There’s something quite appealing about simplicity when it comes to men’s grooming. Keeping it short is a fantastic way of keeping it simple. The 2mm beard is a prime example of this and one worthy of discussion.
I’ll be discussing what you may be used to from my other length guides. What it looks like, how long it takes, how to trim it, and more.
There’s a chance you may just be looking for a solid 2mm beard trimmer. In which case, check out the Philips Norelco Oneblade QP6520/70 on Amazon here. Intricate length control and a glorious contouring head. But more on that later.
Plus, to check out a list of my most recommended stubble trimming and grooming products of the year, click here.
Let’s get on with the guide.
It’s subtle, stylish, and easy to maintain. If you’re a fan of stubble, this is a length seriously worth considering.
What Does The 2mm Beard Look Like?
Use this photo as a reference. As always, it can be difficult to estimate a man’s length of facial hair without a point of reference.
It’s definitely a short stubble beard. Some may call it light stubble, teetering on the border of medium stubble. Facial hair is usually labeled “stubble” if it’s shorter than 5mm in length.
The semantics and definitions aren’t too important. The look is one of regal elegance with a hint of rebellion. When properly groomed and maintained it can achieve so much with so little.
How Long Does The 2mm Beard Take To Grow?
About 2 to 3 days. This is important because it really isn’t a very long time whatsoever.
Although this may initially seem like a good thing, there’s a single reason why it could work against you.
Many “accidental beardsmen” wear this facial hair length unknowingly. Many men who simply forget to shave for 2 or 3 days would technically have a “2mm beard”.
This isn’t what we’re aiming for.
A proper 2mm beard is one that’s well-groomed. The borders are well defined, the neck stubble is removed, and the skin is well-moisturized.
If you’re willing to do this, you’ll absolutely love it. I’ll be teaching you how to do this a little bit later on.
Is The 2mm Beard For You?
There are certain factors to take into account if you’re considering it.
1. It does require some maintenance
Although this length is relatively easy to maintain, I wouldn’t consider it to be “low maintenance”. Maintaining short stubble will take up some of your time.
You’ll have to regularly trim it down, sharpen up the borders, and shave your neck stubble. How frequently you’ll have to do this depends on how strict you want to be with your style.
Personally, I’m happy to let it slip for several days before reaching for my trimmer again. It shouldn’t preoccupy your existence or take up a huge amount of your time.
Plus, it’s obviously nowhere near long enough to warrant the use of products for longer beards such as balms and pomades. So you’re saving time there.
But proper skincare could become more of a priority because whenever you trim that close to the skin you’re bound to get some irritation.
So, trimming and skincare could take up some of your time, but probably not enough to become a problem. It’s just something to be aware of.
2. It may be too subtle for some men
A lot of men do view this subtlety as a positive feature. Although this may seem obvious, it’s important to recognize that the style is so short that it may not even be recognized as facial hair.
Similar to the 1mm beard, it’s so short that it doesn’t immediately draw the attention of those speaking to you. It’s there and it’s doing its job, but it certainly doesn’t grab people by the horns.
If you’re intent on being known as a “bearded man”, or at the very least, a “stubbled man”, this may not be for you. You’ll want something more substantial.
Benefits Of The 2mm Beard
1. Short stubble is in style
Stubble is no longer considered to be the beard of the lazy man. Those days are long gone.
It’s very much in style. Having enjoyed its peak resurgence in the 1980s with the rise of the likes of George Michael, it seems to be back in full force.
But that’s not to say that longer beards are not in style, however. As you’ve probably noticed, the opposite is most certainly true. Longer beards are in style too.
It’s the medium-length styles that seem to be out of fashion at the moment. The men who are neither here nor there.
I feel as though one of the main reasons short stubble is in style is because people have come to realize it’s phenomenal versatility.
It isn’t a natural instinct to groom or maintain stubble. Men perceive it as something that is just there and is meant to be untidy up until the point it is shaved.
The perception of stubble is changing overall. It has shifted from “untidiness” to “ruggedness”.
This is a trend worth capitalizing on.
2. It’s comfortable to wear
It isn’t long enough to itch – that’s a huge benefit. It’s also, by definition, light. This is clear from the point it’s trimmed.
You barely feel it’s presence, and so it never feels overbearing or a nuisance like other styles can at times.
Yes, this is yet another benefit of its glorious subtlety.
There’s a caveat to this – it may not feel as comfortable against the skin of a loved one.
Short stubble will always feel prickly. In fact, the shorter the stubble, the sharper the edges, and the rougher it feels.
There are a few tips you could follow to soften your stubble, but overall there isn’t a whole lot that can be done. Again, it’s just something to bear in mind.
3. Products aren’t necessary
I mentioned this earlier, but this is a key benefit of stubble.
