Have you ever been in an email or forum conversation that turned to shaving and you wanted to give everyone some good tips? Here are 5 easy “how to shave” tips you can copy-and-paste right into a reply.
Prepare the area properly: clean with a glycerin-based facial soap (NOT a deodorant or body bar!), use lots of warm water, rinse thoroughly. Doctors say it can take up to 3 minute to fully hydrate the skin for shaving. Don’t towel off–leave the skin wet for shaving.
For cryin’ out loud, use a decent shave product. Nothing out of a pressurized can: the propellants can dry out the skin, so they have to add all sorts of artificial lubricants and other junk to make up for it. Use something out of a squeeze tube. Better yet, use a lathering shaving soap or cream that you apply with a shave brush.
Use a razor with as few blades as necessary to get the job done. More blades may not equal a better shave. And use as little pressure as possible on the razor (modern pivoted cartridge razors can help compensate a little for this, but only up to a point). Tilt your head to one side and rest the razor on your cheek. Feel the weight? That’s how little pressure you should use.
Shave in stages or passes. The idea is to reduce the beard not try to get rid of it all at once. That way it is as comfortable and “safe” as possible. Your first pass should be with the grain of the beard (the direction the hair grows in. Use your hand to stroke an area from different directions–one direction will feel smoother than the others. That’s the grain). Don’t try to get every little spot or shave the same spot over and over again–your first pass should almost feel leisurely. If you want a closer shave after that first pass, briefly rinse (just to keep the skin wet), relather, and shave “across” the grain (the direction 90 degrees away from the grain). Still not close enough? Rinse, relather, and shave across the grain from the opposite direction. STILL not close enough (geeze, you want that “baby’s butt smooth” look, eh)? Rinse, relather, and shave against the grain–careful though, some people can’t pull that off.
After the shave rinse very well with warm water to remove any residual lather (otherwise you might clog up some pores and end up with little pimple-looking things, or worse yet, an ingrown hair). You might even go so far as to soak a cotton pad with witch hazel and wipe down the area. Then rinse really well with cool water and apply an aftershave balm that doesn’t have alcohol as a main ingredient.