The Handbook

The 5 Most Common Shaving Mistakes

Most men have been shaving a few times each week since puberty. Which results in plenty of practice at dragging that sharp blade across their face. But that doesn't mean they've gotten any better at it. And couldn't we all use some improvement? Herewith, five surefire ways to improve your daily shave and prevent the most common blunders made at the bathroom sink.


Poor Prep

If you're just turning on the tap and wetting your face with a splash of cold water, you're doing yourself a disservice. You want to open up your pores and relax the hair follicles, and the best way to do that is with steam or a hot towel applied to the face. The next best thing? Simply washing your face with warm water, which will soften the stubble and make it easier to cut. Shaving after a shower is the ideal time.


2. Sloppy Rinsing

With each stoke, your razor is filled with a sediment of hair, dead skin and shaving cream. It easily builds up between your blades and reduces the sharpness and glide of your shave. The result is, at best, not a very close shave and, at worst, nicks and razor burn. So be sure to thoroughly rinse your blade after each pass.


Too Hard

Less is more when it comes to shaving. Pressing the razor hard against your skin will create an uneven surface. You won't achieve the right angle to properly cut the hair and also run the risk of digging into or cutting the skin. Use a light touch and let the razor do the work. If you feel like you need to press harder to cut the hair, you likely have a dull blade that is in need of replacing.


4. Neglecting Your Neck

Nothing ruins that clean, freshly-shaved look quite like unkempt tufts of hair on your neck. Make sure when you're shaving under your chin that you continue down your neck and past your Adam's apple. Ideally, there should be no hair north of your collar.


The Grain


It was likely one of the warnings you got from your father when you started shaving: don't go against the grain. But many men, looking to get the smoothest shave possible, flip that razor upside down and sweep it back over the areas they've just shaved. And it's almost a guaranteed path to irritation, red bumps and painful ingrown hairs. If you need to go over an area again, wait until you're done shaving your whole face and then go back over the area in the direction of the hair growth.

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