’s jump into the top 5 styles of stubble; shedding some light on their origin and what’s required in their upkeep.

1. The Traditional

The traditional is that classic David Beckham look. Yes someone else invented it before him, but he wears it really well. It’s a 50/50 combo made up with equal parts of grooming and pouting.

Be warned though that whilst it is the stubble in it’s simplest and most sublime form, it does require a fair amount of grooming to maintain. You might want to invest in a pair of tweezers, and some signature Beckham boxers…

David Beckham's stubble

2. The Shaped

The shaped beard is a little thicker than the traditional. It looks great with long or short hair, but take note you’ll be doing a lot of trimming. Invest in that electric razor already and make sure you find a grade that suits the contours of your face.

You’ll also want to get comfortable with shaving around that Adam’s apple, as you’ll be doing this a lot. The shaped stubble variety requires you to remove any stray neck hairs, so as to draw more attention to your wonderfully styled face.

shaped stubble

3. The Heavyweight

This one is borderline beard territory, so be prepared to monitor that length at all times. I mean get the ruler out when taking trips to the bathroom, or when sat at the desk when no one is looking etc.

The heavyweight takes between 4 and 6 weeks to germinate typically. It also requires the same level of maintenance as the traditional and shaped combined – making it one of the more fussy furs to maintain. The fact it also borderlines on beard is near-sacrilege, but it does look pretty tight so we’ll give it a pass.

Properly groomed the heavyweight stubble is a real winner. Again, it looks great with both long and short hair, and can even add a whole hunk of masculinity to your head once fully bloomed.

Heavy stubble

4. The Subtle

Simplicity is beauty. Not sure who said that but whatever, it sounds deep. Australian actor Chris Hemsworth rocks the subtle stubble, showing that even Hollywood stars don’t have to hire a beard stylist to look good.

The subtle is all about that electric razor – putting to good use the lower grade trim settings. Use that low grade to make you look pure high grade. Plus the subtle is much more satisfying to stroke than something bushier and itchier.

Chris Hemsworth

5. The ‘V’

This one takes a moderate amount of maintenance but it’s my go to stubble. The ‘V’ requires a level of prepping to make sure you don’t get a scruffy and uneven finish, but it’s worth the hassle. Exfoliate to the max before shaping this bad boy, and leave for 2-3 days before doing it again.

With this one there are two key factors: paying attention to how fast your hair is growing, and pruning with precision. The faster the hair growth the more frequently you’ll need to shave it; making this one a potential source of pain for people with more tender skin. Precision trimming here however, will leave you looking like a Gibson Flying-V.

V-shaped Stubble Beard Style

Extra Bits

So we’ve laid down some top tips for keeping your stubble looking trim, stylish and rockin’. How about keeping that stubble healthy? I’m sure if you’ve read this far you probably know about hair oil. It can be a useful tool when it comes to ensuring your stubble is smooth and touchable.

Most beard oils are formulated to soften coarse, dry follicles – keeping the itchiness at bay. Great for you and anyone you might be cuddling up to.

It’s really important to have a little think about your borders. By borders I mean the bits around the edge of your stubble. Some styles of short stubble don’t need a whole lot of trimming, but those that do you’ll want to be extra careful.

When it comes to trimming those borders you’ll want to be very precise, otherwise you could end up with an uneven and shaggy mess. All of our top 5 styles need that element of precision, so make sure your razor is nice and sharp to avoid unnecessary tuggage.

precision beard trimming

There are also a few key areas to think about when shaping the edges of your stubble. The first one to watch is the area of the cheekbones. You’ll want to get rid of any unruly stray hairs here for sure.

Heading down a little have a think about the cheeks themselves – if you’ve got high-growing hair here then give it a little trim. When doing this though don’t forget our next top tip; crop that hair in a line that is parallel to your jaw line. That way things will look neat and in proportion.

Conclusion

So hopefully you’ve got a whole hunk of hairy stuff to think about right now; all the way from styling to styles, to the kind of man-kit you need to keep that stubble looking fly. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s facial hair is different, as are the reasons for growing it. Embrace the stubble if you can grow it, but make sure that you take proper care.

Your facial hair can be like a beautifully carved oak throne. It could even be a striking iron throne, so sharp that it may as well be forged from the swords of a thousand warriors.

Just remember that no matter how much time and effort you put into your stubble, the whole point is that it needs to look perfectly unkempt. It’s a badge of honour displaying your manliness, yet also showing that you care about your appearance enough to spend time on it.