It’s unlikely that beards will ever go completely out of style—after all, they’ve been with us since our ancestors first crawled out of caves. But, after hiding our faces from the spotlight for the past hirsute half-decade, it may be time for this trend to get a little trim.
We sat down with Ramos, master barber at Master’s Barbershop in Santa Monica, for some instruction on how to shave your face (and yeah, he’s only got the one name).
1—Start with an exfoliating face scrub to help remove dead skin cells and lift the hair for a smoother shave. Scrubs with walnut shell powder, or if you’re feeling fancy volcanic ash, are gentler on sensitive skin than synthetic beads and also biodegrade. This ensures a smooth shave and is also very relaxing. You can also opt for a manual facial scrubber, like this purSOL Konjac sponge.
2—Consider applying a warm washcloth to your face for about 30 seconds before shaving to make sure you’ve opened those pores. You can also opt to shower prior to shaving, tackling both cleaning and exfoliating in one step.
3—Whatever razor you pick is up to you, but dermatologists are currently crushing on the safety razor for guys who get irritated from shaving. In a nutshell, this is because all those blades in your Mach 245,479 strip too much skin and protective oils off your skin. Safety razors are cheap to keep sharp and take off just the right amount of beard.
4—It’s also your call on if you want to use a badger brush or not, but using one really helps lift the hair off your face to help the shave go a lot smoother. If that’s you, rinse the brush in warm water and then dip it in your vat of shave cream (or a shave bowl if you want to be fancy) and then lather it by lightly running the brush in circles. Finally, dab the brush all over the hairy parts of your face till you look like Santa. If not, put cream in hand and dab onto your face, but don’t push too hard or you’ll push the hairs flush against your face.
5—Always shave in the direction of the hair growth first. If you’re looking for the most ultimate in smooth shaves, directly after you can move to strokes that go against the grain.
6—Don’t hack. You’re not cutting sugar cane. And don’t rush because you won’t win a prize for finishing fast. Slow and steady strokes that should be guided by the weight of the razor. And be careful; with this method some irritation can occur.
7—Splash your face with some cool water (not 90’s Home Alone cologne) and dry by gently pressing a towel on your face. Don’t rub unless you like looking red.
8—Applying after shave may seem like an unnecessary extra step, especially if you’re using moisturizer, but post-shave products are made with ingredients that specifically calm inflammation. Because all that scything of hair has made your skin more vulnerable in germs, aftershave also helps your skin fight bacterial infection.
9—What to use? Balms for guys who are really prone to nicks and scrapes, gels for oily skin, lotions for regular skin and tonics should be used in conjunction with these if shaving has turned you into a bloody mess.
Photo Credit: Flickr user Just Joe
Updated 7/18/2016 by Chase McPeak