The bald with stubble style has become an increasingly popular way for bald men to accentuate their features.
Baldness has transformed from a trait that men used to hide, to a highly masculine style worth embracing. When baldness is coupled with the incredibly versatile and attractive stubble beard, it just exudes self-confidence.
The bald with stubble look typically consists of a fully shaved head with a classic stubble beard.
There are two problems that balding men often face.
One is that they aren’t sure whether to fully embrace the look. They half-heartedly use clippers to neaten up their diminishing scalp hair, covering up patches where they can. When this is paired with a poorly groomed stubble beard, the outcome is very unkempt.
Another is that they just don’t know to properly grow, trim and maintain a well-groomed stubble beard to perfectly complement their beautiful bald head.
You’re about to learn exactly why bald men need to seriously consider growing stubble. Then, we’ll talk through exactly how to style the bald with stubble look step-by-step.
It’s time to get off the fence. Grab it by the horns with full force.
By the way, to see a list of my most recommended stubble grooming tools and products, check this article out too.
3 reasons why bald men should have stubble
The reasons listed below should help you decide whether or not you should take the leap into this style. Not all of them may resonate, but there’s a very high chance at least one of them will.
1. It exudes self-confidence and masculinity
Going bald has stereotypically been thought of as a phenomenon that men dread.
The Western media has often portrayed strong, masculine figures with long, luscious locks. Fear of losing these locks in a Samson-esque fashion birthed every combover and cover-up you can think of.
But things have changed. Extremely strong, highly masculine figures have taken ownership of the look and have never looked back. Just think of Bruce Willis and Jason Statham.
Now let’s talk about stubble. Stubble beards have long been associated with a certain “neat ruggedness” when groomed properly. It’s been proven to be the most attractive facial hair length and its versatility cannot be denied.
A bald man that fully embraces the bald look and pairs it with a neatly groomed stubble beard just exudes an air of “I do what I want”. Taking ownership of your “imperfections” and making it work for you is highly attractive and just oozes self-confidence.
2. It creates a striking contrast
There’s something quite attention-grabbing about having hair on the face but none on the scalp. It’s outside of the norm and stands out.
This is made all the more significant with a cleanly shaven head. No receding hairlines and no patches. When all of it’s gone, the contrast between stubble on the face and a chrome scalp can really turn heads.
Being different is bold, and being bold is attractive. If you are looking for a style that will help you stand out from the crowd, this may be perfect for you.
3. It diverts attention
Although baldness is beautiful, it would be naive to believe that all men feel the same way. Some feel very self-conscious about their shedding locks and that should be appreciated.
It can wreak havoc with a man’s self-esteem, which is why hair loss treatments are a billion-dollar industry.
These men may be looking for a way to divert attention away from their baldness. To them, I put forward the very same solution – stubble.
Having a stubble beard can draw attention away from a bald head and to the face, especially if it’s immaculately trimmed and groomed.
A meticulously sculpted bald with stubble look can shift a man’s image from “the bald guy”, to “the bearded guy” or a phenomenal combination of both.
How to grow and trim the bald with stubble look
It’s time to get to work. We’re going to teach you exactly how to craft a classic stubble beard to perfectly complement a wonderful bald head.
Step 1: Grow out or trim down your stubble beard
You’ll need to decide what length of stubble you’d like. Broadly speaking, you can divide the lengths into light (1-2mm), medium (3mm) or heavy (4-5mm).
Before trimming down to this length and styling it, it’s important to start off with a workable length. This is approximately 2mm longer than the stubble length you want to end up with.
Trimming down from this length will allow you to have more control.
If you aren’t sure what length you want to end up with, grow out your beard for around 12 – 14 days. This should give you around 6mm of beard length to work with.
Then, we can trim down gradually and see what length you prefer.
If you already have a longer beard and want to trim down to stubble, that’s easy. Just grab your beard trimmer and trim down to a length approximately 2mm longer than you want to end up with. Or, down to 6mm so we can start from there.
