While I am not an old time barber, I am a shaving geek if you will. I am what is called a wet-shaver. Wet shaving is the best way to ensure no ingrown hair and razor rash. The best thing you can...
Proper way to shave a beard?
Originally Published: September 1, 1994 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: January 21, 2011
This is something I've wondered about for a good long while. When shaving my face, should I go WITH the grain, or against it? Also, should one pre-lather, or what? Basically, what is the proper method for shaving?
You need wonder no longer. Shaving is a common and inexpensive way to remove unwanted hair. There are ways to shave that can ensure your skin will be so smooth you won't be able to stop stroking your cheeks. Conversely, shaving incorrectly can cause skin irritations, especially if your skin is thin, dry or very sensitive.
For a close, comfortable shave we recommend the following.
Wash your face with warm water before you shave, or shave after a warm bath or shower. Warm water softens facial hair and readies skin for the razor. Shaving dry skin can cause razor burn and ingrown hairs, not to mention increasing the likelihood of cutting yourself.
Apply shaving cream, lotion, or gel before shaving to protect and lubricate your skin.
Shave in the direction of hair growth, or WITH the grain. This decreases your chances of razor burn and ingrown hairs, two of the most common problems associated with shaving. Make sure you use a clean, sharp razor. After shaving, rinse your skin with warm water to remove shaving cream and any shaved hairs stuck to the skin.
If using an electric razor, you don't need to wet your face or use any shaving cream. However you may want to avoid using the closest setting, which can irritate the skin.
If your skin does feel irritated after shaving, it might help to apply an alcohol-free lotion or aftershave. You can try an aftershave cream containing aloe vera or other emollients to help soothe the skin. Avoid potentially skin-irritating products such as colognes and perfumes, or any products containing alcohol as a main ingredient.
To address the main hazards of shaving, let's explore razor burn and ingrown hairs. Razor burn is a skin irritation caused by shaving sensitive areas (think underarms, pubic areas) or by using improper techniques (putting too much pressure on the razor as you shave, shaving with a dirty razor, not using a proper lubricant, and shaving AGAINST the grain of hair growth). Freshly exposed skin is particularly susceptible to irritation from bacteria that normally lives on the skin and body and is usually responsible for the burning one feels. Razor burn appears as a mild rash that can last from a few hours to a few days.
Ingrown hairs, also a fairly common problem, are hairs that grow out slightly and then curl back to penetrate the skin. People with curly hair tend to have more ingrown hairs than do those with straight hair. This results in redness, tenderness and swelling at the site of penetration. Commonly, ingrown hairs occur because of shaving too frequently or too closely. To avoid ingrown hairs, try not to shave over the same area more than once. Using a sharp blade and enough lubrication can also help prevent ingrown hairs.With all that said, happy shaving! Of if you prefer, happy growing your beard! While following these shaving techniques should help reduce some unpleasant side-effects associated with shaving, it's up to you whether you shave or let your facial hair grow.
December 3, 200721227
While I am not an old time barber, I am a shaving geek if you will. I am what is called a wet-shaver. Wet shaving is the best way to ensure no ingrown hair and razor rash. The best thing you can do for your shave is to take a hot shower and keep your face wet when drying off. Apply lather to your wet face and allow it to set up for a couple minutes. If you really want good results use a cream or soap that is meant to be used with a brush and make one pass with the grain... now you will notice that your grain pattern is much like your fingerprint... very different and not all in one direction. This takes time to learn but is worthwhile. Before you make a second pass rinse your face with warm water and re-apply the lather again! You want to now go East to West so to speak and go accross the grain.
Do not go against the grain until the stubble is very minimal and you will notice that your shaves are much better and without the common irritation involved with most shavers. I use a double edge razor much like my father or grandfather used in the 40-60s. I find that these razors with the proper blade in them are fantastic and so supperior to the modern throw away cartridge!!