How to get rid of 5 o clock shadow

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All men are different. Some of them are fine with a 5 o’clock shadow and don’t do anything to fight it. The other men do not like it and try to find ways to remove it. If you are the one, whose facial hair grows fast and there is a 5 o’clock shadow in a few hours after a clean shave, or you just simply don’t like having light stubble, then this article is for you.

We will discuss what exactly is a 5 o’clock shadow and what are the reasons behind it. You will also find out how to get rid of the five o’clock shadow and receive recommendations on what can you do if you want to keep it.

What is 5 o’clock shadow?

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A five o’clock shadow is tiny hair you start seeing after a few hours since the last shave.

The reason behind this name is that you usually shave just before work at around 7 am. So, by 5 pm, most men start growing hair and the shave doesn’t look smooth anymore.

While the mid-day stubble is still short, it does look like a shadow, hence the name for it – a 5 o’clock shadow. Every man is different.

Someone has rapid hair growth, you might have hair that doesn’t grow that fast. The time varies as it depends on many factors.

Some men have short stubble just a couple of hours since they shaved. The other ones might be without facial hair for a couple of days.

It also depends on the way you perform shaving. The correct shaving technique also affects the final result.

While neat beards also look quite attractive, the clean-shaven look still takes the leading place.

Let’s take a closer look at the reasons behind a 5 o’clock shadow, so you have a better understanding of what you have to do to get rid of it.

What are the reasons behind beard shadow?

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Getting a 5 o’clock shadow after a few hours since the last time you shaved can be very frustrating.

Many men experience the same problem as you. There are a few reasons that can be behind this.

1. Rapid hair growth

There is nothing you can do if you have fast hair growth. The way your facial hair grow is almost out of your control.

Apart from genetics and your age, your diet can be the reason for your facial hair growing rapidly.

If you have a good response to testosterone, your diet is enriched with protein and nutrients, you are highly likely to get a shadow beard in just a few hours.

If you have dark and thick hair, that also means you will get a 5 o’clock shadow faster than men with blonde hair.

2. Dry shaving

Dry shaving usually results in a closer shave because nothing is in the way and the razor glide happens over the skin.

You have to be extra careful to not damage your sensitive skin and to avoid ingrown hairs and razor bumps issues.

If you aren’t paying enough attention to the shaving process and skipping a few hairs here and there, or not applying enough pressure to the razor, resulting in facial hair not being cut fully.

This will lead to the 5 o’clock shadow in a few hours.

3. Using an incorrect razor

Purchasing the right razor is just as important. Despite lots of information in the TV adverts regarding the multi-blade razors providing a smooth shave for longer, it has been proven that a razor with a single blade will result in a closer shave than any other razor.

This is significant if you don’t want to see a 5 o’clock shadow soon after the last shaving.

The grooming tips on how to get rid of 5 o’clock shadow and beard stubble

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Shaving again as soon as you see some facial hair growing again, isn’t the best solution. You will traumatize the delicate skin on your face. Rather wait until the next day and perform the routine described below.

Step 1. Wash your face

Before taking the beard trimmer, start cleaning your face using warm water and soap. It is best to do it in the shower, so you have enough time for your skin to become softer.

It also affects the final result of the shaving. If there is no time, you can do it above the sink in the bathroom.

Once you washed your face, warm water helps your skin to become softer and pores to open. Facial hair will be softer as well, which means it will be easier to remove them. Do not neglect to perform this step as it is the key to success.

Step 2. Apply shaving cream

Once you dry your face with a paper towel, you can move to the next step. You apply shaving cream using a shaving brush.

Ensure the shave cream gets everywhere. Move the brush in circular motions around your face and beard neckline.

Step 3. Start shaving

Try to lift the skin to make the hair raise a bit. It will help to catch every stubborn hair and result in a super close shave. Check the razor before shaving, it mustn’t have a dull blade.

Once you have pulled the skin tight, move the razor in the direction of your hair growth.

Do not rush and apply just enough pressure to make a precision cut with every stroke.

Do not forget to clean the blades after a couple of glides, so the blades perform just as they should.

