Posted by Zach Oct 19, 2016 in Man Grooming
Alright, man. It’s time for you to stop wondering why all of your shaves end up looking like your very first one. This will article will show you how to shave perfectly, irritation-free. Whether you only have to shave a couple times a week or you like to set aside time for a nice daily shave, these stuff applies to you. Listen up.
Scope your face – plan out grain work
It’s quite astonishing how many guys don’t know which way their hairs grow. If you attack your face, especially your beard, without knowing how the hair is growing, you risk irritation, cuts, and worst of all, a bad shave.
For a lot of guys, there’s no logical explanation for how their beard grows. Circle patterns, zig zags…it’s all up for grabs. That’s why every guy needs to create their own beard map. That’s right, BEARD MAP! Please take a moment for a manly chest beat.
Now you don’t have to literally create a beard map like this one, but at least scope out your face before taking a razor to it. Be aware of where you’ll need to change directions go with the grain, across the grain, and against it.
Also take this time to see if there are any blemishes that you should take care to avoid. Cutting a pimple open hurts, and it bleeds everywhere. Easily remedied, but no fun.
Soften up your hair
Ok, so you’ve mapped out your face, and you know what traps to avoid. Now it’s time to get that face nice and ready.
Timing is very important for a proper shave. You really only want to shave when your beard is the most hydrated. For most, this means as soon as you get out of the shower. If you want to get it really soft, use a beard scrub after you wash your face in the shower.
So get out of the shower, step in front of the mirror, and lather up with your badger brush. Why badger brush? They hold water really well. The more water a brush can hold, the better your lather. Use circular motions and work it into every spot that your razor will touch. Better to over-lather than not use enough.
Shave with smarts
Lathered up and ready to shave. Great. Now all you have to do is take your time and get it done.
Use short, controlled strokes and make sure to apply even pressure. Regardless of what type of razor you choose, long swooping strokes are never the answer. Ever ever.
“Men who suffer with razor burn tend to be the ones who shave at 100mph and who use long, sweeping strokes so slow things down and shave using short strokes, ideally around 2cm in length.”
Mark Sproston (aka The Shave Doctor)
Start at your sideburns going towards your chin. After you finish your first pass with the grain, shave across the grain to get even closer. If you’re trying to get really sleek, take your razor against the grain slowly. Be wary, though. This is generally where irritation comes into play if you’re not careful. If you properly lathered and take your time, you’ll be fine.
Grade your shave
After every shave and after you’ve splashed your face with water, take a look at the man in the mirror and tell him what you thought about his shave. If it’s bad, be detailed about why it was bad. Take note of any areas that you had trouble with and it to your book of learning experiences. If you’ve just given yourself the perfect shave, treat yourself with a high five and remember to do the exact same thing next time.
It can also help to check in throughout the day and see how the hair starts to grow back. Regular irritation goes away a couple hours after shaving. If it’s six hours later and you still have red spots on your neck, figure out what you did wrong. It could be a shoddy blade, rushed strokes, or one of those weird beard patterns that snuck up on you. You’ll be better for it in the long run.
Moisturizing is not an option. It’s one of the most important steps not only because of how it brightens and softens your face for the day, but also because it will help your shaves moving forward. The softer your skin, the easier your shave. Quite simple.
As far as what kind of moisturizer you opt for, go all-natural whenever you can. A quality moisturizer will have vitamins and nutrients like aloe vera and essential oils. We recommend avoiding any of those smelly lotions as they present a much better chance of irritation.
And that’s pretty much it. No fancy tricks or techniques. Just prepare your face, take your time, and take care of it afterwards. Shave on, soldier.