Back in the 80s, Don Johnson and George Michael showed us that a few days’ beard growth wasn’t just for dirtbags anymore. These days, more and more guys are flaunting their masculine whiskers on and off the job. A good well-known example of well-maintained stubble is actor Jason Statham.
Statham is arguably one of the handsomest faces gracing screens today. His face, as you may have noticed, is often sporting a few days’ growth – the “five o’clock shadow” that has morphed into the “five day shadow.” It’s a great look, and has become not only popular, but rather mainstream in dressier situations over the past few decades.
I often let my beard go to a five-day stubble. I get bored and I like to move my look around every once in a while. But with great stubble comes great responsibility. Here are a few of my rules about maintaining a worthy wool on the face:
- Grooming & Shaping. My desired effect for a maintained stubble is a look of effortlessness. I’m generally not a fan of grooming stubble by shaving (to the skin) the cheeks and the area from the jaw-line down the neck. It only works if you have a naturally chiseled jaw. Most men who do it tend to shave the jaw-line they wish they had, ignoring the pudge bag under their chin. The unfortunate result is having the appearance of a Quaker or Amish person when seen in profile. (In fact, leaving the stubble under the jaw is better, as it adds a natural shadow.) If you’re going to shave a jaw-line, be damn sure you have a jaw like Batman (or Statham).
- Maintenance. Get clippers or a proper beard trimmer. Beauty supply stores have them, as well as big-box pharmacies like Duane Reade, CVS, Walgreen’s and the like. Depending on how fast your beard grows, clippers are good for maintaining a four to five day look. On the other hand, those beard/sideburn trimmers on electric shavers cut a little closer and are good for maintaining a one to three day look. Just be sure to keep the blades brushed clean and well oiled. You can buy “clipper oil” if you want, but I’ve been keeping my clippers lubed and rust-free with good old 3-in-1 for years. (Don’t worry about it getting the oil on your face. You’ll be washing your face after you’re done clipping.)
- Offsetting Stubble. On the weekend or in your own home, you can do whatever you want. But a well-tended man stepping out with stubble should offset the beardlet with crisp and clean clothing. Wear your stubble with manly pride, but don’t forget to wear it with a little class: clean shirts and jeans, good trousers, a nice jacket, polished shoes… you get my drift. A guy with stubble in a dirty t-shirt, a shabby hoody, ratty jeans and worn-out sneakers just looks like an unkempt frumpty dumpty. We’re better than that.
I hope this was helpful, or at least mildly amusing. Thanks for reading.