While it might seem as though nature has unfairly blessed some with perfect facial hair, in reality, nature has little to do with maintaining the perfect stubble. Regardless of your colouring, the men who nail the ideal stubble do so with technique, dedication and practice.
Though it lends itself to an unstudied look, don’t make the mistake of thinking stubble is a low-maintenance option somewhere between the the hassle of daily shaving and the grooming required to cultivate a good beard.
There are four steps to maintaining your stubble. The first is a specialist face wash. While you should still keep your daily gentle skin cleanser handy, it won’t pull off the double duty of softening facial hair while getting rid of impurities. Instead, opt for a beard wash as well for your stubble. It will help soften facial hair and reduce the risk of irritating your skin - and that of your partner.
Since we’re dealing with hair, the problem of ingrowns needs to be dealt with before they arise. Exfoliating twice-weekly will help reduce the likelihood that ingrown hairs will develop without a beard to hide them behind.
Next, it’s time to shave. A hot shower prior to shaving will soften the follicles and help them stand away from the skin. If stubble is your go-to look, a specialist beard trimmer is your best bet. Shave in the direction of hair growth. If you’re unsure of the setting you should be shaving to, ask your local barber for their advice, or simply set your trimmer to a medium setting and adjust accordingly.
Where your stubble stops is the most crucial factor here. Do not – we repeat do not – take it just to your jawline under the illusion that it will add definition. In fact, it will serve to emphasise any hint of a double chin. Rather, use your Adam’s apple as a guide and shave slightly lower than that. Neat lines are your aim. On the cheeks, shoot for halfway between the top of the cheekbone and the jawline.