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Men’s Comprehensive Guide To Shaving: Everything You Ever Needed To Know
Men can shave any part of their body where there is unwanted hair. There are two types of shaving, wet shaving and dry shaving. Wet shaving is when a straight razor or safety razor is used in conjunction with water and usually shaving cream. Dry shaving is when an electric type of razor is used and no shaving cream or water is required.
The most common places for men to shave on their body is their face, head, chest, abdomen, and their pubic region. There are different approaches that are taken when shaving different parts of the body, though they are all similar. We’re going to discuss them thoroughly here.
Before beginning the shaving process, always check the blades on your razor. Blades that are dull, worn, or have rust should never be used. Dull and worn blades can give you razor burn, and increase the risk of ingrown hairs. Blades with rust should be thrown away immediately as they could cause a serious infection if they nic the skin while shaving. You should only use clean, sharp blades for shaving. Always store your razor and blades in a dry, clean location to prevent bacteria from accumulating, which could cause infection.
If using an electric razor, it is important to be sure it is clean as well. Electric razors can be cleaned with warm water and soap, or wiped down with a warm washcloth. Keep electric razor well-oiled and cleaned out of hair to prevent snags and pulling while shaving.
Choosing the Right Razor
Which razor men use is completely an individual choice. What most men don’t realize is that there are certain razors that are better for them, probably better than the one they are currently using.
Choosing the right safety razor can be difficult. Many men go through dozens of different razor types before they find the perfect one.
The main factor that will determine which type of razor is best for you is the type of hair you have in the region you plan on shaving with that razor. (Some men require different razors for different areas).
Men with fine hair and only a small area to cover would only need a safety razor with a single blade. Single blade razors are best for fine or short hair, and work well covering small or confining spaces.
If you have thick or coarse hair in the area you will be shaving, you will need a razor with multiple blades. Multiple blade razors are excellent at covering large areas and removing thick hairs. Multiple blade razors tend to be heavier than single blade razors, so they can be harder to maneuver and can’t get into small spaces easily.
No two multiple blade razors are made the same. They are all different and have different features. Most of these will say on the packaging what their best features are, such as a close shave, or easy turning. The only way to truly find the best razor for you is by test-driving many different ones until you find your fit.
There are also other factors to take into consideration when choosing a safety razor. There are different types of handle styles, designs, and the materials they are made out of can be different as well. There are also some safety razors that feature a lubricating strip, which provide added moisturization when shaving.
Choosing an electric razor is often much more difficult than choosing a safety razor. There are dozens of brands and types of electric razors on the market, and it can become overwhelming. The right electric razor for you will depend on the area you intend to shave and the features you are looking for in a razor.
There are electric razors that are made for certain types of the body, such as the mustache or the chest, and those that are intended for use anywhere. Regardless of where you want to shave, you should do away with brand loyalty and look for a razor that offers what you are looking for and is of good quality.
If you have a preference for how the razor cuts, then you can narrow your selection down. There are different ways in which electric razors can cut the hair on your body. Foil based electric razors have a metal mesh covering to protect your skin as the cutter that is quickly moving back and forth and may have a single or multiple blades. Electric razors that feature rotary cutters are those with the spinning blades. The blades on rotary cutting razors are covered by circular heads that rotate to cut the hair.
The type of razor and the way it cuts are the two factors that are the most important to most men. There are other features that can be sought after, and are usually an added bonus. One of the most attractive features in an electric razor is if it’s waterproof. Many men like to shave in the shower, so a waterproof razor is ideal.
There are razors that are rechargeable and some that are battery operated, so they don’t always need a plug-in to work and are great for traveling. Razors that are washable are great, because they allow you to clean them up, leaving less mess. Washable razors are only waterproof at the blades or heads, which can be rinsed off under running water.
Electric razors are usually unattractive to some people because of the cost. While they can be expensive, if you are in the market for an electric razor, the right one will last you years. The cost of an electric razor over safety razors is considerably low if you consider the long-term. One of the best things about an electric razor is that the risk of nicks and cuts is little to none.
An electric razor might not be the best option for men who have sensitive skin, want an extremely close shave, or that don’t want a complete shave. Since an electric razor may sometimes require you to go over the face multiple times for a better shave, it could irritate already sensitive skin. They also aren’t made for a baby-soft shave where there is absolutely no hair left. And if you don’t need an all-over facial shave, you probably shouldn’t get an electric razor, because they tend to have a hard time getting around other facial hair such as a goatee.
Shaving the Face
The face is the area that majority of men shave most often. Many men prefer the look of a face that is clean shaven or has trimmed facial hair. There are different ways to approach shaving the face, none of them are wrong if they work for you.
If your beard is longer than an inch, you should trim the beard or facial hair with scissors or an electric beard trimmer before shaving. Try to get as close to the skin as possible. If you try to just go in and straight out shave hair that is long, you could pull the hairs, clog up the razor, and leave you with a bad shave.
