The Art of Shaving

Shaving is something most men do almost every day. It can be a costly personal grooming item and it can also be painful. Nicks, cuts and missed spots on the face can all lead to a very negative first impression, whether in personal or professional life. All men seek to achieve a perfect shave every morning. Their goal is to leave the bathroom after an effortless shave which leaves their face baby smooth and without any skin irritation, redness or burning sensation.

But, in today’s fast-paced world most men have never been taught the art of shaving. This is one of those traditions that used to be passed down from father to son, through the generations. Today has become less of an art with a precision made tool than it has become a routine with disposable razors. A dull blade scraped across a heavy beard leaves marks, irritation and inflammation which has become the trademark of today’s modern man.

Interestingly, it is the core of “wet shaving” that has made a difference in the closeness of the shave and the decrease in irritation. In fact, an entire retail-based franchise business of high end men’s shaving and skin care accessories was founded in 1996 around the idea that men can achieve a closer more comfortable shave. They have developed a complete line of natural shaving products which have become the best-selling men’s brands at high-end department stores.

The process of wet shaving means that the individual uses plenty of hot water before and during the entire procedure. In fact, it is best to shave after a hot shower in order to help soften the hair and ready the skin. When there is a layer of hot water between your skin and allow other the blade will actually skim the surface instead of dragging over it. The hot water also opens up the pores of the skin and relaxes your facial muscles. It softens the whiskers and cuts down on the wear and tear on the blades. The key is to keep your face as wet as possible at all times during the shave.

Every man should have a good razor, a good brush and a glycerin-based shaving cream. The brush should be made of badger hair which is the single most important ingredient in getting the perfect shave. Smearing a dollop of shaving gel on the face is not nearly as effective as using a fine badger hair brush to work in English shaving cream that smells like fresh cut violets. This isn’t just about treating yourself nicely or making yourself smell good, it is about preparing your skin and whiskers for the closest most comfortable shave.

The combination of hot water mixing with shaving cream and being delivered all over your face makes more lather than is possible to get with your fingers alone. A shaving brush will also gently exfoliate, or remove the dead skin from the top layer of your face. This also helps to get rid of anything that comes between the blade and your whiskers. Using this badger hair brush and an up-and-down motion also lifts the whiskers away from the face and helps them to stand upright in thick layer which makes it easier for the blade to skim across the face and slice them off.

Non-disposable razor blades work best to achieve the perfect shave. Both blades may appear to be less expensive but the quality of the blade is not as good as a cartridge razor or a classic double edge safety razor. A double edge safety razor is the same type that was used by your grandfather. Many men find that by switching to a double edged razor they get rid of the bumps and irritation on their necks that they thought was there for good and also achieve a more comfortable and closer shave.

Double-edged razors are also the best choice for African-American men who are at high risk for shave bumps and ingrown hairs. Using both a shaving brush and a double-edged razor will prepare the skin and whiskers in men of all races.

Once you’ve finished your shower fill a sink full of hot water and let the shaving brush get wet at the tips. Splash more hot water on your face to keep it wet. Holding the brush upside down until the waters stops pouring out of it applies the cream by swirling the wet tips of the brush in a circular motion on the surface until there’s a small amount of visible white lather. Work the brush to paint the cream up and down on your face in order to help work up a larger lather and make the whiskers stand out from the face.

When men use an electric razor they shave against the growth of the hair but using either a single edge or a double edged razor requires men to make their first pass going with the the hair growth. This means running the blade from cheekbone to chin in a north-south direction. This will get rid of most of the hair growth without irritating skin. If you truly want a closer shave you can go very lightly against the grain but most men’s skin is too sensitive to shave in this manner without becoming red or getting razor burn.

Once done shaving it’s important to close the pores and thoroughly rinsed off the remaining shaving cream with cold water. Don’t forget thoroughly rinse and clean the shaving brush and shake it dry before putting it away. Store it on its handle to air dry so it doesn’t damage the brush. Pat your face dry and you can finish using a good non-alcohol-based aftershave or moisturizer.

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