Shaving is easy…or is it? There’s a divided opinion from men on this matter. While some of us savour every minute of grooming, other people avoid it completely. Many dread the process. Some find it confusing – and even annoying. If you are one of them, you should know that you don’t enjoy shaving because you’ve been doing it wrong all along. With the right skills, it is a simple and enjoyable luxury every man should have. It is a treat to your face; not a task you should fear. As long as you get the prep stage right, apply the right products, and employ the right technique, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to fall in love with shaving.
Shaving can be an enjoyable process. It’s just a matter of understanding the art. Knowing where to start, how to proceed, and how to end is essential. It is not something you do in a hurry. Take your time and savour every minute that passes as you do it.
Make it a Routine
The grooming exercise should be kept to a schedule. If you plan to shave at a certain time and follow through consistently, you get yourself used to the routine. The more used to the routine you get, the easier the process becomes. After a while the entire process will become second nature.
Appreciate the Opportunity
Look at shaving as a privilege. There is nothing as manly as standing in front of your mirror clutching a straight razor knowing you’re about to take part in that familiar ritual. Shaving is something that you’ll have to deal with for the rest of your life – unless you decide to join the hallowed halls of our bearded brethren. Learn to embrace the shave. The fact that you used some good money to buy your shaving equipment means shaving is important. Appreciating the opportunity to shave every single time you stand in front of a mirror will change your attitude and help you love the process more.
Buy the Right Products
You’ll want to get high-quality products to protect your skin during the shaving process. Do you love shaving creams or soaps? Regardless of your choice, ensure the product is not packed with chemicals and parabens that can irritate or burn your skin. Look for those made from organic ingredients. In this case, shaving gels are not recommended. They contain alcohol, artificial preservatives, perfumes, and gases that are not healthy.
You’ll also want to choose a brush. Here you can go for synthetic or animal-based brushes. Whatever you decide on, ensure it is of the best quality you can afford.
Pre-Shave oil is equally important. It will act as a lubricant providing smoother passes of the blade. It will also compensate for the natural oil your skin loses as you shave. Again, remember to pick those with organic components.
Pick the best blade for your face. For regular home shaving, we recommend straight razors. Cartridge razors will go well with those who travel around. Some people find three-blade razors comfortable and smooth on their skins, while others can’t stand them. You have a variety of alternatives. Therefore, make the right choice. Some things to consider when choosing the right blade include the weight, blade replacement, and the cleaning process.
Some people use pre-shave oil as an aftershave. Even though it works, why not invest in an aftershave product specifically meant for this purpose? Here, you can choose between a balm and splash. Balms will be more useful if you live in cold places because they feel heavier on the skin. Splashes work well with people in humid, hot places. As the name suggests, they are watery and gives antibacterial protection, which you need after every shave.
Choose Your Time
Who said everyone has to shave in the morning? Some people are not morning people. They lack the motivation to do anything and so early in the day won’t be the best time for them to enjoy the shaving process. You can’t afford to race against the clock when it comes to shaving. That is how people get nicks and cuts all over their faces – which result in irritation. Remember you’ll be dragging sharp steel across your face and so you have to be careful. Take your time.
If you must rush in the morning, then pick another time when you are more relaxed. In the evening or at night, your whiskers will still be available to cut. As a matter of fact, you can shave halfway at night and leave easy-to-shave parts for the morning. Your face deserves some love – don’t rush the process.
The preparation stage determines how well you’ll fare during and after your shave. The first mistake most men do is using hot water to shave. Doing this softens your whiskers (which is good) but makes the skin tender (which is bad if you are going to use a razor without protection). With a sharp blade on such a face, nicks and cuts are inevitable.
What you need to do is take a warm shower or use a warm towel to moisten and soften the facial hair. Apply the shave oil with your fingers. Then use your soap or cream to lather it up. Use the brush, not your hand in circles covering every point on your skin that will face the blade. Whenever you make a pass and want to repeat the same point, redo the lathering process. Preparing adequately will help you not just to prevent cuts, but also avoid getting shaving rash, acne, ingrown hairs, razor bumps, and other skin issues.
Ready the Blade
Do you know why professional barbers always get their cuts right? They understand the art of selecting the right blade. If you have decided to go with a straight razor, you need to take time and prepare it for the shave. Ensure it is sharp as it ought to be. If it is stropping it requires, do it. This type of razor needs skillful hands because it is very sharp and tough to hold right. If you are new to straight razors, be very cautious because they can cause damage to your face. On the other hand, a safety razor is safer to use particularly if you are new to this kind of shaving. Ensure the razor is stainless steel and replaceable.
The first stage of shaving will be cutting along the grain, particularly if you have thick hair growth. This way you avoid tugging and pulling your hair, which makes the process painful. With time you will understand the direction where your facial hair grows and shave accordingly. Sometimes the hair will grow in multiple directions. Beware of this before you can start the shave.
Don’t be forceful at any point. Let the razor slide smoothly. Make small strokes as you clean the razor while you move away from the places you’ve already cut. Give hard-to-shave areas like the neck and under the nose special attention. As you clean the blade after every stroke, you want to shake it rigorously to avoid having excess water that will thin out the lather.
Even though most razor marketers tell you that you only need one pass to get the perfect shave, you shouldn’t rely on their marketing rhetoric. In the ideal situation (proper lather, the right razor sharpness, and accurate professional skills), it is possible. But you know you are not a perfect shaver. The truth is, you might need a second pass or even a third one.
You may have to reapply your shaving cream. Be patient and do it as if it’s the first time. Then take your blade and shave against the grain this time. By doing so, you are now sure that you’ll get a desirable close shave.
After finishing your shave, it is time to use an aftershave product. But before that, clean your face with cold water or towel to eliminate cut hairs, soap, or blood in case you cut yourself. Why cold? It will help in closing your pores and give you a clear view of your work. Now take your aftershave and apply it accordingly. Aftershaves come in varied fragrances and can be confused with cologne. Apply this in as small an amount as possible to avoid the overpowering smell some men hate.
Shaving is necessary, but it doesn’t have to be a laborious process you must endure. So avoid the rush, invest in the right tools and learn the skills. You will savor every moment because it is possible to enjoy it. You’ve just finished the A to the Z shaving process. You’ll be feeling cleaner, fresh, lighter and renewed. Same time tomorrow?