This men’s shaving guide gives the best way to shave and keep your skin free from irritations and razor burn.
By the way, ladies, you can use these same techniques on your legs and get the same smooth results.
For most of us, shaving is nothing more than a tiresome part of our morning routine, something to accomplish swiftly before turning to matters of more importance.
But there is another way. Here’s how to turn a daily chore into a thing of beauty and an event to be relished.
Step 1 – Steam the skin.
The first step in this shaving process — as it should be with anyone who knows what they’re doing — is a hot towel to the face, enveloping you in a pleasantly steamy cocoon. Stubble isn’t like the hair on your head, it can be flinty and tough, so you need to soften it up for close results.
The hot towel process isn’t something a lot of men can be bothered with at home, but pretend you’re going in to a barber shop for a wet shave… the time it takes to heat up a small towel or face cloth – as hot as your hands can take – will ensure you get the shave done properly. Leave the hot towel in place for about 2 minutes.
If you are in a hurry in the mornings and you do take a shower, end the shower by turning up the heat and run hot water directly onto your face for a minute or two. And then go to step 2.
Step 2 – Lather up.
Now a good lather is the second most important aspect of the whole shaving experience.
Make sure you have a product that creates a rich creamy lather and without all the toxic synthetic ingredients. Look for soaps that include Natural ingredients like Glycerin, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter and Soy Extract. I recommend Henry Cavendish for its high glycerin content which contributes to a luxurious, silky lather. Shea Butter moisturizes and revitalizes dull skin, and soy extract comforts and conditions the skin, keeping it soft.
You will also need a good wide shaving brush. I recomend a Badger hair shaving brush, which is soft. Some people prefer a stiffer brush like Boar.
Dip the shaving brush in a cup of hot water, shake off excess water, then rub the soap bar with the brush in a circular motion until you have a rich foamy lather. Apply liberally to your face, or to all of those areas that you are going to shave.
This can feel a bit weird at first, if you’re accustomed to shaving cream from a can, but it is also a lovely face massage.
Apply your shaving cream in a circular motion and allow it to rest a few moments before you start to shave — this will further soften the beard.
An alternative you can try is a good Brushless Shaving Cream. My personal favorite shaving cream is “Olde Barber Shoppe”, with Sandalwood perfume oil. You only need a little cream massaged onto your skin, creates a similar effect, but with out the lather!
Step 3 – Check that blade.
Make sure you have a new razor blade in your shaver or a good quality one that holds it’s edge for a number of shaves. I don’t recommend the disposable ones, unless you actually do dispose of it after every shave. (Not to mention the impact on our landfills.) For me they didn’t hold their edge like a double edge safety razor.
Some people recommend a straight razor, as you never have to replace blades, but shaving with a straight razor is a whole new experience that you would have to learn! Once learned, those who use straight razors swear by them and generally don’t go back.
Step 4 – Move your face.
When shaving, there’s a fair amount of face-pulling involved, so go ahead and stretch that skin, the tighter the better. Anyway, if anyone is watching, they will get a good laugh and that brightens up their day and by entertaining them that should brighten up your day!
As you shave, stretch the skin taut with your free hand and gently glide the razor in the direction of the hair growth. Don’t apply pressure, simply let the weight of the razor be all the pressure you need.
Remember to rinse the lather off your razor between strokes, to keep the blade clear. I half fill the basin with hot water, when I start to shave.
Step 5 – Rinse and re-do.
If you have the time, wash off your face with hot water, lather up again and re-shave.
The second pass lets you take care of any areas you might have missed, but it also adds a new level of smoothness. It’s one of those things that sets a barber’s shave apart.
Step 6 – Slap on some lotion, or not!
If you are an “After-shave” kind of guy, then go ahead and apply that after-shave. I prefer washing off with warm water as the Henry Cavendish shave soap I use will leave the skin soft and supple, with just a hint of fragrance.