In order to provide you with the best How To Get The Perfect Shave tutorial I went to the Men’s Grooming experts I know, love and highly respect. They’re none other than the amazing guys from Be Better Guys.
First, you must have the following items on hand : A sharp razor, Shaving cream or soap, Warm water and A steady hand.
The razor. You’ll choose based upon looks and sex appeal (think of the great commercials!), but it’s the performance that matters. Different beards and skin types will do better with different blade configurations. It you have a light beard or sensitive skin, too many sharp things scraping you skin isn’t a good idea, so a twin blade might be just fine. If you’re as hairy as a bear, you need all the cutting surfaces you can get.
- Buy a razor with disposable blades. No need to waste all that plastic on new handles each time with disposable razors. The type of blades you want to use will determine the handle.
- Keep your razor clean. Rinse it frequently while you’re shaving, clean it well when you’re done. Ritual grooming products has a Razor Rinse that disinfects the blade to reduce razor bumps and burns.
- Change your blades often. The average cartridge is good for 4, maybe 5 shaves. Beyond that, you’re asking for a blood bath, since dull blades cause drag, which cause nicks and cuts.
- Use a pre-shave oil. A dab of oil rubbed into your beard prior to applying the shave cream will blunt the impact of the blade on your skin, making for an easier shave. Try Anthony Sport, which is affordable and made by a well-known player in the men’s grooming field.
Multi-blade razor: Multiple blades (3 or more) provide as close a shave as most guys want or need. You know the drill: each blade cuts your beard progressively closer until you have a face as smooth as a baby’s butt, or something like that. The Gillette Fusion’s five-blade system offers what many guys consider to be the best shave for the money. (Which is good, considering the cost)
Safety Razor: A back-to-the-future choice. Safety razors offer the closest shave short of a straight razor. Using one takes some practice, but the shave is fantastic and in the long run the old-school razor blades are cheaper than cartridges (try $5.00 for 10 as opposed to $28 for 8 cartridges). Merkur, one of the only safety razor manufactures left, makes a nice product. Try one of the adjustable razors to control the closeness of your shave.
Next, the shaving cream/soap. The cream or soap should soften your beard and make it easier for the razor to its job. You want something that doesn’t dry out your skin while setting the beard up for slaughter.
- No more aerosols. I know you have fond memories of the can of Edge or Barbarsol that was in your “welcome to college” kit, but that time’s past. There’s not much other than gas and some fragrance in the can. Advertising aside, you want a cream or soap, not foam from a can.
- Moisturizers are a good thing. It’s the “m” word that makes guys cringe, but you want a shave cream or soap that has oils and moisturizers, like shea butter, olive oil, maca nut oil, silicone, or glycerin to help the razor glide over your face with minimal drag while softening up the beard.
- Wetter is better. You want to get as much water on your face as possible to soften the beard. Basically the shave cream’s job is to make the water wetter.
- Use a brush. Many of the popular shave creams tout themselves to be brushless, but a good shaving brush helps saturate the hair and lifts it to get it ready for the reaper. Badger hair is considered the best.
Lab Series Maximum Comfort Shave Cream. After the initial surprise of having your face feel all icy-hot, the stuff really smooths the glide of the razor and giving a slicker shave than anything else we’ve tried. Comes in a 3.4 oz. tube or 8 oz. jar and lasts.
Sharp’s Kid Glove Shave Gel. The first thing you notice about the Sharps is that it’s Shrek-green. The second is that it’s really slick. The green comes from the botanicals (aloe leaf extract, rosemary leaf extract, algae extract) used to heal the face while shaving. The slick is glycerin, a non-oil based lubricant that helps the blade glide along your face. In 3.4 oz. tubes.
Art of Shaving Sandalwood Shave Cream. The sandalwood helps with my occasional battle with razor bumps and the glycerin and coconut oil reduce the road rash that shaving can give. The razor didn’t get clogged from the shaving cream and my face was as soft as I can ever remember after a shave. In 3.4 oz. tube.
Steps to a Great Shave
- Shave after you shower. Post-sleep puffiness causes a spotty and accident-plagued morning shave. A good face wash and scrub gets your face off to a great start. It’ll also soften your beard in advance.
- Use warm to hot water for your shave. Keeps the blade clean and your beard soft.
- Apply pre-shave oil to your face prior to the shave cream.
- Apply shave cream/soap with a brush to get the best application. Use a dollop (around the size of a quarter) and add more water as necessary to get full coverage.
- Shave with the grain of your beard – in the direction of the hair growth – to minimize razor bumps and burn. Then shave across the grain for a closer shave. Never against the grain.
- Clean the razor after every stroke. A clogged razor leads to nicks and cuts.
- Go slow, especially at the neck and jaw line. You may need a second pass to ensure you did a good job.
- Rinse your face in cool water to close pores and cool your mug. It just had a rough time.
- Take care of any nicks and cuts with a styptic pencil or post-shave balm. Don’t anything with alcohol in it.
- Use a face lotion with SPF 15 or above. You can get quality ones as cheap as $8 at the drugstore.
Thanks to Be Better Guys for this elaborate and very helpful shaving tips.
(Image : Newscom)