Mens Shave - wet shaving without fuss or problems
When shaving, the simplest explanation is usually the best.
Getting a comfortable, close shave is something I’ve always had problems with. Annoyingly, although fair of hair, I have Italian genes and to keep clean shaven, I’d need to shave at least twice a day. Consequently I spend a fair portion of my life shaving and I thoroughly advocate wet shaving with a razor over dry shaving, either razor or electric.
I have an expensive electric shaver and its good at shaving, quick and easy and requires minimal input from me. However, it doesn’t exfoliate dead skin and I frequently find my face feels like somebody painted it in egg and left it to dry. In addition, I still get burn from an electric razor, although the types where you can wet the head before shaving help a lot.
Water, Water Everywhere!
Water: That’s the first point of call, if you don’t have access to good amounts of hot (and I mean add-cold-water-before-you-can-put-your-hand-in-it hot) water, the results are going to be at best, poor. I tend to shave most often in the shower, 10 minutes of steaming your face makes the process a million times easier.
Otherwise, swill your face well with hot water, two or three times at least.
At this point I'm revising this article to include an excellent tip somebody (wet shaving) posted in the comments section here. This is the use of a shave oil. I now encorporate this step every time I shave. You can see my review of shave oils and how to make your own in the hub linked below.
Apply a shaving oil at this point - here's how you can make your own!
- Use Shaving Oil Then Make Your Own
Less razor burn? smoother shave with less irritation. Even a speed increase? - try applying a shaving oil under the foam!
The next step is something foamy. I use foam out of a can, which I admit isn’t the best way to go but time is money and money is…well actually its not money at all, its sleep I’m bothered about. In my experience of using foam, soap, and gel, soap is the most troublesome but gives the best result. Foam is the quickest with the best results but burn can be an issue and gel gives a very smooth feeling while shaving but seems to do very little by way of promoting the whole hair cutting process. I still feel like a porcupine after shaving with gel. As far as I can tell, shaving soap does well because its grippy. Its smooth enough to allow the razor to glide but holds the hairs up much better than foam.
With any of the products, don’t just slap it on your face, massage it in. They all contain ingredients designed to soften the hair, some more successfully than others.
Then you take your razor (cartridge safety in my case). I’ve spent an awful lot of money on these little beasts and used every make going. (ok that was an overstatement but including disposables I’ve certainly used every make available in the supermarket and Boots. I’m writing primarily for the people who buy in normal places, not those who consider anything less than a personally fitted, hand crafted boutique bought piece sacrilege – ‘…perfectly balance sir, the tang is the full weight of the blade…exquisite sir…’). Although I’m not one for big brand names (and aren’t their new adverts really, really irritating?), but Gillette give me the best results by a long shot.
For an indepth review of the top two vibrating razors from Wilkinsons and Gillette follow the hub link
- The Best Vibrating Razor - Comparing Quattro Energy and Fusion Power
I decided to switch razors a few months ago, just as a trial run. Previously Id used the Gillette Fusion Power and was determined to test the Wilkinson Sword Quattro Titanium Energy and see which was best....
An interesting note is that whenever I use a non-vibrating razor, I cut myself. Far from being a gimmick for me, the vibrations from the mach3 and fusion models are very good at preventing me from looking like an extra off a kill bill movie. My dad still doesn’t believe that I can shave fully without a mirror and not cut myself. On razors, make sure its sharp, (yada yada), I know its expensive but shaving for two months with the same blade ‘aint gonna help you any.
Incidentally, the last rinse of the blade should be in cold water. I don’t know why but apparently this helps with razor care.
Gently Does It
Application of razor to face. This is the bit where it gets tricky. You’re all prepped, sluiced and foamed up but somehow (still after 5 years of doing this) putting a very sharp object near your face is quite daunting. You can get diagrams about which way you should shave (against the grain, with the grain, at a 53.739 degree angle to the way sunlight falls on your face from a south-east facing window at precisely 10.17am) but for me these are a little inaccurate despite their extensive instructions.
My hair grows in whatever direction it
pleases. Generally, first shave in the direction the hair grows, then do
second, lighter stroke against the direction the hair grows. Try repeatedly
adding water on your face once the initial foam has come off. Going over
the same area is usually necessary. Most of the
time you won’t get clean in one pass but you need to be careful of Razor
Burn. Avoid stretching the skin if possible, this causes the hair to retract slightly and can cause in-growing hairs.
One of the main ways of cutting your self is allowing the razor to slip sideways. Its like testing an edge on a knife, dead straight across the blade, slightest movement along it and you’ll be minus a thumb. Keep the movement of the razor perfectly perpendicular to the line of the razor on your face.
Necks are always razor burn central. Try to avoid shaving against the grain on your neck unless you really have to. If you do get razor burn, you'll probably be best cutting down on the hot hot water and applying something like aloe vera gel to the area. Avoid touching it afterwards, you'll only make it worse. If you're particularly prone to this, try using a light scrub before shaving, apply gently though! A lot of mens scrubs are very sharp edged though, see if you can find one with more rounded beads in it.
I've recently tried a shaving oil, one that replaces foam. I'm still in the test phase (used different ones for a number of months), and the results are very encouraging. A definite reduction in general soreness of skin and around the neck in particular! I've used a King Of Shaves Azor Hybrid and Alpha shaving oils. The hybrid I found could replace shaving foam for me but the Alpha was not nearly viscous enough. Both worked amazingly well under foam. I'm currently using a home made variety which while can't be used by itself, is the best of the lot under shaving foam.
Hopefully by the end you’ll be without. Without facial hair is good, without nicks and cuts is also good, without skin can lead to all sorts of nasty things. Remember, water, water, water, hot first, and a light slosh of cold after you've finished. After shaving products are up to you. Personally I hate greasy moisturisers so I use a nice light Boss Skin gel. Good luck and if anybody has any tips I’d be ever so grateful to hear them!
Random fact of the day, laser power is measured in gillettes, a one gillette laser is so called because it has/had the power to burn through one gillette razor! cool!
Ready to shave but don't know which razor? A quick review of the top two vibrating razors
- The Best Vibrating Razor - Quattro Energy Vs Fusion Power
I recently decided to switch razors a few months ago, just as a trial run. Previously Id used the Gillette Fusion Power and was determined to test the Wilkinson Sword Quattro Titanium Energy and see which...