You must have read about how often you should shave and it’s a daily ritual; shave during or after a shower and so on. But I say forget all that you read or heard. Your questions can range from how to shave, I want a perfect shave or I want a guide to perfect shave. All these questions will be answered right here. Let’s be practical and keep it simple and short.
Grooming is essential and there should be no doubt that you need to shave but how often. Most of the writers or bloggers will tell you to shave daily, no that’s not true and not necessary until your profession demands that you shave daily.
The best option is to shave every alternate day if you have normal beard growth. This will give your skin some much needed relief from the razor blade and your skin will age slow compared to a daily shave.
There are some work days that need you to look sharp and super focused, on those days you better shave. Then there are some days when there are no client meetings or presentations, on these days you can skip a day or even two between shaves. So the question – How to get a perfect shave? Well here’s a guide with all the steps.
Before or after bath
You don’t need to shower or stop the bathing for shaving. There is simple way to shave, tried and tested.
Take some water in your hands preferably warm; wet the area that you want to shave (you might not shave your moustache, it’s up to you). You can also use a shaving brush for the same. Dip the brush in the warm water for a couple of minutes before the process to soften the hair and retain some water.
There are many types of shaving brushes. There are synthetic and there are natural hair brushes. The synthetic brushes are hard on the face and are less smooth but will almost last more than the natural brushes. The natural brushes are smooth and will retain more water that will give you rich lather and smoother shaves as they put more water in the process.
If you have beard that has hard hair and is tough to shave or you just want a much smoother shave then you can try pre-shave oil and balms. This will soften the hair a little more than plain water. You take a dab or two of the pre-shave put that on your fingers tips and apply it evenly. Let it sit there for a minute or two so that it’s absorbed by the hair and skin to give you the desired results. Read the instructions on the pack that you want to use. You can scrub your face if you feel that there is a build up under your beard. Use a good scrub for removing dead skin and flakes.
Use a quality cream, gel or foam to lather up the shaving area. Application of cream, gel or foam is recommended as it results in loosening of skin pores, softening of hair and diluting the dry and dead skin that needs to be removed. This will give you a much closer shave compared to plain water. If you shave with plain water and do not apply the cream or soap to lather, then it will be dry and hard shaving and is usually not a pleasant experience.
Always use good quality brush to lather the shave. The brush will lift the hair and the razor will be able to cut closest to the skin which will give you the smoother shave.
If you want to use your hands instead of the shaving brush then I will recommend using your hands only in one condition. That condition being, that you are using foam to shave. Press the nozzle of the can or tube with one hand and put the foam on the fingers of the other. Now, spread the lather evenly on your skin. However, your skin should be moist or wet before the application to get better result.
You can only use twin blades five times. Triple blades can be used six to seven times and then you need to change the blade. This is true in case of normal beard but if the hair is tough then the number of times a blade can be used depends on the smoothness that the blade operates during each shave. It can be used twice or thrice in that case.
Single blade systems are less safe than twin blades, triple blade or five blades. Single blades are usually used once.
The first rule of shaving is that you start from your side burns. Keep the side burns equal while shaving and don’t trim them by mistake. The direction of the razor must be with the growth of the hair and not against the hair. Some people tend to go against the hair growth for closer shaves. However, this results in razor burns and irritation.
Do not put too much pressure or you will cut and damage your skin. The angle of razor is also important. Take short strokes of the razor for better control and safe shave. If you want better results re-lather and repeat the process.
After each short stroke of the razor rinse the razor with hot water to clean the blade. Use a mug for this purpose. Around the neck be a little careful and do not hurry.
If you cut or nick yourself in the process use alum or post shave balm to calm the irritated skin and stop the nick or small cuts bleeding.
After shaving, take bath (if not taken already) and put on some moisturizer balm or after shave gel on your face. This will help the skin to regain the moisture and regenerate. The pores opened during the process will also close and the skin will look refreshed. The moisturizer should be applied in circular motion so that the face gets a massage and it gets absorbed completely.
If you go to the saloon for your shaves, then tell the barber to not press the razor too tight against your skin or go against the hair growth direction. Make sure that they disinfect razors and brushes before shaving and use fresh towels. Usually these things are taken for granted and are overlooked in some case. So ask upfront if the equipment that they will use to shave is disinfected and fresh blades are used. Apply the balm with your own hands if possible in the saloon (make sure your hands are clean before doing so).