Did you know the average guy spends about 3,000 hours of his life shaving? That’s over four months. (Crazy, right?) If we’re going to spend that much time shaving, it’s worth making sure we do it right. So we thought it might be useful to organize some tips on how to shave your face.
Shave clean, warm skin.
The skin on your face should be clean and exfoliated before you start shaving. Not only does this help you get a closer shave, it reduces your chances of getting nicked or cut. It also helps prevent ingrown hairs and razor burn.
Shaving right after you shower can be an efficient way to do this. A hot shower will also open up your pores, which softens your beard hairs and makes them easier to cut through.
But if you’re not shaving right after a hot shower, you can open up your pores by patting your face with a hot, damp towel instead.
How to Shave Your Face with a Manual Razor
When you’re getting ready to shave, always ensure you have clean, sharp blades. Dull blades cause a lot of friction, snagging your face as you drag your razor along. Not good.
So you want to swap out your blades on a regular basis. The frequency can vary, but a general rule of thumb is to only use a blade cartridge or disposable razor for up to five shaves. If yours is older than that, you should discard it and start with a new one.
Next step, lather up with some shave cream or gel. Which one you choose is a matter of personal preference, but we’d never recommend dry shaving—doing so invites painful nicks, cuts, and/or razor burn. Once your face is prepared, choose your starting point and shave one stroke in the direction that your hair grows in.
You always want to try to shave with the grain (direction of growth) of your hair. Shaving against the grain can lead to irritation and ingrown hairs. A lot of us have facial hair growing every which way. If your face fits that description, then you should identify the direction a majority of your hairs grow in, and pull your razor in that direction.
After each stroke, you’ll want to rinse your razor. This keeps friction to a minimum by ensuring your blades are clean. A quick rinse will make each stroke more effective and far more comfortable.
And you should always be careful not to push down too hard with your razor. Pushing into your skin can cause irritation and may even result in cutting yourself. Since you’re using sharp blades, you don’t need to use excess force. Your razor should glide smoothly without putting any extra effort in.
Shaving Your Face with an Electric Shaver
Some of your steps will be a little bit different if you’re shaving with an electric shaver. For starters, you may not have a unit that can shave wet skin—in which case you should thoroughly dry your skin if you’re shaving after a shower. But there are electric shavers that can do both wet and dry.
Another consideration is where you choose a linear razor or a rotary blade razor. If you go the linear route, you’ll still go up and down, using strokes similar to what you do with a manual razor.
A rotary shaver usually has three round, rotating heads. You put the heads to your skin and move the unit around in a circular motion (either clockwise or counterclockwise works). And you can overlap your strokes to get complete coverage.
Similar to manual razors, you don’t want to press down too hard with electric shavers either. So lighten your grip and let the razor do most of the work.
If you’re using a unit that’s good for wet shaving, then you can lather up with shave cream. But make sure to rinse your razor every few circles or so. The blades can get clogged with hair and cream if you don’t.
Shaving is about removing the hair on your face, or at least cleaning it up. But your routine doesn’t stop there. What you put on your face after shaving is an important step you don’t want to skip.
The act of running a razor across your skin actually dehydrates your face. That’s why shaving can lead to redness, irritation, skin flakes, and pesky little bumps from ingrown hairs.
To avoid this, we should stay away from alcohol-based aftershave formulas that can dehydrate your face further—which actually contributes to things like razor burn. You’ll instead want a quality post-shave balm or some type of moisturizer that hydrates your face.
You’re ready to start shaving.
Whether you’re new to shaving or just looking for some extra guidance, we hope you find these tips useful. So, now that you know how to shave your face, you’re all set for a better shave.