How to Maintain the Perfect 5 O’clock Shadow

What was once associated with a tired, end of the day face has become one of the most popular forms of expression through facial hair. We’re talking about the 5 o’clock shadow – that “just right” amount of stubble for men who don’t want fuller facial hair or whose beards are patchy. A 5 o’clock shadow can hide skin imperfections, make a man appear more “rugged”, and give definition to chins and cheekbones. And unlike a full beard, it doesn’t require weeks or months to look its best. In fact, stubble can change your look literally overnight.

Want to give the look a try? Read on to learn about growing, styling, and caring for your stubble.

Have Reasonable Expectations

Just like the hair on your head, facial hair is unique to you. Its color, thickness, texture, and rate at which it grows is largely determined by genetics. So don’t feel disheartened if your “shadow” doesn’t show up come quittin’ time. For some, facial hair growth may not be visible until the next day, if not later.

Prevent In-Grown Hair

If you prefer to keep your stubble short, you may be able to avoid in-grown hairs. But if you prefer longer growth or have naturally curly hair, you may be more prone to hair growing back into the skin. To help prevent this, use a mild facial scrub daily, one specially formulated for your skin type. Daily care will remove dirt and dead skin cells, allowing hair to grow freely to the surface.

Have the Right Tools

While stubble is pretty low-maintenance, you still need the right grooming tools to keep it looking great. One of the most important tools you can have is a stubble or beard trimmer with a variety of adjustments that enables you to try different lengths util you find what suits you. Don’t forget a quality razor for a clean shave everywhere else.

Address Patchy Areas

If your stubble is patchy in some areas, try a cosmetic filler. Available in a variety of colors, filler pencils allow you to make your 5 o’clock shadow appear blended temporarily. Keep in mind this technique works better on longer stubble.

Blend Seamlessly

Stubble can draw attention away from the head and to the face – a nice trick for those lacking hair on the head. However, if not blended properly, the disconnect can be quite jarring. For a seamless transition, be sure to taper the top half of your sideburns by going down a grade or two with your beard trimmer. If you’re not comfortable with the DIY method, see your stylist or barber.

Give It a Little TLC

Take time to pamper your facial hair to keep it healthy and looking great. Soften and condition stubble and prevent your skin from becoming overly dry with a beard oil. Occasionally, have your stubble tended to by a professional; a great time is during your haircut. One benefit is that a barber or stylist can see the bottom of your neck better than you can, and you’ll have a useful guide to follow for trimming and shaping.

DiStefano Hair Restoration offers the most advanced techniques to expertly restore hair for the mustache, beard, sideburn, and eyebrow areas. Whether your goal is to fill in a patchy beard or stubble, thinning eyebrows, or you’ve never been happy with the fullness of your facial hair, the team at DiStefano can create a treatment plan to achieve your aesthetic goals.