Lets face it gents, grooming can be hard work! With so many varying products, opinions, and styles it’s difficult to know what exactly works for you, especially when it comes to shaving. So I’ve sat down with the experts from The Bluebeards Revenge for solutions to five of the most common grooming faux pas.
Not prepping the skin before shaving.
Statistics suggest that more than two out of three men do not prep their skin before shaving, opting to go straight in with a razor rather than softening stubble or making skin more supple.
“Preparing your skin before a shave is arguably the most important step of your entire shaving routine,” say the experts. “A good barber will always start with a hot towel and The Bluebeards Revenge suggests the same. The heat and steam from the towel will open the skin’s pores and help to remove impurities. More importantly, it’ll soften facial hair allowing your razor to cut through stubborn stubble with ease. Ideally, the hot towel should stay on the face until it cools. As it cools, I like to rub the towel in the opposite direction to the growth of my whiskers, lifting the hair even further from my face for a super-close shave.”
Using incorrect techniques.
Yes, going against the grain may be quicker, and closer, but it’s actually doing damage to the majority of men’s skin.
“To minimise irritation shave with the grain,” suggest the Bluebeards Revenge team. “Shaving with the grain may mean you require more than one pass to achieve a nice close finish, but it will definitely limit the chance of irritation and ingrown hairs. The reason opinions tend to conflict on this subject is because everyone’s skin is different; men with granite jawlines and thick skin are more likely to be able to shave against the grain and avoid irritation, but the majority of men will find their skin too sensitive to deal with such an onslaught. If you are determined to shave against the grain for that baby’s bum finish, try applying a pre-shave oil and using a traditional shaving cream rather than a shaving soap – both of these products will help to hydrate the skin and lubricate your razor.”
Sticking with products that aren’t performing for you.
A lot of men stay loyal to the same products, even if they aren’t working for them. Don’t get stuck in your routine, and don’t get too familiar with the same old shave.
“Personally, I think a traditional shaving cream (twinned with a shaving brush) produces the best shaving lather. The lather produced by these creams is often much richer than supermarket soaps and gels and leaves you feeling a lot more confident when you take the blade to your face. With regards to blades, a mixture of both traditional and science works best for me. On a Sunday, I like to take my time with my shave; it’s become more of a luxury than a chore. For this I use a Double Edge Safety Razor with disposable blades. Yet, during the week when the nine-to-five kicks in, my morning shave features a Mach 3 with cartridges. However, it’s worth noting that disposable blades will save you a fortune in the long run!”
Not caring for skin post-shave.
Even the best products and skills will still leave skin needing a little TLC, so don’t skip this step!
“Splashing your face with cold water is not a bad place to start. But in order to properly care for your skin, a lot more attention is needed. Start with a traditional alum block. These fantastic grooming tools are cost effective and help to seal any cuts you may have picked up during your shave. But be warned, they sting a little upon application! Post-shave balms are brilliant, especially if you can get hold of one with natural ingredients such as aloe vera to help sooth and cool the skin. The Bluebeards Revenge’s post-shave is perfect for this. In the warmer summer months, the aloe vera within it also means it doubles brilliantly as an after-sun! It’s incredibly important to rehydrate the skin after shaving too, and moisturisers play a big part in this; dab your favourite moisturiser on your face and gently rub it in to the skin. Make sure to rub towards the face and not your hair as well; by doing this you limit the chances of greasy build ups along the hairline.”
Not looking after facial hair.
If you’re supporting facial hair, take note – it needs looking after and the same dedication as going clean shaven.
“Growing the perfect beard actually starts with a healthy diet and healthy skin, so nail these before you let the stubble grow,” explains the team. “Once your beard starts to grow, it’s all about patience and perseverance. Trimming and shaping is advised, unless you want to give off that ‘lost in the wilderness’ vibe and with the current beard trends there are hundreds of styles to choose from. A beard oil and a decent beard brush are essential too. The oil will help to top-up the essential oils found in facial hair, while also providing a pleasant scent. The comb will help to keep tangles out of your beard and distribute oils to the very tips of the hairs – where they are needed most.”
For more barbershop quality products to suit your style and advice on how to use them, head over to bluebeards-revenge.co.uk