One of the easiest, effective, and cheapest ways to give yourself a silky smooth and comfortable appearance is shaving. When done the right way, shaving can be an enjoyable ritual. The love-hate feelings we have towards shaving, primarily, stem from going about the wrong way or using the wrong cream or shaver. When done the wrong way, shaving can be a discomforting experience. You may end up with red rashes and skin burns for removing those unsightly hairs using a blunt razor. Even a sharp razor can give you those annoying and painful irritations if you do not pay attention to tiny details such as the number of blades it has, shaving cream, or your body sensitivities.
Tips For Getting The Best Out Of Your Shaving Experience
Shaving is a deceptively simple process that many people would not consider preparing for. With as little as $10, you can have a shaving brush and spend a few more dollars on a razor, and you are good to go, right? This simplicity mentality is one of the reasons why you suffer from those painful rushes and irritations after shaving. The following tips will help you get the best out of your shaving experience:
- Be Meticulous in your preparation
A good shave is as good as how you prepare for it. Before you start dragging your single blade razor through your face or applying pre-shave soap or cream, moisten it by taking a hot bath. Optionally, you can use hot moistened towels. The hair around the area you intend to shave will be soft and easy to shave.
The moistened hot towel also comes in handy if you have oily skin. It will remove any excess oil while also opening the hair pores for a comfortable and smooth shave. Warm water is also a great way to remove those dead skins that tend to clog your razor. Clogged blades are a recipe for a very uncomfortable shaving experience with an itchy and swollen hair pores in the end.
Avoid applying shave cream on a dry face. This will increase your chances of suffering from those irritating red rashes and razor burns. Always ensure that you use a pre-shave soap when moistening your face. Before shaving, apply the shaving cream or gel to reduce friction. If you can afford it, buy a face wash to use before shaving. It is also effective in removing grime, excess, and dead cells as the hot moist towels or a hot shower.
- Have a brush with the right bristles
When shaving, avoid the temptation of applying shaving cream or gel using your hands. It is not only ineffective but also increases your chances of suffering from rashes due to friction. The best shaving brushes have soft and stiff bristles. The stiffness comes in handy when you want to remove those dead skin cells that clog your shaver blades. The softness of the bristles is the key to a smooth and irritation-free shave. Soft bristles allow you to apply the shaving cream more evenly as shaving cream lathers better.
- Your skin sensitivity vs. shaving cream
The closeness of a shave is determined not only by the sharpness of the razor blades but also by the shaving cream. Foamy or lathery shaving may appeal to your eyes, but it may also be the reason why you suffer from skin irritations after shaving. Some of the chemicals used in making frothy or foamy shaving gels and creams may harm your skin. Therefore, understand your skin sensitivity first before buying any shaving razor. If you have to shop around for this important ritual, read and familiarize yourself with the constituent ingredients of your favorite shaving cream.
Many dermatologists recommend natural shaving creams which are non-lathery or non-foaming. They are safer to use on your skin and cause less friction during shaving. Moreover, they allow the blades to glide over your skin smoothly for a comfortable shaving experience. Shaving also comes with labels for different skin types. If you’re unsure about your skin type, a cream for sensitive skin will be your safer bet.
But, avoid using aerosol-based shaving creams even if you do not have sensitive skin. They will leave your skin dry after shaving, expose you to the risk of razor burns, and skin irritation.
Always go for shaving creams with a smooth, creamy texture when applied. Such creams lubricate your skin better and allow you to achieve your desired goal of a smooth shave comfortably. The cream not only lubricates and moisturizes your skin, but it also acts as a protective layer between the blade and your delicate skin.
- Invest in a good razor
A good shaving razor must be sharp and made from the right materials. Good shaving razors are primarily made of steel because they do not rust easily. The last thing you need is a rusty and dull blade that can quickly put you at risk of contracting diseases. Note, your skin will itch and burn if you use a dull and rusty razor to shave.