Do You Get Skin Irritation?
Before shaving, make sure you have all of the tools you will need already lined up, prepared, and ready to go for shaving. You do not want to be fumbling around for shave cream or a razor when it is time to shave. For an extra sharp razor, let it soak in cold water while you shower. Heat makes the blades expand, which can cause them to be duller.
Anytime you decide to shave your face, you always need to prepare the face. This helps you get an extremely close shave, and prevents razor burn. The best time to shave is during or after you have taken a hot shower. The steam and water from the shower work to open up your pores and soften the facial hair, providing a closer and cleaner shave.It is recommended to wash your face with an exfoliating soap or scrub before shaving. This helps remove dead skin cells and further open pores. If you can’t take a shower right then, soak a hand towel in some hot water for a few minutes, wring it out, and let it sit on your face for a few minutes.
Prepare the skin for shaving by applying a pre-shave oil or lubrication, especially if you have sensitive skin that is prone to razor burn or breaking out after shaving. The oil makes the skin smoother for the razor to gently glide over. You can use just a dime sized drop in the palm of your head. Massage the oil into your facial hair that you will be shaving. Let the oil sit for about a minute for the best effects.
Another way in which you prepare your face for shaving is by using shave cream. For the best possible shave, you shouldn’t skimp on your shave cream and buy the cheap brands. Buy a brand that is well known for being high quality. Look for brands that are glycerine-based. Glycerine helps the razor to glide more smoothly over the hair. Avoid brands that have menthol as an ingredient, because it hardens the hair and closes pores.
Instead of applying shave cream by hand, purchase a badger shaving brush, similar to those used in barber shops that provide shaving services. Put your shave cream into a bowl or directly onto the brush. Use the brush to apply to shave cream to your face, moving it in a circular direction. When you apply the shave cream in this way, it lifts the hair and exfoliates at the same time. It also makes more of a lather so you use less shave cream at a time and get a closer shave.
If you do not have shave cream on hand, it is alright to use conditioner or another type of oil that is intended for shaving. You should never use regular bar soap for shaving. The bar soap dries the skin out, can burn pores as they are shaved, and can increase razor burn. Shaving with soap can also damage your razor by eroding and dulling the blades.
When shaving, the skin should be pulled tight with your free hand, and you should shave with the grain. You shouldn’t shave up against the grain, this could cause the hairs to grow up and back into the skin leaving you with ingrown hairs. The blade should glide over the skin, never pushing down, and you should not apply any pressure to avoid nicks and cuts. After your first shave you can always shave again if you need a closer shave. If your current razor does not seem to be getting the job done, try a razor with more blades.
When you are done shaving you should always rinse your face in only cold or cool water to close the pores. Use a clean washcloth or towel to dry your face, then apply an aftershave to the shaved area. Try to use aftershave products that provide moisturizing, and avoid those that have alcohol which can excessively dry out the skin.
If you are using an electric razor, you can follow the same steps above. Even when using an electric razor it is still important to follow the right steps to take care of your skin and get the best possible shave that you can.
Shaving Your Head
Having a shaved and bald head is no longer just a last resort for men experiencing balding. A shaved head can be a bold statement, and is a popular hair choice for for men. A bald head is also one of the most low-maintenance hairstyles you could have.
Like shaving your face, the best time to shave your head is right after or during a hot shower. The hair will be softened and the pores opened.
If your hair is currently longer than a quarter of an inch, you are going to need to trim it down to that length, this is especially important if you have coarse or thick hair. You can use an electric blade clipper or trimmer for this step. If the hair is longer than half an inch, it will be harder to get a close and easy shave.
Before you shave you should exfoliate your scalp with a grainy scrub of your choice. Any facial or body scrub will work well on the scalp. This removes dead skin and flakes from the hair and scalp, allowing for a better shave.
If you can, you should use a shaving oil or lubricant on the scalp. Use a dime-sized amount and thoroughly work into the hair and scalp. Let it sit for a minute. The lubricant will soften the hair and let the razor glide more easily over the hair.
The next step is to get ready for the actual shaving by preparing your shaving cream and razor. Try to shave in a room that has excellent lighting, and use a hand mirror if you can so that you can see your head from all angles.
Apply a thick lather or shave cream to your scalp and begin to shave. You should shave with the grain for the first few times you shave your head until your scalp can adjust to being shaved. Hold the razor firmly. Try to avoid going over the same area more than once, and move the razor is smooth, light strokes. You shouldn’t push down too hard on the scalp. In between strokes, rinse the blade with warm water.
When you are done, re-lather your head with shave cream to check for any spots that were missed. Be sure check the areas on the back of the neck and behind the ears as they are often missed. If you missed any spots, shave those and rinse your head in cool water.
