Most men view shaving as a necessary evil. It’s something they do out of necessity or habit, rather than enjoyment. But have you ever considered that your disdain for shaving could be rooted in the fact that you don’t know how to properly shave?
The truth is that most men aren’t good at shaving. They’ve used the same bad habits for years and have never taken the time to correct what they’re doing wrong. By proactively addressing these errors, it’s possible to transform shaving from a painful and time-consuming task into a pleasurable experience of luxurious self-care.
To better understand how to shave, let’s help you address seven common mistakes that you and your peers commonly make:
Mistake #1: Not Shaving Before You Shave
If your beard is beyond the stubble phase, trying to shave with a razor is like using a rake in tall grass. It’s going to pull, catch, and tug – causing a lot of pain and discomfort.
“So, before you start anything, buzz off your beard with an electric razor until you essentially have a five o’clock shadow,” Jeremy Glass writes for HuffPost. “It will dramatically decrease that uncomfortable ‘tug and pull’ feeling you can from shaving and lead to a way cleaner shave.”
Mistake #2: Using the Wrong Razor
When it’s time to pull out a razor and clean up the bristle that your electric razor leaves behind, what kind are you using? If it’s a five-blade variety, you aren’t doing your skin any favors.
Five-blade razors look cool, but they’re totally unnecessary. If anything, they make you more susceptible to razor burn and discomfort. You’re far better off using a quality safety razor from a company like Shave.net.
Mistake #3: Using a Dull Blade
Dull blades are a nightmare. A safety razor only works if you’re using a sharp blade, so make sure you care for your blades and replace them when they wear down. A sharp blade slices straight through stray hairs without dragging or cutting. (The great thing about using a safety razor is that blades can be purchased for pennies!)
Mistake #4: Shaving Before Showering
Everyone has a unique morning routine. Some people like to shave before showering so that they can wipe away the mess more easily. However, it’s much better to flip the order and shower first. The steam from a hot shower has a way of softening the hair and opening your skin pores. This leads to a closer, less irritable shave.
Mistake #5: No Shaving Prep
It’s not enough to shower beforehand. If that’s the extent of your pre-shaving routine, you’re not going to get a perfect shave. You also need to consider how you’re applying shaving cream.
Rather than squirting some cream into your hands and applying it with your fingertips, try using a shaving brush. Working the shaving cream into your face in a circular motion will stimulate the hairs and ultimately lead to a superior shave.
Mistake #6: Shaving Against the Grain
“Technique is of course paramount, but the direction in which you shave can also harm your skin,” Gentleman’s Journal explains. “Unless you boast the rugged jaw of a steely cowboy, shaving against the direction of hair growth can severely irritate your skin, particularly in the neck area.”
Inspect your facial hair and learn to identify the grain pattern. Everyone is different, but most men find that hair grows downward in the mustache and chin region and upward on the throat and neck.
Mistake #7: Failure to Apply After-Shave Product
Even with the proper preparation, razor selection, and technique, shaving can be irritating to the skin. To prevent this minor irritation from becoming red, itchy, and painful, apply an after-shave product.
Not all after-shave products are created equal, though. Using something with alcohol or menthol is a bad idea. It dries up the skin and exacerbates irritation. Go with a product that uses natural ingredients to soothe and moisturize.
Get a Better Shave Every Time
A good shave should be clean, comfortable, and pain-free. If you’re not getting a close, irritation-free shave every single time, you’re doing something wrong. Review the mistakes outlined in this article and correct your bad habits so that you can find more joy in the process of shaving!