Several studies have confirmed the obvious – bearded men are considered more desirable than clean shaven ones, by a fairly diverse cross-section of women across the world. While a full-blown beard may not be everyone’s cup of tea, we can all agree that stubbles are relatively easier to maintain and adequately effective. Whether you keep one to avoid the hassle of shaving everyday or wish to add some definition to that baby face, a little bit of scruff goes a long way. However, a little bit of husbandry can make that stubble far more appealing, as long as you have the right technique and tools. The technique is simple enough; grow it out and wait. But maintaining what is known as a ‘designer stubble’ requires a few well-chosen tools.
The Right Trim
Trimmers come in all shapes and sizes, but the best ones are those which follow the contours of your face and have narrowly marked presets, which allow you to choose between a 5’o clock shadow or a more cultivated five day stubble. So what you essentially need is a trimmer with an adjustable clipper, which can be adjusted anywhere between 0.5mm to 5mm. Make sure you trim your hair in the direction of the beard growth — facial hair tends to grow in different directions, so it’s best to follow the hair in the direction it’s growing, in order to avoid having a patchy stubble. Avoid applying too much pressure while trimming — you’ll end up with an uneven stubble.
The Right Shape
Once you’ve cropped your stubble down to the right size, it’s time to add a bit of definition to your beard. A stubble only works if you’ve manicured its edges. The perfect stubble is sharply cropped around the cheeks, with the top half of your cheek receiving a close shave, allowing you to define just how much of your face you want your stubble to cover. A good stubble also gradually subsides in length down the chin, so avoid giving your neck and the underside of your chin a clean shave, which will leave you with a chinstrap beard that doesn’t necessarily add definition to your jawline. While most razors allow you to give definitive shape to your designer beard, a straightrazor (aka a cut-throat razor) is guaranteed to give you the closest shave, provided you know how to use it.
Doing It Right
In case you aren’t follicularly blessed, a few drops of beard oil will go a long way in keeping your stubble supple, straight and luscious.
A gentle exfoliating scrub peels away the excess dead skin cells, which can cause clogged pores and cause inflammation and unfavourable beard odour.
A toner helps maintain your skin’s Ph balance and ensures that you don’t get rashes or breakouts after a partial shave. For best results, apply some after washing your face with warm water and a mild liquid face wash.
Daily application of moisturiser helps keep your skin hydrated. As an added benefit, it’s less likely to age as quickly as it would without regular moisturising.