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10 forgotten laws of shaving
photo credit © David Robert Wright
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You would think shaving is so simple but it isn't to everyone. Shaving has more steps than simply shampooing your hair or throwing on a t-shirt and many of the steps are overlooked.

Shaving is a ritual and should be done that way. If you use these rules you'll feel great every time you shave. Don't be afraid to take care of yourself. Shaving for a man is like putting on make-up for a woman. It's part of your manhood, is critical to your survival as a dude and makes you feel good.

Here's everything you need to know about shaving to get the most comfortable shave and reduce the razor bumps and irritation we all hate.

#1 Hot shower and cleaning your dirty face :)

Your facial skin and hair need to be warm and cleansed before a shave. Facial hair is some of the coarsest hair on your body.

Before you shave your face it's pores may have dirt and skin oil clogging up the areas around where you'll be shaving. It's not easy to see but it's there if you look with one of those magnifying mirrors.

A hot bath cleanses the pores on your face and it also makes the hair on your face soft so it's easier to cut. Taking a hot shower along with washing your face is the best thing you can do before a shave.

It is extremely important to have a clean face when you shave and warm water helps clean your face of dirt and oil that can get in the way of a good shave.

If you cant take a hot shower then washing your face and placing a warm towel over the area you'll be shaving on your face is the next best thing. Leave it on your face for 1-2 minutes.

#2 Use a pre-oil

After warming up your face and cleansing your pores, you should use a pre-oil to soften and moisturizer your face even more. This is a step that many people may skip but if you want the most comfortable shave do not skip this step.

Shaving pre oil msclooney
Any essential oil will do like sunflower oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, canola oil, coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter, cocoa butter. If you have some olive oil in the kitchen use that. It does wonders on your skin.

The purpose of this is to create more moisture and soften the hair beyond what warm water can do. So you rub this pre-oil into your beard right before shaving.

Pre-oils to buy from Amazon:

#3 Lather or shaving cream

Even if you use an oil you should still use shaving cream to top it all off before you shave. The oil is for the beard itself and the shaving cream is to smooth out the razor going across your face.

shaving lather cream Tim Butterfield
Do not ever shave with the razor straight on your dry face. Your razor needs a conditioner of some sort to cut smoothly otherwise it will irritate your skin tremendously. It's the same as wiping down a table. You usually use something like Windex to spray down a table or window first before you wipe so that it's nice and smooth. Imagine wiping a window down with piece of bounty without wetting the surface first. Not nice.

Always use some type of lather or conditioner when you shave. Whatever type you choose is fine.

The purpose of shaving cream is to allow the razor to cut as smoothly as possible.

Shaving cream to buy from Amazon:

#4 Shaving brush

This is one of the long lost steps of shaving. Many people use their hand to put shaving cream on their face. Essentially, if you have to use your hands that's fine but the best way to get the cream on your face is using a shaving brush.

Shaving brush yakubovich
This brush stimulates your skin and hair follicles even more. The strands on the brush gently pick up the hair from out of your skin and stimulate the skin.

You must get one of these.

Shaving brushes to buy from Amazon:

#5 Use a fresh razor

Although its really expensive. I hear you. But maintaining fresh blades is one of the most important things. Many people blame their skin or genetics for shaving problems, razor bumps, acne and rashes it many times it's the blade itself that's causing the problems. I.e. you need to throw it away and get a new one.

razor lokar
Imagine tires on a bumpy road. No matter how new your tires are they can easily get messed up if you're going over a whole bunch of potholes. If you shave with a fork you're going to mess up your skin.

Get rid of that razor. I'd say get rid of it after 4-5 shaves. It sucks, but they need to be replaced more often than people think.

Razors to buy from Amazon:

#6 Direction

Overall you should shave in the direction your hair is growing on your face. You can easily figure this out by stroking your face. When you stroke your face with your fingers in the opposite direction of the way the hair is growing you'll feel the stubs more than if you were stroking it in the same direction.

However, to get the closest shave you can shave in the opposite direction. You may be more prone to irritation that way but it is the way to get that super close shave where your skin is super smooth like a baby's butt.

If you do shave on the opposite direction make sure to follow the next two rules.

#7 Don't press into the skin

Many men push the razor really hard into the face while they shave and this isn't good because you'll become more prone to cutting yourself and irritation that way. You should not have to push your razor really hard into your face.

If you feel that you do you may have two problems: not enough moisture on your face or a razor you need to throw out.

#8 Go over an area of skin once

Like the previous rule of not pressing into your skin this is another one many people break. You should not have to go over a single area of skin multiple times. This is one of the biggest causes of razor bumps and irritation.

Try going over each area once or twice maximum. Again, if you feel like it's not cutting well then you should've had more moisture on your face or the razor has been used too many times and needs to be thrown out.

The key here is to be careful how harsh and how much you stroke your face. Go easy and don't keep stroking the same area of skin over and over.

#9 Finish with cold water

There is a lot of discussion on the comfort of using cold water after you're done shaving. When you're all done shaving you should wash your face with cold water because it reduces the swelling and irritation and feels refreshing. If you don't like the feeling of cold water afterwards then I leave that up to you. I personally love it.

bath shower cold water Janine
Overall cold water actually reduces inflammation on your skin unlike hot water.

#10 After shave Conditioner

When you're completely finished you may dry your face, but when you do, make sure not to rub your face vigorously with the towel like you do your hair. Easily pat down your face with the towel to get it dry.

Aftershave Percy
Now it's time for the funnest part of all, which is using an after shave conditioner. The purpose of using conditioner or an after shave moisturizer is to soothe your face. It's just like using neosporin on a cut.

After shave to buy from Amazon:

The purpose of after shave conditioner is to soothe your face, protect it from infection and bring down any irritation that may have been caused by small cuts. After shaving, your face may have small nicks you can't see. Even if you don't, conditioner helps protect your face from further infection and soothes your skin overall.

In general, after shave is like aromatherapy and a nice ritual because it just makes you feel good.