Basic shaving is not complex in nature. For some men, shaving is as simple as picking up a razor and letting the blades run through their face until they see no signs of unwanted facial hair. However, professional razors know better than randomly picking a razor. For them, shaving is a mix of art and science. Instead of settling for ordinary shaving routines, they spent years building a strong shaving ritual that allows them to get the closest shave possible because for them, getting the perfect and the most comfortable shave is not a privilege; it is a necessity.

For the ultimate shaving experience, below are some of the top shaving tips every man should know, along with the tools and items that a respectable gentleman keeps in his grooming closet:

What to do Before Shaving: Shave Prep

A lot of inexperienced shavers commit the mistake of rushing through their shaving routines, which in turn negatively affects their skin. Nonetheless, a true gentleman knows that a proper shave requires ample time and effort. Instead of picking up a razor without giving it a second thought, he preps his skin so he won’t adversely affect his face.

When prepping the skin and the facial hair, below are some of the steps that men should include in their daily shaving routine:

  • First, splash warm water on the face: Experts suggest men to shave their facial hair right after shower to open the skin’s pores. As an alternative, men can also reach out for a soft cloth and submerge it into warm water to prep the skin. Men can also simply splash warm water on their face if they do not have a moisturized towel.
  • Apply a Pre-Shave Oil: Pre-shave oil is essential in setting the skin and the hair follicles for a perfect shave. In addition, it is efficient in protecting the skin from razor burns and other after-shave skin conditions. When selecting pre-shave oil, experts suggest looking for organic pre-shave oils that have a thinner consistency since thick oils can potentially clog the razor.

In terms of application, men usually massage the pre-shave oil into the hair follicles and the skin right after washing the face with warm water. The goal here is to scatter the oil on the facial area until the coverage becomes thinner. Then, shavers must allow the oil to sit on the facial area for about 1 minute before cream application.

  • Apply a Shaving Cream: Applying shaving cream or gel is crucial after pre-shave oil application since it softens hair follicles and preps the skin for the upcoming shave. When shopping for a shaving cream, men must greatly consider their skin type since shaving creams contain different ingredients. For instance, men with sensitive skin should look for a shaving cream that contains the mildest ingredients.

Shaving cream application is simple. Men just need to generously apply a shaving cream on the facial area. Then, the cream must sit on the area for about 2 or 3 minutes. The longer the cream stays on the area, the higher the chances are in achieving a one-pass shave. While waiting, men can brush and style their hair or finish their other grooming rituals so they can save time.

  • Use a Brush to Lather the Cream: While men can use their fingers to lather the cream, it is still highly recommended to use a badger brush since it is efficient in pushing the cream towards hard-to-reach areas. Also, a badger brush facilitates full beard cream coating since it lifts individual hair follicles. Once the skin and the beard are all set, men can proceed to shaving their unwanted facial hair.

What to do During Shaving

While seasoned shavers have already gained the expertise to use a straight razor, inexperienced shavers usually start with cheap and disposable razors since they are more user-friendly. However, just like wine, shaving techniques can also grow better with age. As men continuously search for new shaving items and explore on shaving techniques, they also become more knowledgeable in choosing a razor type.

Also, while a cartridge razor may work well for one shaver, it doesn’t mean that it can also meet the expectations of other shavers. Simply put, choosing a razor type is purely subjective. By experimenting on different razors, a man can find the best shaving tool that can fit his needs.

Now, when it comes to shaving, men should first inspect their razor to ensure that it is still capable of providing them a close shave. Cheap razors usually last shorter than expensive razor types. If the razor is dull and rusty, then it is already inefficient in allowing men to get a comfortable shave.

Lastly, aside from prepping the skin and the beard, it is also crucial for men to shave in the direction where the hair is growing. While other men prefer going against the grain because it facilitates a closer shave, doing so can result to ingrown hair and after-shave burns since it greatly irritates the skin. This is why pre-shave rituals are important. The more established a man’s shaving routine is, the more he is able to get a close shave without having to suffer from skin irritation after shaving.

What to Do After Shaving: Post Shave

A shaving ritual does not have to end after all the hair follicles have been successfully removed. While completely clearing the area is fulfilling, men should also consider spending a few seconds for their post-shaving routine so they can reduce their risk for inflammation. No matter how complete a shaving routine is, men are still vulnerable to skin irritation and other after-shave dilemmas, especially if the razor ran over the skin a couple of times. To lessen the risk for razor burn and other skin problems, experts recommend men to wash their face with cold water so their skin’s pores would close. It’s basically just like applying cold compress to an injury. Without the aid of a cold compress, one’s recovery from an injury can significantly lower.

Shaving is simple and easy, but getting the best out of a shaving experience takes more than just reaching out for a razor. While shaving strategies can take time and effort to develop, building a good shaving habit as early as now can aid a man in his journey towards shaving perfection.