In case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past 5 years, the latest trend in men’s grooming is not the mohawk….or 5 o’clock shadow! It’s a manicured face. Yeah, I said it; a manicured face. From a thin-line mustache, to a full beard men have collectively decided that facial hair is something to be explored in various forms. And gentlemen, while it can look good with your every day casual ensemble, it also plays well dressed up. However, before we get to the finished product, let’s examine what it takes to get a proper shave.
Before you even consider putting a blade to your face, you have to start with a clean face! This is not to be underestimated. Once your face is good, and clean, make sure your face is wet. If you were getting this done by a barber he’d most likely apply a hot towel to your face and let it sit and steam for a minute or two. This helps prepare the face by softening the skin and opening the pores, which makes for a closer shave. The next step is to massage your face with shave oil. This is important to help combat ingrown hairs which plague many men quick to throw their hands up and say, “I can’t shave with a straight razor.”
2. Game Time
Once your face is ready you can go ahead and apply your shaving cream. Some prefer shaving foam as opposed to cream, and if you were alive before WWII you might use shaving soap. Some say there are pro’s and con’s to each, so it truly is a matter of personal preference. We prefer cream…so there. But don’t apply shaving cream to your face. Instead, apply it to your shaving brush. The brush, which should only be made of badger hair (this is not up for debate) will help not only by applying the cream generously to your face, but it agitates the skin in the process, which helps raise the hairs on your face and adds to a smooth shave. Make sure to wet your razor before you put it to your face and begin at the highest point on your face and shave with the grain of your facial hair – which in most cases grows downward using short, smooth strokes. Make sure to rinse your blade regularly as you shave so you don’t clog the razor and use your had to stretch the skin on your face to give your razor a smooth surface. Once you’ve shaved your entire face, apply the cream again via your brush. Now, using the same technique, shave against the grain starting from the lowest point. We’ll call it your neck….you probably do too.
3. You’re Not Finished Yet
Once you’re done with the shave, spot check by running your fingers across your face in different directions. You’ll be able to feel whether there are any spots that need another go. If you’re pleased with your shave, great! But that’s not all folks. At this point, you’ll want to apply an after-shave balm to your face. This, too, helps combat ingrown hairs and bumpy-neck syndrome. Make sure to rinse your razor well, clean up behind yourself, and take a quick pause. The world is waiting.