A good shave is art. Whether you're ready to have your first shave, or you've been shaving for years but have never been sure if you're doing it correctly, knowing how to prepare your face, shave properly, and take care of your skin will help you get a great, clean, and close shave.
- 1Choose an appropriate razor. You should take into account the coarseness of your beard hairs, the texture of your skin, your preferred shaving method, and other details when picking a razor. Generally speaking, for heavy bearded men with more sensitive skin, it is generally good to use a traditional multiple-blade razor.
- Electric razors are convenient and quick, requiring less of the preparation of traditional razors, and are somewhat gentler on sensitive skin. For some types of hair, however, they tend to leave an uneven or patchy shave on the face. More traditional razors work well on all types of skin and for all types of hair.
- Individuals who get shaving bumps can use specially designed razors, typically marketed to men with coarse hair. The key is for the razor not to cut too closely, so that the hair does not fail to emerge from the skin as it grows. Use of a pre-shave, liquid or talc, and a post-shave treatment for shaving bumps also can help.
- If you have acne and need to shave an area, try both an electric and a safety razor to see which is more comfortable. Soften the hair with warm soap and water and then shave as lightly as possible.
- 2Keep your shave kit ready and clean and sharp. Shaving with a dull razor is how cuts happen and it makes the skin very irritated. Only shave with sharp, clean razor blades.
- Before you shave, it's common to fill the wash basin with cold, clean water to use for rinsing the blade. Hot water will only make the blade expand and dull up, so it's common to use cold water on your razor.
- 3Trim your beard down first. If you've got a full-on beard, it's important to use clippers or scissors to get the hair as short as possible before going to the razor. Electric clippers are best for this purpose. Take the guard off and trim your beard away completely.
- Never lather up a significant beard and attempt to use a razor on it. This will be extremely painful and ineffective at removing the hair.
- 4Wash your face with an exfoliant facial wash. To prepare the skin for shaving, it's a good idea to start with as clean a skin as possible to avoid infections and irritation while you're shaving. Use a good, natural exfoliant face wash and wash your face with warm soapy water. Blot dry.
- 5Apply shaving oil. Shaving oil is used to nourish the skin and lubricate the razor as it glides across your face. It's a different product than shaving cream. Put a few drops of shaving oil in the palm of your hand and rub it into your beard before applying a hot towel and shaving cream, allowing the razor to glide across your skin evenly and comfortably. This will help to reduce razor burn.
- 6Heat your pores. Traditionally, barbers would head mens' faces with hot towels to open the pores and soften the hairs on the beard for a closer and more comfortable shave. Today, some people like to use a hot washcloth to achieve the same effect. The heat and moisture will help to soften your beard (if you have one) and lift up the hairs, as well as open your pores.
- Be careful that the water isn't too hot. Hot water slackens skin and pulls moisture away. The towel you use should be comfortable warm, but not steaming hot.
- 7Use a brush to apply shaving cream, if possible. While it may seem old-fashioned, applying shaving cream with a brush will further help to soften your beard and exfoliate your skin. It also helps to float the whiskers out away from the blades while you are shaving.
- If you're short on shaving cream, gel or foam, use conditioner or speciality shaving oil. Letting the lubricant sit on your face for up to a minute can amplify its effects. Avoid using a bar of soap, as this can leave a residue on the blade, dulling the edge and eventually causing rusting even on stainless blades. At a push, you can use a liquid soap as these are formulated differently.
- Natural shaving creams are preferable to glycerine-based creams or gels, which can tend to dry out the skin and leave it irritated. Go for shaving creams made of all-natural oils and other products for the best and most comfortable shave.
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