According to the book One Thousand Beards by Allan Peterkin, the average man will have spent 2,965 hours of his life shaving by the time he reaches 80. Here are some pro tips from Safwan Halabi, barber at men’s grooming lounge 1847, to get it right every time.
1. Prepare your skin
First, soften up your skin and hair by showering before you shave, and/or use a pre-shave oil to open the pores for a smoother and deeper shave. You should never shave cold or apply shaving products to a dry face as this causes razor burn and shaving rash.
2. Cream up
Use a shaving cream that has a high concentration of lubricants and moisturisers as this will help the razor glide gently across the hairs without snagging the skin. Avoid shaving soaps and canned aerosol creams, which foam excessively and make it harder for the razor to get close to the skin.
3. Invest in quality tools
A good quality shaving brush assists in raising hair from the follicle so that a closer cut is possible. It will also help to remove dead skin cells, which reduces the chances of blemishes and in-grown hairs. Always look for a brush with bristles that strikes the right balance between softness and firmness, as this will ultimately create a rich creamy lather that stays close to the skin.
4. Check your blades
Do not skimp on quality, sharp razor blades. When shaving, you’re not just cutting the hair but you’re also scraping off up to two layers of surface skin. Dull blades can therefore lead to nicks and irritation.
5. Use good technique
Shave with light, gentle strokes in the direction of the beard growth. Start with the sides, chin then your upper lip. Shaving your upper lip and around your mouth at the end of your shave will give the shaving cream more time to soak in, further softening your facial hair and making it easier to cut.
6. Protect your face and neck
After shaving rinse your skin with warm water and use a facial wash if required. Rinse again with cool water and pat dry (don’t rub) with a clean towel. Always use a moisturiser or after-shave balm such as the The Art of Shaving Post-Shave Balm, which is designed to replace lost moisture, soothe and refresh the skin.
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