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Video: How To Shave Under Your Nose

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The mustache area, particularly under the nose, can be a difficult area to shave for some people, easy to either over-shave or miss bits just below the nose.  Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind if you’re having trouble shaving under your nose.

Good preparation should be a “given” even before you start shaving.  Clean and hydrate the area well.  Remember that it can take up to three minutes to thoroughly prepare an area for shaving so take the time up front to avoid failure later.
To me good preparation means lots and lots of warm water.  That will coax the hair shaft out of its  follicle a bit and also make it softer.  Take your time lathering the area, ideally using a good shaving product and a shaving brush to gently massage the lather in.  Using a shaving brush will help hydrate the skin and and stubble and clear away the tiny bits of debris from around the hair.
After you’ve applied your lather leave shaving the mustache area for last so the lather can fully lubricate and hydrate the skin.
As for the actual shave the principle of reduction is important, particularly to the areas that give you the most trouble.  You want to reduce the amount to stubble in “stages” or “passes” to get the closest shave with the least irritation
Let’s assume you’re going to do a multi-pass shave.  For the first pass, shave under the nose straight down.  Don’t worry about getting every last bit–just get off the worst of it.  Curling your upper lip slightly may help.  Afterwards give your face a quick splash with hot water to keep it moist.
Relather and use the second reduction pass to shave outward from under the nose to just beyond the corners of the mouth, orienting the blade vertically.  Don’t be afraid to move your nose to one side so you can get better access to the area under the nostrils.
Another splash of hot water then relather for the next pass–this time shape from just beyond the corners of the mouth to the middle under the nose.  Again, orient the blade or cartridge vertically, and move the nose to the side to get better access if needed.
A final splash of water and lather application then try shaving upward from the top of the upper lip to the tip of nose.  Be careful at this point as this is probably the most likely time to give yourself a nick or cut.  if you do still get irritation you might not be able to shave in this direction.
Some cartridge razors have a trimming blade on the back.  If you have one this is the point where you want to use it, orienting it as needed to get any remaining bits of stubble.  You can also try making the area a little flatter or more taut by trapping a pocket of air in your mouth, between the teeth and upper front gum line.
Do you have any tricks for shaving under your nose?  Leave a comment!


Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. I have been advocating old-school shaving for over 20 years and have been featured in major media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Lifehacker. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

3 thoughts on “Video: How To Shave Under Your Nose”

  1. HI MANTIC59,
    do you have any tips or advice for cleaning used razors.i just purchased a used Merkur 39c in pristine condition.any info for cleaning it with common stuff one might have around house? thanks in advance,tony

  2. I have a little trick I use on that last pass you mentioned from the upper lip to the nose. I take a few drops of glycerin and work it into the lather in that area. I get it nice and slick that way which generally allows the blade to slide easier during a difficult pass like that. The results usually are quite good and nick and cut free.
    I do add glycerin into my lather no matter what soap I’m using at the beginning of the shave so some is always in the brush. That little extra for that last pass makes the difference for me.

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