The extent of my qualifications on proper shaving process is as follows; firstly I’m a 40 yr old male, on the basis that I started shaving circa 15 years of age and given a rough 4 shaves/per week average, my math has me around the 5000 shave mark.
In that time I can count the number of carvings on one hand, which tells me I have a modicum of skill or at least learnt quickly from my mistakes.
I am also lazy bordering upon slovenly by nature so have tried all manner of shaving implements and lubricants out of necessity rather than any real spirit of experimentation. And finally I have spent the last year studying such things in preparation for launching my own shave cream, so what I didn’t know I have recently read and am more than willing to plagiarize in the name of art.
I need to declare that I have had a number of cut-throat shaves, but do not own a cut-throat razor of my own. The cut-throat is simply the best shave by a street, if you have not thus far invested in one, do so in the near future you will not regret it.
Equally I have used cheap disposable blades and in times of necessity electric razors, they all have their place. However what I am about to set out are some basics for your standard Monday morning, ‘kick the week off the way you intend to carry on’ shave, preferably using a nice new top of the line razor with multi blade head, tip-tronic gears and GPS steering.
My basic premise is that shaving is a skill, one passed down from generation to generation and as such a thing of true value, like a good piece of advice. Part ritual, part preparation, all man time, so here we go.
1) Firstly do yourself a favour and start by cleaning your face. Clean the surface of the skin with either a Face Scrub or Cleanser - avoid using soaps as they will dry out your skin, instead use something that is designed for the job.
Cleaning properly removes dead skin cells and oily deposits that sit beneath the hair follicles, by removing them you expose the full length of hair and smooth out the surface of the skin in preparation for the shave.
2) Calm the face and soften hair follicles by applying a warm cloth or towel to the face. Heat opens pores, relaxes the face and softens the hair.
3) Using a shave brush and a small amount of shave product (My preference is always a natural old style shave cream, something that makes a thin slick but healthy lather) create a bold lather on the area you will shave.
4) Using a fresh razor shave clean in long smooth strokes being careful to pull with the natural grain of your hair follicles.
5) Rinse clean and dry.
6) Protect using a good Moisturiser or post Shave lotion, watch out for menthols or alcohol based products especially if you have sensitive skin as these are irritants, if it has to sting a good question to ask is why? Go for smooth hydrating products that make your skin feel fresh and soft, the day will harden them soon enough.
7) Attack the day with vigour and don’t forget to lead with your chin.
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