Everything old fashion is making a comeback these days, and shaving techniques are no different. Gone are the images of men shaving in their cars while their electric shavers are plugged into the cigarette lighter. Back are barbershops that will give you a proper straight razor shave.
I’m not here to tell you what device to use to nip your whiskers, just everything else. So whether you use a Gillette Fusion, safety razor, straight razor, or electric shaver these simple steps will help get you as smooth as possible.
Take a hot shower
Taking showers is generally good advice anyway, but a hot shower helps to open up the pores on your face. Why is that important you ask? Well opening up your pores loosens the hairs on your face and lets them stick out as much as possible for when you’re ready to clip ’em off.
Use a shaving oil
Next it’s time to use your hands to rub shaving oil into your beard. Rub the oil initially with the grain of your beard, and then rub it against the grain. Shaving oils accomplish a few things… First they moisturize your skin. Second they create a slippery surface for your blade to pass over (thereby reducing the chances of bumps and razor burn). And third the motion of your hands running through your beard helps the hairs stick straight out.
You should use a badger hair brush for this step. Moisten your brush and swirl it around in your shaving cream so the brush soaks up some lather. Then in circular motions move around your beard. Again this will help stick the beard hairs straight out (badger hair is the best for this step) and also create an even smoother surface for you to shave on. You don’t have to look like Santa Claus with the lather or anything, just make sure you cover all the nooks and crannies of your face.
Time to shave!
Again your tool of choice is up to you, but after you’ve lathered up have at it! Remember, always shave with the direction of the hair first. Once you’ve done that it’s fine to go against the direction of the hair. This is very specific to every skin/beard type though. Those with softer hair will have an easier time going against the grain, while those with big coarse bristles will be a little more painful. Always lather up again if you intend to go over an area more than once.
Once you’re satisfied with your baby-bottom-smooth face it’s time to close those pores up so that you minimize gunk getting into them. Wash your face with cold water.
Finish off your routine with an aftershave lotion that’s NOT alcohol based. Alcohol based lotions will only dry your skin out. Finally for those of you with beards, I recommend after you’ve moisturized with a lotion to condition your beard hair with a conditioner with oils meant to keep your thick and soft.