Although you’ll need an electric trimmer, some moisturizing cream, and a razor to rid yourself of that neck stubble, there aren’t many extras you’ll need.
The 2mm beard, in that respect, is much lower maintenance.
I do recommend applying beard oil on longer stubble as it has benefits including adding a gentle shine, softening, and moisturizing.
4. It adds shadow and contours the face
A layer of short stubble produces a gentle, dark shade around the cheekbones and jawline.
This actually does more than you may have initially thought. It produces a slight shadowing effect in all the right areas, adding definition to the bone structure of the face.
This is particularly noticeable when the stubble is even in length – another great argument for maintaining and grooming it.
As it’s an effect that’s quite unique to short and medium stubble, it’s definitely yet another reason to consider the 2mm length.
The Best 2mm Beard Trimmer
A lot of men reading this article will just want this bit of information. This isn’t a sales page, but I wanted to include it to make the guide more useful as a whole.
As I mentioned earlier, the Philips Norelco Oneblade QP6520/70 is one to definitely consider. It gives you 14 length options up to 10mm and has a fantastic contouring head allowing you to trim those hard-to-reach areas with very little trouble.
It’s a hybrid tool, giving you the ability to trim, edge, and shave. Plus, it can be used wet as well as dry which may be a plus for you shower trimmers out there.
Of course, there are many potential 2mm trimmers out there. This is just one that I’ve used and can recommend. Check it out on Amazon here.
How To Grow The 2mm Beard
I’m a fan of step-by-step routines. Once you’ve got it down, you no longer have to “wing it”. You know what works, so why not keep repeating it?
1. Grow your beard out to longer than 2mm first
You’ll be trimming down to 2mm. In order to do this, you’ll need to grow it longer than 2mm first.
As I mentioned earlier, it’ll take you around 2 -3 days to grow 2mm worth of facial hair. So, for this step, growing it out for around 5 days first would be a safe bet.
Of course, if you’re starting out with a longer beard you can ignore this step and move on to the next one.
2. Trim down to 2mm
You’ll need an electric trimmer for this. Set its adjustable length to 2mm and start trimming.
Be sure to have it fully charged – a sluggish motor is a key culprit for tugging and pulling of the trimmer.
I generally prefer to start with the cheeks and move towards the chin. Of course, don’t forget the neck stubble.
It’s always a good idea to vary the length a little to make it look more natural. Even a difference of 0.5 – 1mm here or there could make a difference.
Try trimming the thicker areas such as the chin and the mustache a little shorter, and keeping the thinner areas such as the cheeks (usually) a little longer.
This should give the stubble a more evenly distributed look overall. Trim in every direction in order to catch the more difficult hairs.
Once you’re happy you’ve got a neat, even trim, move on to step 3.
3. Define the borders
The neckline is the border between your neck hair and neck skin. Keeping it well-defined is a crucial component of keeping that 2mm stubble looking intentional.
An effective way of trimming an effective neckline is to visualize a line running from ear to ear with the midpoint being two finger-widths above the Adam’s Apple.
The curve should slant upwards in either direction to follow the angle of the jawline. This keeps it looking very tight and slick indeed.
Using the naked blade of your trimmer, trim this line and all the hair that lies beneath it.
Doing this should prevent the neckline being too high or too low. However, every face and every neck is different – you may find a different height, shape, or level works best for you.
Just bear in mind that a high neckline is a common mistake made by stubbled men. It can lead to an awkward-looking double chin appearance.
The cheek line is simpler to carve out. Keeping it simple usually works best here. You should be able to at the very least roughly make out your natural cheek line. For some men, this line is curved, and for others, it’s straight.
Using the naked blade of your trimmer, simply trim any stray hairs that lie above your natural cheek line without doing too much to try and change the course of the line itself.
This is the quickest and easiest way to define it.
4. Shave for perfection
Although the naked blade of your trimmer (i.e without any guards or combs attached) will trim the hair beneath the neckline and above the cheek line very short, it won’t be smooth.
It will still leave very short stubble.
Using a manual razor or electric shaver, shave beneath the neckline and above the cheek line to get an ultra-smooth finish. This is a great way to sharpen up the borders even further.
As always, finish off your session by applying a good moisturizing cream.
Shaving will always irritate the skin, no matter how good your technique is.
Moisture is the best remedy – apply it regularly and you’ll be thanking yourself for a very long time. Skincare is an essential component of stubble grooming.
There you have it. The ins and the outs of the 2mm beard. Its stylish subtlety can’t be denied, although it may not be every man’s objective.
The beauty of stubble is that there is so much room for experimentation. If you don’t like something, trim, shave, and start over. You’ll be back to square one in just a few days.
Hopefully, you’ve found this guide useful. I wanted to cover all possible bases to make it as in-depth as I could.
Have fun with it.