Women will often shave their legs and armpits before they leave the house, and guys just have to worry about shaving their faces. OK, so some women might also need to shave their faces, but no judgement.
And OK, some guys might like shaving their legs and armpits, and again, no judgement.
A too-quick shave can be a recipe for disaster, or at least a recipe for a shredded and bloody face. There are quite a few ways to streamline your shaving so that you don’t waste time when you don’t have to, without sacrificing quality.
So what are these amazing healthy shaving tips that are perfect for busy people?
Shower and Shave
Shave, then shower. This is probably the way you do it, right? It shouldn’t be. Hot water softens the hairs of your beard, making them easier to remove with the razor. This is not exactly news. But it’s weird that so many guys shave and then shower, when the heat of the shower makes your facial hair so much softer than hot water from the faucet can.
So take a shower, and then shave. The hairs on your face become about as soft as possible, and your razor can then slice them off like a hot knife through butter. Making the shave as easy as possible reduces the chance of any post-shave redness and irritation, so hopefully you won’t have to clean up any cuts. But just in case…
Bleeding After You Shave
Yeah, it happens no matter how careful you might be. The super-quick shave is never a good idea since you often waste a lot of time tearing off tiny squares of toilet paper and sticking them to your cuts. This method actually works, although only when you don’t need to leave the house anytime soon. If you’re in a hurry, use a small amount of antiperspirant deodorant on your face.
It sounds weird, but seriously it works.
Antiperspirant deodorants contain aluminium chloride which clogs your pores (which is how it reduces your sweating).
A cut is not a clog, but it has the same general effect and will stop the bleeding much more quickly than an untreated cut. Chapstick/lip balm works, but only those in the waxy tubular form, not the moisturizing gels. The wax forms a small seal over the cut which keeps it clean while the blood forms a clot.
It doesn’t look so pretty, but is efficient for stopping the bleeding.
Sadly, pimples aren’t always a teenage problem. Adult post-shaving bumps or pimples aren’t generally due to excess skin oil combining with dead skin cells and forming a clog, but are more likely to be ingrown hairs. Shaving scrapes a minute amount of surface skin off along with your facial hair, which makes your skin start to heal itself.
Sometimes a freshly cut hair follicle can become trapped under the surface as this healing process takes place. It will begin to curl around and grow inwards, causing that damn annoying shaving bump. You can squeeze it like a pimple, but this is never a good idea.
Remember when you were a teenager and you squeezed your zits? It usually took several days to look OK again. You can gently scrape the skin with a pair of clean tweezers to reveal the hair.
Don’t pull it, as the problem will start all over again.
Just gently tease it until it’s growing outwards again. You can also just see your pharmacist for some decent anti acne cream, as it will also work on pimples caused by ingrown hairs.
If the bumps are red and irritated, get a topical hydrocortisone cream as this has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Is Aftershave Necessary?
Well, yes and no. Aftershave splash will clean your skin and reduce the chance of infection, and aftershave balm will soothe your skin to reduce the chance of irritation. You should make use of one or the other, and a balm is best.
It keeps your skin moisturized, so you are less likely to have redness after shaving. Aftershave splashes often dry out your skin and can do more harm than good with prolonged usage.
Coconut Oil: Your New Shaving Buddy
You’re going to find coconut oil in the food section instead of where the grooming products are kept. Try frying with it because it’s amazingly delicious. But use it on your face as well (just so long as your get the virgin coconut oil with no additives). It’s ultra hydrating and so will soften your facial hair surprisingly well. Just use it as you would a standard shaving cream.
It’s somewhat less pliable than cream, but it won’t harden unless you store it in the fridge. Its intensive moisturizing properties means that it works well as an aftershave balm, as well as having anti-aging uses too.
So get ready to be well-shaved, look younger, and smell slightly of coconut.
Straighten Up Your Shave
Straight razors seem to have gone the way of the dinosaur and Coldplay’s musical credibility. This is a pity because there’s something undeniably cool about shaving with a straight razor that folds discreetly back into its handle. The protection of the handle keeps the blade clean and sharp, and it’s easy enough to sharpen it, much like you would a knife.
This means that a good-quality straight razor can last you for years. It takes a bit of effort to learn how to do it, so you should carefully read the instructions and watch a few online training videos.
Also be prepared for a not-so-close shave the first few times as you get used to using the blade at the correct 30-degree angle.
Are You with Us or Against Us?
Yeah, shaving with the grain (the direction the hair grows in) is best. The hair comes off way more easily, and this generally results in less irritation. But for a super-close shave you can easily shave against the grain without troubling your skin too much. Just shave as you normally would (with the grain), and then repeat the operation while shaving against the grain.
The vast majority of the hair is already gone, so you’re slicing off the minute amount that remains. If you shave with the grain, and then against it, you will get a brilliantly close shave without irritation.
Having said that, a super-close shave makes it more likely that you will get ingrown hairs.
So be sure to exfoliate your face using a cream designed for the purpose, and don’t shave against the grain too often.
Do You Even Need Shaving Cream?
Shaving with a disposable safety razor or a straight razor? Then yes, you need shaving cream (or some kind of lubrication, but more about that shortly). A dry shave with a manual razor just isn’t worth the effort.
The only safe dry shave is using an electric razor, and this really is a matter of personal preference. You can get some types of waterproof electric razors that allow you to shave with shaving cream, but this really is overkill.
Banish Post-Shaving Irritation
A little bit of redness can be expected, particularly when you shave in a hurry. So you need to get rid of it in a hurry! A warm compress will quickly banish that redness, so just use a washcloth that has been soaked in hot water (not too hot). Wring it out and hold it against your skin for 30 seconds or so. Tea tree oil is also great.
It can tingle a little, so if this is annoying to you just dilute it with a little water.
It has antiseptic properties too so it will keep your skin clean. Allow enough time for it to be absorbed into your skin before you leave the house, otherwise you might look a little bit shiny. A tiny amount of that coconut oil will also do wonders when it comes to getting rid of post-shaving irritation.
For When You Don’t Have (or Want) Shaving Cream
It’s not like shaving creams and gels are some sort of scam, but it’s not as though you need them. They’re just the easiest option.
You do need some sort of lubricant when you use a manual razor, so try using coconut oil, olive oil, vegetable oil, baby oil, hair conditioner, shea butter, moisturizing body lotion, or aloe vera gel.
When using oils or gels, you usually only need a tiny amount. Don’t go overboard as your skin will become slippery and it’s easier to cut yourself.