Can’t Get a Close Shave? Our Expert Advice on How to Achieve as Close a Shave as Possible

can't get a close shave

Although men have been shaving for many centuries, lots of men are still poor at it. In spite of marvelous technological advancement in the shaving industry, many men still experience undesired challenges in their attempt to get a close shave. Most complain that they can’t get a close shave while others get poor results.

Not only do they experience razor burns, ingrown hairs, razor bumps, and rashes but they also undergo nicks and cuts in the process. Are you comfortable with a close shave? If not, today we shall take you through 6 scientifically recommended steps for getting a painless close shave.

Clean the Beard

Before you undertake any step on your beard, you need to clean it. This does away with excess oil, dirt, and dust on the face. These substances may get trapped in your razor blade or irritate your face during a close shave.

The beard should be washed with warm water. Why warm water? Warm water opens up your pores, making it easier for the blade to glide over your face. Here, you need to soak your face for a minute or more.

Additionally, it is recommended that you use an exfoliator before a close shave. This does away with excess dead cells that would make the razor blade to drag or clog the opened pores. A gentle scrub will do. This takes us to the next step of how to get a close shave.

Apply Pre-shave Oil

This helps to lift up the hair fibers. Making it easier for the blade to glide over the face and cut close to the furthest possible to the skin.  It softens the beard plucking at the hairs.

The pre-shave oil contains a mixture of natural oils such as castor oil and olive oil. These oils provide a good amount of lubrication. There are numerous pre-shave oils you can buy. Check-in your nearby shop for the locally available pre-shave oil. When going for pre-shave oil, we recommend checking for those that possess natural traits. This excludes those that have the highest percentage of artificial ingredients.

It is also very crucial to look out for the thickness of the oil. This is because of the frequent dragging effect of oil is a result of its thin nature. Consequently, a discomfort that you get during the close shave. 

Additionally, thin oil easily gets washed away when you are smearing the shaving cream (that we talked about in the previous chapter) onto your face. Also, oil with very reduced viscosity is a major barrier to easy gliding of the blade between your face and the razor. As a result, you will be obliged to overuse pre-shave oil.

Apply Shaving Cream

Using a badger shaving brush, apply the shaving cream on your face. This helps to exfoliate and brush off particles of dust on your skin as you are applying the shaving cream. It also assists to lather the shaving cream onto the face. 

The result of lathering the face is the ease of slide of the blade over the face. This helps to avoid ingrown hair. You can as well use an exfoliator to scrub the face in pursuit of avoiding any cuts which often result from dead skin. Once all the lather is applied, you can start your close shave.

 Shave with the Grain for a Close Shave.

Before you start shaving you should have a razor that is recommended for a close shave. Many options are available in the shaving industry. Read keenly the most efficient and commonly used and the recommendations we have provided below:

Straight razors

They are also known as “Throat Razors.” They consist of sharp blades that bend into the handle. The handle can be made of wood, bone, plastic or horn. 

The main advantage of this blade is its ability to last for long-lasting. If, it can last forever provided you sharpen regularly with a strop or smoothen it with a whetstone. This blade exfoliates the skin, making it good for a close shave.

However, shaving with a straight razor requires the utmost keenness and commitment. Without the two, you will easily cut your skin. You could as well cut your throat!

man shaving

Safety double-edged razors

Also known as Cut Above Razor. This blade is exposed on all sides of the cap, enabling the shaver to use it from either side of the blade. 

When shaving, simply turn the razor in your hand and use the opposite side when the first blade is covered with shaving soap. For more aggressiveness, consider a safety double-edged blade with a larger layer curve. This is because the straighter the blade, the crueler it will be on your beard.

While shaving with a safety razor might involve a little extra time than using a multi-blade cartridge razor, the benefits of spending extra time on a close shave clearly outweigh the disadvantages. Despite common fear and anxiety surrounding the use of safety razors, their benefits are becoming more widely known.

So, between safety double-edged razor and a multi-blade cartridge which one is better for a close shave? Below are reasons to help you choose what works for you.

1)A lot of razor burns, nicks and cuts that result from a close shave are caused by excessive drag between the blade and skin of your face. Most multi-blade cartridge razors aloe-elevating strips embedded at the top of the cartridge. The strips are embedded are for an increase of gliding between the blade and the facial skin.

Unlike the multi-blade cartridge which has lots of blades for a particular hair, the safety razor cuts the hair at a better curve. This it does in a single cut. Hence, this does away with the essence of a lubricating strip. Consequently, using a safety razor is the solution to look for when you want to reduce viscosity between the blade and the skin.

2)A major cause of nicks and cuts while getting a close shave is greatly due to how you use a razor and the shape of the razor. The weight of the handle of the safety razor with that blade makes the blade to be heavier than a multi-blade cartridge. Handling a razor blade that is too light will force you to unnecessarily exert excess pressure on the razor during a close shave. This amount of pressure digs into the skin rather than allowing the blade to glide along the skin. This results in more cuts and nicks

This means safety double-edged razor is better than a multi-blade cartridge when having a close shave.

Gillette 5 blade razor

This razor has a front pivot which transfers pressure off the blades for improved comfort. It generally stretches the skin to provide for a smoother close shave. It is regarded as the safest way to go. You can’t get a cut because the blade is very slim. 

Aside from the examples of commonly used razors. Let us now focus on the recommended process of shaving:

Shaving with the grain means traveling in the same direction that your hair is growing. Before you start shaving, you should know the grain of your hair. To identify the grain of your hair, run your hand across the short, stiff hairs growing on your cheek that have not been shaven for some time. This is hair that regrows after shaving.

For example, if your hair lays downwards, you should shave downwards. Depending on how your hair lays, you need to make it with the grain of your hair. Do 2 to 3 shaves to get a really close shave that lasts a long time.

Do a 2nd Lather

This is applied when you begin to go sideways, to the horizontal of your hair grain. This is just to provide a closer shave. If you want even a closer shave, apply even a 3rd lather against the grain. This would mean again going against the grain to get a super close shave.

However, shaving against the grain for whatever reason is highly discouraged. During such a process, the blade of the razor plucks the hair, pulling it away from the skin before cutting through. The truth is that shaving against the grain can be a dangerous way of getting a close shave. Plucking the hair away from the skin in order to cut it closer can speed up the risk of ingrown hairs, which can swell up into unseen red razor bumps.

Apply After-shave

This is to create a nice feeling on your face once you have finished shaving. It is meant to close up the pores, adding a layer of protection to your close shaved face. An after-shave helps to moisturize the face. Besides, it helps reduces the kind of aggressiveness on your face which often results from prolonged shaving. 

In conclusion

If you can’t get a close shave that shows that there is something you are doing wrong. Having a close shave should be as enjoyable as taking your favorite snack. You should never again experience the razor burns, nicks and cuts, ingrown hairs as well as rashes. By keenly following the above-recommended steps of getting a close shave, you will never again experience the above-undesired challenges for a close shave. 

Don’t miss our guide to how long should each razor last? Read more here.

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