Shaving might seem like second nature to you these days, but there are some common mistakes men don’t even realise they’re making. According to 4th generation barber and owner of Grand Royal Barbers, Steve Salecich, there are five crucial no-nos to avoid if you want to get a great shave. Here they are:
1. Not preparing the face properly before shaving
“Many guys shave in the shower or rush through preparing their face, leaving bristles course and ill prepared. Not softening the hair prior to shaving can lead to ingrown hairs, nicks to the skin and razor burn,” says Salecich. This can be prevented by having a warm shower to open the pores, exfoliating and then applying a shave gel to soften bristles and help the razor pass over the face effortlessly without irritation.
2. Not knowing your own face
There are quite a few sensitive areas around the face such as The Bunny Slope (the upper lip), The Cliffhanger (under the chin) and The Hot Corner (at the edge of the mouth). Salecich says these can vary on each individual so it is important to understand the sensitive areas of your face and proceed with care on the areas you know are vulnerable.
3. Shaving against the direction the bristle grows on the face
A common mistake is to shave against the growth of the bristle. Salecic says this will cause irritation in areas like The Claw (the sensitive skin at the side of the neck) and in some cases it can also cause ingrown hairs. Always shave your face in the direction of your growth. Get to know your growth patterns and if you want a closer shave stretch the skin from above the area you wish to shave and shave lightly across the growth.
4. Using blunt razors
“If you use a razor for too long the razor will become blunt and can cause irritation in sensitive areas. The first step to prevent this from happening is to recognise that the razor is becoming dull. If your razor is tugging at the bristle, it’s time to replace the blade,” says Salecich. Using a precisely engineered razor to cut the hair shaft, such as the Gillette ProGlide will also prevent drag and pulling across the face. Keep your razor clean, rinse it in hot water after use and place it in a dry area to increase the longevity.
5. Not finishing off the shave
Leaving your pores open after shaving can result in dry skin, redness and spots says Salecich. Close the pores by rinsing your face thoroughly with cold water, followed by applying a moisturising balm to replenish the skin. This will soothe any redness or irritations caused by the razor, particularly around sensitive areas.