Even if the rugged vibe has come back in style, not every gentleman can pull off a lumberjack look. If you’re no Chris Pine or Ryan Reynolds, then you need to learn one skill that every gentleman should know: Shaving.
Here’s a bit of truth: A lot of knowing gentleman don’t know how to shave properly. Yeah, they can get the hair off their faces but they also hate the razor burns that come with bad technique.
Well, if you still shave like a nervous teenage boy, it’s not too late to learn how to shave well. After all, some of life’s greatest moments call for a clean face, like a job interview or maybe formal family event like a distant cousin’s wedding.
In the art of shaving, the first rule is to know how to avoid razor burns.
Razor burns appear for several reasons often related to poor shaving technique. The neck area is particularly vulnerable but razor burns can appear in any area where you shave. Symptoms of razor burns include tenderness, bumps, burning and itchy sensation, and rashes.
They’re nasty. They’re uncomfortable. They’re unflattering. And they’re definitely not good for a gentleman like you.
When dealing with razor burns (and other grooming issues, to be honest), an ounce of prevention is definitely better than a pound of cure. Since we care for our fellow gentlemen, we’re giving you the lowdown. Here are three easy steps of how shaving is done by a real gentleman:
First, check your facial hygiene
Do you clean your face before you shave?
You get razor burn primarily because you are a dirty man in the most literal sense. Imagine this, you’re scraping a blade on your dirty face. And you act surprised when your face gets all red and itchy. An unkempt face keeps all these layers of oil, dust, dirt, and grime. When you introduce friction through shaving, you expose your skin to irritants and germs that may infect your skin.
The Gentleman’s Way: Prevent getting razor burn by first cleaning your face through basic washing with water and facial wash (not just soap and later you’ll find out why) before shaving.
Second, check the products you put (or not put) on your face
We told you to wash your face. Now, we’re telling you to add more things into your facial cleaning routine, like moisturize. No, it’s not unmanly to moisturize (stop it with your closed-minded stereotypes). You need to invest in a good skincare routine if you want to prevent razor burn. Dry skin is among the top reasons why you may be getting razor burn. Having dry skin is already a sign that there’s something wrong with your face. It may already be irritated and infected in the first place.
Razor burn may also be caused by your facial hair texture. We’re talking genes here and it may be beyond our control. Oftentimes, unlike straight hair, curly, coarse, thick facial hair may grow looping back, inside the skin. We call this ingrown hair and they cause what we call razor bumps.
The Gentleman’s Way: Regular moisturizing softens your skin and facial hair to prime it for shaving. Plus, use shaving cream when you shave to prevent razor burn. If you are encountering ingrown hair and razor bumps, some gentlemen use over-the-counter topical ointments that contain glycolic acid (This is known to exfoliate skin deeply. It’s also used for blackheads and whiteheads. Use carefully because this can also cause dry skin) to remedy this.
Another classic gentleman move to prevent razor burn and razor bumps is putting a warm washcloth over the face to moisturize and open the facial pores before shaving. You can see this usually done by barbers because it just works! Plus, it’s surprisingly simple, convenient, and costs nothing. You lose nothing when you try this out.
Third, check your shaving tool
You suddenly thought of shaving. So you either reach out to whatever razor is available at home or you go to the grocery or to the nearest convenience store and grab those disposable razors. We say put a little thought into the tools you use to shave your glorious facial curtain. Our word of advice, you cannot grab any razor available at your house or at your friend’s house, or your neighbor’s trash bin because again, hygiene! Imagine scraping your face with a razor possibly laced with fecal matter. Using dirty razor is just a no no if you are trying to not to get razor burn.
The Gentleman’s Way: If you regularly shave, it is best that you invest on quality shaving tools. Get a quality razor whether disposable or non-disposable. There are a lot of options to choose from nowadays. After choosing your razor, maintain it. Keeping the razor dry helps maintain the sharpness of its blade/s. Moisture is the breeding ground of bacteria. And you most definitely don’t want bacteria sitting in your razor. Also, make sure that you always use a sharp razor. Dull razors also cause irritation and razor burn.
Lastly, for a gentleman, shaving is considered a ritual.
Shaving should take time. Like a ritual, it should be an exact, careful, and a well thought of process. A gentleman, like you, knows that doing things right, even the most mundane act of shaving, is a matter of living up to a standard of quality you know you deserve. More than luxury, proper shaving is proper hygiene and experiencing razor burns and bumps are indicative that something is wrong about your shaving. Maybe it’s time for you to make self-care a priority, too.
With these three easy steps, we hope we were able to help a fellow gentleman out.