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A Gentleman’s Guide To Shaving

Shaving. Whether you keep clean shaven or you have a great big beard, you are still going to have to shave to keep it trimmed. A well trimmed and kept beard looks very professional and it can also help you in your dating life. It can be annoying to do especially if you are having to do every day or every other day, but however, it can be a nice experience and will give you a chance to relax when done properly. It shouldn’t be a case of it causing irritation every time and you get a great big red shaving rash. So I have compiled a list of my top tips to ensure you get a smooth and comfortable shave. These tips can be used for any hair you have and plan on shaving. If you have a longer hair you want to shave down entirely, don’t clog your razor up by hacking at it, use a small pair of scissors or a grooming kit to remove the bulk of it and then use the following tips:

 

Know Your Razor Types 

There are several types of razors to take into consideration while buying. The straight razor will give you the closest shave but is also more likely to give you a nasty rash if not used properly. A safety razor is basically a double-edged straight razor, can be slightly easier to use and less chance of cutting yourself, hence the name. Then you have your cartridge razors which range from 3 blades to around 7-8 blades. The more blades you have the more chance you have at catching the hair you want to shave. It is a myth however that you’re less likely to cut yourself with these because it also gives you more chance of catching the skin, whereas a straight razor will only glide across the skin once, these will be multiple times depending on the number of razors. Whichever you decide to go with, don’t go cheap. Invest a little bit more and you will definitely reap the benefits.

Keep Your Razor Sharp

Your razor gets dulled over time. The more you use it, the more likely it is to be blunt. Think about your razor like a knife. Trying to cut through a steak with a blunt knife just won’t be effective, whereas with a sharpened knife you can gracefully cut through it. Your razor should be treated the same way, either replace the cartridge regularly or have a sharpening strap if you’re using a straight razor without replaceable blades.

Bonus hack, if you haven’t got a spare cartridge and you need to quickly sharpen your razor, use an old pair of jeans and go along the trousers with the razor, it will sharpen it a little bit and give you a slightly better shave.

Exfoliate

This is before you begin shaving. A great tip to reduce the chance of catching the skin is to smooth it down first. If you can (sometimes you don’t have the time) you should shower and exfoliate the skin you are shaving beforehand. This will reduce the friction between the skin and the blade which lowers the chance of you catching yourself and again you won’t cut yourself as often.

Get the right shaving lotion

There are so many different types of shaving creams, lotions, oils and ointments available. Play around with these and change them up depending on the type of razor you are using. A grooming kit with moving blades is going to benefit more from an oil based lotion. Whereas, a cartridge razor can be better used with a cream. But this isn’t set in stone and you should continue to play around with different lotions. I personally use a shaving lotion that I have to mix myself, not an instant foaming one, this for me works the best as I can lather it on more precisely to where I want it and it still gives me a smooth shave.

Aftershave balm

Just as you would put aftersun on a sunburn, an aftershave balm will drastically reduce the healing time of your skin after a shave and give you a protective barrier for the immediate few hours after your shave while your skin is raw. Find a moisturising one that helps to reduce redness. Something with aloe vera in it can be a more natural approach if that is what you’re looking for. These are very much like moisturisers so shop around and find which one works for you. Avoid the scented ones as they may contain alcohol and we all know what happens when you put alcohol on an open wound.

General Skin Care

So, this won’t necessarily help your skin straight after shaving, but overall a good skincare routine that includes moisturiser and drinking plenty of water will help your skin dramatically. If you keep your skin nice and elastic with good blood supply, it will boost your skin’s healing capacity meaning the act of shaving won’t leave the skin as damaged and will allow it to heal a lot quicker than usual. Make sure to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydrated skin and get lots of micronutrients in that will aid in skin repair.

Go With The Hair

Another tip for while you are shaving. Go with the hair.¬†This I recently learnt is a much better way of shaving than going against it. I was constantly having red razor rash after shaving and I hated it. Since switching to shaving with the grain of the hair, admittedly, I need to shave more often but I have had no issues with keeping my skin nice and fresh and doesn’t look like I’ve only just begun to shave. It gives you a much more professional look and makes your skin feel a lot better.

Dry Your Razor

This isn’t exactly a shaving tip in itself but overall it will help you reduce the number of razors you use and keeps your razors sharper. After you have finished shaving, ensure you wash your blade thoroughly (avoid actually touching the blade obviously) but then also dry it. Either with a hairdryer, if you have one handy or you can just dry it on your towel. Doing this will ensure next time you pick up your razor it won’t be starting to rust or you don’t have lumps of old hair and shaving cream on it.

 

Be careful of course, make sure you read the instructions of any new products you use to ensure you are using them correctly.

 

Until next time.

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