For many gents, shaving just isn’t a pleasurable experience… and it just shouldn’t be that way dammit. Where others might see the morning whisker take-off as an opportunity to relax and pamper themselves – countless in the scruffy-faced community dread the routine and the itching, irritation and ingrown hairs that accompany it. Oh, the pain of razor burn and ingrown hairs.
So, to help those pore soles (skin care pun intended), we asked the Barbers in our Luxury Barbershops in Washington, DC and Northern, VA for their four best tips for keeping shaving frustration at bay. Here’s what they had to say:
SIMPLE TIP #1
First, you need to clean your skin daily. Use something gentle that won’t completely strip your skin of the healthy oils that it needs for continued health and handsomeness.
SIMPLE TIP #2
Once or twice a week you need to gently exfoliate your skin. Quality exfoliators, like Grooming Lounge’s award-winning Mug Scrubber (plug, plug) have tiny beads that help to stimulate and massage the skin -- releasing what’s stuck in pores, sloughing off dead skin and even up-rooting ingrown hairs. Be careful about how often you do this, as exfoliating too much can dry out and irritate the skin. Once or twice a week will do it.
SIMPLE TIP #3
Preparation, a.k.a. a well-rounded pre-shave routine, is essential to warding off razor burn and bad shaving karma. Start with a hot shower to soften up facial hair and whiskers. Once warm, use a facial cleanser (and a scrub 1-2 times per week) to prime the skin’s surface (sure we said this all above, but it’s important).
After the face is prepped, get started by applying a shave oil and on top of that, a shaving cream. Work them in aggressively and allow them to tenderize the skin before shaving to improve razor glide and lessen irritation-inducing friction. Goodbye raw razor burn!
SIMPLE TIP #4
When you shave, shave in the direction that your hair grows. Yes, it may take more time to get that wonderful close shave you crave. However, when you shave against the grain, it can cause the hair to grow back in sideways -- which also creates those painful ingrown hairs. It’s also important to take note of the direction your facial hair grows in. It’s often not straight up and down, so adjust your razor strokes accordingly.
Should all else fail and these tips still not do the trick, just use Grooming Lounge The Shavior. It can pretty much overcome any shaving missteps.
You can also find great advice on eliminating razor irritation over at Sharpologist. He's a good guy who knows his shaving stuff down pat.