Asian man touching stubble

Here’s the harsh truth: not all men look like Chris Pine with a stubble beard. Moreover, not all stubble beards are created equal. Just like your hair, beards can grow in many different ways, at different lengths, and sometimes not even all at once. If yours is the type that makes you look haggard and unkempt, then you know it’s time to do something. Here are a few ways you can keep your stubble beard looking clean cut.

Decide on the Length You Want

The stubble beard treads the fine line between rocking it on purpose and looking like you’re simply too lazy to shave. When it comes to wearing this beard style, it’s more than just about allowing your beard to grow out. You need to choose the former and wear it with intention. This means growing it to an ideal length and grooming it to stay at that length, much like giving your head a buzzcut instead of going absolutely bald.

So, what qualifies as ideal length? Assess how it makes you look and feel. A good stubble beard should make you look sharp. It should look effortless — nothing too precise or angular. If you can feel the stubble on your lips or if your face starts getting irritated or itchy, then it may have grown a tad too long. Use an electric shaver or beard trimmer with length options to get it to your desired state.

Keep the Lines Clean

Excess stray hairs can make your stubble beard look like it’s a mere result of a lack of grooming. As mentioned earlier, it doesn’t have to be super precise, but you do need to get rid of some outliers. In particular, growing too much hair on the neck is a big no-no (it’s also quite uncomfortable). Make sure to shave away the strays on your neckline. The cheeks can also grow some strays, take care of any hairs that wander too far.

Cut the Sebum

Having a beard can wreak havoc on your skin. Hair can trap all sorts of things in it, including dirt, bacteria, and oil. If you have (which most guys do), you need to take extra care of it if you want to look neat and fresh with a beard.

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Nourish Your Beard

Here’s another reason you want to cut the sebum on your skin and wash regularly: you may need to use beard oils to keep your stubble beard looking healthy. Beard oil can also help make shorter stubble — which can be quite rough — softer and less abrasive in case you plan to make out with anyone. Just don’t forget to wash your face before sleeping to and getting on your pillows.

Growing a stubble beard is easy, but you’ll have to commit to some maintenance if you want to keep wearing it. Remember that your beard can change your whole vibe. Looking sharp and clean is a good sign that you’re doing it right.