The Seven Steps for the Perfect Shave;
Our Guide To Getting The Perfect Shave Every Time
Some tips from Legends Barbershop.
It’s an essential and fundamental part of every gentleman’s grooming routine.
There’s so much more to this rite of passage than just putting a razor to your face; other factors need to be considered as shaving also plays an important role in maintaining healthy-looking skin.
While you may have developed your own regime, the daily repetition in the early morning often yields bad habits which are not without consequences. Irritation, bloodshed and razor burn, these perils are easily avoided with the correct preparation and technique. For those who prefer a clean shave, we’ve come up with seven easy steps to perfect this art – including expert advice from our own master barbers – ensuring you get a flawless shave every time.
Step 1- Preparation is Key
Whether you’re a morning groomer or an evening preener, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to do the job properly – treat your face with the respect it deserves. As our guru Mark Sproston of The Shavedoctor says
“preparation is the key to a great shave”.
Start preparing the skin with hot water and facial scrub before you shave. The warm water will not only soften your stubble, making it easier for your razor to cut through your hair, but it also opens up your pores. It will enable your razor to encounter less resistance as it glides across your skin. It’s a simple step, but one that can have a big impact.
Step 2 – Pre-Shave & Lather up
The next step is applying your shaving products. We recommend starting by applying The Shavedoctor -Shave Oil generously on the pre-heated skin. That helps to lubricate the glide of the blade so you don’t over-exfoliate your skin, helping to reduce razor burn and irritation. Next, prepare a genuine badger brush, by pre-heating it under hot, running water. One of our most popular shaving brushes is our range from Edwin Jagger – handmade in the UK from the finest quality hair, this shaving essential is perfect for achieving the optimum shave. Next, apply a few dabs of The Shavedoctor shave creme to a shave bowl, again, Legends have range of cool Edwin Jagger bowls. Using the badger brush, work the cream into the bowl in a circular motion to produce a rich moisturising lather in the bowl. Apply the brush to your face in a circular motion to create the lather. The bristles of the brush hold the hair in an upright position, enabling the blade to catch the base of the hair for a closer shave.
Step 3 – Choosing the Right Razor
When choosing your razor take into consideration what type of skin you have, and how much time you have to shave in the morning. For a fast and efficient shave, we would recommend multi-blade razors, such as the Gillette Mach III or Fusion. These types of razors come with an Aloe Vera strip, to help lubricate the glide of the blade, so you do not over exfoliate the skin. They also pivot to follow the contour of the face. This makes for great speed and efficiency, with less irritation to the skin. This all comes at a price, when you compare the cost of cartridges in comparison to the blades of a double-edge razor. We have both on sale at Legends. At Legends we use an open razor (cut throat), as it gives a closer shave, although you will need to invest a little bit more time in your shave. There’s nothing better than a close Barbershop shave.
“A shave should not be a chore, it should be a ceremony.”
Spending more time leads to a better experience and a better result. As the blades for a double-edge razor are more reasonably priced, you can change the blades more frequently, which is better for your skin because there will be less dead skin cells and bacteria build up on your blade, which again helps to prevent irritation. Whatever your choice, always make sure you have fresh, sharp blades to hand – the sharper the razor, the less drag on the skin and hair bristles. It’s very important not to apply too much pressure when shaving as this creates the same kind of damage to your skin that shaving against the grain does. For best results, use gentle strokes and let the weight of the razor guide you into how much pressure should be applied to the skin. Therefore, when making your purchase, a heavier razor will reduce the amount of work that you have to do. Also, don’t forget to rinse the blades regularly to prevent clogging up your razor. Always use hot running water for this, especially if you’re using a shaving oil as it’s better at dissolving any residue. Looking after your equipment is paramount by and can also improve the quality of your shave. Blunt blades are one of the biggest causes of razor burn.
Step 4 – The First Pass
Stretch the skin or gurn. Holding the razor so that the blade is about 30 degrees to the surface of the skin. Shave in short strokes. Starting at the cheeks, working your way down the face to the neck. First one side then the other. Next the chin. Go right to left for the first pass. Then upwards for the lower lip area. Purse your lips and push your nose up. Now shave the top lip.
Step 5 – Second Pass
Now, time to shave against the grain. Stretch the skin as before. Shave upwards against the growth direction of your beard. Each cheek, then the neck. Pay attention to your beard growth direction, it could be sideways on the neck. Shave the neck. Next the chin, opposite direction to the first pass. Then the lower lip. Upwards towards the bottom lip. Purse your lips, hold the nose as before and shave upwards against the grain. Check for any stray hair or areas that were missed.
Step 6 – Apply Cold Water
This step is important. The skin is still quite open after the shave. You need to close the pores with cold water to help heal and soothe the skin.
Step 7 – Soothe and Moisturise
The last stage is to pat dry. Then apply a generous amount of The Shavedoctor after shave cooling gel.
The Shave process has opened the pores and gone down several layers of the dermis. The witch hazel
in the gel will help soothe and prevent irritation. Allow to dry. The drying process will feel cool as the gel dries. After all this, treat your face to a generous massage with a handful of The Shavedoctor Moisturazor. You will feel refreshed and cleansed. To achieve a good shave. The 7 stage process must be followed. You will be amazed at how close a shave you get. Less irritation and smoother skin. Also, if you are prone to this, a reduction in ingrown hairs.
Treat yourself to a proper shave. You’re worth it.
Legends Barbershop is located on Bath Place just around the corner from Brendon Books.