I don’t care what the “experts” say, if you want a close shave you must go against the grain and shave in the shower. Here are the best tips I’ve found combined with how One Southern Man gets a close shave every day.
So let’s break the shave down into three sections: pre-shave, shave and post-shave.
It’s always best to shave after a shower or hot bath as the hot water opens the pores and softens the hair on the face, making it easier to shave. I’ve been shaving in the shower for over 20 years and I find it the most convenient and soothing way to shave. I recommend starting with a fog-free mirror but I haven’t used one in years and can tell my feeling if I’ve missed any spots.
While you’re in the shower or bath, make sure to cleanse your skin – preferably with an exfoliating scrub. This unblocks the pores and encourages the hairs to stand up. It’ll give you less resistance when shaving, preventing ingrown hairs.
Next, apply a pre-shave oil to help lubricate the skin. This allows your razor to glide with more ease, and protects the skin from nicks and rashes. Keeping the skin clean and moisturised is as important as having a close shave, in our opinion.
Finally, press a hot flannel against the face and hold for a minute. (not necessary if you’re in the shower) This helps soften the bristles, which decreases drag when shaving. Using a silver tipped badger hair shaving brush, whip your shaving cream or soap into a thick lather, and apply in circular motions.
Top tip: Try adding a few drops of your pre-shave oil to the shaving cream for an even smoother shave.
First things first: always go with the grain the first time around. Shave with the direction of your hair growth, not against it. This prevents razor burn and irritation. Always pull the skin tight around the area you are shaving – this prevents nicks on the skin.
Have a think about the blade you’re using, too. If you have sensitive skin, it’s advisable to go for a single blade razor.
If your priority is a closer shave, then opt for a triple blade razor like the Walgreen’s Studio 35 razor, vowing to leave the expensive Gillette blades on the shelf.
Always remember to knock the stubble off your razor and rinse regularly to make sure no hair is trapped in the razor – this can affect the quality of your shave.
The best way to get a really close shave is to shave against the grain the second time around. But go carefully, as this is when most men cut themselves. Pull the skin tight and don’t push hard – just allow the razor to glide. For best results when shaving against the grain, use a lubricating pre-shave oil. If you have sensitive skin, shaving against the grain isn’t advisable. Think about what’s more important to you: a too-close shave or clear, rash-free skin.
My order of shaving: sideburns down, throat down, throat up, throat sideways, upper lip down, chin down, chin up, sideburns up, sideways on the chin line.
So you’ve followed these procedures and given yourself a fantastic shave, but next comes the part that 65% of men skip out altogether: the post-shave.
After your face has been shaved it needs moisture putting back into it quickly, as well as protection from the elements. Use a post-shave lotion to rehydrate your skin, then place a cold towel over the face to close up your pores and lock in the moisture. Try putting a wringed-out cold flannel in a sandwich bag overnight in the fridge. That’ll wake you up in the mornings!
Finally, finish with a moisturiser to soften the face. This will also serve as a barrier from daily dirt and impurities.
Once you’ve closed up the pores and moisturised, splash a bit of your favourite aftershave on. We guarantee that if you follow the steps above before applying, it won’t sting!