A Guys Guide to Perfect Stubble Facial Hair that Women Love
Women prefer stubble!
Survey after survey, test after test, women prefer men with stubble over clean shaven and beards for both short and long term relationships. (Sources cited below) The reason isn't exactly clear, but probably because it implies maturity and edgy confidence without the "age"and "roughness" that a full beard brings. Clean-shaven men finished last in masculinity, dominance, aggression, and social maturity.
- Stubble: 5 Things Men Should Know - AskMen
Here are 5 crazy facts men should know about stubble.
- Why women prefer stubble | Marie Claire
Women prefer stubble to clean-cut good looks
So how do I get it?
I've been sporting the stubble look for several years now. Mostly because I have VERY sensitive skin that can't handle being shaved every single day, and my Italian heritage means that I grow thick black hair very quickly! So I stumbled on to the look rather by accident. I've tried a plethora of different products from shavers, to trimmers, to edgers, etc. There are several great products to help you get this look.
First, you need a 'shaver' with a guard that makes stubble possible. The biggest inconvenience in shaving for the stubble look is the clippings in and all around the sink. They get EVERYWHERE, which is why I enjoyed using the Philips Norelco QT 4070 Vacuum trimmer. The vacuum function does a pretty decent job of collecting all the little hairs into its collection chamber. It also has a guard which adjusts in 1mm increments, so you can get the exact length you desire. Unfortunately, while it does a good job on most of your face, it does not include a precision tool for getting around the lips and right up underneath your nose, so you'll need a separate tool for that.
For getting right up underneath your nose and around your lips nice and close, I recommend a cheap and effective tool called the Schick Quattro Titanium Trimmer. It has a motorized trimmer on one end and a traditional razor on the other. You'll need the razor for the jawline and neckline (if you want them to be neat and tidy) and the motorized trimmer is great for up close underneath the nose and around the lip-line.
UPDATE: I found and have been using the Philips Norelco QS6160 StyleRazor Pro for several months now and it's the first product that can actually do EVERYTHING, shave the stubble to the millimeter length that you want AND clean-shave your neck and precision trim below the nose and cheek-lines. It does not have a vacuum system so the hair trimmings go everywhere but it beats using separate tools for each job. The battery life has been great and it's water resistant.
This One Does it All
Luckily, this style is pretty low maintenance. I only 'shave' every 2-3 days, and even find that for me, it looks the best the day after a trim (more natural and less looking like it was trimmed that way.)
I find that using an exfoliating scrub at least every other day will help keep the ingrown hairs down and your skin looking and feeling great. It may take a little while for your face to adjust to having some hair on it, especially if you've been shaving bare for a number of years. Give it time!
Keep a close look-out in the mirror (recommend the magnified shaving mirror to get a REALL close look) for ingrown hairs and pluck them out with tweezers at the first sign, (for me, they are hairs that look darker than the surrounding hairs) this will keep your skin infection-free and stubble looking great. Now go get-em tiger!
Do I Have to Shave when I Get Dressed Up All Formal?
NO! Despite what mainstream tradition might say, it is becoming more and more common to sport your stubble look while in formal wear. Celebrities are doing it all the time, George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, David Beckham, James Franco and many more frequently sport their stubble and 5 o'clock shadows on the red carpet and in formal wear. As more people see this, it becomes "cool" and accepted.