Most men tend to view shaving as a pain in the face! That type of attitude can lead to careless cuts, riveting razor burn, and infectious ingrown hairs. It just does not have to be that way! Take a minute to think about what you are doing when you shave … you are scrabing an extremely sharp blade across your skin in an effort to remove the hair growing out! That can not be good for you if you are doing it wrong.
As anyone who's ever had a professional barber shave knows, with right tools and methods, shaving can easily go from a daily hassle to a daily indulgence. We are here to make sure you are equipped with both to re-create that barber experience at home.
First things first, always shave after (or during) a nice warm shower. Water hydrates the skin to ensure the blade will glide smoothly over the surface being shaved. Warm water dilates the blood vessels on the skin's surface, which in turn opens and relaxes pores and makes the hair follicle more pliable. Therefore, the soft hair will bend as the razor passes and allow the hair to be cut at a better angle … achieving a closer shave. There are several face cleansers available that will help you clean the "canvas" you will be working on.
There is only one thing to say here. Pre-shave Oil! Pre-shave oils are an essential part of achieving the perfect shave. They work to protect the skin and soften the beard. You do not need much. A couple drops should do (about the size of a nickel). Rub the oil between your hands to warm it up then massage it into the beard using upward motions to lift the whiskers off your face. After you finish, wash your hands to remove the residue before picking up your razor.
This is where the fun begins. First, make sure you have a high quality shaving cream. Preferably one with a high fat and glycerin content, which make for good lather and protection. You can certainly use your fingers, but we strongly suggest a high-quality badger-hair brush. Wet the tip of the brush with some warm water and, using two fingers, embed a small amount of shaving cream into the center of the brush. Give it a couple seconds to let the warm water heat up the cream. Then, work up a good lather by rubbing the brush in circular motions all over the beard. Once you look adequately like Old St. Nick … you are ready to shave.
Warm the blade with some hot water to make sure it is ready for action. You do not have to start in any one location, but it's generally easier to start from the outside and work to the inside. Go with the grain and do not apply too much pressure to keep from over irritating the skin. Razor strokes should generally be about two inches in length. Rinse the blade with hot water between strokes to keep it warm and free of shave gunk.
For an extra close shave, you can re-lather and go at it again using either a sideways motion or against the grain stroke, depending on the sensitivity of your skin. You do not have to worry about getting ingrown hairs at this point because the hair has already been trimmed back and will not tuck up under the skin.
Here's the last little secret … rinse thoroughly with COLD water. The first splash might be a little shocking, but after the initial chill the cool water will soothe any irritation, close pores, and refresh the skin.
Okay, so you just scraped a small layer of skin off your face. What next? Add back a little moisture and nourishment to regenerate the skin. A nice alcohol-free antiseptic mister toner (we like hydrosol rose water) works wonders to soothe and invigorate when the skin is fresh shaven. Follow with patting on a thin layer of aftershave balm to complete the process.
Congratulations … you are now a shaving guru!