First thing’s first: before going to shave your beard off, you need to do a calming exercise: take a deep breath, release all the stress you may have, and then concentrate on your breathing. You don’t have to rush shaving. Shaving is one of the most important rituals in a man’s life. Take it slow and you might just learn to enjoy it.
The best tip for shaving, of course, is to reserve time. Everyone says this: save time for shaving. Set your alarm a good 25 minutes before your usual wake-up time. Plan for the event in which your morning routine doesn’t go according to plan. And most importantly: don’t snooze. But this isn’t a realistic portrayal of the events that happen in your house every morning, is it?
It’s easy to say: don’t rush. It’s a narrative taken up by all people who like to give advice on shaving. It’s as if these people have never gone through the mishaps of a bad morning. They probably don’t know how it’s like to wake up 20 minutes before you need to leave the house, shave in a hurry, get dressed in a hurry, and prance off to work. Or if they do, they’re probably too ashamed to admit it.
So, what you need is a foolproof technique for shaving that comes somewhere in between rushing and dragging your mornings. Obviously, there are two major options: going for an evening shave, or doing something to improve the shaving time and quality, so that your face gets the attention it deserves before you go to work.
While the first option has been quite popular in recent times, some of us still prefer to shave in the morning. It gives an extra feeling of cleanliness. We live for that extra freshness that the scent of aftershave in the morning gives us. But before considering the fact that the shave takes place in the morning, here are a few things I like to do to transform my shaving habit from chore to pleasure:
Enjoy a Little Musical Piece
We live in the age of technology. That much is certain. And while I may not endorse the ultra-mega-super-fast razors that now bear names sprung out of science fiction movies, I do own a smartphone. And what I like to do is play a little tune while I’m shaving. This can really get you in the right mood for a beautiful day – considering your shave happens in the morning.
You can either go for the same song every time, or mix up your mornings by changing it daily. The ingredients of a perfect shaving tune: it must be short, it must be up-tempo, and most of all – it needs to be just loud enough to cover the sound of the water. Keeping the same song is recommended for daily routines that need precision timing.
Just save it on your phone, or take it off of YouTube, press play, leave the smartphone somewhere where water can’t reach it, and then begin your ritual. Just don’t sing along – the results may be disastrous.
Tidy Up Your Bathroom
This cannot be stressed enough. The more you know where your things are, the more time you will be able to save off time of your shaving ritual. And this even goes beyond your shaving tools. An orderly man is a man with a clean beard – no matter whether it’s a clean shave, a trimmed stubble, a moustache, goatee, or even a full beard.
Everything in your bathroom must be inspected at least once a week. My routine goes as follows: I’m not that devoted to tidiness myself, but I strive to keep everything in check. I reserve an hour per week, usually on weekends, for the upkeep of my bathroom:
I make sure my tools are clean. One or two may be not where they should, but I put them back. I verify my shaving machine to see if it’s charged. I also clean the mirror. And I check to see if I’ve got enough lather for at least one week. Aftershave as well.
Make a Plan and Stick with It
Also very important to the shaving ritual is that you have a plan set out for every morning. Don’t just go with the flow. Make the flow. Even the slightest faltering may lead to you forgetting to wipe off the foam from one side of your face. Imaging the faces of people at work when you show up at the 9 AM meeting with a bit of lather hanging from the side of your neck.
My usual shaving habits go as follows: I wash my face gently before shaving; I put on the lather using my trusty bristle; I spread it evenly on my face. Really important: the direction of your brushing. Why? Because people have a tendency to imitate this when the actual shaving takes place. You need to do the exact same pattern. This is good for speed as well as for your face.
Next up, I take out my blade. No matter which type of blade you use, the most important thing is that you know your preferred pattern. I usually go for symmetry: my left whiskers, my right whiskers; my left neck area, my right neck area. Then my cheeks, left-right. Moustache, chin, and done.
Next: check for errors. No errors. Then, wash up your face with plenty of water. Check for cuts. No cuts. Apply aftershave. Then, I usually do my hair, but that’s enough of my morning habits.
There you have it then. Making your shaving habit from a chore to a ritual has never been easier. I would like, however, to add one single piece of advice for those of you who still prefer a morning shave:
Coffee. I’m not saying you have to drink your coffee before shaving. There’s nothing more interesting than feeling a little woozy before grabbing the razor. But I’ve found it an interesting experiment to make my coffee before shaving. You don’t have to drink it. It’s been scientifically proven that even the smell of coffee wakes you up a bit. So, smelling fresh coffee every morning before the ritual gives just the right amount of boost I need to do everything right.
Thank you again for reading my personal opinions on how to actually enjoy a shave. I hope you’ve actually taken some of the advice I’ve presented here. Remember: the shave may not make the man, but it sure contributes a lot. So give it the time it deserves.
Author Bio: Arthur Lamber is a longstanding collaborator of Serbags and a freelance writer with a passion for men’s fashion, grooming and an overall desire for excellence. When he’s not writing compelling pieces, he’s busy searching the internet for the latest collections and the most obscure vintage pieces that can be incorporated in a one-of-a-kind outfit.