When it comes to grooming, loads of information get passed down man to man without question. Through word of mouth, we learn everything there is to know about manliness, and we accept it as the ultimate truth. This is especially true concerning shaving. Our entire lives, our fathers and friends have preached the value of a hot shave; but there’s rising popularity in cold shaving. As crazy as it may sound, cold shaving, followed by a moisturizing aftershave, may quite possibly lead to the perfect shave you’ve always wanted.
The Problem With Hot Shaving
Among the benefits of hot shaving, we’ve always been told that hot water softens our beard bristles. This makes for an easy, clean shave because hot water and soap rid the bristles of their oily protective covering. Additionally, hot water makes it easy to stretch our skin taut so we can tackle those tougher shaving areas. Some of this doesn’t actually lead to a better shave, however. Have you ever noticed shaving irritation after you’ve seemingly achieved “the perfect shave”? Have you found yourself reaching for razor burn treatment for men on a constant basis?
This is due to the harm that hot shaving actually causes on your skin. For starters, when your bristles are soft, the hair actually bends before the blade. This causes the hair to slip underneath the cutting edge of your razor, or it results in a tug o’ war with your razor. The latter effect can be a significant contributor to razor bumps.
Contrary to popular belief, hot water actually works against you in your quest for an immaculate shave. Our hair follicles naturally produce sebum oil. On one hand, hot water does help remove this oil from your beard hair; but it also strips your skin of its natural lubricant. This leads to shaving irritation down the line. Hot water also relaxes the arrecteur pili muscle which controls whether your hair is standing straight up or lying down on your skin. For best results, you don’t want this muscle relaxed so your follicles stand up. Hot water causes just the opposite.
Additionally, the warmer your skin, the harder it is to stretch and hit those tougher spots with your razor.
The Benefits Of Cold Shaving
Cold shaving helps reduce most, if not all, of the problems endured because of hot shaving. Most notably, you can say goodbye to the most common shaving after effects: redness, shaving irritation, razor rash, razor burn and ingrown hairs. Your irritation is reduced because you’ll be able to achieve a smooth shave with less strokes. You’ll have an easier go at stretching out the skin, and you’ll be less likely to catch bumps or scar tissue with your razor. As if that wasn’t already great news, your bristles will be cut cleanly so there’s a much lower probability of curled ingrown hairs.
And the benefits of cold shaving don’t stop at strictly shaving. Cold water helps flush your skin of toxins and reduce puffiness. In some cases, it has been proven to reduce the long-term effects of aging by slowing down wrinkles and toning facial muscles. Cold water can also stimulate noradrenaline secretion in the brain. This improves mood disorders. So not only can you easily achieve the ever elusive perfect shave, but you can also improve your skin and your mood. Making the switch from hot shaving to cold seems like a no-brainer.
Best Practices in Cold Shaving, Using a Moisturizing Aftershave
Though you now have a viable alternative to conventional shaving knowledge, there are some best practices that are still necessary when adapting to cold shaving. Your pre-shave lather is more important than ever. You should first lather with a watery mix. After you carefully massage this wet lather into your beard, lather up again, but this time, make it stiffer. Our The Alchemist Tea Tree & Peppermint Shave Soap works double duty by working up a rich lather and deeply shampooing your beard hair. You’ll ensure your facial hair is softened without sacrificing your skin’s moisture. Better yet, you can use it on other parts of your face as well as your scalp. For those guys who may have only seen the benefits of our tea tree & peppermint shave soap in soothing razor burn, you can easily adapt it to your new cold shaving routine to help prevent razor burn.
Once your shave is over, you need to make sure your freshly shaved skin is protected. Though you’re no longer vulnerable to the same after effects as hot shaving, it’s still important to take some post-shaving precautions with aftershave products. A moisturizing aftershave like our Double Deal Post-Shave Moisturizer is a hydrating agent that enhances your skin’s natural ability to repair itself and even further reduces the chances of irritation. Composed of nutrient-rich Seaweed Extract, Double-Deal moisturizing aftershave for men balances the skin’s natural PH, promoting growth in the skin’s natural barrier, helping to lock in moisture and leaving the skin smoother.
Cold water shaving is a non-traditional shaving technique that can lead you to a better shave than any conventional wisdom that was passed down through generations. Coupled with the use of The Alchemist Tea Tree & Peppermint Shave Soap and Double-Deal Moisturizing Aftershave, you’ll ensure your skin stays fresh and damage-free.