Secondly, your razor must get cleaned before and after every shaving episode. Preferably use warm water to dislodge those stubborn dead skins and hairs that clogged the blade. Soak in warm soapy water and rinse before storing it. This is especially important for non-disposable blades.
As a standard practice, disposable blades should be ditched after a week if you use them daily to shave your beards. Do not exceed ten episodes of shaving when using disposable razors.
When shopping for a razor, do not give in to the lure of ‘coolness’ of multiple blades; always go for single blades. They are safer and provide a smoother cut. Also, multiple blades increase friction with your skin. Single blade razors cut once but leave a soft touch. If you are in doubt of which blade to use, always go for safety razors. They give the best shave: smooth, comfortable, and safe.
- Master the technique of shaving and cream application
A pea-sized drop of the right type of shaving cream can give you the best shave. The key here is the technique of application. Do not give in to the urge of over-applying the shaving gel. Apply the gel using the right shaving brush in circular motions. If you are shaving your beard, the circular motions should move upwards and away from your face. Additionally, when applying the shaving cream, be gentle to avoid causing unintended abrasions on your skin. Remember, the bristles of your brush are both smooth and stiff.
Shaving is an essential manscaping ritual that can improve your body image with the right technique and practice. Whether you are shaving your back, beard, head, chest, or armpits, the technique remains the same: steady and constant. The best shaving results are achieved with consistent strokes. Apply less force on the razor lest you cause too much and unnecessary friction to on the skin.
Shave along – not across – the grain if you are inexperienced. Shaving against the direction of your hair growth can lead to cuts and painful hair breakages. Razor cuts are painful experiences that leave an uncomfortable bump on your chin or face. They quickly get infected and can spiral into a full-blown wound. Technique supersedes having the best shaving cream or razor. You can buy a sharp, high-end razor and apply a creamy textured shaving gel, but if you lack technique, the end product will not be smooth.
Always begin with a 90° angle between the razor and the skin before reducing it. This depends on the style of the shave you desire. For sensitive parts such as the lips or armpits, pay extra attention to avoid cuts. Stretch the lips using your tongue or inflate the cheeks with air.
- Embrace post-shave practices
Lack of proper post-shave practices can lead to irritations and red rashes. It is recommended that you use cold water to rinse the shaved areas. Secondly, apply natural products such as hazel oil to soothe your skin and prevent rashes. If you prefer using aftershaves, go for products that suit your skin. If you have dry skin, go for oily aftershaves. For individuals with oily skin, consider using less oily aftershaves. The key is to ensure that the shaved area is well hydrated to avoid inflammations and irritations.
After shaving, clean the razor blades with warm water, rinse and dry them. Avoid the impulse of leaving your razor on the sink where you were shaving. Store them away in a clean and dry area. Wetness encourages bacterial growth and rusting of blades. If you are using temporary blades, dispose of them appropriately in a safe disposal bin.
8 Benefits Of Using Safety Razors
- Reduced incidences of razor burns
Razors burns are caused by clogged and dull blades that irritate the skin. The cartridges of multiple-blade razors are susceptible to clogging by hairs and dead skin cells. A smooth shave with a multiple-blade razor may, therefore, require several strokes, which increases the chances of skin irritation and burns. With reduced shaving efficiency, the causes of ingrown hairs also increase.
Safety blades use a single blade and, therefore, rarely get clogged during shaving. These blades also remain relatively sharp for an extended period leading to better and smoother strokes.
- Health and safety of your skin
Single blade safety razors are clog-free. Therefore, they do not provide a safe haven for harmful bacteria to thrive. Note, bacteria may originate from the shaving area. Congested cartridges common in multiple-blade razors are a potential health risk as bacteria may accumulate within the cartridge over time.
Secondly, since they are clogged, you are more likely to cut your skin as you apply excessive force to achieve a smooth result. These cuts can easily be infected with the bacteria in the cartridge.
- Better shave results
The quality of a shave is primarily measured by its smoothness and presence or absence of irritations and razor burns. Remember, such is what you get when you use a sharp safety razor. The traditional safety razor comes with a single blade. In some cases, they may have two blades. However, they are not susceptible to clogging. You can, therefore, achieve a smooth shave that is free from irritations or burns.
