Both men and women spend a good portion of their lives in the bathroom, removing hair of some kind.
In fact, it is estimated that the average male will spend more than six months of his life simply removing facial hair. Yet, most men consider shaving a chore or burden–a task to simply check off a never-ending list of “to dos” for the day. Our mission here at Shave.net is to change that sentiment. Here we will discuss:
- How you can improve your overall shaving experience
- How you can save money while still getting the best shave of your life
- What products are best for the perfect shave
- How you can improve techniques and processes for a more enjoyable shaving experience
Getting a great shave is not very difficult—if you know the right tricks, of course.
Avoiding blemishes like razor burn, ingrown hairs, and cuts is easy when you understand the right (and wrong) ways to shave and how to properly care for your skin.
Many people use their own tricks for getting a great shave. However, keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different. So, the skin care routine that works for your buddy may not necessarily work for you.
With that being said, there are also some universal best practices for shaving, which we will review below.
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There are several basic wet shaving practices everyone should know, such as using warm water to open the pores, washing before you shave, shaving with the grain, and so on. Ensuring that these are a part of your shaving routine helps keep skin healthy, nourished, and blemish free.
Furthermore, rather than hacking away at the hair while you shave, using a good razor will cut the hair properly and safely. This significantly reduces shaving blemishes and breakouts.
Better Shaving Tips
Mastering shaving basics can also keep your face smooth and healthy. Some shavers use a few shaving tricks to help them get an unbelievable shave; others use all of them.
The following expert tips should help you not only improve your overall shaving experience, but also save you money in the long term.
Prepare your Face
The best shave requires proper preparation. Preparation involves both process and product. We typically advise to shave after you shower. Doing so ensures your skin is supple, your whiskers are hydrated and your face is clean from bacteria.
Face preparation can including showing.
Showering opens the pores and softens skin. If you are under a time crunch, then wash your face with warm water. However, the time spent in the shower combined with the indirect exposure of warm water to your face is the best way to optimize your shave.
Start Warm, Finish Cold
We are referring to water temperature here… Everyone knows you need to use warm water to shave. However, some argue that cold water rinsing is better. Both are correct here, but it’s the order that matters most.Start off with warm water, then finish your shave off with cold water. Cold water reduces skin inflammation the same way icing an injury keeps it from swelling.
Get a Single Blade Razor
The best shave of your life will typically involve a double-edge safety razor, not your one-size-fits-all cartridge razor. While using a safety razor does require a bit more skill, your ability to customize and achieve a much better all-around shave will be greatly enhanced by using a single blade for the following reasons:
More blades means more scrapes. Think of it: a five blade razor means five blades are scraping your face at the same time. You might make multiple passes with a single blade, but it’s still less than the six passes you will make with a single swipe of your Dorco Pace 6 Plus.
You have more control. By having a single blade, you maintain a higher level of control. You control the amount of beard growth you are able to shave off. It’s not a one-size-fits-all.
It’s more hygienic. You will be able to swap out blades more frequently and you won’t have six blades with ample area for bacteria to grow.
It’s more economical. Single blades costs about $0.10 to $0.40, which is much less than even the cheapest cartridge razor.
You’ll feel more manly. Plain and simple.
Short, Slow Strokes
Don’t take long, broad strokes across your face. The tighter the strokes, the cleaner your hair follicle removal. In taking shorter strokes, it is also advised that you rinse off excess shaving soap/cream and stubble left on the blade between strokes. This clears the blade from accumulated build-up for the next swipe.
Know Your Grain
Take some time to map out a customized face shaving map according to your face’s hair grain growth. Once you know the direction of your own hair growth (it is different for everyone), then take you first pass with the grain (WTG), second pass across the grain (XTG) and third pass against the grain (ATG). In some cases, one or two passes will do, but for the baby-butt smooth feel, take time to do all three.
Avoid Alcohol (&Aftershave)
…or anything else that will dry out or irritate your skin post-shave. The cardinal post-shave sin is using an alcohol-based after-shave. It can not only sting wildly on the most minor of abrasions, but it also dries the skin out. Alternatively a nice post-shave lotion or balm is much more helpful to keep your skin properly hydrated and moisturized.
So, you’ve finished your shave and you are looking pretty good. Next, you apply aftershave and then notice red, blotchy blemishes. What gives? It’s the alcohol. Alcohol is responsible for the sting and it also dries out your skin. Use a nourishing post-shave balm instead.
Ignore Hair Growth Myths
Many shavers swear that the more you shave, the thicker hair grows back. This is purely a myth. In order for hair to grow back thicker, the hair shaft would have to expand. Shave as often as you feel necessary; your hair will retain its thickness.
Protect Your Skin
Use sunscreen. Every day. Even if you aren’t spending the day out on the beach, the sun’s rays are still harmful and can do damage even during your 5-minute walk to work. Sunburns strip the skin of its natural lubricants, leaving skin dry and dehydrated.
Furthermore, without sufficient moisture in the skin, the blade of your razor will not glide as easily along the face, causing increased friction. Increased blade friction results in blemishes. Do your skin a favor and use sunscreen. Choose a sunscreen that is at least 25 SPF for optimal protection.
The Lip Trick
The worst place to cut yourself is your lips. The skin on your lips is incredibly thin, and when they are cut, they seem to bleed forever. An easy to trick is to puff up your cheeks with air and glide the blade around your lips. This makes the hair stand up and reduces cuts.Leave the Neck for Last: The neck is a common shaving problem area that results in skin irritation. Leave shaving your neck for last. This allows sufficient time for the shaving cream and warm water to open the pores with greater efficacy.
Be Gentle& Take Your Time
We’ve mentioned before that more often than not safety razor shavers need to let the razor do the work.
If you rush, you’ll get cut. It’s that simple. Rushing encourages longer passes with the razor. These passes accumulate debris on the blade. Debris creates an uneven shave and increases the risks for shaving cuts and nicks. Take your time, and use short and steady passes to shave.
This list is not meant to represent a catch-all of the various ways and means you can implement for achieving a high-quality shave. However, it should help you move in the right direction. Consult us today for a free shave consultation by calling 866-SHAVENET or visiting our website at Shave.net.