Top 10 Shaving Questions

Many of us grew up watching our fathers shave – but without really taking any notice of their technique!

Eventually, when it was our turn, we were left to our own devices and it was a real case of trial and error to discover what worked best.

alcohol is why aftershave stingsThis is far from ideal as facial skin is amazingly sensitive and there really is an art to shaving and a really good shave does take time, effort and technique.

Shaving is a highly personal daily routine because there are various hair types and these are often linked to different nationalities

There are assorted combinations including thick hair and thin beard, thick hair and thick beard or thick hair and sensitive facial skin – plus many others!

It really is important to learn which shaving products suit your skin best. 

To help end some of the confusion about shaving, we bring you the 10 top shaving questions…

1. What exactly is wet shaving?

Wet shaving is the traditional type of shaving that your Dad and Grandpa probably did. First shaving soap or cream is applied to the skin and lathered up and then a straight, safety or cartridge razor is used to shave the skin.

The result is a smooth, close shave – if the correct technique is used. This type of shaving did fall out of favour for a few years and many men switched to electric razors, but wet shaving is currently enjoying a real renaissance.  

2. There are so many different shaving products, how do I know which ones to buy?

Shaving Questions,shavingIt is true that if you look at any shelf of shaving products, there is a dazzling array of gels, foams and creams.

The main difference between them is the proportion of soap and moisturiser they contain.

Gels and foams tend to contain more soap than moisturiser – but brands vary, so it is worth reading the label. If you have sensitive skin, it is best to opt for a shaving cream as this contains a higher percentage of moisturiser which helps to keep your skin in good condition. It also ensures that the razor lightly glides over your skin without dragging and damaging it.

A pre-shave oil is a good investment for everyone as it helps prevent razor burn, skin irritation and ingrown hairs as it creates a protective film over the skin. If you have a moustache or beard, it will make the hair softer. 

3. The array of different razors is equally bewildering

Your choice of razor will come down to personal preference and the time you have for your shaving routine each morning.

Wet shaving gives you the better shave and there are straight, safety and cartridge razors to choose from. Both the straight and safety razor use a single blade and for the optimum cut, a sharp quality blade is needed and a good shaving technique.

Cartridge razors are available with multiple blades and the blades stretch the skin as they shave and they also adjust their angle so they are easy to master. The other main type of razor to consider is the electric razor which certainly speeds up the morning routine – dare I say, shaving precious moments off the time needed!

Whichever type of razor you opt for, it is worth reading some reviews to find a good one. 

Shaving Questions,shaving4. How do I get a closer shave?

It really is essential to prepare your skin well for shaving to soften the hair and skin.

Take a shower first as the steam will help open the pores of your skin. Gently wash your face in warm water first and pat dry gently with a soft towel.

If you don’t have time for a shower, hold a hot, damp towel against your face for a few moments as this will have the same result. 

Next, lather your face with a good quality shaving soap using a shaving brush as this massages the skin and lifts the hairs from the skin ensuring a closer cut. 

5. How often should I change blades?

This does vary from person to person, but the average time seems to be after 4-5 shaves. The indicator for changing blades is when you feel the blade pulling your hair rather than just gliding over your skin.

Factors that affect how often you change blades include your hair type, the razor and the blades you are using. Never store your razor or spare blades in the bathroom as the humidity will damage them – store somewhere dry.

6. How do you prevent ingrown hairs?

The best prevention is to exfoliate your skin once a week using a facial scrub. These are available for different skin types. Once you have used the facial scrub, always use an alcohol-free moisturiser as this will replenish the moisture in your skin.

Shaving Questions,shaving7. What causes razor bumps, burns and rash?

These are all common side effects of shaving that can be minimised by ensuring that your razor blade is in good condition  and is sharp.

Use plenty of shaving cream  to lubricate your skin so that the razor glides over and also use a good shaving technique – there is no need to press hard on your skin with the razor, just hold it comfortably and lightly.

Always shave in the direction of hair growth and never shave ‘against the grain’.  

8. How do you complete your shaving routine?

After you have finished shaving, rinse your skin with cool water and pat dry with a towel. 

Always apply an alcohol-free moisturiser to calm and rehydrate your skin. Moisturisers containing alcohol can feel refreshing but they do irritate the skin, so best to be avoided.  

9. Do shaving products have a ‘shelf life’?

Surprisingly they do!

Manufacturers recommend that shaving creams should be used within two years of purchase and shaving soaps are best used within three years as they begin to dry out after that and it will be harder to get a good lather with them. 

10. Does regular shaving make hair darker and thicker?

Shaving Questions,shavingUnfortunately, this is a popular myth! No matter how regularly you shave, your hair will m not grow any thicker – in fact all you can do is improve the quality of your skin, hair follicles and any facial hair by using a quality alcohol-free moisturiser.

Your facial hair may be a slightly darker colour, but equally it could be a lighter shade than the hair on your head and the reason for this is that the natural pigments found in facial hair are different to those in the hair of your head. 

If you feel that you could be getting a better shave, why not pop into your high street store and get some advice on the razor and shaving products you are currently using? Another good idea is to have a professional shave at your favourite barbers and ask him for some advice along the way…  

After all, you will want your morning shave to be a pleasurable experience as you’ll be spending at least five minutes every morning with a razor in your hand and that adds up to the equivalent of 45 days through your lifetime!