Step 4. The direction of shaving is important

This step is crucial, as the result depends on the way you remove your hair. You have to move the razor in the same direction your hair is growing.

Different parts of the face have different directions. Change the way you hold the razor when approaching those spots. This is the working way to get rid of 5 o’clock shadow.

Step 5. Change the direction of shaving

Once you have shaved the whole face and there is no shaving cream left, proceed with applying the second layer.

The second time it should be a thinner layer. This time, what changes is the direction of shaving. You have to move the razor against the way your hair grows.

In the same way, you pull the skin up and carefully glide the manual razor. This step can only be performed if you use a shaving product and a sharp razor. Otherwise, you can damage your skin and get a razor burn.

Step 6. Clean your face

Remove any remnants of the shaving product and wash your face with warm water. To ensure the pores are closed, and the skin is refreshed, use some cold water to rinse your face to finalize the process.

Step 7. Dry skin on your face

After shaving, you have to be gentle to your skin. Use dabbing motions to remove any excess water from your face. Do not rub and pull the skin.

Step 8. Apply aftershave balm

To ensure your skin recovers fast, you have to apply aftershave products. It will help to hydrate your skin and the next shaving will be smoother.

What else can help to get rid of 5 o’clock shadow?

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1. Exfoliate regularly

Removing dead skin cells is important. They affect the way the shaving is going to be. You will see a dramatic difference if you proceed with dead skin cells removal first and then perform your shaving routine.

Use a simple face scrub a few times a week. Your razor will stop clogging with all the build-up, resulting in a cleaner shave. Scrubbing also results in healthy skin.

2. Hydrate your skin

Use moisturizing products every day. It will help your skin to be smooth and the razor glide across the face.

The skin tone will become more even and the freshly shaved face will glow with health. Applying a moisturizer twice a day will be ideal, but if you can’t, at least make sure you do it after shaving to avoid dry skin.

3. Try wet shaving

Wet shaving in the mornings can result in a close shave. Using some pre-shave oil is recommended. A straight razor will perform better, resulting in a closer shave.

If you have a decent electric razor, wet shaving can be performed fast and efficiently. This way you will avoid getting ingrown hairs and the hair removal process will become easy and fast.

The electric razor has to be waterproof to perform wet shaving.

4. Use an electric shaver

You can take an electric shaver with you and perform shaving later in the day. The cordless shaver will help to get rid of stubble, and it is not time-consuming like shaving with a razor.

You won’t get designer stubble with the same length of hair, but the 5 o’clock shadow will be removed.

5. Laser hair removal

If you really can’t stand the 5 o clock shadow beard, you might be considering the laser hair removal option. This is the way to get rid of facial hair on a permanent basis.

It is fast and relatively affordable. You will have to visit a specialist every month for a year. Then the sessions will be rare, but usually, almost all hair gets removed.

Read also: 10-day beard length


What cream gets rid of 5 o clock shadow?

Do not forget to use shaving cream or shaving soap. It lathers well, allowing the blades to glide over the stubble. It also helps to protect the skin from razor burns and cuts, hydrating it and nourishing it.

Can waxing remove 5 o clock shadow?

You can wax the facial hair and the smooth result will last up to a month. The process is quite traumatizing and painful, so not many men are ready to do that.

Why does my face look like I have a 5 o’clock shadow?

It depends on a few factors, but mainly on the way your hair grows. If you have dark, thick hair, it will start growing just a few hours after your last shaving. Follow the tips above to extend the no-hair period.

How long does 5 o’clock shadow last?

Usually, your stubble will look neat for three to four days. After that, you will need another shave, to maintain it presentable.


Now you know the way to get rid of the 5 o’clock shadow. It is all about skincare routine and shaving performance. Always use shaving products to help your skin to respond to shaving better.

Prepared softened hair is easier and faster to be removed. Follow the step-to-step guide on how to perform shaving to extend the smooth result as long as possible.

The other shaving tips will help you along the way too. If this information was useful, please share it with your friends. If you still have questions left, contact us through the comment section below. We will get back to you soon!

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