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Gym Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts of Shaving at the Gym

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If you’re a gym enthusiast, then you might have scheduled your workout before work or between work and a formal event at least once. You might have needed to shave at the time but weren’t sure of potential eyebrow-raising. This topic faced so many forum discussions that many still are unaware if shaving in the gym locker room is a possible solution or social problem.  Below we will discuss the do’s and don’ts of shaving at the gym, when in need. To keep this article in line with gym etiquette, we will only refer to facial shaving (this does not include head shaving) in one of the sinks (not in the shower). Let’s see how to prepare and shave in the almost-public locker room bath.

The Do’s: How to Prepare and Shave to Keep It Socially Acceptable

  1. Prepare your shaving kit. Always use your own blades when you shave at the gym. However, this doesn’t mean that you should carry the same razors you regularly use at home. Purchase one-time usage razors and carry them in a safety razor travel case. Place the travel case in your gym bag one night before the workout.
  2. Schedule the shave. Regardless of its surroundings, shaving takes time. Ignoring this will only delay your timing and make you hurry instead of optimizing your schedule. Remember that shaving takes up to 30 minutes that you spend extra at the gym. Schedule shaving after workout and before shower, to gain maximum effects. By following a preset timing, you also avoid potential accidents that might occur due to rushing. You can adjust the schedule if you know that shaving takes longer or less. However, since you are not in your home, add extra 10 minutes to the activity.
  3. Make sure your gym bag contains everything you need. You don’t need to show off your set of toiletries. However, your gym bag should contain the shaving and cleaning up basics, such as a towel, shower wash or soap, shower flip-flops, a wet bag to store the wet items, toothbrush and paste, travel mirror, shaving cream, cologne and band aids. By using the items you have at home, you risk forgetting them somewhere. So, use small quantity travel items. These also leave space for larger objects, such as the towel.
  4. Clean up the sink. The gym locker room and bathroom (if they are separated) are all about hygiene. Someone else wants to wash away germs and sweat in the same sink you use for shaving. After you’re done, make sure you clean up the sink and leave it spotless and hair-free for the next user. Check out the sink margins for any hair leftovers, regardless of how small they are.
  5. Keep your bag tidy. When you get home, leave the towel and wet clothes to dry. Open your shaving case, replace the razor and leave it open for an hour to dry. Humidity develops a slightly disturbing smell. While leaving the products in a wet environment, germs and bacteria may develop and you entire set becomes unhygienic. Moreover, no one wants to use products which are wet, instead of fresh and dry.

The Don’ts: What Social Etiquette Forbids During Gym Shaving

  1. Keep your clothes on. It’s obvious that you shave before your shower. However, by taking your t-shirt off, you only encourage moderate nudity. Besides being unaesthetic, it is also disturbing as other gym members know that you are shaving before washing away the sweat. If necessary, remove your t-shirt but stay at least 3 feet (around 90 cm) away from other gym fellows. This way, everyone will have a safe space for cleaning up.
  2. Don’t fail on personal hygiene. Your lack of time can sometimes make you compromise or forget things. Don’t extend this to your gym shaving process. If you need to shave more than once, replace the razor after each usage. Also, don’t use razors from the gym. Usually, they stock cheaper products which have a high alcohol content. Instead of getting that formal shaved look, you might end up with dry skin and/or an irritation.
  3. Skipping steps are never acceptable. All men know the shaving process. You can replace shaving foam with oils, which are more practical for travel and gym use. However, don’t skip the smoothing step. You will just end up with irritations, possible wounds and disapproving looks.
  4. Gym shaving is not a beauty ritual. All of us have a shaving ritual back home. But in the gym time and space optimization is key. Don’t turn shaving into a complete and long ritual by using a bowl. This becomes essential when you’ve waited in line for that one sink that others also plan to use. Everyone needs to wash.
  5. Leave your phone in the bag. There are some who keep their phones close, take selfies and even sing. This is not socially acceptable, as you are in a place where moderate nudity is regular. Don’t keep your phone too close or take selfies, as you will only embarrass others. Also, you might even wet and break your phone.

Gym etiquette does not involve shaving independently, but the entire process of preparing, working out, washing and changing your outfit in the locker room. Once you’re done shaving and cleaning the sink, you should head to the shower. Remember to follow indications also in the shower and avoid doing anything you wouldn’t do at home. Also, try not to take your shaving kit with you while washing, even if it contains soap or shower gel. This may make other believe that you plan to continue shaving while in the shower.

Shaving in the gym is a need. If you don’t turn it into a habit, everyone will understand you. You may have plenty of reasons to shave after working out, due to a traveling job or an event you need to attend. Your grooming can save you time and you should feel free to use it. Just make sure to use the above indications and make the best of your shaving ritual!

About The Author:
Jeffrey Arvel is a barber from Portland, Oregon. He also founded as a way to spread his insights on how to properly shave or care for your beard.

Jeffrey Arvel

Jeffrey Arvel

2 thoughts on “Gym Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts of Shaving at the Gym”

  1. “Also, don’t use razors from the gym. Usually, they stock cheaper products which have a high alcohol content.”
    I’ve never had a razor at any price level that had any alcohol content, high or otherwise. Sounds like it would make an awful mess.

    1. Brian Fiori (AKA The Dean)

      That’s one small error in an article that’s filled with them, IMO. I’m surprised Mark let this poorly written article get published, as is. I was just going to ignore it, as I find calling attention to some of these guest articles tends to be anti productive. But since the comment shutout has been broken, I’ll add a couple that really bother me:
      What does “skipping steps” in your shave have to do with proper etiquette? Is using my usual razor in the gym socially unacceptable? Schedule shaving… before shower? (I’m shocked Mark let that one pass by.)
      This is just a mishmash of advice and personal commentary, strangely wrapped up in a “Gym Etiquette” costume. My advice? Take what you need, and leave the rest.

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