The Ultimate Shaving Guide: 10 tips for the perfect shave

May 27, 2014, 08:29 IST | Hassan M Kamal

You've crossed 16, and shaving has become a necessity. Especially, since you wouldn't want to set out on a date or into that important boardroom meeting with a nasty cut or razor burns bleeding the life out of your optimism. Help is at hand with our guide to get a grip on your shaving skills

1. Always exfoliate your skin before shaving
Before you start, use a good-quality exfoliator on your skin, and rinse. This helps remove all dead skin cells and leaves you with a smoother base.

2. Use warm water or a hot, wet towel to open pores
Ideally, you should always bathe before shave. But if you are in a hurry, splash warm water on to your face, or even better, place a hot wet towel on your skin for a minute. This will relax the pores and soften the hair, making it easier to shave off.

3. Scared of razor burns? Try pre-shave oils
Though their usefulness is still debated by some, a pre-shave oil adds an extra layer of protection to the skin. It moisturises the skin and saves you off the nightmarish razor burns. Ideally, opt for a thin pre-shave oil, as thicker oils may clog the razor blades.

4. Apply a good-quality shaving cream to ready the skin
Shaving creams moisturise and lubricate the skin and hair, and prevents chafing that might otherwise be caused by dragging a razor over your skin. Always apply shaving cream to your skin in small, circular motions. Using a shaving brush in this manner helps lift the hair, making it easier to be removed during your shave.

5. Always, use good-quality, safety razors
Always go for a good-quality safety razor with sharp blades, as blunt edges can cause rashes. Single-blade safety razors are believed to give a closer shave than those with multiple blades. Though, here there are more chances of getting cuts, Be wise while you choose your razor.

6. It’s always the cheek that comes first
Start with your cheek area, and move down towards your chin, following the direction of the hair growth. Hold the skin taut in the opposite direction of the razor and use short, firm strokes. Wash the razor off after every few strokes. Leaving the chin for later, smoothens up the hair in that area giving you an easier shave. Shave difficult areas like under the nose and lips, later. For the upper lip area, curl your top lip under your teeth; for the area below the lower lip, curl the lower lip under your teeth.

7. Follow the direction of growth
Take your time, but follow the direction of growth of your facial hair. Going against the grain can lead to in-growing hair and rash. So, unless you’re okay with itchy in-growns, don’t go against the growth.

8. Check and rinse
Rinse off any excess cream and make sure you haven’t missed any stray hairs. In particular, check the jaw line, around ears, nostrils and lips. Go back with the cream and razor to shave any parts that you might have missed. For a really close shave repeat the process, from the start.

9. Choose a suitable after-shave lotion
When done, rinse your face with cold water. Dab the extra water using a towel. Don’t rub it on the skin. Later on, use a good aftershave lotion. It helps close pores and reduces redness, razor burns and stinging. However, choose an after-shave that suits your skin. Ideally those with sensitive skin should opt for lotions with lower alcohol content.

10. Put the moisture back
Shaving strips the skin of essential oils, so after the balm, use a good quality moisturiser. This will replenish the moisture and keep your skin supple and youthful.

Shaving essentials

Whether you are a top company official, a middle manager or a fresher trying to make his way up the corporate ladder, every man must have these items in his shaving kit:

Exfoliator: It helps remove the dead cells from the skin and smoothens up the skin

Pre-shave oil: Adds an extra layer of protection to the skin

Shaving cream/soap: A good lather is essential for a smooth shave

Shaving brush: The best shaving brushes are those made of badger hair. It helps work a good lather, without causing rashes. So, don’t be a miser and spend on a good quality badger brush

Safety razor: If are one of those who can’t be trusted with any sharp objects go for the multiple blade razors, or

Aftershave lotion: It helps disinfect your skin and close the pores after shave, it also saves you of rashes and razor burns

Skin moisturiser: Brings the moisture back to the skin where it belonged

Tweezers/nose hair trimmer: If you don't want people to stare at the hair protuding out of your nostrils

Clean towel: Do we really have to explain this?

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