The 5 O’clock shadow has always been one of the considerable debates among beard grooming enthusiasts, which is showing no sign of ending anytime soon. Some people simply cannot stand their fast-growing stubble while others find the look of a 5 o’clock shadow highly appealing.
Let’s face it, even if you trimmed your beard with a trimmer at its closet setting, there’s a good chance you’ll still get a remnant of the ol’ 5 O’clock shadow showing. So, what exactly is the 5 O’clock shadow beard and how do you stop a 5 O’clock shadow from forming?
In this guide, we’ll be sharing everything about the term, and possible causes, and explain exactly how to stop a 5 O’clock shadow. Let’s begin!
Also Read: Save Money with Safety Razor – Here’s How
What is a 5 O’clock Shadow?
Also known as stubble, the 5 o’clock shadow is a phenomenon that most men have a love-hate relationship with. Essentially, it’s an early “stubble beard” that requires an effort to maintain for an extended period. A 5 o’clock shadow is the growth of the facial hair on men’s faces, necks, and chins that appears at the end of the day after having a perfectly clean shave in the morning.
Origin of the Term 5 O’clock Shadow
The 5 o’clock shadow got its name simply because men would have a clear shave in the morning only to again regrow their bear later in the evening. The o’clock shadow coinage is based on the 19th-century upper-class English practice of having tea at five O’clock.
Fast forward to the 1930s, the marketing department of a Gem Safety Razor Company looking for a catchy name for their late-afternoon ailment “Gem Micromatic Blades” decided to call it ‘5 o’clock shadow’ to convince men that have to get rid of the ugly afternoon beard, which could only be possible with their new tool.
Why Do I Always Have a 5 o’clock Shadow?
There can be two underlying reasons behind the 5 o’clock shadow even after shaving; either you have a poor shaving technique, just have thick facial hair:
The first thing you need to take into consideration is whether your shaving is on point. Using the wrong shaving technique is an important factor that can result in a 5 o’clock shadow. Shaving against the direction of your hair, not pulling your skin tight, and not cleaning your blades after strokes are some common mistakes that can lead to the 5 o’clock shadow.
Secondly, if you’ve been using an electric shaver, there’s a good chance to end up with a 5 o’clock shadow or in some cases, a 3 O’clock shadow. Electric razors have a physical barrier between the skin and the blades which makes them incapable of providing close shaves.
However, if you still experience no improvements even after trying all these techniques, it may just be your facial hair.
Three Common Methods to Stop 5 O’clock Shadow
Before you start to mess with 5 O’clock shadow techniques, here are three main methods that are commonly used methods to prevent 5 O’clock shadows:
Shaving is the most commonly used method to remove facial hair and can work wonders in getting rid of 5 O’clock shadow if done right. Choosing the right shaving brush and cream products based on your skin can make a world of difference to your shave.
This is probably one of the most terrifying methods on how do you stop 5 O’clock shadow. Does waxing fix the 5 o’clock shadow? Of course. You are literally ripping out the roots of your beard to give help you achieve a smooth look. After a few waxes, your hair follicles will come back thinner and you’ll have less hair to deal with.
3. Laser Hair Removal
Lastly, there’s an ultimate solution to get rid of the 5 O’clock shadow, but this is something you really need to think about. Before doing laser, ask yourself do you really want a long-term solution or will the other two methods will work for you. Ultimately, we don’t recommend it because it is pretty expensive, more painful, and much more time-consuming.
How Do You Stop 5 O’clock Shadow from Happening?
With the help of the right techniques and tools, it is possible to get rid of the 5 O’clock shadow. But before we take you through the five easy steps of how do you stop the 5 O’clock shadow, here’s a simple and effective pre-shave routine that can help you achieve the closest shave possible.
1. Cleanse and Exfoliate
Cleansing and exfoliating your skin before shaving gets rid of the dead skin cells, and bacteria, resulting in a smoother shave with few ingrown hairs. Use any good cleanser and exfoliator that suits your skin and scrub it on your skin to remove debris in the up and downward motion.
2. Apply Hot Towel
Applying a hot towel on your face before shaving is an excellent way to stop 5 O’clock shadow, ingrown hair, and just get a smooth shave in general. It opens up the pores and loosens the whiskers making shaving a quick and easy task. Apply a hot towel on your face for around 30-minutes to soften the hair and reduce the chances of razor burns.
Lastly, don’t forget to moisturize your face as it is the most key step in setting your skin up for the next important step, a long-lasting shave. A good moisturizer replenishes your skin’s moisture, allowing the razor to get close to the skin and remove hair at a closer range.
Steps to Getting Rid of a 5 O’clock shadow
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how do you stop 5 O’clock shadow at home without any professional help. By following these steps exactly you may well find that your 5 o’clock shadow may be less noticeable:
1. Wash Your Face
Start with washing your face with a good quality face wash or soap to get rid of the access oil, dirt, and bacteria. After washing, dap your face with a towel to get rid of the excess water.
2. Apply a Shaving Cream
Next, apply the shaving cream with the help of a shaving brush and massage in circular rigorous motions. Create a thick leather for the hair while lifting them away from the face. leave the shaving cream resting on your face for 30 seconds.
3. Pull your Skin Tightly
Before you start shaving, pull back your skin above tightly to make it easier to move the razor and minimize the chances of getting potential razor burns. Glide the razor in small strokes in the direction of the hair growth.
4. Shave In the Direction of Your Hair Growth
For a closer shave and more effective hair removal, pay close attention to the direction of your hair growth. Move the trimmer in the same direction as your hair growth and hold it at a proper angle. It is important to know that your facial hair grows in all different directions and it’s important to follow their direction if you want to stop the 5 O’clock shadow altogether.
5. Rinse Your Blade
Make sure to rinse your blade with warm water after a few strokes to keep the debris and hair from building up in the blades. The debris and hair buildup in the blades can impede your razor’s glide and make it harder to get a close shave. Plus rinsing it with hot water between each pass will keep the blades warm making it easier to cut away hair closer to the follicle. Maintaining a clean blade may also aid in preventing razor bumps as it ensures the blades remain clean throughout the shaving process.
6. Go for a Second Round
Once you’re done with the first phase of shaving your stubble, apply the second layer of the shaving cream to remove any remaining hair. Again, pull your skin tightly and this time make strokes against the direction of your hair growth.
7. Rinse With Warm Water
Lastly, wash your face with water and then splash some cold water to close the opened pores. This step is really crucial to get a nice smooth finish, so make sure to do it properly.
8. Finish Off with Aftershave
Finish off by applying some soothing aftershave solution to minimize irritation, razor bumps and keep your skin moisturized throughout the day. Avoid using alcohol-based aftershave as they can cause dryness as well as skin irritations. Feel free to apply moisturizer to soothe and squash any potential irritation.
A 5 o’clock shadow is one of those common things you’ll have to deal with constantly unless you take more drastic measures to get rid of it. Hopefully using all these methods, you’ll find your perfect solution on how to prevent your next 5 o’clock shadow.