A few years ago, you wouldn’t have found a stubble trimmer for sale anywhere online or in any local stores. They just didn’t exist. But a few years before that they did — for a very short time. Or at least one did.
Can you guess why? If you’re a fan of 1980s cop shows, you probably already know the answer.
Thinking About Stubble Trimmers
Since beard trimmers have been available, you could get ones that cut fairly short — but that’s not the same as a stubble trimmer — a device specifically designed to give you that look of two or three days of facial hair growth. For a long time, if you wanted stubble you had to shave, then wait.
Now, there are dozens of special trimmers on the market for every type of facial hair. The best stubble trimmer is one from a respected company that’s adjustable to give you options about how you look and powerful enough to do the job well, but I digress. This article is a history, not a review.
Modern stubble trimmers returned to the marketplace in 2010. As sales of all kinds of male grooming tools and trimmers increased, stubble was suddenly in as well. Girls started to expect their men to have some stubble — or at least some of them did. In 2011, 2012 and beyond, sales of stubble trimmers and all other related kinds of facial hair maintenance devices have continued to increased — some might say skyrocketed at times.
No matter the price, we’re willing to buy male grooming tools including stubble trimmers because they do the job for which they were intended — and they do them well. If they didn’t, sales would have tanked.
Stubble In 1986
In fact, stubble trimmers have already tanked once. In 1986, Wahl — a respected name in male grooming products — introduced the Miami Device, a single-setting stubble trimmer named after the cop show Miami Vice. In this campy and somewhat silly show, Don Johnson wore pastel-colored suits over t-shirts and was rarely seen clean-shaven.
Miami Vice inspired a short-lived stubble trend — and a pastel suit trend also, I’m afraid. Fortunately, both passed quickly into history.
Introduced in the spring of 1986, the Miami Device was called an electric razor because there wasn’t yet a name for these kinds of trimmers. Then, someone at Wahl apparently realized that producers of the show could sue them for trademark infringement for introducing a trimmer with a name so similar to the TV series, so it was then renamed the Stubble Device.
But very few people bought it. While not shaving for a day or two became a minor trend, grooming scruff just didn’t catch on then — and the Miami Device faded away quickly. So did other trends started by the popular show, including wearing no socks, rolling up your suit sleeves and using Ray-Ban sunglasses as an everyday prop.
Some of the show’s influence persisted, perhaps, but stubble would have to wait another two and a half decades to reemerge.
Why Is It Back?
There are a lot of theories about where the recent stubble trend came from. Truthfully, it never entirely went away after Don Johnson first popularized it, but more recent actors in teenage movies and action flicks seem to get the credit for bringing it back again.
And I would bet it’s here to stay.
Choosing the best stubble trimmer you can find makes maintaining scruff a lot easier than shaving every day — which means this popular trend is a time-saver as well as lifestyle choice. And many of us think stubble looks great anyway. More importantly, many of the people who are attracted to us think stubble is good idea.
So who cares where it started or whether it’s in? For lots of guys, short facial hair will always be in.Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This site also participates in and links to other affiliate and advertising programs. When you click a link on this page or make a purchase after clicking a link, I may make some money.