At one time or another, as a man, you will have to shave your own beard. Whether it’s your first time to shave the little facial hair that has recently sprouted or you’ve been shaving for years but you’re not sure that you’ve been doing it correctly, there are a couple of necessary steps required for a good, clean shave. .Firstly, ensure that you pick the right blade. This decision should be made based on the coarseness of your beard, texture of your skin and your preferred shaving method, among other details.
.If you’re starting with a full beard, ensure that you trim your hair with scissors or clippers as much as you can. This makes shaving the rest of your beard much easier.
.The next step is washing your face. This is the first step for those with not much facial hair to shave. The washing should be done using an exfoliant facial wash, gel or cream, rubbed on the face in circular motions. An exfoliant is a cosmetic product designed to remove dead cells from the surface of the skin. It softens the beard and prevents infection in case of any nicks that may occur while you shave. As this option may not be available to everyone, a hot washcloth may be used instead. The heat and moisture soften the beard, lift the hairs, and open your pores. It’s however important to ensure that the water is not too hot as it may slacken the skin and pull the moisture away.
.It’s necessary to have all your shaving elements ready so you can start right away before your beard dries and your pores close. Put a few drops of shaving oil on your palm and rub it into your beard, then apply shaving cream. The oil acts as a lubricant when you use shaving cream. It also allows the razor to glide across your skin and reduces razor burn. It helps if you have a shaving brush, which not only helps with application but also softens the beard and exfoliates the skin. It also helps with brushing off the stray hairs that remain on the blades while you’re shaving. Soap is not advisable for shaving as it leaves a residue on the blade, dulling the edge and in time causing rusting, even on stainless blades. If you really have to, you can opt for liquid soap as it is differently formulated.
.Start shaving from under your chin and your neck, shave from the bottom of your neck upwards (with the grain) to prevent razor burn and ingrown hairs. Then work from one side of your face to the other, doing small segments at a time to ensure you don’t leave out any parts. Ensure that you shave from the top of the beard to the edge of your jaw line in long, steady strokes. Don’t forget to shave as high as possible on the cheekbones so that you won’t have ugly facial hairs there. Use short, light, downward strokes (with the grain), keeping the flat part of the blade almost parallel with the face, to remove the bulk of the hair. Do this while using your free hand to pull your skin tight.
.To shave your upper lip, stretch it over your front teeth to tighten the skin, then shave downwards. Rinse the blade from time to time to keep it from clogging. Continue until you have shaved your whole face in a downward direction.
.After this, rinse your face using warm water then run your fingers across to find out if there are any rough areas that you may have missed. Check near your sideburns, close to your nostrils, and around your mouth. Also use the mirror to see if there are any areas you left out. When checking your sideburns, it’s best to put both index fingers where the sideburns end. Then check the mirror to see if the two fingers are at the same level. If they are not, then the sideburns are not shaved correctly.
.When you’re done use cold water to rinse your face, then pat it dry with a clean towel. After this apply a non-alcohol shaving balm. Aloe and tea tree oil are advisable to prevent dry skin and razor burns. However, tea tree oil should be in low concentration as it may be irritating to freshly-shaved skin. Find what works best with your skin. Wet your face with cold water if you have any nicks or small cuts to stop the bleeding and close up the cuts.
.It’s also important to take care of your shaving equipment. Rinse and dry the implements and store them in a dry place. This way it is less likely to infect you as a result of bacteria and infection. Also remember to change your blades when need be, as dull blades are more likely to cause razor burn and leave your face feeling sore.