I think it’s safe to say that all of us as young men used to watch our dads shave in the mirror. Heck, most of us even joined them, shaving our peach fuzz with razors that had no blades. Really, it was such a regular process that when it was our time to pick up the razor and clean ourselves up, most of us just thought we had it down. The truth is that a lot of us have struggled shaving over the years because there are important tips and tricks that we never picked up from our fathers. Not to worry, old sport, we’ve put together a list of things that we should have learned from our fathers, but we just never did. Let’s jump into it.
1. Pull your skin tight
If you’re anything like me, you’ll get done shaving, clean your face off, and you’ll still have patches of scruff caught in different places. That’s because a lot of us don’t make an effort to pull our skin tight so all of the hair can be accessed by the razor. I know what you’re thinking, “well, I’m only a 20 something; I don’t even have wrinkles yet.” I hear ya man, but trust me it doesn’t matter. Your hair can still get caught in nooks in your face.
Also if you have scars, moles, any imperfections really, pulling your skin tight will make it less likely for you to cut your face. Think of it like mowing a lawn with a bunch of bumps and roots in your yard. It doesn’t quite work right? You just don’t get every patch. Our face is the same way. So do yourself a favor and tighten up for your shave!
2. Slowe ‘er down a bit
Our lives are often hectic, especially when we are younger and especially when we start our own families. This gives us the impression that we have to do everything we do 3x quicker. That may be true in some instances, but let’s make our faces exempt from this, alright? There are a few reasons for this: 1) if you shave quickly, you’re almost certain to miss a few spots; 2) if you shave too quickly you might cut yourself, and if you’ve ever cut yourself you know that it takes several minutes to actually stop the bleeding (which will cost you more time anyways); 3) going slower with shorter strokes will save you time as well. Long, fast strokes clog up your razor. Ever find yourself cleaning out your razor every few seconds? That’s probably why. Trust me, slow and steady definitely wins the race in this instance.
3. Use pre-shave oil
This isn’t a must, but it doesn’t cost much, it doesn’t take much time, and it will make a huge difference. All you have to do is dab some on and it will make your shave cleaner, quicker, and more safe. Admittedly, pre-shave oil isn’t a wet shaving staple, so it’s not necessarily something that our fathers and grandfathers would have definitely used. But it’s something that needs to be used absolutely! If quick and clean is what you’re going for, a good, quality pre-shave oil will definitely usher you along the way.
Additionally, I think we should make this one something we can pass down to our sons. A good pre-shave oil is wildly undervalued. Let’s get this back into the mainstream and help eachother achieve better, more efficient shaves.
4. Shave with (or across) the direction of growth
This is a tricky one because a lot of us have the tenancy to shave against the grain of our hair. We think this gives us a better angle, thus a closer shave. This might be true in some cases, but most of the time it just leads to razor burn. If you’ve ever had razor burn you know that it’s just the absolute worst. Additionally, shaving against the grain can lead to ingrown hairs which are incredibly uncomfortable!
A good median if you have to get into tricky places for a close shave is to shave across the grain. This will give you a good angle to get a close shave, and it wont likely cause irritation or discomfort. Admittedly the neck can be very different. Hair on our necks tend to grow in all sorts of wacky directions. The best thing for this is just to simply become familiar with the direction the hair on our faces grow. Every two or three days run your fingers around the stubble on your face and just become familiar with how it likes to grow. That way you can strategize how you will need to cut it without it damaging your face or sacrificing a good, clean shave.
5. Don’t overshave
Yes, over-shaving is a thing, and it hurts like hell. We see guys in commercials and in movies that have that “baby’s bottom” look. Let me spoil your fun right now; that generally doesn’t happen the way you think. Most of us will have a slight stubble regardless of what we do. It’s best to accept it; we should do this for a few reasons: 1) women love a little stubble, if you have a five o’clock shadow then even better; 2) over-shaving usually doesn’t yield many benefits; it leads to ingrown hairs, irritation, and razor burn. This isn’t fun; so it would seem that lowering your expectations on your beard may be the best answer.
Well there you have it, boys. These are a few things that our fathers should have told us about shaving, but likely didn’t. Either way, now we know, we can up our shaving game, and eventually maybe pass these excellent tips and tricks onto our sons. Have anything to add? We’d love to hear it, shoot us an email or post a comment in the box below!