After you have rinsed your head, shampoo, then pat dry. You should apply an aftershave solution to your head like you would your face. Try to use aftershave that includes moisturizers, and avoid those with alcohol that can dry out the skin.
Taking care of your shaved head is important. Keep your scalp moisturized, and prevent burns by applying sunscreen often. To maintain your shaved head, you will need to shave no longer than every two days.
Shaving the Pubic Area
Many men trim and shave their pubic region and genitals. This area is the most prone to razor burn, ingrown hairs, cuts, and infection from shaving, so it requires the most care when it is shaved.
If you aren’t interested in a full shave, a simple trim would suffice. The area can be trimmed by using scissors, but that isn’t the most recommended method. If you are going to use scissors, you should use small grooming scissors that don’t have long blades that could possibly cut into an area you didn’t intend it to.
Another option for just a trim is a men’s personal groomer. These electric tools are sold at various retailers by a lot of different brands. Personal groomers are ideal for a trim in your nether regions because they are small, able to maneuver tight spaces, and are easier to control than bulky trimmers or scissors. Electric trimmers also reduce the risk of razor burn and ingrown hairs versus using a safety razor and can be used either wet or dry. There is no special preparation that needs to take place to trim your pubic area, except to wash the area ahead of time.
You should never, under any circumstances, use a straight razor to shave the pubic area. These are difficult to control around the genitals, and could lead to a nasty cut. If you are going to shave the area with a razor, you should always use a safety razor. You may need a different type of safety razor here than you use for your face, depending on your personal preferences. It is recommended to use a multi-blade pivoting razor in the pubic region for a better shave since pubic hair tends to be more coarse and thick than other body hair.
If you are going for a full shave, be sure to trim the area first in the same way you would your head. If you don’t trim, the hair may be too long and could pull, snag, and cause ingrown hairs and irritation.
Before shaving, you should take a warm or hot shower and wash the area. If you can, use an exfoliating scrub to remove dead skin cells for a better shave. If you can’t take a shower, place a warm or hot towel on the area to soften the hairs and open the pores, which will help you obtain a smoother shave.
Moisturize the area and slicken the hair with shaving oil. Massage a dime-sized amount of shaving oil into the entire region to be shaved. After applying the oil, coat the area with shaving cream, using a shave cream brush if you have one. If you don’t have a brush, apply the shave cream to the area with your hands, using a circular motion.
When you are ready to shave, you should hold the razor firmly in your hand so it doesn’t slip and leave you with a cut. Always try to use a new blade when shaving the pubic area. Due to the coarseness and sensitivity of the area, it is best to always use a new, sharp blade to prevent irritation, pulling, and ingrown hairs.
While shaving you should hold the skin only slightly taut, not too much. You should shave with the grain the first few times you shave the area, to toughen the skin and get it used to being shaved. Between strokes you should rinse the blade in warm water on both the front and the back. If you don’t rinse and the blades get clogged with hair, they won’t shave as well. You should also rinse the handle every few strokes to prevent it from getting slippery.
When you are done shaving, rinse the entire area with lukewarm to cool water. Pat dry and massage a moisturizer or aftershave with built-in moisturizer into the area. Do not use any products on the pubic area that contain alcohol. Alcohol will dry out the skin and could cause further irritation to the sensitive area.
The Rest of the Body
You’ve read how to shave the most commonly shaved parts of a man. Some men like to shave other parts of their bodies, such as the armpits, legs, and chest.
Shaving other parts of the body is similar to the head, face, and pubic region. You should follow the above tips for shaving other areas of the body. Always wash the area, use heat to soften the hair and open pores, exfoliate, use a shaving cream, be careful, and use an aftershave or a moisturizer on the area.
Effects of Shaving
No matter how careful you are, from time to time you are going to experience various types of skin irritation from shaving.
If you are prone to skin irritation using a regular safety razor, try exclusively using an electric razor. These are much less likely to give you any type of skin irritation.
Itching, light burning, and irritation are most commonly caused by tiny cuts that are too small to see, and the result of a blade gliding over the skin. Use high quality moisturizers frequently if you experience these symptoms.
Razor burn is one of the most common results of shaving. The small, red bumps burn and are usually caused by too dull a blade, not using shave cream, or too much pressure. These usually resolve themselves.
Ingrown hairs are another very common result of shaving. Ingrown hairs are caused by the hair growing out of the skin, and then back in. Ingrown hairs are very susceptible to infection and are usually painful. To prevent infection, use triple-antibiotic ointment on the area and keep it cleaned. Do not shave over the ingrown hair while it is healing.
If you keep getting different types of skin irritation as a result of shaving, it might be time to reconsider the type of razor you are using, or your shaving regimen. If you are shaving correctly and using the right tools and methods, you should only experience the above side effects of shaving from time to time, not often.
Shaving is a great way to take care of your hygiene and improve self confidence. Follow the above tips to always get a perfect shave and look your best.