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How to get a Perfect Shave - a Guide for Professional Men

Updated on September 17, 2012

Shaving can be annoying, uncomfortable, and painful. Women complain about having to shave their legs, bikini area, and under arms but at least they do not have to shave their face. Getting razor bumps, ingrown hairs, and razor nicks on women’s legs is one thing, but for men, getting these on our face is awful.

Most male professionals have to practice good hygiene and maintain a clean face. Whether we like it or not, this requires us to shave on a daily basis. The more you train your face in shaving it on a regular basis, the better off you will be in removing your five o’clock shadow. The more hair is cut above the root, the faster it grows.

What time is your 5 o'clock shadow?

Try to shave at the same time, every day. By following and maintaining a routine, facial hair will have ample time to grow above the pore’s surface. This fights the formation of ingrown hairs. I recommend adding shaving to your pre-work routine. By shaving directly before work, not only does it become habit, it also gives a clean, professional look throughout the rest of the work day. By the time the five o’clock shadow starts to appear, hopefully the work day is over and you are ready to relax at home.

What are you working with?

Ever hear the statement; you get what you pay for? This is especially true when it comes to buying shaving products. If you have sensitive skin, I recommend buying a gel (instead of a cream) with vitamin E and Aloe Vera in it. There is plenty of sensitive skin shaving gels out there but try to stay away from the store and discounted brands. For maximum results, apply the shaving gel by thoroughly massaging it into your skin.

If you use razors, it is well worth buying the Gillett Fusion Proglide. Not only does the Fusion have five blades, the Proglide’s razors are cut even thinner, thus making a sharper razor and better cutting surface. The idea behind a good shave is to make minimal passes across any one area of your face. With the five blades, you should only have to pass each area once. On the cutting surface of the Proglide, there is a soft, blue, rubber strip at the top of the razors. This feature was placed on the razor by the manufacturer to let the user know when the razor is starting to dull. When the blue strip turns white, it is time to change the razor head. Although expensive, these razors are definitely worth their money. By drying the razor heads with a towel, after each use, will increase the life of the razors.

Open up the pores

Shave after taking a warm shower or after applying a hot washcloth to your face. Hot water and heat opens up the pores. Once the pores are open, the hair is moist and standing up, providing you with a much better shaving experience. A face without a hot water application will leave the pores closed thus causing the facial hair to lie down and be course. If you are using a hot washcloth, soak the washcloth in hot water. Ring it out, open it up, and apply the entire surface area to your face, neck, and upper lip. Hold it for at least one minute.

Follow the Shave Map

Shave with the grain

Shave with the grain. By shaving against the grain, you are cutting the hairs too short thus causing them to drop underneath the skin and below the pore’s surface. Hairs cut below the pore’s surface causes the hair follicle to grow into the skin instead of out of the intended pore. Because your face is contoured, hair grows in different directions depending on the area of the face. Pay attention to the direction of the hair growth and then shave the direction the hair is growing.

Immediate after shave wash

Purchase an after shaving face wash. Washing your face immediately after shaving is a good practice because this is when the skin is most vulnerable. Look for a face wash that includes both tea tree oil and witch hazel. The duo of ingredients provides antiseptic properties (to sooth rashes and stop the bleeding caused by razor cuts), healing, and astringent properties. When you are finished washing, use a soft, clean towel and pat your face dry. Make sure you do not rub your skin dry, but rather pat it dry instead.

Use aftershave balm

After washing your face, apply a good aftershave balm or lotion. This is important because shaving removes a lot of skin cells. A good aftershave balm will replenish the face’s moisture and repair the skin cells. It is important to seek and buy an aftershave balm specifically made for men. Men’s aftershave products evaporate faster and are not as greasy as aftershave products made for women. A man’s face is naturally greasier and thicker than a women’s so it only makes sense to buy something that is going to absorb into the skin at a faster rate and not leave the face caked in grease. Grease can also clog pores and cause either pimples or unsightly ingrown hairs. Men’s aftershave will also have ingredients that will cool and sooth the skin while leaving the man smelling fresh.


Exfoliate at night

Use an exfoliant at night. I recommend washing your face with an apricot scrub or a gentle face scrub. Make sure that the face scrub has some sort of micro-crystals or exfoliant in it and is not an acne face wash. The exfoliating face wash will cause the hair follicles to become dislodged from the dead skin cells that are starting to close over the growing hair follicle throughout the day. Also, the face wash will soften up the hair follicles causing them to absorb approximately 30% of water. This will prepare your face for a better shave in the morning.

One last tip

Do not switch between a straight razor and an electric razor. It is ok to do some experimenting to find out what you like better, but switching back and forth will cause you to get razor bumps and ingrown hairs. This can also cause rashes and irritation on your face due to the continued change of shaving methods.


This might seem like a lot. In comparison to most peoples shaving routines, the added steps are well worth saving me the Freddy Kruger look first thing in the morning. Most of it is simply adjusting your style of shaving, buying some different shaving products, and continuing to follow a good shaving routine. Remember, if you are developing a lot of ingrown hairs, cuts, and rashes from changing products, take a few days off from shaving and allow the facial hair to grow out before continuing shaving.


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    • profile image

      David 2 years ago

      Gone are the days when men use steel/plastic razor for shaving. Now tons of hair clippers and hair trimmers are available in the market with various features. If you are planning to replace your old razor and a new shaving tool, then make sure to read the hair clipper reviews before making any purchase decision.

    • Roberto Gil profile image

      Roberto Gil 3 years ago from Bronx, New York

      I bought the panasonic

      Connector after reading a review on

    • profile image

      Norelco 3 years ago

      I used an oldfashioned steel razor with changeble blades that my grandfather used for more than 20 years. Really smooth shave.... recently i left it in a hotel room and lost it for good. I am thinking of trying now an electric shaver like these ones :

      What do you think? should I do the switch?

    • jaybird22 profile image

      jaybird22 5 years ago from New York

      Thanks Sweetsusieg! Hey, if you have to shave, I'll be worried for your husband lol!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan

      Very nice Hub - When the day comes that I need to shave I'll make sure to stop by for another look at the 'shave map'!!

    • jaybird22 profile image

      jaybird22 5 years ago from New York

      Awe, shucks, sorry Frog Prince :-) I thought Prince's maintainted that boyish face. And a frog with a beard?? We gotta talk about this lol!

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

      jaybird - Great information but man, I have a beard. LOL

      The Frog