Shaving Tips and Tricks for Black Men and Men of Color
Start by prepping the skin. When you’re over the sink, liberally splash warm (not hot!) water on your face to relax hair follicles, and soften facial hair. If you prefer, shave in the shower! That’s where your skin will stay warm, moist, and relaxed throughout the cleansing and shaving process.
Cleanse and Exfoliate
The next step is to get that skin clean. You’ve heard this from us before, but the difference here is in the product itself. Clean with a good exfoliator that combines both “mechanical” and chemical methods.
A mechanical exfoliator just means that there is something that is used as a tool to remove dead skin cells. You can get a specific brush or sponge to do the job, but another “tool,” is the material in many scrubs; like sugar, sand, pumice, crushed up olive stones, whatever it takes to physically slough off the dead skin. Think of it like using fine sandpaper on a woodworking project. The chemical action, on the other hand, involves acids or enzymes (like glycolic or salicylic) that actually dissolve away dead skin build-up. Combine those two for a win-win solution that includes a cleanser, too, to strip away dirt and oil. The result will not only be a clean and smooth surface to start shaving but also letting your face’s natural glow shine through, even on non-shaving days.
After cleansing, use a pre-shave oil to prepare your skin and soften those hairs. Yeah, yeah, we just had you clean your skin to get rid of oil, and now we’re saying add more? The difference is that the oil that’s already there has trapped dirt and impurities that we don’t want around. This oil, which you apply post-cleansing, will function as a lubricant to keep that razor gliding smoothly across that freshly cleaned skin. The oil also helps to lift the hair up and away from the skin, providing your blade a closer pass. You can also apply the oil after shaving to moisturize and soften your beard.
When it (finally) comes time for the shaving itself, we recommend using a
Now, to get really old school on you, many professionals recommend using a straight razor, because the blades on “traditional” multiple blade razors may actually cut curly facial hair too close. They are, therefore, more likely to lead to those uncomfortable bumps and ingrown hairs. Because a safety razor (which requires a little practice) only does one pass, it means the hairs are more likely to stay above the surface of the skin.
Another alternative is a good electric razor, which can leave a bit of stubble (in a good way) but don’t forget to cleanse first, and still use that beard oil before shaving.
In either case, follow up with a beard oil or a traditional aftershave to keep the skin moisturized and to further target those bumps and ingrown hairs.
Finally, give your beard a break. Shave every other day, so those hairs really do get a chance to grow a bit before the next shave, and therefore be less likely to curl back below the surface of the skin.
Grooming Goods for a Perfectly Smooth Shave
Braun Series 7, 790cc Men’s Electric Foil Shaver
It’s practically a Roomba for your face. Braun’s ActiveLift technology lifts the hairs before cutting them. This electric shaver shaves super close to the skin without leaving potentially irritating hairs that are too short, and it’s completely waterproof, so you can easily clean it right under the tap.
The Body Shop Maca Root and Aloe Softening Shave Cream
We’ve always loved The Body Shop’s high standards on the environment and sourcing. This shaving cream doesn’t disappoint: The aloe vera is Community Trade sourced from Mexico and the maca root (a relative of the radish) comes from its native Peru. Of course, maintaining the brand’s standards, it has also been tested on men, not animals.
Bevel Safety Razor
Get that old school, safety razor in a clean, modern package that weighs nicely in the hand. Comes with five blades: change the blade for each shave for maximum effectiveness and comfort.
Grooming Lounge The Shaviour After Shave
OK, we added the “aftershave” description. Use The Shavior to soothe irritated skin after a shave, but it goes way beyond that to treat razor burn, breakouts, or ingrown hairs. The product is formulated to purge your skin of unwanted bacteria, while glycolic acid further exfoliates to release any ingrown hairs and it also reduces the appearances of fine lines and hyperpigmentation.
Frederick Benjamin Easy Primer Pre-Shave & Skin Oil
Yes…primer. Yes…like you’re preparing your walls/car/bicycle to be painted. In this case, you’re preparing something a bit more precious to be carefully shaved. We like that this one contains all the right natural oils like avocado, grapeseed, and olive.
- The Best Grooming Products for Men, Reviewed
- 8 Best Shaving Creams to Buy Right Now
- How to Manscape: Tips and Tricks for Taking Care of Body Hair
- Tips for Faster Beard Growth: How Does Facial Hair Grow?
- How to Shave With a Straight Razor