How to Get Stubble

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As long as your facial hair is growing in, you're winning half the battle -- however, figuring out how to keep the cool 5 o'clock shadow look on a daily basis can become a bit perplexing. You don't have to do anything weird or inconvenient, such as doing a close shave every night, for a morning of perfect stubble. This not-quite-scruff but certainly not bare-faced style depends on the right tools and treating your skin more kindly than you may think necessary. Once you've got the basics down pat, maintaining stubble will feel as laid back as the look itself.

  • Stubble trimmer
  • Exfoliating wash
  • Hand towel
  • Beard trimmer
  • Shaving gel
  • Straight razor
  • Post-shave moisturizer

1 Purchase a stubble trimmer

Purchase a stubble trimmer -- do not confuse this device with a beard trimmer; stubble trimmers include guards with a closer trimming ability than beard trimmers, often as close as 0.4 mm.

2 Wet your hands

Wet your hands and pour exfoliating face wash into your palm. Rub your hands together until the cleanser lathers, and massage it over your entire face -- except the eyes -- including your facial hair, to clean skin and remove any flakes.

3 Pat your face

Gently pat your face dry with a clean hand towel.

4 Select the stubble trim guard or guard setting on your stubble trimmer

Select the stubble trim guard or guard setting on your stubble trimmer according to the length you want for your facial hair. Choose the guard that leaves your hair the longest if you're unsure; you can always choose a guard with a closer trim if you're unsatisfied. Set your stubble trimmer to 1 mm to start.

5 Run the trimmer

Carefully run the trimmer against the grain of your facial hair until you achieve a uniform appearance.

6 Shave your cheeks

Shave your cheeks with a stubble trimmer or beard trimmer without a guard, or apply shaving gel to moist skin. Shave with a straight razor for a closer, smoother shave. Run the razor along your hair with the grain to decrease irritation. Shave your neck, as well, beginning just above your Adam's apple as the highest point, suggests "Valet" magazine.

7 Apply a post-shave moisturizer to your skin

Apply a post-shave moisturizer to your skin.

  • Remember to clean your skin before trimming and apply moisturizer afterward to avoid the irritated skin that may occur with regular trimming.
  • If you're in a pinch or just want to try out the stubble look for a while before investing in a new appliance, simply use a beard trimmer without a guard -- carefully shave your face with the bare blades for allover stubble.
  • Research stubble trimmers and choose one that works best for your lifestyle. For example, some stubble trimmers include a vacuum to suck hair up as it falls, making your cleanup process less challenging.

Tarah Damask's writing career began in 2003 and includes experience as a fashion writer/editor for Neiman Marcus, short fiction publications in "North Texas Review," a self-published novel, band biographies, charter school curriculum and articles for various websites. Damask holds a Master of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of North Texas.