Many men have stressed over the question of how to make their stubble softer. Although some strongly aspire to achieve silky-soft stubble, others see it as a peculiar contradiction.
It isn’t as hard as it may first seem. As with anything in the field of beard grooming, persistence and consistency is the key.
So, let’s get to it.
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Why does stubble feel sharp?
Stubble feels sharp mainly because shorter hairs have sharper, uneven edges. These can feel abrasive against the fingers, or the cheek of a partner.
At this point, it would be useful to define “stubble”. Although there are many different definitions branded around, stubble simply refers to facial hair that is between 0.4mm and 5mm long.
Any less than 0.4mm and it isn’t visible as “stubble” to the human eye. Any longer than 5mm and it is firmly within “short beard” territory.
As a general rule-of-thumb, the shorter the stubble is, the harsher it will feel. When it comes to stubble, even a difference of a millimeter could lead to a significant difference in texture.
There is a very significant difference between light (1-2mm), medium (3mm) and heavy (4-5mm) stubble when it comes to feel as well as look.
Another important factor that determines how rough stubble feels is how dry it is. That doesn’t just refer to the hair itself. It also refers to the underlying skin.
Bear these factors in mind as we delve into exactly how you can make your stubble softer. After all, understanding why the problem exists is the first step toward solving it.
Let’s soften those spikes, gentlemen.
How to make your stubble softer in 5 simple ways
You may notice something about these wonderful little tips and tricks.
Most of them are simply good beard grooming habits that will do a lot more for your stubble than just make it soft.
1. Wash it well
Use a mild, moisturizing beard wash to thoroughly hydrate the hair shafts as well as the underlying skin.
What this does is remove grime from the top layer of the skin, making it feel softer and also “unclogging” the bases of the hair shafts.
Washing properly will help to separate any stubble hairs that have clumped together, making the overall texture softer, and smoother.
2. Try beard oil
You may be confused by the fact that we’re asking you to replace the oil you’ve just washed away with, well, more oil.
Commercially available oils designed specifically for the beard often contain essential oils including argan oil and jojoba oil.
Beard oil can smooth and round out those sharp edges your stubble has, making it less abrasive to touch.
Unlike beard wash and conditioner, beard oil is meant to remain on the skin and hair. In other words, don’t wash it off.
For best results, use it on a dry beard. Using beard oil on a wet beard is often ineffective because the hairs clump together, preventing individual hair shafts from benefiting.
Also, the water will most likely dilute the nourishing agents within the beard oil itself.
Use a comb or brush to evenly distribute it across the beard. Be sure to include easy-to-miss areas such as the neckline.
3. Grow it longer
As discussed earlier, the length is crucial when it comes to the feel and texture of the stubble. In general, the shorter the hairs, the more prickly.
When posed with the question of how to make your stubble softer, this could potentially be a quick and easy solution.
Just grow it out a little longer. If you were previously donning the short stubble, why not try medium or heavy stubble and see if this makes a difference.
As beard hair grows longer, its edges tend to even out, and the distribution itself becomes more uniform. These can both lead to softer stubble.
Once you find a length that feels great to touch, try to maintain it permanently. Don’t ever let it go.
4. Shave outside the borders
What this means is that you should aim to be as hairless as possible anywhere on your face and neck that your beard doesn’t extend to.
In other words, below the neckline, and above the cheek line.
This is easier said than done, as getting a close shave is an art in itself. A close shave simply refers to cutting the hairs as close to the skin as possible.
All you can feel is the underlying skin, and if that skin is well looked after, it should feel smooth.
When learning how to make stubble softer, it’s important not to blame the beard for absolutely everything. Stubble can be sharp, sure. But skin definitely matters.
As beardsmen, we are often preoccupied with this layer of glorious hair that perches gracefully on top of the skin. We tend to neglect the facial skin itself which is so important to the overall feel and look.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.