One topic that men seem to never talk about when we’re around each other is shaving. Let’s be honest, we’re usually talking about our kids, sports, politics or whatever happening in the world instead of proper shaving techniques, skin care or preventing razor bumps. Yes it’s very important and if it wasn’t we wouldn’t have so many products catering to guys now for smoother and better skin. Let me give a few pointers and hopefully I can educate someone reading this and maybe some experts can add on to the discussion.
Make Sure Your Beard is Wet
This is very important and you want a great, close shave without any irritation or razor burns always make sure your beard is wet. After doing some research I saw that facial hair absorb up to 30% of its volume and hair swollen with water becomes weak and easier to cut. When shaving I’ve started to do it in the shower because my face is incredibly wet and my face feels better afterwards. Never shave with cold water or while your face is dry because that’s the reason you may have razor burn or a rash.
Quality Razors and Changing Your Blades
With years of shaving under my belt, the quality of razors and changing your blades to keep your face from razor burns. Make sure your blades are sharp because you’re not only cutting off your hair but also scraping a layer or two of your skin. Using a dull blade can make your face feel bad and it tends to feel scratchy and could create a rash or razor burns. You should change your blades after about 4 to 10 shaves, either way when it becomes dull, get rid of it. There are a number of great razors to use, but I definitely love the Gillette Fusion Pro Glider with Flex Ball Technology.
Using a Quality Shaving Cream
You need something that creates lather and don’t just foam up as soon as you squeeze it out of the can like some cheap brands. The purpose of the shaving cream is to lubricate your face, but also lock in moisture on your face. When you apply shaving cream on your face, leave it on your face for about a minute to get the beard soft and wet. There are 4 shaving creams I use on the regular and they are Dove Men+Care, Aveeno, Somerset and Gillette.
Use a Shaving Brush
For years I always thought shaving brushes was a waste of time and never used them. One day while my barber was cutting my hair I asked him the purpose of using the shaving brush and he said it prevents razor bumps, the chances of getting dark spots was slim and it makes the skin look healthier. When using the shaving brush it raises the hair to get a closer shave, it creates a creamy lather and it removes dead skin cells. When applying shaving cream with the brush, apply it in circular motion ending in an upward stroke to help lift the beard up and away from the face.
Ideally shave in the direction of the beard growth. Start with the sides, then the moustache area and last the chin. The chin hairs are the toughest, so this allows them the most time to soften under the shave cream.
To avoid these shaving problems, again, shave “with the grain” (that is, in the direction your hair grows). Each person’s facial hair has its own growth pattern. If you are unsure of the direction of your beard, let it grow for a day or two and you’ll see it.
You also need to let the razor do the work – do not press too hard or it will cause razor bumps (ingrown hair) and razor burn. By the way, you do NOT need special razor bump products – 99% of the razor bump problem will be solved by not pressing too hard, shaving with the grain and using a good shaving cream.
Facial Wash and After Shave Lotion
After shaving, when the skin is most vulnerable, rinse the face with warm water and use a facial wash that has a high concentration of tea tree oil and witch hazel. The after shave lotion is designed as an after shave balm and moisturizer in one, is the ideal way to replace lost moisture and soothe the skin.
Do you have any tips for better shaving and if so please share them with me?