Skip to Content

5-Day Stubble: Length, Best Styles, Maintenance

August 2, 2023
5-Day Stubble: Length, Best Styles, Maintenance

5-Day stubble oozes sophistication. It’s not quite effortless. But boy is it easy to manage. 

In addition, it has the glorious benefit of versatility. 

It’s a facial hair length that would be considered “appropriate” in any context you can think of. 

If you’ve even got a basic grasp of stubble grooming it’s pretty hard to go wrong. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

You need to know its length, what styles you can experiment with, and how to maintain it. 

So, let’s get to it. 

How Long Is 5-Day Stubble? 

5-day stubble is approximately 3mm long. 

In other words, 5 days following a clean shave, the average man can expect to have grown 3mm worth of facial hair. 

This is an estimate. 

After 5 days, there will be men who have grown more than this, while others may have grown less. 

But on average, 3mm is a pretty good estimate. 

This length of facial hair is also known as “medium stubble”. As the name would suggest, it’s a length that’s in-between “light stubble” and “heavy stubble”. 

Light stubble is any facial hair that’s 2mm in length or less. 

Heavy stubble is facial hair that’s 4-5mm in length. 

Medium stubble is incredibly common and popular because it strikes this fine balance. 

It’s long enough to be noticeable and look very intentional. At the same time, it’s short enough to not draw too much attention and to also keep it tidy. 

If you’re looking to trim down to a 5-day stubble length, you’ll want to grow your facial hair out for 7-8 days before doing so. 

That way, you’ll know you’ve got enough hair there to work with before trimming it down to the desired length. 

If once you start trimming you find that you just aren’t catching any hairs with the length guard on, you probably need to give it a couple more days before trying again. 

Now, let’s get to the fun part. 

5 Fantastic 5-Day Stubble Styles

Here are some simple, yet impressive styles you try with 5 days worth of stubble. The beauty of stubble is that you’ve got the freedom to experiment regularly. 

Don’t like it? Trim or shave it off. It only takes 5 days to grow back. 

Have fun with it. 

1. Classic 5-Day Stubble

curly hair, crew/buzz cut
From Shutterstock

Let’s talk about classic stubble. 

A classic stubble beard is as straightforward and no-nonsense as it gets. It’s the most common form of stubble you’ll find. 

It consists of hair on the chin, cheeks, and mustache – that’s it. 

Nothing fancy. But there’s a little more to it than that. 

The difference between a classic stubble beard and accidental stubble that forms due to laziness is maintenance. 

Stubble needs to be groomed, or it can’t reasonably be called an intentional style of facial hair. It isn’t hard for people to grow stubble in this pattern – all you need to do is not shave for around 5 days. 

What you need to do to make accidental stubble appear intentional is groom and maintain it properly. 

I’ll be giving you some specific stubble maintenance tips later on. 

But in short, defining the neckline and cheek line, shaving neck stubble, and trimming down regularly and evenly are all crucial parts of the process. 

Lining the stubble up and blending it seamlessly into the sideburns is also something that’ll take the stubble to the next level, as you can see from the picture. 

This is something you may need your barber to help out with initially. 

But if you stick to basic stubble grooming habits, there’s no reason why you can’t maintain a very effective classic 5-day stubble beard yourself. 

2. Circle Beard 


There are several different names for this style of stubble. 

Ultimately, it’s a variation of the goatee. More specifically, it’s a “connected” goatee style, as the mustache and chin beard are connected to each other. 

This encircles the mouth, hence its name of “circle beard”. Another very commonly used name for it is a “full goatee”. 

Whatever you call it, it’s a very effective style you can shape out of 5-day stubble. 

There are a couple of types of men this style would benefit. 

Men who are looking to draw attention to or add some length to their chin are one type. Goatee styles are great here because they elongate the face – yes, even stubble. 

The fact that you’ve got hair on the chin but not on the cheeks makes the lowest part of the face seem relatively long. This may be ideal for men with “rounder” or “shorter” face shapes. 

Men with patchy cheek hair would also most likely benefit from a goatee style such as this. 

As I mentioned, goatees consist of hair on the chin but not on the cheeks. They completely bypass the problem of patchy cheek hair by removing it completely. 

Problem solved. Simple. 

Of course, men who hate shaving may shy away from goatee styles because it does require frequent shaving of the cheeks. 

Plus, maintaining a goatee isn’t as simple as it might seem. Sculpting a symmetrical circle beard that isn’t too wide and isn’t too narrow takes practice. 

Check out this article on trimming stubble goatees for more info on this. 

3. Short Boxed Stubble Beard

man in navy blue shirt and black jeans

This is another great style you can easily shape out of 5-day stubble. 

It’s very similar to a classic stubble beard but has one distinct difference. 

The cheek lines. 

The cheek line is the border between the cheek hair and the cheek skin. 

Together with the neckline, the cheek lines form key borders that need to be defined and maintained in order to keep the stubble looking intentional. 

With short boxed beards, the cheek lines are lowered. They also usually have a gentle downsloping curve to them, from the tip of the sideburn to the corner of the mouth. 

Lowering the cheek line may not seem like it would make a profound difference, but the effects are definitely noticeable. 

It gives prominence to the cheekbones, often making them look more defined and chiseled. 