Any of these stubble lengths would work well with a bald head. Thicker stubble will allow for a more prominent contrast and so may turn more heads. But it’s up to you.
Step 2: Shave your head for the best results
Some men may not be comfortable diving into this step just yet. That’s fine, it’s something you can give some consideration and come round to over time. If this is you, move on to step 3.
If you’re ready to rock that glorious Bruce Willis baldness, follow these steps.
- Have a hot shower and towel dry your hair so it’s damp and soft.
- Trim any remaining hair you have down to stubble using a hair clipper. Yes, it’s possible to use your usual beard trimmer but it’s not ideal. If the remaining hair you have is not very long it should be fine, but there’s always a risk of it getting caught up in the blades.
- Apply shaving cream across your scalp including the back of your head. Let it sit for a few minutes to soften up the follicles.
- Grab your manual razor or electric razor and start shaving slowly. Shave with the grain (in the direction of hair growth) and try to keep your scalp taut with your other hand. If you think you need a closer shave afterward shave against the grain accepting the increased risk of irritation.
- With regards to the sides and temples, shave down to the level of the top of the sideburns.
- Wash with cool water, dab it dry, and moisturize well.
Step 3: Trim your entire beard down
Your facial hair and maybe even your bald head have been primed. It’s now time to trim down to your stubble length of choice.
You’ll need a beard trimmer. The reason I recommend the Philips Norelco Oneblade QP6520/70 is because it’s exceptionally simple to use, yet incredibly effective. It’s premium dual-edged blades cut effortlessly through even coarse hairs and allow you to edge in both directions.
Click here to check it out on
The trimmer head follows the contours of the face, minimizing irritation and cuts. It also comes with a wide range of settings between 0.4 – 10mm, allowing for very intricate control.
When determining how long you want your stubble to be, it’s useful to differentiate it into light (1-2mm), medium (3mm) and heavy (4-5mm).
What you choose is down to personal preference, and also circumstance. For instance, heavy stubble may not be suitable for your particular workplace. Or you may just prefer the look of very short stubble.
Heavy stubble works well with a bald head, giving the face a nice balance and providing an attention-grabbing contrast. But to be honest, any stubble length will work very well.
Grab your beard trimmer. Trim down in small increments of 0.5 – 1mm and assess each time. You may know exactly what length you want to trim down to, or you may need to use this process to determine what works best for you.
Once you’ve done this process a few times, you won’t have to trim down so gradually. You’ll know what lengths you need in what places, so you can go directly down to them in the future.
It’s perfectly normal and actually excellent practice to vary the length slightly in certain areas of your stubble beard.
For instance, the cheeks are often patchier than the chin and mustache areas. You may want to keep the hairs here 0.5 – 1mm longer to compensate for the patchiness. This will give the beard a more evenly distributed look overall.
Some useful tips for when you’re trimming down your beard:
- Vary the angle. Go up, down, left and right. Beard hairs are notorious for growing in different directions, so going at them from multiple directions is necessary to catch as many of them as possible.
- Keep the skin taut. This will help you catch the more elusive hairs
- The area immediately under the chin is tricky. Pulling upwards on the lower cheeks and chin area will bring these hairs into view, making them easier to trim.
- Trimming against the grain will give you a more even trim although does slightly increase the risk of skin irritation. Not as much as shaving would, however.
Step 4: Blend the stubble into the bald head
This step is only relevant if you did shave your head and you’re now left with hard lines at the top of the sideburns.
The hard lines can be quite obvious, so you’ll want to fade (taper) the edges, blending the sideburns nicely into your beautiful bald head.
It’s important you do this very gradually because you cannot risk trimming your sideburns down too short.
Take your beard trimmer, and trim with the grain (down your sideburns from top to bottom). You shouldn’t have to go further than halfway down your sideburns. Reduce the length settings in 0.5mm increments, and stop when you’ve achieved the length you want.
