Shave Like a Girl

woman shavingHave you ever noticed when women shave it’s either in the bath tub or shower? Convenience? Privacy? Maybe.

But the truth is actually this: women know that the hot water and steam in the shower helps soften up hair before scraping the razor over their body, leaving their skin smooth and soft.

I get asked a lot about shaving. Guys typically want to know how to get a closer shave and avoid irritation or “razor burn”, ingrown hairs and other annoying and sometimes painful shaving mishaps.

Here are some tips that will help:

Before you start: The first thing you’ll want to do is go to a big home improvement store and buy a small mirror with suction cups on the back. You can get one for ten bucks (a “fogless” one is a little more). If your mirror fogs up, use a little soap on your fingers, wipe it across the mirror and splash it with water – you’re good to go.

While you’re out shopping pick up some 100% Aloe gel. I get the clear stuff but the green works just as well. You can find that in your local drugstore in the skincare aisle. You should also pick out a new razor or at least new blades. Whether you are using a classic straight razor, multi blade system or an old double edge, make sure the blade is sharp. A. Sharp. Blade. Is. Really. Important.

Get some good quality shave cream or a mild bar soap (I prefer an aloe based soap because it’s pretty much scentless). It doesn’t matter if you use my personal favorite mug and brush or shave cream and, yes, even a mild bar soap – the purpose of the lather is to soften the beard. If you’re on a tight budget, spend what you can on a good razor and use the mild bar soap.

Hit the shower: after your shower routine, get ready to shave by squeezing a dollop of aloe about the size of a quarter into your hand and work it into your beard. This will help lubricate the skin. Look in the mirror and notice the direction the grain of your beard is growing. You’re going to shave with the grain. Always. If the whiskers are growing down shave in that direction. If they grow up, like on the neck, shave up. Got it?

The right way to shave: OK, now apply the lather and massage it into your face to get the beard soft. As you pull the razor, stretch your skin opposite the way the beard is growing. So if the whiskers are growing down on your cheeks, pull the skin up. This will help make the whiskers stand up and you’ll get a closer shave. As you shave, use your fingers to feel your face. man shaving and grimacingIf you still aren’t satisfied with the closeness of the shave, you can shave across the grain of the beard for a little closer cut.

But remember this: to avoid razor burn never shave directly against the natural direction of your whiskers. This is the #1 mistake I see.

Finish up: Once you’re satisfied with the shave and are out of the shower, pat your face dry. Pat, don’t rub. Then slather your face with more aloe gel, leaving it to dry.

Follow these simple tips and you’ll notice that your face is more comfortable, your shaves will be closer and you’ll have fewer irritations – at least from shaving.

Comments or questions?