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How To Grow and Maintain the 5 O'Clock Shadow

How To Grow and Maintain the 5 O'Clock Shadow

It’s always five o’clock somewhere — even on your face.

That’s right. We’re talking about that five o’clock shadow, popularized by the likes of George Clooney. Many men can shave off their facial hair, and in just a few days or even hours, those little hairs are poking through again. After so much work went into cleaning up your face, it can be discouraging to have to shave off all your facial hair again the next day. 

However, others want to trim their facial hair daily to achieve the classic five o’clock shadow look. For them, it’s a ritual worth repeating.

The best thing about this look is that it is easier to maintain than a beard while still subtly giving the illusion of fullness. This style is excellent for men who don’t like a lot of facial hair. 

Whether you want to tidy up your short facial hair after a clean shave or trim your beard to create a more subtle style, we have the steps and tools to grow and perfect the classic five o’clock shadow. Join us as we guide you through mastering this iconic look with The Beard Club's signature confidence.

What Is a Five O’Clock Shadow?

The five o'clock shadow is the subtle growth of facial hair that appears on your face after your last shave. The term was coined because many men who shave in the morning already have facial hair growth by the end of the day, hence the phrase “five o’clock shadow.” 

For some men, this stubbly look can take a few hours to achieve. For others, it can take a few days. Regardless, the look has come back with a vengeance for a number of reasons. It’s an easy way to maintain your facial hair and enhance facial features and structure, which is enough to convince many men to hop on the bandwagon. 

How Can I Grow and Maintain a 5 O’Clock Shadow?

The 5 o'clock shadow is more than just skipped shaves — it's a facial hair style statement. Sitting between clean-shaven and a full beard, this light stubble has its own unique charm. Unlike designer stubble or scruff, its shorter length gives it a distinct identity. 

Choosing this style isn't just about following trends. It's about picking what suits your face shape and really makes you feel like you. 

Step 1: Grab Your Tools 

How To Grow and Maintain the 5 O'clock Shadow

Crafting the ideal 5 o’clock shadow look is all about picking the right tools. Electric razors provide quick, uniform trims, and safety razors help you get precise edges. 

Electric beard trimmers and shavers are the key to managing stubble and refining finishes. Our PT45 Beard and Hair Trimmer, in particular, has eight interchangeable length settings to make it as easy as possible to get a perfectly even five o’clock shadow.

Clippers help with length, and beard oil gives you that soft, healthy sheen every time, whether you’re working with a goatee or a simple stubble beard. 

Take a second to make sure your shaving station is as it should be, too. Ideally, you should shave under a bright light source so you don’t miss any hard-to-see hairs around your chin and neckline. In addition, you can minimize the mess generated by shaving by laying a towel over your sink to catch the beard hair as it drops.

Step 2: Prepare Your Face

How To Grow and Maintain the 5 O'clock Shadow

To get that perfect 5 o’clock shadow, prepare your face. Begin with washing and then move on to exfoliating your beard area to clear dead skin and avoid ingrown hairs. This guarantees a bump-free trim. After cleansing, let your face air-dry or pat it down with a clean towel. A dry, soft beard is way easier to trim than a wet, scraggly beard, so you won’t regret taking the extra few minutes to dry off.

After exfoliating, moisturize to soften beard hairs. 

Step 3: Trim It Down

Now, it’s trimming time! Embrace precision by adjusting your PT45 Trimmer to your desired length. This will help you craft that flawless shadow every time. Glide it smoothly against the grain to ensure every strand looks and feels soft and healthy, and move upwards towards your cheeks. This motion makes it easy for the trimmer to cut through even your thickest and coarsest hairs, giving you the best chance of a clean, even trim.

If you’re unhappy with the length after this first trim, change your guide to a shorter option and try again. You can always trim your hair shorter, but if you start too short, you’ll have to wait for it to grow back. It’s all about trial and error.

Step 4: Clean the Neckline

Sculpting time continues! Begin by etching a sharp, precise neckline around your Adam’s apple with our Straight Edge Razor. Remember, we’re channeling ruggedness, not untamed wilderness. It’s about framing your face deliberately, crafting an aesthetic that’s all about bold, effortless sophistication. 

You can also keep a bit of neck scruff and blend it with the five o’clock shadow style and length. Shaving your neckline gets you a neater and cleaner look but takes more to upkeep than just keeping the neckhair aligned with the rest of your beard area. 

Make sure you don’ttrim too high up. Trimming too high will make your five o’clock shadow seem unnatural, and this common trimming mistake adds the illusion of a double chin. 

Step 5: Refine, Refine, Refine

Brandish your safety razor and finesse that 5 o'clock shadow to perfection. This is more than a trim. It's crafting a work of art, a signature of your bold, effortless style. Make each stroke a stroke of genius with The Beard Club!

Step 6: Maintain Your 5 O’Clock Shadow 

How do you maintain that bearded masterpiece? It’s easy!

Regular exfoliation is crucial for keeping skin smooth and avoiding razor pitfalls. After each trim, a cold water rinse is a must, leaving you with a refreshing, pore-tightening finish. 

Incorporate beard oil as daily as your morning brew to retain that soft sheen. Our Cedar Beard Oil or Sandalwood Beard Oil will provide extreme hydration straight onto your newly-cut hairs and skin to avoid bumps. The Cedar Beard Oil helps fight against the dreaded post-trim itch with a refreshingly woodsy smell. On the other hand, the Sandalwood Beard Oil softens and conditions your skin and facial hair and has a clean, fresh, beachy smell.

Setting up a trim maintenance regimen also helps you manage the five o’clock shadow look for as long as you want. Every few days, depending on how fast your hair grows, trim, razor off the hair growing on your neckline, and continue to shape your beard’s outline for a crisp, fresh look.

Mastering the Timeless Elegance of the 5 o'clock Shadow

The 5 o'clock shadow isn't just a beard style. It's an attitude, a statement of bold simplicity. And just like any art form, it requires patience, the right tools, and a touch of flair. With this guide, you're equipped to master this timeless look, embodying the core values of The Beard Club. Here's to effortless confidence, gents. Beard on!


Five-o'clock shadow is here to stay. Here's why | Chicago Tribute

George Clooney Just Showed You What The Perfect Beard Looks Like | Esquire

How to safely exfoliate at home | American Academy of Dermatology Association

7 Dermatologist Approved Tips to Shrink Your Pores | Cleveland Clinic

How to treat razor bumps | Medical News Today