Shaving Tips for Men: Top 5 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid
One of the hardest things about starting a new skill is understanding exactly what you do and don’t know. Finding that piece of awareness that little nugget of knowledge that separates us drowning in the ocean from knowing how to tread water and start heading towards shore can be difficult. Often a coach or mentor is often the best way to orient your compass but having someone along with you in the washroom in unlikely to happen and not much less a bit awkward. For those just beginning, after choosing a safety razor, their wet-shaving journey here are some lodestones to help you find your way.
Pressure Pressure Pressure!! One of the hardest things to master when first beginning to shave with a safety razor is how little pressure you actually need. Because modern cartridge razors use springs in the head you are used to pressing the head of the razor onto your face. With this pressure, even with as slight pressure needed for those small springs, it can prove absolutely painful with a safety razor. With a safety razor the blade sits right on the surface of the skin so a very light hand is needed. To the beginner it will feel like you are applying no pressure at all, just rest the razor on your face and let gravity do the work.
Failing to prepare your hair for shaving or prepping it too much can have disastrous effects. Despite what advertisements show a quick splash or two of water is not going to properly prepare you for a shave. The best method is going to be either a hot towel or a hot shower. The steam and water works to soften the outer keratin layer of the hair allowing for an easier cut. However on the flip side too much prep could irritate or cause inflammation. If you were to have too hot a towel on your face it could cause swelling or even burns and trying to shave with that will not go well at all.
When first starting the journey an influx of new equipment, soaps, creams, brushes, blades, and everything else is all very exciting and the temptation is to try it all as soon as possible! I mean who doesn’t get excited about new stuff!? However, being unfamiliar with new products and using multiple new products highly increases your chance for error and an unfavorable outcome. I highly recommend sticking with one set up for a week’s worth of shaves. The allows you to become familiar with the nuances of those products and get the best performance out of them you can. The exception to this is blades sometimes those last only 3-4 shaves, so don’t push those past how they shave well.
Don’t be afraid to try those new products. When learning a product, especially a soap or cream don’t skimp. For creams an almond sized dollop is good and for soaps load your brush for about 20-30 seconds to allow enough soap to gather on the bristles. If for some reason proportions are off and you don’t feel like a good shave is happening add a little more water or a little more product. Even then, don’t be afraid to scrap it altogether and start over. It’s worth learning what feels right.
This last one if probably the hardest of all, don’t go shooting for that perfect, baby skin smooth shave right off the bat. No matter how hard you try it’s not going to happen for a while and going after it no matter what will lead to overworking your face and a painful ending. Let the smoothness come with time. After all, we are shooting for beard reduction not beard removal.
Every journey begins with a few steps as the saying goes. As with any new skill acquiring the proper techniques and then applying them take time, patience, and a certain learning curve. We all encounter it sooner or later whether it’s learning to ride a bicycle or speak a new language.
Hopefully these tips will help you today in avoiding some early pitfalls and propel you quicker to that fantastic shave. Above all, remember to enjoy the journey!