What you want is a very gradual, faded transition from around the middle of your sideburns into the bald head.
Step 5: Define the neckline
The neckline is the border between the neck hair and the neck skin. The neckline should be well-defined, with no stray hair or stubble beneath it. Not doing this can leave you with a very unkempt looking stubble beard.
We’ve discussed how to trim the perfect neckline here, but to summarize:
- Tilt your head up and assess your neck stubble.
- Find your Adam’s apple – it’s the lump approximately halfway up your neck in the midline.
- Place your second and third fingers horizontally on top of your Adam’s apple.
- Mark out the point immediately above your second finger. This can either be a mental note, or you could draw it out with your girlfriend’s eyeliner. This point will become the lowest point of the neckline you’re about to trim.
- In your head, visualize a U-shaped curve running from one earlobe to the other, passing through this mark (the lowest point) that you just plotted out.
- Keep the curve looking natural, but slant it upwards in each direction to allow it to follow the angle of the jaw.
- Use the naked blade of your trimmer to outline this curve you’ve just visualized. Then trim everything underneath it.
- Lather on some shaving gel, and shave everything underneath this curve using your manual razor (cartridge or safety). You can use an electric shaver (foil or rotary) if you’d prefer. Keep the skin taut, and shave with the grain to reduce skin irritation.
You’ve just trimmed a glorious neckline. A well-defined beard is an essential component of the bald with stubble look.
Step 6: Define the cheek lines
The cheek line is the border between your cheek hair and your cheek skin. In other words, the upper border of your beard.
Stray or scraggly hairs above these lines can also look very unkempt. Having said this, some men do prefer it because it looks more “laid back” and natural.
If you do want to sharpen up those cheek lines, follow these steps. In general, it’s important to stay true to the contours and angles your natural cheek line already follows and just accentuate it.
Your cheek line may naturally be more straight, or more rounded. Both work well, and the aim is just to make them more prominent.
Straight lines generally suit rounder faces, whereas curved lines generally suit more angular faces.
- Visualize a line running from the corner of your mouth, up diagonally to the bottom corner of your sideburn.
- Using this line as a guide, trim any stray hairs above your natural cheek line using the naked blade of your trimmer.
- If you can’t properly see your natural cheek line due to the excess hair, just trim the diagonal line that you visualized.
- Dip downwards into the beard to give it a slight curve if you wish to, taking your face shape into consideration.
- Go over this area with your razor or shaver just like you did beneath your neckline. This will give the best and cleanest looking results. A trimmer can only trim so short. Shaving is necessary.
Step 7: Define the backline
What you want is a well-established gap between the ears and the sides of your beard. This can look very sophisticated leading down from a bald head.
The bald with stubble look isn’t complete unless the backline is well-defined. The backline is the line that runs down from the back edge of the sideburns down to the neckline.
Again, just follow it’s natural contours and sharpen it up. Using the naked blade of the trimmer just trim any stray hairs that fall outside of it, and define the edge of the line itself.
Step 8: Moisturize
No trimming or shaving routine is complete without this step. The skin is by this point most likely very irritated, dry and angry.
This isn’t healthy, and moisturizing is necessary to fix it. Healthy and glowing skin should go hand in hand with a beautifully trimmed stubble beard.
If you haven’t already moisturized your shaved head, now is the time to do it.
The bald with stubble look can be sleek and sophisticated, yet simple. It’s versatile enough to work in just about any setting and is becoming a very popular way for bald men to differentiate themselves aesthetically.
But it needs to be done properly. You don’t want to risk being perceived as an accidental bald beardsman. People need to be made immediately aware that this look is highly intentional, and with a proper technique and routine that should be no problem.
I hope you’ve found this valuable. Test it out, and have fun with it.
Do you have any tips or tricks regarding the bald with stubble look? If so, drop them in the comments below!
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.