Whether you got your grizzly genes from your dad and wake up to full stubble or just have a few tufts of hair in all kinds of directions, shaving is a must.
While shaving in itself is a simple exercise, it can sometimes be a painful and frustrating experience. You can either choose to drag your razor blade across your face until the stubble is gone, or you can spend a bit more time and do it the right way.
If you find yourself regularly suffering from ingrown hairs, razor burn, and nicks and cuts, you are doing something wrong. Remember, your face is totally different from a woman’s – you have thicker skin, more facial hair and larger sebaceous glands, which make your skin more oily,
so your needs are therefore far different.
Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to having the neatest, cleanest shave on the block (minus the nicks and cuts).
1. Preparation is key
This is the most important step in the shaving process. Rinse your face with warm water and a pre-shave soap or face wash. This will remove excess oil and dead skin cells which will clog up your blade. The warm water also moistens facial hair, making it easier for the blade to cut through it. You can also take a warm shower right before shaving as the steam from the shower will also open up pores and soften the hair. A hot cloth like the barbers use also does the trick.
Tip: Do not apply shaving cream to dry skin and think that will work. Hello, razor burn!
2. Invest in a good razor and quality shaving cream (and stick to it)
It is often about trial and error when it comes to finding a good razor and shaving cream. Disposable razors work for some men, but generally don’t give you nearly as good a shave as a high-quality razor or electric shaver. In terms of your shaving cream, make sure it is rich and creamy, and provides enough lubrication. This will shield your skin from the blade.
3. Soak your razor blade or the head of your electric shaver in hot water before you start shaving
This will help rid the blade of any accumulated facial hair or shaving cream from previous shaves.
4. Less (pressure) is more
Allow the blade to do the work for you. Don’t push too hard on the blade, allow it to glide across your skin.
5. Avoid shaving against the grain
Shaving against the grain – shaving in the opposite direction to where the hair is growing – makes you more susceptible to cuts, nicks and ingrown hairs. The direction that feels most resistant to your fingers is against the grain. Each man’s beard has different growth directions too, so make sure to find yours before you start.
6. Learn the lip technique
The lip area is one of the most sensitive parts of your face. If you nick it, albeit ever so slightly, it will cause excessive bleeding. Stick your tongue between your lip and gum area when you shave this area. This will make sure your skin is taut and create a better surface for the blade to glide along.
7. Re-apply your cream if you want to re-shave
Let’s not cut corners here. You have already come so far. If you need to go over an area you may have missed, simply apply a bit more cream and create a nice, thick lather for ultimate protection.
8. Shave your neck area last
This area can be both tricky and more sensitive. By doing this area last, you allow the shaving cream to work its magic and really soften the hairs, which will make it easier to trim when you get to them.
9. Close up shop with cold water
When you are done shaving, rinse your face with cold water to close your pores. Then pat your skin dry with a soft, clean towel.
10. Finish with off with aftershave lotion
Shaving takes a toll on your skin, so some TLC is in order when you’re done. Applying aftershave lotion will soothe and replenish any lost moisture. Avoid aftershaves that contain alcohol, as these dry the skin out and can cause irritation.
Next time you shave, see how many tips you can apply to your routine.
Words: Zoe Gruss | Photography: Gallo/GettyImages, Courtesy Image