Stubble beardstyles

In this article we discuss how to grow a stubble beard and keep it in shape, which length is best for you, and how you can best trim your stubble with a beard trimmer or manually with a razor and scissors.


The stubble beard has become one of the most popular beard styles of all time. That is not very strange considering that a stubble beard can be grown by the majority of men and it is also one of the most common and most accepted beard styles.

The stubble beard comes in three varieties:

The length that suits you best depends on your personal situation and how much time you want to invest in maintaining your stubble.

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History of the stubble

The stubble beard is nowadays seen as a combination between classic, hip and suave. The most common form, the five-o’-clock shadow, got its name by men who shaved in the morning and still had the first signs of a beard forming later on in the day.

An unshaven look is now a well-accepted way of grooming yourself. But, that has not been the case for a long time and clean-shaven was preferred for much of the last century. Only since the 80s have we seen a change in the area of an unshaven appearance and well-known actors embrace this rebellious, masculine look

Many men nowadays opt for a stubble beard for practical reasons: shaving every day requires a certain investment of time.

And although wet shaving is a wonderful moment for yourself, the same ritual every day became too much for many men because the skin can be irritated by the razor. At the microscopic level, the skin is scraped by the razor or shaver and this takes at least a few days to heal.

Men who let their beard hair grow and choose to shave every few days automatically have a stubble beard. Which variant depends on the type of beard growth.

→ Read more: Learn the full history of beards

Advantages of this beard style

A stubble beard is ideal for men:

This short beard style is the perfect solution for men who want to grow a beard but don’t want to go all the-way. Just like growing a full beard style, a stubble beard emphasizes masculine features of the face.

Men with sensitive skin are also great candidates for one of the three varieties.

Trim every few days with an electric razor or beard trimmer at a sufficient distance from the skin and you will automatically create a medium-long or long stubble beard.

Which stubble is right for me?

Depending on your type of beard growth, you can experiment with different variants. You need a maximum of a week to try things out.

In general, a stubble beard is best for oval, square, rectangular and diamond face shapes.

But those are just guidelines and you have to decide for yourself whether this beard style suits you.

→ Read more: The ultimate beard styles guide with 250+ photos

If you have heavy beard growth

In this case you probably naturally have a 5-o’-clock shadow. The beard growth is thick enough, so you don’t necessarily need extra length to fill in spots. Shaving every other day is sufficient with a maximum length of 1mm to 2mm.

If you have light beard growth

In many cases, light beard growth is accompanied by bald spots. A medium or long version is therefore recommended to fill the spots. Consider a length of 2mm - 4mm.

It is best to experiment which length suits you best and what makes you feel good. You can do this within a week.

If You Have Uneven Beard Growth

In this case, grow a long stubble by not shaving for a week. Then trim to one or two lengths shorter. This ensures that unequal lengths are trimmed equally.

If you have sensitive skin

Opt for a long version to reduce the need for shaving or trimming, and use beard oil or a mild balm for sensitive skin throughout the day.

Opt for the use of a beard trimmer so that the shaving head does not touch the skin at all, so that no taut skin can develop after trimming.

Trimming your stubble

The way of trimming depends on your personal preference and there are three ways. Before trimming it is important that the beard is clean, for example by using a mild beard shampoo.

After washing, the beard should be dry (dab, do not rub) because wet hair isn’t easy to shave.

What we often advise with longer hair is to use a beard comb or beard brush to comb the beard hair in the same direction.

This ensures that you trim all beard hair to exactly the same length without accidentally trimming a bald spot.

Experiment with different lengths. Longer length around the cheeks makes the overall appearance look thicker.

Trim to the same length several times and use the razor to define the neckline. Guideline is up to Adam’s apple.

Photo: Birchbox

With a razor and scissors

This is the traditional way of trimming. Time intensive but very nice to do. Use a straight razor or shavette to define the neckline.

A beard comb in combination with beard scissors will help you trim larger areas such as the cheeks and jawline.

With a beard trimmer

Beard trimmers are the best solution for most men to maintain the ideal stubble beard. Most models include an adjustable shaving head and high-quality blades for stiff and light beard growth.

→ Tip: beard trimmers nowadays come in a huge number of designs. Therefore, read our buying guide best beard trimmer in which we guide you step by step to a beard trimmer that suits you best.

→ Must read: The best beard trimmers responded of the moment

With an electric shaver

Manufacturers of electric shavers have adapted well to the current beard trends. Braun and Philips have plenty of options available specifically for short and medium long beards.

To get you started, read this buying guide best shaver our top 5 best-tested appliances for the stubble beard.

Maintaining your stubble

The great thing about this beard style is that you can choose how often you update it, with a maximum of a week to a week and a half.

If you go for the 5-o’-clock shadow, you shave every other day. The medium long stubble gives you 4-5 days space and a long stubble beard shows off just fine by not shaving for a week.

Depending on the type of beard growth, it is important to keep an eye on sprawl. A stubble beard quickly looks unkempt because the length is so short (and longer beard hairs are therefore immediately noticeable).

It is also important to take good care of the underlying skin. If you shave every few days, using a nourishing after shave balm or hydrating moisturizer for men will help.

This is because a healthy underlying skin affects the general health of the beard, including shine and beard growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to trim your stubble?

This can be done in three ways: with a razor, an electric shaver or a beard trimmer. Depending on your personal preference and the length, you choose the best method. Read our article to find out which one works best for your stubble.