If you’re taking part in Movember, that means you had to start out with a clean-shaven face. If you were rocking a full beard prior to the challenge, shaving probably presented some old issues you’d forgotten about. Even when you’re just cleaning things up with a razor, you can still encounter shaving problems like irritated skin and ingrown hairs. It turns out the most common complications can be corrected with a shift in your technique. Be sure to avoid these shaving mistakes.
Shaving a Dirty Face
For the best possible shave, your pores need to be open and your skin needs to be clean. Simply splashing some water on your face isn’t enough. Regular skin care rules apply here. Use a gentle cleanser with warm water to remove the surface dirt and excess oil. These are agents that can make your shave difficult and leave you with irritated skin afterward.
Disregarding the Grain
The grain of your face is the direction in which your hair grows. If you aren’t sure about yours, let your facial hair grow for roughly 24 hours and then rub your hand over it. You’ll notice smooth and rough spots. Pay attention to the smooth spots-those are the ones that indicate your face’s grain. This matters because shaving with the grain also helps avoid irritation and painful nicks. If you desire a closer shave, go across the grain at a 90-degree angle. But don’t go against the grain. It might be great in your career but on your face, it’s bad news.
Shaving Too Hard
There’s a big misconception that adding intense pressure to the razor will result in a better shave. This is one of the most egregious shaving mistakes. But your razor is actually at its best when gliding across a flat surface. When you force it down into your skin, you create hills and valleys that make its cutting power less effective.
Using the Wrong Angle
The art of a good shave is in the angle. Some guys hold the razor too close to their faces. It’s a normal tendency but one that can result in the most severe post-shaving problems. You should hold your razor at a 30-degree angle to get the cleanest shave. When you hold the razor at this angle, the blade actually cuts your hair at a 45-degree angle. Holding it closer leads to a duller shave which will require more passes.
Shaving Dry Skin
Some guys out there are tough and have a high threshold for pain. But shaving your face dry is borderline masochism. When you miss a spot, the quick fix is to just quickly graze over it without going through the whole shaving cream process again. But without any type of lubrication on your skin, you’re most vulnerable to nicks or even deeper cuts. At the very least, splash some water on your face for that last pass. But ideally, another round of cream for that particular spot is best.
Too Many Passes
A misunderstanding of shaving is that you’re trying to remove all hair from your face. But you’re actually trying to reduce the appearance of hair-not eradicate it. During shaving, a lot of guys pass over the same spots repeatedly. The thought is they’ll end up with a closer shave. The reality is they’ll have razor burn. Instead, work on ensuring each pass is efficient and effective. If you miss a spot, finish your face first and go back for that little patch last. There’s no need to retrace an entire area just to get one little spot.
Grooming involves some serious attention to detail, but once you master it, achieving the perfect shave will become second nature, once you are free of these common shaving mistakes.