Shaving’s simple, right? Just lather up and hope for the best? Not so for many guys.
From cuts to razor burn and ingrown hairs; the morning routine is often more grate than great. But it needn’t be a nightmare.
We’ve had a chat with the experts over at new British grooming brand, grüum, and they’ve pointed out the 7 most common shaving faux pas, and what you can do to avoid them…
1) You’re not preparing your face properly
“Shaving works best when you have clean skin and open pores, so wash your face beforehand with a mild cleanser and hot water. We’ve designed our kóri face wash with gentle exfoliating beads to remove any dead skin cells, and bring any ingrown hairs out of hiding.
Steam is your friend here, so we’d recommend shaving right after a hot shower.
Be generous with your shave gel, and if you have a bit of time, let the product sit for a couple of minutes to really soften the hairs before you begin.”
2) You’re applying too much pressure
“It might sound obvious, but razors are sharp, and facial skin is sensitive; this, of course, can lead to problems.
It’s quite a common misconception that the harder you press the closer the shave, but providing you’re using a good quality razor with sharp blades (more on that later) you’d be surprised at how light you can go.
You’ll want to keep any friction to a minimum to ensure you get a smooth shave, so go easy on the pressure and use short, light strokes.”
3) You’re not mapping out your face
“Ok, so this is where it gets a little more complicated…You’ve probably heard of shaving “with the grain” (the direction your hair naturally grows) but did you know that the grain is usually different on different parts of your face?
Take some time to run your fingers across different sections of your facial hair in all directions. The direction that feels the most resistant or prickly is “against the grain”. You’ll want to shave in the opposite direction, following the path of least resistance. The good news is your grain doesn’t tend to change, so once you’ve sussed it out it’s just a case of remembering for future shaves.”
4) You aren’t changing your blades often enough
“If you use a blunt razor you’re just setting yourself up for failure. It might sound super obvious, but it’s surprising how many guys aren’t keeping their blades in check. Imagine cutting a tomato with a blunt knife: instead of a clean slice you end up with torn skin and a lot of mess. The same goes for shaving with a blunt razor; your hairs are tugged and torn which leads to irritation.
We’d recommend that frequent shavers change their blades weekly. We know that going out and buying razor blades isn’t exactly on the top of everyone’s list of priorities, especially when they’re so expensive. That’s one of the reasons we created our subscription service; so you can get fresh blades delivered to your door when you need them, without breaking the bank.”
5) You’re using too many blades
“Technically speaking, a greater number of blades should give you a closer shave, but that doesn’t mean this is the best option for everyone, especially for guys with sensitive skin. If you find that your skin is often irritated after using a 5-blade razor, you might find you have a better experience using a 3-blade instead.”
6) You keep going over the same area
“Nobody wants a patchy face, so we all tend to go over an area more than once if we feel like things look uneven. This is fine, the problem is that most people don’t re-apply their shave gel to these areas, so you end up pretty much dry shaving with nothing to protect the skin. It can seem like a bit of a chore at first, but if you do need to go over an area please try and remember to re-apply your gel. Trust us, your skin will thank you!”
7) You’re neglecting the post-shave
“If you’re guilty of the classic shave and dash, you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot no matter how good your shave. You’ve just finished scraping a sharp blade across your face, it’s only natural that your skin is going to need a bit of TLC.
You probably know you should be moisturising after your shave, but we’d always recommend using a post-shave tonic as well. Tonic helps to soothe and tighten the skin, as well as killing any bacteria that can lead to irritation. Natural ingredients are always kinder, so we’ve loaded our gösta tonic with chamomile, rosemary oil, aloe vera, and witch hazel.”
grüum is a new male grooming brand that’s on a mission to help men look better, for less. They create original shave, beard and skin care products and deliver them direct to your door. Their simple Scandi-inspired, British-blended range offers refreshingly good value; it’s face care for men, without all the fuss. Fancy giving it a try? Take their quick 3-step survey and they’ll recommend a grooming kit that’s a perfect fit for you.
Words: Andy Shaw