Copyright 2012-2013 Rooks Barbershop - All Rights Reserved
Grooming Tip # 127 - Shaving
Below are the three steps you need to produce a good, clean shave at home:
This step is the most important and overlooked part of the shaving process. A good prep opens the pores and cleanses and softens the skin. To prepare the skin for a smooth shave, always shave after or at the end of a hot shower. This will soften the beard and open the pores. A hot towel (as hot as you can tolerate) and splash of water can also be used if you're not planning on showering.
Always use a high quality shave cream (look for those that are glycerine based) and stay away from products that contain menthol, which can close your pores and stiffen your beard. For those with especially tough beards or sensitive skin, a pre shave oil (olive oil may be used if you're on a tight budget) may be applied to further soften the beard and reduce razor drag. When applying the shave cream, use a badger shaving brush to apply the cream in a circular motion. This action will help produce a better lather, lift the whiskers, and gently exfoliate the skin.
Two of the leading causes of ingrown hairs and razor burn are poor lubrication and dull blades. Step one provides tips for proper lubrication, but a good blade is also essential to a close, comfortable shave. I recommend using a three blade razor such as the Gillette Mach3 . Make sure to always use a sharp blade.
With your free hand, hold the area of skin to be shaved taut and glide the razor gently over your face. Avoid applying pressure, rinse your blade often, and shave WITH the grain. If you require a closer shave, re-lather and shave lightly against the grain. If you nick yourself, apply a moist alum block or styptic pencil to stop bleeding.
After shaving, always close the pores with a rinse of cool water. Gently pat the face dry with a soft cloth and apply a good aftershave balm. I don't recommend using products that contain alcohol, as they can cause unnecessary drying of the skin. The right aftershave balm will help promote quicker healing and moisturize the skin.