January 18th 2012

Men: How to get the perfect shave

Ever sit down in the barber’s chair, and wish that you could give yourself a shave just like that at home? Well, stop wishing.

The truth is, it’s really simple to get a barbershop-quality shave each morning by yourself.

Here are the ways — along with some tips — to make sure you get that great shave.

First: Prep.

The most important step in a great shave is the prep work. And often it’s overlooked. Good prep work will cleanse the skin, have the pores open and ready, and soften the skin for the best shave.

Because a hot shower naturally does some of these steps, it’s best to shave right after. This will soften the hairs and open the pores. If you don’t have time, use a hot towel instead.

Next, look forĀ  good, high quality shave cream. Ones with glycerine are ideal, and stay away from any that might include menthol, which can actually constrict and close your pores and cause the hair to become stiff. If you have very sensitive skin or coarse hair, use a pre-shave oil for some extra softening.

To apply the shave cream, use a shaving brush, moving it in a circular motion. This will exfoliate the skin for the cleanest and most protected shave, and produce a better lather.

Next: Shave

Once you’re prepped, you’re ready to shave. To avoid the chances of ingrown hairs or razor burn, be sure that you have prepped properly and are using a good quality, new blade. Three blade razors that are used a total of about 3 to 5 times (depending on your hair) are the best choice.

With a free hand, hold the skin area that is about to be shaved nice and taut. Glide the razor over your face gently. Don’t apply pressure, and shave with the grain. Rinse the blade often, generally after one or two strokes. If you need a closer shave, you can re-lather and shave against the grain.

Finally: Finish

If you nick yourself while shaving, apply a moist alum block to control and stop the bleeding. Then, close the pores with a rinse of cool water, and use a soft cloth to gently pat the face dry. Apply a good aftershave balm, and make sure it doesn’t have alcohol, which will dry the skin.

Other Tips

If you’re strapped for time but do need a shower, you can shave right at the end, while still in the shower.

Pre-shave oils can be used even if you don’t have coarse hair or sensitive skin. When you apply any sort of oil or cream, make sure you leave it on for a few moments to plump up the hair and open those pores.

Before you shave, consider using a face scrub. This will help open the pores and get the hair and stubs ready for a closer shave. It also removes any form of dead cells and impurities that can lead to ingrown hairs, and acne. It also freshens your face and makes your skin feel great.

Anything that tingles, stings, or numbs your skin after shaving is not ideal. Just because it hurts doesn’t mean it is good. Earlier we mentioned to avoid alcohol, but even peppermint, citrus, or other strong herbs and scents can irritate the skin.

Be sure to sooth your skin after. Skipping step number three is not key!

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Andrew's Biography

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Andrew loves art and design, and pursues his studies in his final year at the Ontario College of Art and Design. He loves seeking out new artists and giving them their dues, and in his spare time, focuses on his own abstract sculpture.