The Art of

Shaving

(Part II)

I mentioned in a previous article that I hate to shave, and I wrote in that article about why I use the type of razor that I use. In this article, I’ll elaborate on the steps I take to get the closest shave possible. As a note, I am not implying that the following steps represent the best method to get a close shave. The objective here is to simply present my process.

Prep

When one gets a shave at a high end barber shop, the barber typically uses a warm towel on the face to cause the pores in one’s face to open. This in turn causes the hair follicles on the face to rise. I always shave right after a shower. This is the next best thing to the hot towel treatment, as the heat and steam from the shower provide the same result. By completing this often missed step, you’ll get a closer shave, as well as a shave during which the razor glides more smoothly, since the hair is also softened by the heat.

Apply Shaving Cream

This step is pretty self-explanatory. Some people say it is best to use a brush to apply the shaving cream. Others say that the brush is a waste of time and money. This, of course, is your call. I personally don’t use one. There is no best type or brand of shaving cream to use. I typically do not like shaving gel, as it has a greater tendency to clog up the razor blade.

Shave

Use new or lightly used (no more than 2-3 uses) razor. Make gentle, short, controlled strokes with the razor, without putting too much pressure on the blade. I know this sounds backwards, but shave with the grain. Shaving against the grain and/or going over the same spots too many times is the cause of many cuts and bumps.

Rinse

The last step is to rinse your face with cold water. I have read that the cold water will help the pores to contract. I rinse with cold water because to me, it just feels better than warm water. I then pat my face dry with a towel and apply a splash of aftershave.

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