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Long Stubble Beards: Lengths, Styles, Tips, More

August 1, 2023
Long Stubble Beards: Lengths, Styles, Tips, More

Stubble is an interesting phenomenon. Several decades ago it was only seen on the faces of the untidy. Now, with the rise of designer stubble it’s become a style revolution. So, what exactly is long stubble? 

Long stubble refers to medium stubble and heavy stubble specifically. It excludes anything shorter, within any stubble ranging from 0 – 2mm being more correctly labeled “short” or “light” stubble. 

Long stubble has its benefits, as well as its downsides. It’s important to be aware of both when choosing the correct stubble length for your face. 

You’re about to learn all that, as well as some styles you can choose for yourself as well. 

Let’s get to it. 

What Does A Long Stubble Beard Look Like? 

Although the length can vary, all long stubble beards are able to effectively combine subtlety with masculinity. 

long stubble example

It looks rugged, but with proper maintenance, it’s definitely possible to keep it looking neat and suave at the same time. 

It’s more noticeable and intentional-looking than short stubble. 

Of course, long stubble can be styled in many different ways. I’ll be listing some great styles you can try out a little later. 

But some general principles for keeping long stubble looking good include making sure the stubble neckline is at the correct height. Also, make sure the stubble borders are nice and sharp, as well as symmetrical. 

What Length Is Long Stubble? 

It can range from 3 to 5 mm. 3mm beards are also known as “medium stubble”, while 4mm and 5mm beards are also known as “heavy stubble”.

But anything within this range is long enough to be justifiably called “long stubble”. 

Anything longer than 5mm should no longer be called stubble and should instead be called a “short beard”. 

So does heavy stubble


In other words, beyond the 6mm mark it’s officially in full beard territory. 

Choosing between stubble vs a full beard is a whole article in itself. 

Let’s go through the pros and cons of long stubble so you can decide whether or not it may be for you. 

The Pros And Cons Of Long Stubble

They’re slightly different depending on whether we’re talking about medium stubble or heavy stubble

But there are a few that apply to both. Plus, they can both be compared with short stubble to get a good picture of what it can offer. 


  • Long stubble lengths generally look more masculine than short stubble. 
  • Long stubble is more noticeable and obvious, often looking more intentional and less accidental. 
  • It’s also softer than short stubble. As stubble gets longer, the edges round off and feel less sharp to touch. Your partner will be thanking you for this one. 
  • It’s also long enough for you to dye the stubble if you wish to. Although it still isn’t easy, dyeing shorter stubble is even harder to do without staining the skin. 


  • It can look patchy. For some men, the facial hair still hasn’t quite filled in properly yet at long stubble lengths. This is in contrast with short stubble, which can (surprisingly) look less patchy. 
  • It can start to look untidy quickly. Maintenance is important to keep it looking intentional. Short stubble may need regular trimming to prevent it from getting longer, but it doesn’t need quite as much grooming. 

4 Great Long Stubble Styles

A key reason why long stubble is so appealing is that there’s just more to work with when compared with short stubble. The more stubble you’ve got, the easier it is to shape and style. 

Here are four styles you can experiment with. 

1. Classic Stubble

I mentioned earlier that “long stubble” could refer to either medium stubble or heavy stubble. 

But with either one of them, no list would be complete without a simple, straightforward classic stubble beard. 

Classic stubble is by far the most common way to style stubble, regardless of how long it is. 

It’s just so easy to do. 


It consists of hair on the chin, cheeks, and mustache. That’s it. 

But there’s a little more to it. The borders need to be well-defined, with a carefully trimmed neckline and cheek lines. 

Not doing so would just look scruffy and nothing else. 

But sticking to basic stubble grooming habits such as this will very often lead to incredibly impressive results. 

2. Circle Beard 

The circle beard is exactly what it says on the tin – a beard that encircles the mouth. 


It’s a great one to try out if you’ve got a long stubble length (3 – 5mm) because it looks very neat and compact. 

