During our last article, we went over the types of products you should be including in your shaving routine (Check out the article here). Be sure to take a look at it if you want to know exactly WHAT you need to get a close cut, proper shave each and every time!
Now that you know what you need, we’re about to show you HOW you need to handle that razor blade and the steps you need to follow to make sure you have the closest, irritation-free shave as possible.
These are also the steps and techniques that our professional barbers use on each and every customer that comes into our barbershop
The Proper Method
- Wet with Warm Water
- Apply Shaving Cream
- Handling Your Razor
- Aftershave & Moisturizer
Wet with Warm Water
First things first, one of the most important steps is to make sure your facial hair is thoroughly wet with warm water. Warm water will open the pores of your hair and your hair will grow in volume from absorbing the moisture. This makes your hair stand up and much softer, making it easier to cut with a blade.
One of the ways we like to do this is with a hot wet towel applied to the face for a few seconds. Running warm water through your hair will work just as well as the method our barbers use.
You never want to shave or apply shaving products to a dry face… unless you enjoy razor burn and irritation!
Apply Shaving Cream
The next step is to apply your shaving cream. You want to make sure it’s lathered up to a rich creamy lather (shaving brushes are great for this), and apply it to wherever you are going to be shaving.
The purpose of the shaving cream is two-fold. One to act as a lubricant for your razor, forming a thin layer over your skin so the blade has as light a contact on your skin as possible. And two, to lock in moisture in your facial hair, keeping them soft and upright.
This will result in less resistance from your blade, less irritation, and a soft and wet beard. Exactly what you’re after when you’ve got a sharp blade pressed against your skin. Your Razor will also last longer because it’s not fighting against your facial hair.
Handling Your Razor
As we went over in our last article, you need to make sure your razor blade is sharp! When you shave, you’re not just shaving your facial hair. You’re also shaving off the surface of your skin. There’s no way around it.
Using a dull blade will cause a lot more trauma to your skin. Because of this you end up pressing harder onto your skin, welcoming irritation, razor burn, and ingrown hairs. So save yourself the nightmare and ditch the dull blade!
Now with that warning out of the way, let’s get into the method.
Ideally, you want to shave in the direction that your beard grows (going with the grain). Start with the sides and work your way down, making sure not to press too hard to avoid ingrown hairs and razor burn. Remember, you want the razor to glide across your skin, not pressed hard against it.
Make sure to rinse your blade with warm water as you do this to get rid of the hair and dead skin that gets caught between the blades.
If you want to get an even closer shave or if you missed a few spots, apply more lather from your shaving cream to the area and shave again, going with the grain or sideways. Just be sure not to over shave, typically running the blade once or twice should be enough.
Aftershave & Moisturizer
After giving your face a good rinse, all that’s left is to pat yourself dry (don’t rub, because this is a lot harsher on your sensitive freshly shaved face and can also cause ingrown hairs) and apply an aftershave and moisturizer.
Because shaving can cause micro cuts in your skin, you’ll want to first disinfect to get rid of any chances of infection. You can find plenty of aftershaves that contain alcohol or more natural alternatives such as tea tree oil that can rid your skin of any bacteria that might be hanging around.
Next you’ll want to apply a moisturizer to replace the moisture you lost during shaving and to soothe the skin. A good moisturizer will also contain an astringent (such as witch hazel) that will close your pores and reduce inflammation.
We’ve gone through the 4 main steps you should be taking in order to get that close, irritation-free shave you’ve been chasing after. Now, all that’s left is to take what you’ve learnt and put it to good use!