0.4mm beard style

The 0.4mm beard (0.01″) beard is the shortest possible stubble beard style a man can have, and the next step from a clean-shave. It suits most face shapes, and especially those men that want to have some facial hair, without hiding their chin and jawline.

The 0.4mm stubble beard is more commonly known as the 5 o’clock shadow, which is approximately the beard length an average man has at 5PM after a shaving in the morning.

0.4mm is also the length most beard trimmers will cut down to without a guard and typically the shortest length available on a stubble trimmer.

The five o’clock shadow is one of the three main stubble beard types, along with the designer stubble and the heavy stubble.

What Does a 0.4mm Beard Look Like

what does 0.4mm beard look like

The stubble length of 0.4mm is barely visible and it only gives your facial hair area a slight tint or shadow.

Hence why the name 5 o’clock shadow.

What it looks like varies from person to person, as we all have different beard growth rates which are dependant on things like genetics, nutrition, lifestyle habits, and so forth.

On average, a 0.4mm beard will look like this:

example of 5 o clock shadow
Here’s what a typical 0.4mm beard (5 o’clock shadow) looks like when the cheeks and neckline are not shaved.

How to Grow and Maintain a 0.4mm Beard

Philips norelco vacuum trimmer

The 5 o’clock shadow stubble is one of the easiest beard styles to maintain, and since it only takes 1 day to grow, it’s also the fastest beard style you can achieve if clean-shave is the starting point.

If you want to achieve the 0.4mm stubble by the evening, all you need to do is to shave in the morning and wait.

If you don’t want to shave and would like to continuously maintain a nice looking 0.4mm stubble, then the best choice is to get a dedicated stubble trimmer or just use a regular beard trimmer without a guard.

When maintaining a 5 o’clock shadow, you can either choose to shave the beards neckline and line up the cheeks with a razor or shavette. Or you could let them grow out naturally depending on what suits your facial features.

The Pros and Cons of a Five O’Clock Shadow

bartender with a prominent 5 o clock shadow stubble
Depending on your natural beard growth rate, you can get pretty prominent shadow effect on your beard area with just a day’s worth of stubble growth. Here’s an example of a very dense 0.4-0.5mm stubble.

Easily the biggest benefit of maintaining a classic 5 o’clock shadow beard is that women continuously rate it as one of the most attractive facial hair styles a man can have.

Another big pro of maintaining a 0.4mm stubble is that it gives your face a bit of a shadow and a roughed up masculine look, without hiding the features of your chin and jawbone like any longer beard style would.

Close trim like this will also mean that you don’t need to shave so close to the skin, which means you can eliminate many issues related to shaving with a razor, such as ingrown beard hairs, beard rash, cuts, and razor bumps.

Is it all pros then? Well, no. There are some legitimate cons of maintaining a 5 o’clock shadow.

For example, a stubble like this may look unprofessional, especially if you let the neckline and cheeks grow wild. Instead of looking like a crisply cut stubble, you may end up looking like you just forgot to shave in the morning!

And if you do decide to maintain a 0.4mm stubble, it means you will be either shaving or trimming your beard on a daily basis, which in the long run makes the skin underneath your beard irritated and dry.

NOTE: When maintaining a beard style this short, beard oil is pretty much useless, but a good beard moisturizer can be an absolute life-saver. I recommend you to check out our guide on the best beard moisturizers to find the right one for you.


The 0.4mm beard is the fastest and one of the easiest of facial hair styles to grow and maintain.

It’s commonly called as the 5 o’clock shadow, and studies have confirmed that women think it’s one of the most attractive beard styles there is.

Maintaining a 5 o’clock shadow is best done with the help of a dedicated stubble trimmer or with a guardless beard trimmer.

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Ali is a published author and a beard grooming expert. To this date, his articles have been read more than 15-million times on various sites, and he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and grow thicker. His work has been featured and cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.


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