If you’re wondering whether you’re following a proper daily face-shaving routine, you’re in good company. Many people don’t know the first thing about a good old razor shave and have insistently drifted to the ultra-casual look of beards and stubbles.
There is nothing wrong with a bit of scruff. But if you fancy a clean shave every so often, it’s only right that you know how to do it properly.
Here are a few tried-and-tested men shaving tips that work:
1. Keep to the 20-minute rule
The human skin tends to be puffier in the morning. This is a result of sleep-induced dehydration that triggers the body to attempts to hold on to whatever is left of its fluids and electrolytes.
For a closer shave devoid of rashes and cuts, you need to let the skin regain its moisture balance first. Keep off the razor for at least 20 minutes, and wash your face with warm water to soften the prickly hairs.
You might also want to take a glass of water to speed up the self-replenishment and further reduce the risk of razor burn, rashes, and cuts.
2. Use a proper shaving razor
They say a workman is only as good as his tools, and it’s no different when it comes to shaving. You need a good razor in your toolbox if you want an effortless and safe shaving exercise.
No matter how good you are at hair removal, you are most likely going to get it wrong at the razor aisle.
There are dozens of products to choose from, and picking out the features that set them apart requires a sharp eye for detail. Here are the requisite features of a good shaving razor:
- 4-5 blades
- Flexible moving blades
- Built-in lubrication strip
- Replaceable razor blades
It is also wise to carefully read the instructions on each product to ensure the razor you purchase is built with your hair type, gender, and intended use in mind.
3. Shave with care
Although you don’t want to spend the entirety of your morning shaving your face, rushing the job will likely result in patchy results, accidental cuts, and itchy skin.
Refrain from shaving your face as a self-grooming afterthought.
Instead, assign it time, like you would a workout session, and focus on leaving the bathroom with a clean-shaven face.
Note that preparation goes a long way towards reducing the number of razor strokes needed for each hair area. If you prepare well and use a premium straight razor, you will need one or two strokes per area, and this will immensely reduce irritation.
4. Do not dry shave
Dry shaving not only increases the risk of irritation and injuries but also prevents you from getting the most out of exfoliation – one of the main benefits of shaving.
It is easier to exfoliate if you shave your face towards the end of your shower or bath when your skin is soft and free of dirt.
Merely washing your face with warm water might prove insufficient, as you ideally need at least ten minutes of exposure to the heat before getting on with the shave.
5. Use shaving cream
Previously shaven facial hairs are tough, sharp, and wiry. On the other hand, the skin underneath them is soft and supple. Dealing with these prickly hairs is no child’s play. Cutting them so close to your skin is even harder.
A proper shaving cream cushions the damage by providing:
- After-shave soothing and refreshing
Before settling on a product, ensure there is an indication that it contains a humectant, an emollient, and a surfactant.
These are the compounds responsible for skin moisturization, lubrication, and foam formation respectively.
You will also need to research any additional ingredients to ensure you know what the product has to offer before committing.
6. Use a shaving brush
A wet shave expert may advise you to get a shaving brush when purchasing a razor. A brush helps thicken the lather from your shaving cream, gel, or soap and lifts the hairs and buffs your skin for easier shaving.
Most brushes use badger hair, but you can get cheaper products with synthetic fibres that work just as well.
Essentially, a shaving brush saves you the need to directly apply shaving cream with your hand.
It expedites the shaving process and increases the cream economy.
7. Shave with the grain
One of the easiest ways to avoid razor bumps and cuts is to shave in the direction of your hair growth.
It might consume more time than running your razor in the opposite direction, but it’s worth it.
All you need is to find the hair grain on different areas of your face and a sharp razor to make up for the lost traction.
Proper shaving cream application will also help lift the hairs and make it easier for the blades to cut through the strands.
8. Rinse with clean water
Warm water helps your facial hair stand and opens up the pores on the surface of your skin. After shaving, you need to rinse your face with plenty of water to flush out any foam and particles that may have lodged into the open pores.
Rinsing your face with cold water afterwards ensures the pores close before they’re exposed to dust and other particles.
9. Don’t shave continuously
Like muscles after an intense exercise, your skin needs time to rest and regenerate or those negligible bits of damage will mount up to become noticeable abrasions.
Shaving several days in a row is also likely to leave your face feeling sore, dry and uneven. Consider taking a minimum of one day off per week if you shave daily. Moisturize normally on your day off, but keep away from any fairly invasive action on your face until the next day.
There is no one-size-fits-all way to get the perfect results out of a facial shave. However, following the above tips can help you achieve a clean close shave and reduce your risk of developing rashes and discomfort.