Shaving is important, but it can be a hated, time-consuming, often painful event. So I recently queried the readers of The Don Juan Newsletter for Shaving Tips that they have discovered which they feel might be of some benefit to their fellow Don Juans. This is what they had to say.
When I was in barber school many years ago I learned there are only three important ingredients to shaving: a sharp razor, lots of moisture and the direction you move the blade. After that, you just need to decide how close it really needs to be.
The best razors in history are today's twin-blade disposables, in my opinion; when it doesn't feel good any more toss it. On the moisture issue: in barber college we used very hot steam towels to soften the whiskers but the best way for the average guy to accomplish this is a hot shower. Some guys shave first and it doesn't work as well. And shaving creams and gels really only lubricate the skin and hold that moisture in so a bar of soap is as good as it gets.
Then come the questions of how close does it need to be and which direction to shave. Unless you have a very dark beard don't worry too much about getting your neck to feel like (or look like) a baby's butt--you'll only hurt yourself. Yes, shaving against the grain gets it close but why bleed for it? For the chin that you don't want to scratch your favorite lady's tender face try going straight across, in both directions. On the rest of the job the best motion is slightly diagonal. This slices off the whiskers rather than trying to 'chop' them off.
The electric shavers nowadays do a pretty good job of getting the beard off without injury but the shave doesn't seem to last as long. But what a great way to get rid of that five o'clock shadow before a hot date! No fuss, no muss. Just make sure your face is dry first so the machine will slide over your skin.
I read this little tip in Men's Health about 3 or 4 years ago and it works really well. I have a tough beard and very sensitive skin. If I shave in the morning I have a major 5 O'clock shadow. I change my razors once a week. I don't use disposables. Instead of using hot water I use cold. It makes my whiskers stand up straight instead of relaxing and laying down. It also wakes me up pretty good and gets me ready for the day ahead, and gives me a much closer shave and lessens the shadow
1) If you use a mechanical razor, do it after you shower as your whiskers will be much softer then.
2) I have found the foil screen on a Braun electric razor outlasts the foil screen on Remington at least 3 times to one. Both shave the same closeness for me.
No electric foil razor will keep sharp after a couple of weeks use, but at least they won't rip open cuts on your face like a regular razor will.
I use a Braun foil screen, then I use a mechanical razor to get the long/stray hairs that the foil screen razors always miss.
You are right, shaving does suck. But most beards look either evil, professorish, or homeless.
The best shave I ever had was without any foam, just with my head half submerged in a hot spring. It's hot water that softens up the beard. You can shave in the shower or after the shower dry off everything but the beard so it's still ready and receptive.
This works well for me. I like to shave in the shower. I find I get a nice smooth shave and I never cut myself. Strangely, I also find it relaxing. Of course, that part could just be me. I usually don't use shaving cream when I do it this way. You can. Give it a whirl. I think you'll find it a soothing, sensual, experience. And I know you'll get a great shave. Let me know what you think.
"Mach 3" by Gillette, seems to be without a doubt the best on the market these days
Don't use a brand new razor just before an important date, one which has been used at least one seems to do less damage. I heard it on the radio a few years back and it seems to work well :-)
As a young Don Juan I've found by trial and error that certain methods work and others just hurt. I haven't found a nick-free shaving technique, but I have discovered dip-sticks. I have to shave at least once every two days and I have thick facial hair, so if I'm in a hurry and need to stop bleeding, toilet paper won't cut it. This marvelous invention called dip-sticks (available at any drug store or pharmacy) will stop any nicks from bleeding almost instantly and almost painlessly. Maybe everyone already knows about them outside of the mid-west, but I've not found a single young man who knows what a dip-stick is. Hopefully this tip will come in handy?
Tip on using a razor. Use a ladies for a closer shave. Not sure what brand? - the throw away green ones. Stayed at a friend's house a month ago (didn't plan on staying the night) and got lucky. Was too late to go home the next mourning, so got a shower at her place and said what the hell. Used hers and "Wow" a lot closer shave than my old blue throwaways. I now use the green ones everyday.
The Gillette Mach 3 is the cream of the crop as razors go. My face nicks easily, but the Mach 3 allows you to use a lot less pressure and still get closer than any other razor out there. As for shaving cream, I find that gels work the best.
I have found that using the mug and shaving soap in the shower gives me the most comfortable and close shave. The bristles from the soap brush massage your face as you apply the soap and soften the stubble. Also the warm water will lubricate the shaving surface, open your facial pores making your skin more pliable allowing the razor to make closer contact. And, unless you have one of those baby faces that takes three days to groom a 5 o'clock shadow, I would suggest shaving this way every day. It leaves your face baby soft and will also save a lot of wear and tear on your razor not having to carve its way through the thick stuff every 3-4 days. And just in case you don't think of it, buy a $3 stainless steel travel mirror at the local drug store to keep in the shower.
I have found that the Mach 3 razor works best. I shave about four times a week and it seems to hit all of the rough spots and has excellent smoothness...
1) Wash face thoroughly.
2) The hot towel is a must to open pores, relax muscles, etc.
3) I prefer the Edge gel for a good shave, work the gel around on your face.
4) The Mach 3 razor is a must for the perfect shave.
5) A fresh blade is a must, change them once a week.
6) No super techniques from this guy, just hit all the compound curves a couple of times from different directions.
7) Follow up with a good wash, and a dab of after shave gel.
I have always been a shaving fan. I really enjoy it and can well remember my first shave when I was 17. I recently came across the King of Shave brand. I especially enjoy the gel and the shaving oil. It may be a good idea to give it try. Enjoy your shave!