What's the rush?! Learn to shave correctly! May 31 2012, 1 Comment

Iain at The Village Barber has over 30 years experience in professional shaving. Here are some of his tips for a great shave!    

Myth

Sadly, the correct technique of ‘wet shaving’ is a dying art. Life, it seems, has become just too hectic in modern times to allow men the time necessary to shave properly!

With clever (and somewhat misleading) marketing, we’re led to believe that with the quick squirt from an instant foam can, immediately followed by an almost effortless glide over the beard with the latest ‘best shave ever’ multi-blade razor, we will not only exhibit a face smoother than a baby’s bottom but also be irresistible to women!

The reality however is usually quite different, right lads? Red, sore, irritable skin due largely to incorrect shaving.

Reality

The simple truth when it comes to a good, comfortable shave lays in the preparation of the beard before shaving. It’s something that simply should not be rushed. So what if it means getting up five minutes earlier in the morning, you won’t regret it! Remember, your skin is living tissue, treat it as such! A well executed shave serves not only to leave you ‘clean shaven’ but is tantamount to a beauty treatment as you exfoliate the dead skin cells from your face.

Correct Technique

The first essentials to a perfect shave are water and warmth. When hair absorbs hot water it becomes softer and easier to cut and with warmth the skin and facial muscles become relaxed, making shaving so much easier. Thus the best time to shave is after a bath or shower. Soaking a flannel in hot water and wrapping it around the face for thirty seconds can also achieve a similar effect. 

Next, massage a good quality shaving oil into the beard with your fingers. This will not only help soften the beard but also hydrates and feeds the skin leading to a much smoother, irritation free shave.

If you use a top quality oil, such as my acclaimed Village Barber 100% Pure & Natural shaving oil that I use on my customers, there is no need to use a shaving soap as well. However, if you prefer to be pampered with the full works when you shave, as do my customers when I'm shaving them, you can also use a good quality, glycerine based shaving soap which helps keep the skin and beard warm and wet during the shave. Alcohol based shaving foams and gels have the opposite effect, dispersing moisture and cooling the skin, which can cause irritation whilst shaving.

The Shave

Always shave with the grain of your beard. If a second shave is required, move the blade sideways across the growth. Never shave against the grain (unless you’re professionally trained) as this can pull the skin in the wrong direction causing small cuts and ‘grazing’ to the skin and is the most common cause of ‘razor burn’, ingrown hairs and shaving rash. Always finish your shave by rinsing your face with cold water to close the pores and pat the face dry with a soft towel leaving the residue shaving oil to soak into the skin (never harshly rub your face).

Caring for the Skin                                                              

As alluded to earlier, a good wet shave exfoliates and cleanses the face, leaving smooth new skin cells. Newly exfoliated skin needs to be protected from the elements, so it is important that men use a good quality aftershave balm such as my Premium 100% paraben-free Village Barber Aftershave Balm which will feed, protect and moisturize the skin. Never apply an alcohol based product such as cologne onto your newly shaved face as this will have the complete opposite effect and disperse any remaining moisture and almost certainly inflame the skin - as well as sting! If you want to smell great with your favourite cologne, apply it to what is known in the trade as the ‘hot spots’, the area behind the earlobes and on the sides of the neck. By doing this, you'll still smell great but you won't have damaged your skin in the process!  

Happy shaving!

**Why not view Iain's shaving tutorial videos on the homepage and really get the Professional's touch when shaving!

Questions? Email Iain at: iain@villagebarber.com