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The Better Way to Shave

June 19, 2010

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So, you thought you knew how to shave. But you’re constantly dealing with scrapes, cuts and ingrown hairs. Is that any way to look or feel your best? Absolutely NOT! Here are some tips on how to get a nice close shave whether you’re a guy or gal.

Let me guess, you’re still shaving with soap and water. Or maybe you’ve been using the same shaving cream brand from when you were 15. Either way, here are some tips for shaving while minimizing the risks of irritation and scrapes. Some of these tips you probably knew before, but some of them might be new to you.

  1. If you can, exfoliate BEFORE you shave. I know this sounds odd, but you should get rid of the dead skin cells first. Don’t use a chemical peel right before shaving though, it might lead to red, irritated skin during the shave. This might sound obvious, but use a body scrub for your body, and a facial scrub for your face. You can’t imagine how many people try to put a body scrub on their face (and end up extremely irritated).
  2. Never EVER shave dry! When you shave, the razor actually exfoliates as it removes the hair. Water and shaving cream act as a lubricant so the razor slides over the skin instead of scraping too many layers off. Exfoliation is good, but scraping off the top 10 layers of skin is bad bad bad.
  3. Make sure you change blades regularly. Even if you don’t shave often, the blade will start to deteriorate from the exposure to water and shaving cream. Shaving with a dull or compromised blade, will result in stubble and possible nicks and irritations. I like to save money as much as the next person, but shaving with a dull blade will only lead to trouble.
  4. Experiment with the type of razor you use. If you’re less likely to buy replacement blades for that cool razor you have, maybe you should buy disposables instead. You’ll probably want at least 3 blades in the razor, I find that 4 is better. I haven’t seen any noticeable difference between 4 and 5, but you might want to try it and see for yourself. Also, the heads that pivot are more forgiving, and move with the flow of your skin, so that’s usually the way to go. Electric is hit or miss, some people love it and some hate it, that’s your call.
  5. Use warm water. If you can, shave while you’re in the shower. The warm water will soften the hair, and start to make the hair stand up.
  6. Use a warming shave cream, warming shave lotion or Warming Trend Green Tea instead of soap. The warmth will further soften the hair and make it stand up. Shaving products are better lubricants than soap, so you’ll get a better shave. Put it this way, you wouldn’t put water in your car engine and expect it to run as well as it would with oil would you?
  7. Shave WITH the grain! That means shave in the direction the hair is growing, next against it. As women, we were taught to shave up from our ankles, and men were taught to shave up from their necks towards their chin. Don’t do it! If you’ve softened the hair and have a good razor, you’ll get a better shave by shaving with the grain, and run less risk of nicks, cuts and ingrown hairs. It’ll take some time getting used to, but it’s worth it.
  8. Rinse the razor very often, and with hot water. How can the razor take off more hair, if there’s a ton of hair and shaving lotion already on the blade?
  9. Shave slowly, and don’t repeat strokes if at all possible. I was told in the past by a Sensei, “Slow is fast, and fast is slow”. It means that if you go too fast, you end up not doing it incorrectly and have to do it again. Concentrate on doing it correctly, and you’ll actually finish faster than if you rushed through it. So, if you shave slowly and pay attention to how you’re shaving, you’ll only have to shave a specific area once, which is better for your skin and leads to less ingrown hairs.

If you tend to have irritation after you shave, you will want to avoid alcohol based after shaves and body lotions. For your face, you might want to try Calming Fluid or Soothing After Shave. For your body, you can try Corticure or something that has Aloe or antioxidants.

Try some of these tips and let me know what you think. Post some tips of your own, always love new suggestions!

Christine

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