It may seem simple if you’ve been doing it every day or two for the past fifteen years but shaving can be a little tricky at first, even dangerous! The method I’m covering here involves a standard shaving wand and razor along with a bit of shaving gel or cream.
Shaving wands are usually designed to work with one brand of razor blade and aren’t interchangeable. In the image below I’ve got a Gillette Sensor Excel that is designed to work with double blade razors. If I wanted to try out the Mach Three or some other line of blade I’d have to buy a whole new kit and then I’d be locked into that model henceforth. I prefer the double blade Sensor Excel because the head is mostly stationary and doesn’t flex as much as the Mach Three. This gives me more control and power when shaving but also makes it easier to get cut. The Sensor Excel is my first and only wand and it was actually handed down to me by my father in my teenage years, it’s lasted well over 10 years now and still does the job as long as the razor is new and sharp.
While we’re on the subject of razors, I tend to overuse my blades which eventually dulls them out and starts to create more rash and cuts. It is less comfortable to shave with an older blade and this feeling is increased with hard and mineral filled water but I feel that changing out blades too soon is wasteful. I get ten or more shaves per blade and keep them clean by washing, blowing and even using a bit of toilet paper to brush out shaven bristles. Sometimes I’ll completely remove a blade and run water through it in reverse to clean it out.
For shaving cream I use Edge fragrance free ultra sensitive gel because my skin is sensitive and I can be allergic to strong orders and perfumes. The gel feels nice and foams up when you rub it around, it almost seems like you get more volume with gells than foams. When I’m traveling and need a smaller size shaving solution to comply with the TSA guidelines of 3.4 ounces, I go with Barbasol original (mostly because that’s what Dennis Nedry used to smuggle dinosaur DNA out of Jurassic Park). The funny thing is, you can actually buy Barbasol lookalike can safes on the internet for for well under $20… but just remember what happened to Nedry.
So now that we’ve got the supplies, all we need is a sink or water basin, preferably with warm water, and ideally a mirror and towel.
- turn the water on and let it reach a warm temperature, begin splashing water on your face to moisten the skin and facial hair
- continue wetting your face until the skin feels warm and all hair is damp
- spray shaving gel or foam into your hand and begin applying it all over the areas you plan to shave, avoid getting it into your nose, eyes and mouth
- add a bit more foam, continue working cream into the skin and hairs until you are satisfied
- take out your shaving wand and make sure the blade is clean and sharp to prepare for shaving
- gently shave hairs off of your face in a downward motion with repeated strokes, rinse blade and wand every few strokes to keep it clear and to avoid irritation and rash
- shaving against the grain can get a closer shave but may be painful, I usually only do this on a second pass or on my cheek bones, chin and lower lip
- once all areas are shaved consider applying a second coat of shaving cream and touching up rough areas, the second coat may numb your skin and will make shaving much smoother, you can also focus more on trouble spots
- once finished rinse your wand and blade of all shaving residue and hair then store in a cool dry place
- rinse your face and pad dry with a towel, consider using after shave or face moisturizer to ward off dry skin, avoid sunscreens that absorb into the skin which may sting and cause irritation
Those are the steps for shaving but here are a few tips to help you speed things up and avoid getting cut:
- use one hand to pull your cheek skin up when shaving around jaw lines this will make it easier to get a thorough shave but avoid cuts and irritation
- when shaving around your neck try swallowing a bit of water or air to move your Adam’s apple out of the way
- for thicker beards consider shaving twice, once to remove most of the long hairs and again to get the soft skin and eliminate patches that may have been missed
- consider plucking nose hairs and eyebrow/unibrow hairs instead of shaving, this will ensure they don’t grow back thick and dark or as quickly