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perfect 5 oclock shadow

How to Have a Perfect 5 O’Clock Shadow Every Day

Simultaneously classic, hip, and rebellious, the 5-o’clock shadow got its name from the stubble you sport after a long day in the office (itself preceded by a fresh shave). However, the tides have turned, and the look is now a signature style for many guys, providing a less irritating alternative to that daily razor cut. If you want to grow and maintain the perfect 5-o’clock shadow, just follow these simple guidelines.

1. Plan Ahead

If you’re clean-shaven now, let your stubble grow at least 24-48 hours (maybe longer) in order to get it to a workable length.

2. Ditch the Neck Beard

Once your scruff is adequately commanding, hop in the shower to open up and prepare your pores. Before you trim the stubble, you’ll want to define—and shave below—your beard neckline.

3. Trim It Down

First, bust out the electric razor. If you don’t have one specifically designed for beard trimming, get one—they’re fairly inexpensive and make this entire operation much easier.

Set the trimmer to between 1/8- and 1/5-in. and get to work. Start with a higher setting until you figure out the length that looks best on you.

4. Blend It In

If your desired length is 1/4 in. or higher (though you're pushing the bounds of a "5-o'clock shadow"), choose the next shorter setting and gently trim the edges of your stubble. This will give the hair a graduated look so that the beard neckline isn’t so defined.

5. Maintain the Look

Repeat this every day or two, depending on how fast your facial hair grows.

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