We teach you how to stay nick and bump free with part two of our shave guide
Written by Clifford Chen
When it comes to shaving, you have two options: wet or dry. Both are practical but you may find one more preferable than the other due to convenience, price, or ease of use. Wet shaving is more traditional and involves warm water and foam, in addition to the actual shave. While it can be more time-consuming, the amount of exfoliation is superior since the razor stays as close to the surface of your skin as possible. There is a much higher danger factor when using the wet shaving method because you are using a blade instead of an electric razor.
Dry shaving is usually achieved with an electric shaver as a hassle-free alternative. Since shaving cream and water are not necessary, a dry shave can be executed easily and quickly. Unfortunately, dry shaves sacrifice the closeness with which you can get to the surface of the skin, meaning that you may notice some leftover stubble. Electric razors will never be able to completely shave off your hair, but in exchange for the imperfection, you’ll get a much easier, quicker process overall. Your shaving method will ultimately come down to your personal preference. There is no right or wrong method, so choose what’s important to you and go from there.
Shaving cream gives you a luxurious white lather all across your face which is the universal symbol to start shaving! Since the cream is extremely thick, it gets right into your whiskers and will help give you a very smooth shave. Furthermore, shaving creams actually come in a variety of scents and fragrances for a truly immersive experience. For those that truly enjoy shaving as a process, shaving cream is definitely the way to go. Those that just like to go through the motions of their daily shave should definitely forego this time-consuming option.
Shaving foam is a good alternative to cream because it comes in a ready-to-use can. Those that still want the full lather experience but lack the time will find this to be a suitable solution. However, you’ll want to avoid foams if you have sensitive skin because they can contain various propellants and chemicals. It is also not an environmentally friendly item because of how many chemicals are released during its usage.
Shaving gel is a great medium between cream and foam because you can actually see where the razor is going, making it easier to style your facial hair. Being convenient to use, you’ll be out of the house in no time after a great shave! The drawback is that the nature of gel means that it isn’t very compatible with safety and straight razors.
Aftershave is a liquid product containing an antiseptic agent that is applied to the skin post-shave. While it is optional, we strongly recommend using one in order to protect from inflammation. Your skin can suffer some serious damage after running a blade several times on it. Not only will they aid in recovery, they leave your skin with a fresh fragrance and a smooth feeling.
The Shave Itself
Okay, now that you’ve got your methods sorted, let’s talk about the shave itself. All of those foams and gels and oils can be quite confusing and intimidating for someone that just wants to clean up their scruff real quick. However, once you get your products and your methods down, the whole shaving process can actually be quite easy and satisfying at the same time. Follow these 13 steps for a foolproof shave:
- Exfoliate with a face wash and take a hot shower to get rid of dead skin cells and keep your facial hair hydrated and soft (a hot towel works too).
- Use pre-shave oil for a smooth shave if you have a few day’s growth.
- Lather up with a shaving cream, foam, or gel (use a lot and make sure to cover up your whole face).
- Make sure you are using extreme caution while shaving since you are wielding a sharp blade across your face.
- The best angle for your razor is between 30 and 45 degrees to maximize safety and effectiveness.
- With your dominant hand holding the razor, make downward swiping motions and use as little pressure as possible.
- Shave with the grain in order to avoid hacking at your face.
- You may want to shave against the grain for that smooth feeling, but we advise against it as it can cause serious injury or ingrown hairs.
- If you feel like it really isn’t sufficient after multiple passes, consider shaving sideways across the grain.
- Don’t expect to remove all of your facial hair in one go, especially if you have a beard like a lumberjack.
- The goal is for gradual beard reduction so you can avoid skin irritation.
- Rinse off the excess lather with cold water in order to close your pores.
- Apply some aftershave of your choice and you’re all done!
As long as you can achieve your perfect shave in the morning, it doesn’t matter how or what you use to shave. Your morning ritual should be invigorating, empowering, and leave you equipped to take on the day’s challenges. Shaving is one of the manliest activities a modern man can perform and will give you something to look forward to every day.
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SOURCE: THE GENTLEMANUAL