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Shaving Commandments: 10 Tips on Shaving for the Perfect Look

Shaving Commandments: 10 Tips on Shaving for the Perfect Look

When you don’t do stubble or a beard, the holy grail of shaves is a clean, even, smooth, irritation and cut-free one. And on the occasion when you nail it, it’s a moment of pure satisfaction. You look in the mirror, give yourself a little wink and a nod, ready to face the day and take over the world. You know that the generations of men who came before you would be looking down on you proudly. Alas, the great shave doesn’t have to be all that illusive. Whether you’re using an electric razor or a manual one, there are some tips on shaving and tricks that will ensure you get a perfectly smooth glide every time – in fact, here are ten of them right now. 

Sharpen Up
 

One of the main things that leads to irritation and cuts is a dull blade, so always check that the razor you’re using is clean and sharp. The second the razor starts to pull on the hair rather than slicing it clean off, even just slightly, switch it up for a fresh one. 

Coarse Action
 

For those who have thick hair or a coarse beard, you’re really going to want to focus on softening the hair. This could mean waiting longer than normal for your shaving cream or gel to sink in, hot towelling with vengeance, shaving only after a long, hot shower and considering a razor with multiple blades. Whatever you do, don’t press hard on the skin because your hair is tougher (read on to find out why).

Sensitive Skin Prep
 

If you have sensitive skin, sadly, you’re already on the back foot a little. But it’s not all bad news, this just means you can’t start hacking your face willy-nilly. Gentle strokes will help, as will prepping the skin with an exfoliating wash, avoiding fragranced creams, gels and foams, and by pressing a warm, moist towel into the face for a few minutes to soften the hair. Always do a patch test before using a new shaving product too.

Take Direction
 

The actual action of holding and gliding a razor over your face can feel awkward at times, and often, the most comfortable thing is to shave in the direction that feels the most natural. Let it be known that choosing your own adventure isn’t a great technique. As a rule, always go with the grain first, and then, for a closer shave, go against it. Also, you’ll get a better result if you repeat your hot towel and shaving product step of prep between the two actions. 

So Fresh, So Clean
 

A small step that can make a huge difference is the simple act of doing your final rinse with cold-as-you-can-get water. This closes the pores, leaves the face feeling refreshed and reduces early-morning puffiness. You can even go one step further by pressing a cool towel into the face to seal the deal. 

Down With Razor Bumps
 

It’s easy to think that pressing on the skin and shaving as close as you can get is best, not true – this is actually what can cause razor bumps and ingrown hairs, particularly on the neck. Light, steady strokes are always better, go over the area twice (after re-lathering) if you need, but never press into the skin, and never go against the grain on the neck. An exfoliating wash between shaves also helps to banish ingrown hairs.

The Big Rinse
 

This tip might seem obvious, but it does make a difference to how close your result will be. Always clean your blade after each stroke, as that really helps to keep it sharp and clean. It’ll also give you a smoother glide and thus, a clean finish.  

Brush It Up
 

You know those old-school brushes that come in fancy shaving kits and are used by barbers? There’s actually a reason they’ve stood the test of time, and it’s not because they look cool. Badger hair brushes or shaving brushes, as they’re known, have a purpose – they sweep flat-laying stubble upright, getting the hair ready to be cut back at a lower point without irritating the skin. The more you know!

Acne Solutions
 

The two best things you can do if you suffer from breakouts are to go easy on the strokes and keep the skin clean. Shave light and gentle, making sure to clean the blade after each stroke. It can be time consuming, but it helps to remove any bacteria from acne that can spread. Also, wash your skin well before you shave, and that includes using a deep exfoliant. You might also want to consider using a non-fragranced, dermatologist-recommended shaving product too. 

Seal The Deal
 

When following our tips on shaving ensure that at the end of your shave, always use a soothing moisturiser or after-shave gel. Shaving can be stressful on the skin, not to mention, ultra drying. Though our fathers and grandfathers would reach for the rich-smelling cologne, it’s actually better to avoid anything with alcohol or a heavy fragrance, as these kinds of products can add to irritation and dryness. Still use a daily fragrance, of course, just avoid applying it directly to the just-shaved area. 

Now you’ve got tips on shaving covered, check out other skin care and grooming solutions.