For a lot of men, shaving is something that you may have learned from your grandfather, father or other relative at a young age, or it may have been something that you figured out how to do on your own, but were you taught the right way to shave?
Whether you have just started shaving or having been shaving for decades, there are certain tips you may not be aware of that can significantly reduce the occurrences of nicks, cuts, irritation, ingrown hairs and razor burn. Some may seem quite obvious, while others may be something new and worth trying to achieve that close shave that leaves the skin feeling fresh, smooth and healthy.
Basic Tips For A Healthy Shave
Moisten Your Skin: At the very least, splashing your face with warm water or using a damp cloth is a great first step to preparing your skin and whiskers. Hair can absorb water, making it thicker and easier to cut, it also relaxes and hydrates the skin. A lot of men shave in the shower for this very reason. Make sure to gently wipe dry excess water. The skin should be moist, not wet.
Use a Shaving Gel or Cream: This step seems kind of obvious, but trying to substitute shaving gel with a soapy lather (when in a bind) will not provide the same results and will probably result in some sort of razor burn. For those with sensitive skin, there are brands made for just this type of skin. The right kind of cream or gel can make a huge difference for your skin.
Let the Shaving Gel or Cream Sit: Even if you are late and are in a hurry, letting your shaving cream sit on your face for 1 to 2 minutes can be extremely beneficial. This will give it enough time to soften up the hair on your face making it easier to cut and less likely to be yanked by the razor.
Try Using A Brush: A shaving brush, like your grandfather used to use, can be extremely helpful to spread shaving gel or cream along the surface of the skin. It can get up under the whiskers better which in turn will help soften the hair. There is a reason barbers still use these, because they work.
Use A Sharp Quality Razor: Do you need a razor with 72 blades to get a good painless shave? No, of course not. But a lot of men find that some of the two and three blade razors work better for them. The most important thing of course is to make sure the edge of the razor is in good condition. A sharp single blade disposable razor is going to perform better than a dull 5 bladed razor.
Any razors with little nicks on the blade should be discarded. Normal use for most disposable razors would be 1 to 2 weeks before its time to reach for a new one.
Also if you shave in the bathroom sink, banging the edge of the razor to get the gunk out from between the blades will obviously damage and wear out the sharpness of the edge. If you have problems cleaning out from between the blades try cleaning them after each pass under hot water.
Shave With The Grain: This is one shaving tip most often repeated. In most areas of the face and neck, the hair grows in a downward direction. This is the direction in which you should shave. Having properly moistened whiskers, using the advice above, should enable a close shave while shaving with the grain. Shaving the opposite direction of hair growth is usually a major factor in having razor burn and ingrown hairs. If you often experience razor bumps or ingrown hairs then resist the urge to go against the grain and see if that helps.
Take Your Time: Another obvious one, but shaving is usually one activity that the faster you go, the worse it will be. Take the time to moisten your skin properly, then take the time to run your razor across the skin in a careful, methodical manner. Those little dabs of toilet paper are often wonderful reminders of how important it is not to hurry things along.
Don’t Shave Too Hard: This is another tip that should seem like a no-brainer, but be gentle when shaving. Properly moistened skin along with a sharp razor should require no more pressure then a gently glide across the surface of the skin. Make sure you are aware of just how hard you are pressing down on your face. This is also one of the major factors behind nicks and cuts. The less pressure you can use while shaving the better off your skin will be.
Use Cold Water When Finished: After you are finished shaving, splash some cold water on your face. This will have an immediate benefit for your skin and help cut down on any inflammation. It usually feels good as well.
Moisturize: Shaving is quite a harsh exercise on the skin. Not only does it remove whiskers, but the scraping action of the blade can also remove some of the outer layers of the skin as well as protective oils. Using a dedicated aftershave with skin moisturizers can help the skin by replacing some of what was lost during shaving.
The time you put into preparing your face before shaving is just as important as taking your time while shaving. Hopefully these shaving tips can help alleviate some of the usual problems associated with this grooming activity.