Must-Read: Your Shaving Questions Answered
You would think that growing out a beard as I did would make shaving actually an easier process. You would be wrong.
If you’re going clean-shaven, all you need to do is lather up your face, get yourself a razor and go to town. With a beard — unless you’re going lumberjack-style, which I am nowhere near manly enough to go after — you have to trim certain areas, keep others longer, use a razor to shave the neck areas so as to avoid confusion with Kyle Orton (and to keep it from itching like a motherfucker) … it’s a lot of work. So when I stumbled upon this 4-page-question-and-answer-session-with-a-shaving-expert(!) over at Men’s Health magazine, I devoured it like … someone eating something. (Sorry about that. Still early over here.)
In any case, I figured some of you might have the same issues with shaving that I do and this would be mighty valuable reading. Here’s a sampling:
How do you get rid of ingrown hairs if you have curly and thick hair? —Evan
DW: Preparation is the key to a perfect shave. Soak a small folded towel in warm water and wrap it around your face for about a minute before shaving, or shave after a bath or shower. When hair absorbs hot water, it becomes softer and easier to cut, and your skin and facial muscles become relaxed, making shaving so much easier. Then try this:
1. Take the weekend off: Shaving over ingrown hairs will aggravate the problem, so skip a day or two if you can to give your skin a break.
2. Avoid problem areas: If you have to shave, only go over the irritated spots once. Running a blade over the skin will just make it worse. Use King of Shaves AlphaOil Cooling Menthol ($4, shave.com)—it is dermatologically tested, fragrance-free, and ideal for sensitive skin. And the clear formula lets you see exactly where you’re shaving—perfect for avoiding problematic areas.
3. Unplug: Avoid electric razors with rotating heads. These can cut the hair off in all sorts of directions, which can cause the hair to grow back into the follicle.
4. Go collarless: High, stiff collars will rub against your neck’s sensitive skin and irritate it. A high collar can also trap dirt, sweat, and oil, which will clog pores.
5. Use a facial scrub: Men should use a scrub twice a week to gently exfoliate away excess oil, dirt, blackheads, and dead skin. Dead skin can prevent facial hairs from growing outward, which causes ingrown hairs. Try King of Shaves Face Scrub ($7, shave.com), as it is specially formulated for sensitive skin with non tissue-destructive jojoba micro-particles and natural fruit extracts.
Unfortunately, they never cover what to do when shaving “down below.” Anyone have any advice they’d like to dole out in that respect, feel free to in the comments.
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About Rick Mosely Rick is the editor for TSB magazine.