It’s also known as a Full Goatee. Stubble is great for goatees; this is something people often forget. 

If you’re looking to grow one, you’ll need to be OK with shaving as the hair on the cheeks is completely shaved off. 

The borders of the goatee will also need to be symmetrical and the stubble goatee neckline will need to be at the correct height. 

Having the neckline too high will lead to an unusual double-chin appearance. 

3. The Goatee With Stubble

At the risk of causing some confusion, the “goatee with stubble” is slightly different to a “circle beard” or “stubble goatee”. 

From DepositPhotos

Yes, it still consists of a long stubble goatee. 

But, instead of shaving the cheeks, you’ve simply got shorter stubble there. For example, the body of the goatee is 4mm long, while the hair on the cheeks is 1-2mm long. 

This leads to a nice, graded effect as you move outward from the goatee. It’s also great for men who hate shaving. 

Trimming the cheeks down to short stubble would be a more pleasant experience for them. 

4. Goatee With Chinstrap

A chinstrap is, once again, exactly what it says on the tin. 

It’s a strap of hair that runs along the entire length of the jawline from ear-to-ear. 

Example of a goatee with a chinstrap

Sure, it hasn’t got the best of reps. It can often look quite immature if you’ve got a chinstrap and nothing else. 

But combine the chinstrap with a long stubble goatee and you’ve got an entirely different look. Something much more sophisticated and different. 

The chinstrap is a great way to add definition to the jawline, while the addition of the goatee gives it that classic edge. 

Long Stubble Vs Short Beard

Choosing between long stubble and a short beard can be difficult, particularly when the lengths aren’t particularly different. 

Remember, a short beard is facial hair that’s longer than 5mm. The point where a short beard becomes a medium beard is harder to define. You’ll hear many different opinions from different men. 

For our purposes, let’s just say it’s anything up to the 15mm mark. 

If you were choosing between a 5mm beard and a 7mm beard, for instance, the differences wouldn’t be that significant. 

They’d probably have the same benefits and the same downsides; potentially a little patchy and itchy, but still incredibly masculine. 

But once you get to 9mm beards, 10mm beards, and beyond, you’ve got a few other things to think about. 

For instance, you’d probably want to start thinking about regularly brushing that beard

Beard oil will also become more useful. Sure, applying beard oil on long stubble is probably a good idea too. 

But with short beards, it’s compulsory. 

Short beards are also more likely than long stubble to look scruffy and untidy when not maintained properly. 

To sum this up, in a lot of ways long stubble and short beards are very similar. But the longer the short beard, the higher the maintenance requirements. 

Bear this in mind when making your decision. 

If you want to creep into short beard territory while still retaining all of the benefits of long stubble, go for a 6mm beard

Short Stubble Vs Long Stubble: How To Choose

Short stubble is better suited to men who want to keep their facial hair as subtle as possible. Long stubble is still subtle, but definitely more intentional-looking and also rugged. 

Short stubble has the benefit of producing a gentle shadowing effect on the face which can look very slimming. 

It’s also great for adding definition to the bone structure of the face, contouring the jawline and cheekbones despite the facial hair not being very obvious in itself. 

Long stubble is too long to produce a subtle shadowing effect, but when neatly trimmed it does still add definition to the face. 

Short stubble is generally considered more versatile than long stubble. The facial hair is so short that there are few situations in which it wouldn’t be considered “appropriate”. 

A 0.5mm beard (i.e a 5 o’clock shadow) almost looks clean-shaven. 

Long stubble is also versatile, but there may be a few instances where you may wonder whether the stubble is professional enough

For example, would you wear it to an interview? That’s a difficult question to answer and would really depend on the style of stubble, as well as the industry you’re looking to work in. 

But with short stubble, you’re unlikely to ever have a problem. 


It’s a stubble length range you’re bound to find yourself in now and again. 

Knowing what it is and also how to maintain and work it is the key to success. 

Hopefully, you’ve just learned everything you need to know about it. 

Experiment regularly and have a whole lot of fun with it.