Have a Shower First
Before starting your shave you should have a hot shower, as it will not only help to clean your face but more importantly it will soften the facial hair by coming into contact with the warm water. This will make it easier to be cut away from the face with the razor.
The other benefit of taking a warm shower before shaving, is that the warm water will help to open your pores, which will then be closed after shaving.
Use a Good Quality Soap/Shaving Gel
The second step is to use a good quality shaving gel or shaving soap. The role of these are to help lubricate the area, and by doing so the razor will glide over your face and shave away the hairs much easier.
It will also help to show you which parts of the face have yet to be shaved (since they're still covered in soap/gel) and so you won't be left with a patchy face.
Firstly, ensure your face is dry after showering, secondly lather up a good amount of gel/soap and generously apply to your face.
Massage the lather around your face to ensure that the gel is fully coating the hairs to be shaved.
Use a Basin of Warm Water
Once your face is suitably covered in shaving gel, you'll need to run a basin full of warm to hot water. This water will help during the shaving process in 2 ways.
The first way is that the heat and water will help to keep the hairs soft and weaker than usual, since the entire process of shaving can take up to 15 minutes, so you'll need to ensure that the hairs remain easy to work with.
The second way that the water will help is that as you shave, the razor will begin to get clogged with the stubble/hairs, which if left, will impede the shaving process. You'll need to dunk the razor head into the water and swill it around to wash the hairs and foam away, it will also to heat up and wet the blade itself.
Use a Fresh, Clean Razor
When preparing to shave, you should always ensure that you have a fresh and clean razor blade, to give you the best results. If you are new to shaving, and the hairs of your face are not as thick and course as those of someone who can grow a full beard, then you may be able to get away with re-using the same razor blade several times, however if you have thicker stubble coating your face, then the act of shaving will blunt the razor noticeably, even over the course of a single shave.
If you try to use an already used razor blade, it will be blunter than it should be and so, as expected, will struggle to cut through the hairs and stubble of your face. You'll may well find that it can then cause a shaving rash as it comes into contact with your skin and irritates it.
When it comes to shaving itself, it is important to follow the grain, and not shave against it. If you start by shaving against the grain then you may cause irritation to your skin, and that it could give you a shaving rash.
The hairs on your cheeks, lip and chin will grow downwards, so you can shave comfortably by pulling the razor downwards on your face. The hairs on the underside of your jaw, may begin to grow in another direction, and the hairs on your neck and throat may also grow in another direction still. You will need to spot which direction the hairs grow in, and adjust your shaving to accommodate this.
The foam on your face will serve as a marker for unshaved areas, you will need to ensure that you don't miss any spots by shaving over all areas where there is foam.
This next step is optional and most people do not need to worry about it, however, if you have particularly thick and fast growing hair, if you want to look as fresh faced as possible, and if you are confident in your shaving skills, then you may opt to give your self a close shave.
A close shave will cut the stubble back as far as possible, and leave your face far smoother and cleaner than simply shaving the regular way.
This involves going against the earlier advice and shaving against the grain. You should only do so once you have shaved with the grain first. The act of shaving against the grain will not feel as smooth as shaving normally, so you will need a steady hand and a sharp blade. The result will be obvious once you look in the mirror and run your hand across your face.
Once you've finished shaving, you'll want to check any areas of your face where you may have missed a few hairs, such as:
- Between your upper lip and nose
- Underneath your bottom lip
- Behind your jaw
- Around your neck/throat
After you're satisfied that you've got every single hair, you'll want to wash your face with cold water. This will help to clean off any residue of shaving foam and also the cold water will close the pores of your face.
You may find that while you were shaving, you may have accidentally cut yourself in a minor way. This is to be expected on occasion, all you need to do is to tear off a small square of toilet paper and stick it to the bleeding spot, the paper will stick to your face and stop the bleeding. After 5-10 minutes, you can remove the paper and the bleeding should have stopped by itself.
The final (and optional) step is to apply a post shave balm to your face. This balm will help to soothe your face which will have become irritated to some degree. The balm will also help to moisturise and repair the skin of your face.
So there you have it, Well Groomed Wizard's guide to getting a perfect shave! To see more of our great grooming products, then click here.