What was once considered to be low maintenance and scruffy, today’s beard is anything but. Stylish and sophisticated – sporting a beard never looked so good.We've watched the humble beard slowly make its comeback over the last few years. Facial fuzz is no longer seen as a low maintenance grooming routine; it’s become the ultimate style accessory and form of self-expression. Whether you’re sporting a few whiskers, a full beard or stubble, facial hair requires a certain level of maintenance and skill, and it’s essential to know how to shave properly. Here we list our top shaving tips to help keep your beard in shape.
Prep, Prep and more PrepOne of the most important and often overlooked steps is prepping the skin before you shave. Not only will this ensure a near perfect shave, it will also cause less friction between the blade and the skin, preventing razor burn, bumps and ingrown hairs. Start by taking a hot shower. If you're short on time, wrap your face in a warm, moist towel. The heat and moisture will open your pores and soften your beard hair, making shaving a lot easier. Next, get rid of oil, sweat and dead skin cells by cleansing the skin with a face wash; this will also aid in lifting and softening the stubble for a more comfortable shave. Lastly, apply a pre-shaving oil or beard balm. This will add a layer of moisture to your skin and allow the razor to glide over it, creating a better – and not to mention closer – shave.
Lather upWhen it comes to shaving, it’s best not to rush the process. Lathering a pre-shaving product may seem tedious but your face will thank you for it. Massaging your shaving cream or gel into the skin will lubricate the face, soften and lift the hairs and enable the blade to cut more easily – resulting in a comfortable shave.
Invest in the bestA bar of soap and disposable razor blades are more affordable than a good razor and shaving cream but are much more likely to result in nicks and redness. It’s best to invest in quality products for your grooming routine. A creamy and luxurious shaving cream will give your face extra moisture that will help your razor glide easily. It will also have ingredients that protect your skin and help with the healing process after you’re done (in conjunction with a good aftershave). When it comes to razors, look for those that provide a smooth, precise shave with minimal fuss. A three-blade razor is perfect for a close shave while razors with two blades are ideal for guys with sensitive skin or those prone to ingrown hairs.
Right DirectionA proper shave uses short, light strokes. Don't drag the blade from your ear to the base of your neck. Stick to 3 to 6cm strokes at most, and make sure to rinse off the blade between each stroke. As for the direction, always shave with the grain (the direction in which the hairs grow) – from the cheeks to the mouth and from the chin to the neck. When it comes to those pesky areas such as your jaw and lip, puff out your cheeks to give you more surface area to work with.
Sharpen Your Shaving SkillsA common mistake men often make is using an old blade to shave. Because the razor is not sharp enough it can’t cut the hairs properly, making the skin more susceptible to cuts, not to mention razor burn and ingrown hairs.
Don’t Forget About Your NeckThe neck can be a particularly troublesome area to shave, so leave it until last. Given that it's a more sensitive area than the rest of your face, the extra time will allow the shaving cream to soften the hair. Applying the short-stroke technique to this area is most important; resist all urges to shave in large strokes. Shave from the bottom of your neck upwards. This will help prevent razor burn and ingrown hairs. When shaving under your chin, pull the razor from your throat area up towards your chin.
Go for ColdAfter a close shave your face is vulnerable; the pores are wide open and susceptible to clogging if not properly closed. Immediately after your shave rinse your face with cold water – this will close your pores and help prevent ingrown hairs and redness. It will also stop any dirt from getting in there. Be gentle and pat your face dry with a clean towel rather than wiping it.
Super SootheNo matter how amazing your shaving technique, there is bound to be some irritation. To relieve your skin, finish off your shave with a post-shave balm or aftershave that will soothe your skin. Avoid products with alcohol as they can dry out the skin. Rather opt for a good conditioning aftershave which will gently reintroduce moisture to your skin and calm down any irritation.
Finish With A Fragrance
Complete your grooming routine with several spritzes of a refreshing EDT. Avoid spraying directly onto freshly-shaven areas – the alcohol in the scent is likely to sting sensitive post-shave skin. Stick to the spots behind your ears and on the inside of your wrists instead.
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