Plus, this carefully-defined, sloping cheek line is just a great way to contour the lower half of the face. 

It adds definition. 

4. Extended Goatee

From DepositPhotos

Here’s another goatee variation. 

Let’s face it, goatees just work with 5-day stubble. There’s no doubt about it. 

You could argue that stubble isn’t quite as versatile as longer facial hair lengths – in some ways, you’d be right. 

But at the end of the day, the number of goatee variations alone should keep you busy. 

An extended goatee is very subtly different from a normal Goatee. 

Take a look at the picture. 

As you can see, the bottom edges tail back slightly along the first part of the lower jawline. 

Not much – just a bit. But enough to be noticeable and enough to make a difference. 

What this does is add a bit of definition to the jawline and strength to the chin. It adds contouring and structure. 

It makes a goatee style just a little bit more unique. 

The beauty of it is that it doesn’t add much to your trimming and shaving routine. It doesn’t take much additional effort to add this “extension” to your goatee. 

If you wanted to take things further, you could extend these tails even further. What I’m talking about is a strip of hair that runs along the lower jawline from ear-to-ear, crossing the goatee as it does so. 

This is what’s known as the goatee with chinstrap and is also a very reasonable option when you’ve got 5-day stubble. 

This style would add even more definition to the lower jawline, but does have higher trimming and maintenance requirements. 

Ultimately, you’ve got options, and goatees are varied. 

5. Stubble With Short Cheek Hair

From Shutterstock

This is also known as a goatee with stubble

Essentially, you’ve got a Full Goatee, with short stubble on the cheeks. 

You could quite effectively argue that this shouldn’t even be called a “goatee” because goatees don’t usually have hair on the cheeks

But I’d disagree. 

The difference in length between the goatee area and the cheeks is so pronounced and obvious that this could very reasonably be labeled a “goatee”. 

Plus, it just looks awesome. 

What you could do is have the goatee area (mustache and chin beard) trimmed down to 5-day stubble, with the cheeks trimmed down a couple of millimeters less. 

This would amount to around 3-4mm for the goatee area and around 1mm for the cheeks. 

Try it out. 

You’ll gain the benefits of a goatee style while also adding some definition to the cheeks. The cheekbones should look more prominent. 

Plus, it’s a good option for men who hate shaving. You won’t have to shave the cheeks like you would with most goatee styles. 

You’ll simply have to trim the cheeks down short. 

Maintenance Tips For 5-Day Stubble

Now that you’ve seen some great examples of stubble styles done right, here are some important maintenance tips that should see you through. 

No matter what style you’re rocking, always bear them in mind. 

1. Define The Neckline

The stubble borders are the neckline and the cheek lines. 

With goatees, cheek lines aren’t relevant as you won’t usually have any cheek hair in the first place. 

But goatees do have necklines and you need to make sure it lies at the correct height. 

The neckline is the line where the neck hair meets the neck skin. 

It’s essentially the “lower border” of the stubble beard. 

A good rule-of-thumb to follow would be to keep the neckline around two finger-widths above the Adam’s Apple. 

If you’ve got a full stubble beard as opposed to a goatee, allow the neckline to roughly follow the angle of the jawline in either direction. 

5-day stubble is long enough for unsightly neck hair to be noticeable. With light stubble, you could probably get away with it because the hair is so short. 

Because of this, it’s so important to ensure the neckline is well-defined and that the neck hair beneath it is shaved off. 

2. Use A Stubble Trimmer

If you think you prefer stubble (i.e < 5mm) to longer facial hair lengths, it would be worth getting yourself a stubble trimmer. 

Stubble trimmers generally trim down to shorter facial hair lengths – usually less than 10mm. 

If you know you’ll never exceed this length, stubble trimmers are the way to go. 

Although it can only trim down to shorter lengths, you’ve got way more control. 

The increments between the lengths it will trim down to are very small; usually around 0.5 – 1mm. 

This way, you can vary the length ever so slightly in different parts of the stubble beard. For example, you could leave the thinner areas 0.5mm longer than the thicker areas. 

This actually makes the stubble look more even overall. 

3. Moisturize Properly

Moisturizing is crucial when it comes to stubble grooming of any sort. 

It’s particularly important in areas you’ve shaved, as shaving can be irritating to the skin. 

This mainly refers to the areas beneath the neckline and above the cheek lines. But if you’re going for a goatee, it probably means the cheeks too. 

Essentially, after a stubble trimming and shaving session, you’ll want to make sure the face and neck are well-moisturized.

4. Try A Drop Of Beard Oil

This one might be a little controversial. 

It’s generally accepted that heavy stubble is long enough to benefit from beard oil. You won’t need much – a single drop should be enough. 

It nourishes and moisturizes the stubble hair as well as the underlying facial skin. 

It may not be as essential as it is with longer beards, but it’s still worth trying. 

Using it on 5-day stubble may not be necessary, but it’s definitely worth considering. Scented beard oils are just fun to use. 


There you have it. 

Hopefully, everything you ever wanted to know about this glorious length of stubble. 

As I always say, when dealing with stubble you’ve got the benefit of being able to experiment regularly without worrying about messing anything up too much. 

If you do, just shave it off and start from scratch. 

You’ll be back to square one in just 5 short days.