Whether you prefer a full-face clean shave or are just touching up your edges, you must learn to make the most of your razor. Below is everything you need to know to select the perfect razor for your individual needs and how to shave to perfection. With just a few small changes you can improve the quality of your daily shave.
Test Different Razors
Even if you have a brand you’ve been using for years, we encourage you to regularly test new razors. This will help you identify what razor works best for you. What you may find is that you prefer more than one razor. For example, one for touch-ups and one for full-face shaves. Or a precision razor for your upper lip and a larger razor for your face and neck.
So, continue to explore your options in:
- 3, 4, and 5 blade razors
- Old-school single blade razors
- Small razors designed for touch-ups
- Precision razors designed for under the nose
- Razors with pivoting heads
- Electric facial razors
Keep Your Razor Clean
First and foremost, always shave on a clean face, which we detail below in the section on how to prepare your skin. However, you must also keep your razor blades clean. Even with a clean face, hair and dead skin are removed while you shave. This hair and skin must be rinsed from between your blades or cleaned out of your electric razor so that it does not create an unhygienic build-up.
Follow the cleaning directions on your electric razor and leave time to clean it out after each shave. For your straight razors, rinse the blade every 2 or 3 passes, and visually check to ensure nothing is trapped between multi-blade razors when you are done shaving. If you have hair or skin that gets stuck between the blades, place an inch of water in a glass and swish your blade in the water until it shakes free. If it won’t shake free, replace your razor cartridge.
Once you’re done shaving, store non-electric razors upright to ensure they dry quickly.
Switch Or Sharpen Your Razor
Blades dull gradually, so pay attention to whether your shave looks and feels as good as it did when your blades were new and sharp. Disposable cartridges should be replaced every 6 to 8 shaves, or every 3 weeks—whichever comes first. This will ensure your blade is sharp and delivers a clean and smooth shave. However, you may need to switch the cartridge out sooner. For example, if you use your razor to shave off your goatee or beard it may dull faster as you are removing a larger amount of hair than usual. When shaving off longer facial hair, consider trimming with scissors or an electric razor first. Or head to the barbershop for a professional transition back to a clean shave.
If you are using a straight-edge razor, which are making a major comeback, it will need to be sharpened every 60 to 70 shaves. You can learn to sharpen it yourself or take it to your barber to have it sharpened. If you use an electric razor, replace the head at least once per year.
Prepare Your Skin
Before we dive into shaving techniques, let’s discuss how to prepare your skin before you shave. Without preparing your skin first, it doesn’t matter how effective your blade is. From start to finish, a full shave will take at least 10 minutes.
- Wash your face first to ensure it’s clean. This will remove oil, sweat, and grime and minimize the post-shave irritation that can be caused by this dirt and grime.
- Shave directly after you shower when your facial hair is still soft, and your skin is still damp and warm. Or wash your face in the sink, run a hand towel under comfortably hot water, and place the towel on your face for a few minutes before you shave.
- Apply a shave gel or shave cream to your skin, allowing it to sit on for up to 3 minutes prior to shaving. This will soften both your skin and hair making it easier to shave. Foaming products remain popular, but they make it hard to see where you are shaving. Lathering gels and creams are more versatile as you can easily see where you are shaving.
Shave With The Grain When You Can
There are several schools of thought when it comes to shaving with or against the grain. However, shaving against the grain causes friction. This friction dulls your blade faster and increases the risk for razor bumps and ingrown hairs. It also means you’ll need to take a few more passes to achieve a clean shave, which increases your risk of nicks and post-shave irritation.
However, you can only shave with the grain on some areas of your face as all men have a few spots where facial hair grows in different directions. If your hair is curly, it can be difficult to tell which direction it’s growing in. So, shave with the grain when you can and utilize different-sized razors to keep shaving against the grain to a minimum.
Apply Oil Or Balm
The final step in making the most of your razor is to apply an oil or balm. Both cleansing and shaving strip the natural moisture from your skin, so it must be replenished with oil or balm. Beard oil is ideal for short to medium beards, goatees, and intentional scruff. If your facial hair is long, curly, or unruly or your skin is dry, use a beard balm. Don’t just apply these moisturizing layers after you shave, but every time you cleanse your face in the morning, evening, or after you work out.
Now that you know how to make the most of your razor, we invite you to browse the grooming collections from Uncle Jimmy’s. We keep things simple by providing quality products made with natural ingredients that you can personalize to your individual needs.
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