Shaving is something men have been doing since 3000 BC, when man discovered how to use copper. So, with 5000 plus years of practice you'd think we'd be pretty damn good at it right? Wrong. Somehow we still manage to get nicks, skin burn, and miss spots more than we'd care to admit. To try and combat this, we've decided to cover some of the most common mistakes men make while shaving, and how to avoid them. 

Prep

While getting your face wet prior to using your shave cream, butter, or gel, be sure to use hot water. Cold water will shrink the pores and tighten the skin allowing for ridges and wrinkles to cause bumps and cuts. Hot water will soften your skin and hair, as well as open up your pores allowing your shave medium to penetrate the tissue. This will lead to smooth sailing for your razor.

  

What You Use

We've previously covered a few of the types of shaving mediums that are available on the market and they're benefits or drawbacks. What's important is to find what works best for you and the type of razor you use. Some men will have no trouble with a throwaway razor and a bar of soap, while others may need to use the sharpest razor and the silkiest cream they can get their hands on. Everyones skin is different and will react differently depending on what you use. If what you're using isn't working, don't be afraid to branch out and try a new combination. If you are exploring new alternatives, try your best to avoid the cheap route. Spending a little extra of your grooming products will yield better results, making it worth every penny. As far as your razor goes, regardless of what you use, make sure it isn't dull. Dull blades cause drag, irritation, and won't give you the close shave you expect.

 

What You Do

Sadly shaving isn't as simple as putting a razor to your face and dragging it down to your chin. A quick list of things you need to be aware of includes angle, pressure, grain, repetition, and procedure.

Angle: Aside from cartridge razors, you will need to be in control of the angle you hold your razor at. Too steep of an angle leads to irritation and nicks, while too shallow and you're just going to be scraping product off your skin, leaving your scruff behind. 

Pressure: Again, it's about balance. More pressure wont lead to a closer shave, instead it will cause a ditch in your skin as it passes, leading to irritation and inconsistency. Keeping the pressure light so the razor is gently gliding on the flat surface of your skin will lead to the closest shave.

Grain: The way your facial hair grows is unique to you. Get familiar with your growth pattern and the direction your hair comes in for the different parts of your face and neck. Shave as close to the same direction of your grain as possible on the first pass. If you want to get a closer shave after the initial pass, go cross-grain or against the grain after re-applying your shave medium.

Repetition: While you can go with the grain followed by cross-grain or against the grain passes, try to avoid shaving the same area over and over again. Unless you want razor burn, try to keep your strokes to a minimum. This is especially true if the skin hasn't had product re-applied yet.

Procedure: There are plenty of habits and techniques people develop as the years go on. To each his own. But there are a few things you definitely should be doing. First, make sure to rinse off your razor between each stroke. A clean razor will lead to a clean shave. Second, use clean towels. Whether you use a hot towel before shaving or one to dry off your face after, be sure it's clean. Next, moisturize. Applying moisturizer after you shave will help keep your skin from drying out and can prevent bumps. Lastly, be sure to give your face a break sometimes. Let that facial hair stretch it's legs and give your skin a chance to recover. If you are a daily shaver try to pick a day to take off, like a lazy Sunday. Shaving all the time can lead to a lot of wear and tear on your skin and hair. Even one day off will make all the difference.

 

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