In this month's Dear Barber "5 Minutes On..." we break down the 5 simple steps to the best clean shave of your life. So pop the kettle on and get yourself comfy for a quick 5 minute read that will help make your next shave experience real smooth!
Step 1: Pre-Shave Wash and Cleanse
First things first, lets get those pores open.
We highly recommend a hot shower before any close shave. The hot water and steam created helps to open pores and soften hairs, both hugely important factors in the battle against post-shave skin irritation.
What's more, open pores allow your razor blade to shave close to the root of the hairs and the softer hairs make it easier for your razor to cut through those hairs.
Cleanse & Exfoliate
As well as soaking in warm water its also important to introduce a soap or exfoliator to your pre-shave washing routine. Cleansing and exfoliating the skin and hair on your face will help to remove dirt, debris, sweat and bacteria from your skin, reducing the chances that any of these things can be implanted into your hair roots or any small nicks you create during shaving.
Once you’ve washed up remember to pat dry your face with a towel, rubbing dry too aggressively could upset the skin and its good to keep a small amount of moisture on the face and hair throughout the shave.
Step 2: Pre-Shave Oil
Slicker Than Your Average...
Whilst a pre-shave oil is not essential for all shaves, if you are going for a very close shave or have sensitive skin then we would highly recommend it.
A good quality pre-shave oil provides several benefits for a close shave:
Firstly, it provides a slick surface layer of oil to aid your razor in gliding over the skin, reducing any potential for razor blade cuts or irritation.
Secondly, the razor picks up the oil as it passes over the skin leaving behind a more moisturized, softer skin surface.
Thirdly, the oil, just like the warm water from the shower, helps to prepare the skin and hair for shaving by softening them.
Dear Barber Shave Oil
Here at Dear Barber we pride ourselves on developing barber-approved products and bringing them to the people. Our Shave Oil was one of the first products we developed and has been a firm favourite amongst barbers and at-home shavers alike. Purposefully developed to be non-greasy and utilising the natural benefits of Almond, Grapeseed and Tea Tree Oil extracts, our Shave Oil is ideal for crafting a perfectly smooth shave.
Step 3: The Shave – Products
Choose Your Weapon
So now we have the skin and facial hair perfectly prepped for the shave, it's now time to get into the thick of the action. But not before we’ve made sure you have the perfect shave products to hand...
Firstly, you need to select your weapon of choice – the razor. Whilst there are many articles out there purporting the benefit of this razor or that, in the end it comes down to personal choice.
The barber’s choice is ordinarily the cut-throat or single blade razor, but this is the choice of a trained professional and may not be suitable for some first-time shavers out there.
Whilst multi-blade safety razors from the various big brands (and those big brands that claim to be small brands 😉) get a bad rap they too can still provide a clean shave and their lubricating pads can help to reduce skin irritation.
Either way its important you have a razor that is a) clean and b) sharp so remember to swap out blades or razor heads regularly and ensure the blade is freshly cleaned before and during use.
Cream Of The Crop
And so just before you put blade to skin the final step is to whip up a rich thick lather of good quality shaving cream and apply to your face and hair with a shave brush.
We highly recommend a shave soap or cream from a tub or tube over the cheaper mainstream aerosol can shave gels and creams as they usually contain better moisturising properties.
The process of lathering your skin will create one final layer of moisturising, soothing product to help protect your skin from drying out quickly during shaving.
Applying with a shave brush provides one final act of exfoliation for the hair and skin to ensure your pores are in prime condition for a shave.
Dear Barber Shave Cream
Our Dear Baber Shave Cream is the perfect companion to any close wet shaver. Our formulation provides a rich, creamy, luxurious lather to your shaving regime, helping to ease razor glide, keep skin highly moisturised and minimize razor burn. Housed in our signature pot, our cream can be whipped into a lather straight in its pot so no need to transfer to a shaving bowl or other. Simply run your shave brush under a tap and whip that cream up!
Step 4: The Shave – Technique
Two main points to consider here…
Keep It Tight
Firstly, it's important to pull the skin taught every time you shave to ensure the root of the hair is closest to the surface and that you are not running a blade over an uneven surface that’s where nasty nicks can appear). With your free hand use two fingers to pull the skin slightly away from the area you intend to shave.
Secondly, we recommend to shave in three directions. Firstly, shave with the grain of the hair (i.e in the direction the hair is growing). Then re-lather with your shave cream, and shave across the grain, re-lather and shave against the grain.
By doing this you will have ensure that all hairs, no matter which way they actually grow, will have been cut close to the root as possible.
A good quality lather may be able to hold up for 2-3 passes but the more lather you apply the less risk of irritation is our rule of thumb.
Don’t forget to rinse your blade between strokes, ideally with warm water, and not to press too hard. A good quality, clean, sharp blade applied to a well moisturised, soft surface of open pores doesn’t need pressure to achieve good results.
Step 5: Post-Shave
The Finishing Touches
Rinse your face with fresh warm water, pat your face dry with a clean towel, and apply a good quality post-shave balm (we prefer a balm rather than a straight up aftershave as an aftershave’s high alcohol content can quickly dry out skin leading to irritation and flakiness).
Apply the post-shave balm with clean hands, gently massaging into the skin in circular motions.
Dear Barber Post-Shave Balm
Our much-loved Dear Barber Post Shave Balm is the perfect finisher for your close shaves. Crafted from a blend of Aloe, Allantoin and Witch Hazel extracts to provide nature’s own soothing qualities and subtly infused with Dear Barber’s signature With Confidence fragrance it’s the perfect way to end your perfect close wet shave and set yourself up for the day/night ahead!
Shave 25% Off Our Perfect Clean Shave Bundle
Has our blog got you set on a clean shave or are you already a clean shave convert?
Either way, we've got you covered.
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Follow the link to get your clean shave off to the perfect start!