While makeup is usually a necessary bane of many women and some men, shaving and trimming facial hair is almost exclusively men’s daily affair. Some like to do it with some artistic flair, others just want to get it done and over with as quickly as possible. And since blades can be expensive and deteriorate in shaving quality over a relatively short time, many men are not willing to spend too much for their regime.
As a result of not having good practices and habits when shaving, men experience prickly pain during a shave, post-shave irritation, bleeding from mini cuts, dry skin and hair-growth issues. And suddenly, that one stray strand that you missed out is not your only problem anymore.
It’s More Than Just A Bad Shave
A bad shave can affect you more ways than just making you feel uncomfortable or self-conscious throughout the day. Ensuring your face look its best is more than just vanity. Being the most expressive, exposed and recognisable part of your body, it is capable of helping others identify you easily, communicate non-verbal information and striking first impressions. So, a bad shave can cost you your dream job and your dream girl. After all, the face is the most expressive part of the body.
According to an article by the Graduate Recruitment Bureau, a UK recruitment consultancy, it only takes about 7 seconds to make a first impression which people who have not known you use to a great extent to measure and judge your character. For job interviews that do not typically last very long, every hint of your character adds to your hirer’s best guess of you and the way you shave could be a hair’s breadth away from a successful application.
In a piece published on Psychology Today by Jeremy Nicholson, assistant professor in The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s Behavioral Economics Department, he noted in his research that women tend to find well-groomed men highly attractive. A light stubble takes the cake in exuding both masculinity and dominance, the clean-shaven look is highly-regarded to portray honesty and self-confidence with an unobstructed face, and the bearded look is considered to make men look reliable, powerful and fatherly.
Whatever the amount of facial hair you, your potential boss or your dream lady likes, the key is good, diligent and mindful grooming. You do not want to look like a hobo in any case, do you?
Save Your Shave
By devoting some time, care and attention to how you groom your facial hair can spare you not just the irritation or a rogue hair-growth job but also potential rejection by your job prospect or love interest. What’s more, you can achieve the smoothest shave without going to a men’s barber for a full-service shave that can cost quite a sum. Below are some good DIY tips by professional groomers on how to get the best shave.
Start By Wetting Your Face Foliage
If you paid attention to your science class, you would know that water lubricates surfaces. Your face is no exception. Shaving on dry skin may help save a couple of seconds, but you may soon have to spend even more time to patch up razor burns and nicks. If you insist on shaving dry, use an electric shaver. Otherwise, wet your face with lukewarm water before a shave to open up the pores and soften the hair.
Yep, you read that right. A close and smooth shave means your 5-blades shaver needs to be as close to and in direct contact with your skin as possible. A good exfoliating scrub not only deep-cleanses and tones your skin but also removes dead skin build-up that can cause in-grown hairs that your blades cannot reach. The scrub will clear the way and reveal the hidden bushes. However, your new skin is particularly delicate — applying a pre-shave oil will reduce friction that can cause annoying razor burns, and make shaving thick, coarse hairs a breeze.
Cream For The Crop
Stay away from foams as they usually contain artificial astringents that can make shaving cuts a more likely possibility. Adopt shaving creams that create a thicker, more lubricating and moisturising barrier to give you a good clean shave that hydrates your skin as well. If your aim to trim and maintain the shape, use gels for better visibility.
Same Strokes For Different Folks
It’s supposed to be common knowledge, but it seems it is not common enough. Do not shave against the grain if you don’t want in-grown hairs. You should first shave following the grain of your hair and then go perpendicularly across, not against, the grain for a close shave. To help with the closeness, use pre-shave oil.
Show Your Razor Some Love Too
While your facial hair is no chicken to chop, your blades can get dull and make rough shaving get under your skin. Clean your blades well and change them regularly to get comfortable and good quality shaves.
Shaving can actually dry out your skin. Moisturise your skin after a shave with either an after-shave balm or moisturiser, especially if you experience sensitive skin or red patches on your face after you shave.