The Scruff Beard Look: What Is It & How To Style It

The scruff beard is a very popular facial hair style, chosen by fashionable men all over the world. But how can you achieve it and become one of those effortlessly fashionable men yourself?

What is a scruffy beard?

A scruffy beard involves facial hair that’s kept relatively short, probably at a length of between 2 and 5mm. There’s no particular shape consistently associated with the scruffy beard, so it’s a style which gives you the opportunity to get creative.

The resulting look is intended to give a slightly rugged, bad-boy vibe, as achieved by a number of A-list celebrities, from Jake Gyllenhaal to Chris Hemsworth. The trick is styling your scruffy beard to achieve that perfect dishevelled appeal, and to avoid just looking unkempt and messy.

How do I know if a scruffy beard will suit me?

Different facial hair styles will suit different facial shapes and structures, so deciding what works best for you can be a daunting task. But don’t panic, a scruffy beard can be styled to suit a range of different faces. If you want to know more about how to choose a facial hair style based on your face shape, check out our guide to picking your ideal stubble length.

A good scruff beard is achieved by starting with a solid, even covering of facial hair, which allows you to then style it to your personal preferences. If you’re not able to grow yourself a healthy chin full of hair before you start, that makes getting the right look harder. It’s not impossible, but you’ll have to pick a style which primarily features the areas where the scruff is thickest to avoid looking patchy.

How to style a scruff beard

Since a scruffy beard can be pretty much anything you want it to be, nailing your technique and routine is crucial. Once you’ve mastered the tricks, you’re free to let your creativity run wild. Just remember not to skimp on the skincare, and to make sure you’ve got the best tools for the job.

Before you start trying to style your scruff beard, you’ll need to have grown out a fair amount of facial hair all over the bottom half of your face.

1. Prep your skin

As is always the case when it comes to shaving, there are some steps you need to take first to ensure the best results. Using your favourite facial cleanser, thoroughly wash your face – go on, give it a treat.

Use warm water and pay particular attention to the area you’ll be shaving. The moisture and warmth will hydrate and soften your skin and facial hair and open your pores, allowing an easier shave. Plus, washing away dirt, impurities and dead skin cells reduces the risk of irritation.

2. Trim hair to an even length

Using an adjustable beard trimmer, choose your length, perhaps 2, 3 or 4mm, and carefully trim your facial hair so that it’s an even length all over. This will prevent you from looking too caveman, while still helping you achieve that effortless, slightly scruffy style.

3. Define beard shape

Once you’ve got a uniform length, you can start to shape your beard style. This is where you’ll want to make sure you have a precise and versatile electric shaving tool, which can achieve clean edges even in difficult-to-reach areas such as around your top lip and nose.

If you’re looking for a more rugged look, you might be less concerned with how neat the shaping of your beard is. However, if your preferred style is a little neater and smarter, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got a clean line at the edge of your beard, and that the areas outside of it are clean shaven.

4. Take steps to moisturise and maintain your beard

Post-shave products are a crucial part of any facial hair maintenance routine. You’ll want to keep your beard well hydrated and moisturised, as well as taking care of the skin beneath and around it. To give your beard and face the tender loving care it deserves, you could reach for a post-shave balm or other post-shave product.

If you have particularly dry or sensitive skin, there are a number of products available which are tailored to those concerns. You can also opt for a beard oil or serum to keep the hairs in good condition.

Et voila! Your scruff beard is ready to go…

If you're more interested in a cleaner look, we also have a guide on how to style a short boxed beard. Or, if you'd rather shave it all off, check out our guide on how to shave off your beard.