On the contrary, multiple-blade razors may give you a smooth shave but may leave you with a bad case of skin irritation or burn. This is because of the several strokes associated with multiple blades that cause skin abrasions due to numerous passes over your skin. The number of blades determines the number of passes per stroke.
Safety razors are relatively cheaper compared to multiple-blade razors. On average, purchasing a traditional safety razor may set back under $5. If you go for high-end safety razors or famous brands, you still will spend far less. Others may cost up to $10 to $20. However, if you buy non-disposable safety razors, you can enjoy a good shave for over a week before ditching them. A non-disposable one lasts even longer. The blades last significantly longer and will save you a great deal of money, especially when you shave daily.
On the other hand, the multiple-blade razors cost significantly higher. The number of blades in each razor usually determines the price. A replacement cartridge may go as much $100 per package, depending on the brand and the number of blades. Each package comes with up to 5 heads or more. Lastly, you will need to replace these blades in less than a month if you shave daily.
- Ease of use
Safety razors are relatively easier to use compared to the modern-day multiple-blade razors. You will quickly master its use within a short time since it has simple parts and working mechanisms. You will immediately get the shaving angle. Secondly, changing to a new perspective is easy because you are only working with one or two blades.
However, modern razors come with multiple parts besides the numerous blades. In addition to understanding these parts, you also have to contend with the complexity of aligning the multiple blades to a given angle to achieve the desired shave and smoothness.
- A great way to establish a family tradition
Shaving is considered a family tradition that has the potential of bonding fathers and their sons. Safety razors require a comparatively shorter learning curve to master how well they work. Achieving the perfect shave angle requires a few minutes of learning how to tilt the blade. It can easily pass the tradition down to your children and transform shaving time as a bonding opportunity. With safety razors, shaving becomes a less tedious and boring ritual. Instead, it becomes an enjoyable experience with a comforting ending.
- Environmental safety
In a world that is increasingly choking under the burden of environmental pollution, any effort that can scale down the problem is a welcome addition to mitigation efforts. Also using safety razors is one seemingly little effort with a huge potential of positively impacting the fight against environmental pollution.
With multiple-blade razors, you will dispose of numerous materials during changeovers. From plastic wrappings to metallic blades, your disposal wastes will increase significantly. This is unlike using safety razors, which with a maximum of two blades. The waste footprint with safety razors is also low because they last longer than modern cartridge razors.
- Flexibility with blades
Safety razors are compatible with blades from different manufacturers. This flexibility allows you the freedom to get blades from your local store without worrying about its compatibility with your razor hardware. You can always go for the blade of your choice. However, modern cartridge razors are sometimes manufacturer-specific. You may be required to buy blades that are from the specific manufacturer of the razor. The restriction on proprietary blades may pose significant challenges if you find yourself in areas where such blades are not available locally.
A good shave is as good as the preparation and aftershave practices. You may have a smooth shave with no cuts, ingrown hairs, or friction, but poor aftershave practices may cause razor burns and irritations. Always invest in high-quality razors, shaving creams, or gel and pre-shave soap. Avoid the temptation of the mesmerizing shaving cream foam. It is harmful to your skin. Always use safe chemicals throughout the whole ritual to avoid undoing the excellent work done by the sharp blades of your razor. If need be, always opt for natural products that are safe to use on your skin to avoid burns and irritations, which can be discomforting.
While technological advancements have significantly transformed shaving as a ritual, nothing much has changed in what constitutes a good shave. A good shave is not only smooth as desired but also safe and less irritating. This is where traditional safety razors beat modern cartridge razors’ hands down. Safety razors have an edge in terms of quality and smooth shave that is safe and free from discomforting irritation. They are also cheaper and environmentally friendly. If you are looking to add one more exercise to your father-son bonding experience, then safety razor makes the best cut. They have a short learning curve. They are simple and easy to use and master.