ART OF SHAVING: 5 Steps to Perfect Shave
PREPARATION IS KEY
As our Master Barber Gino Rusu states “preparation is the key to a great shave”. Start preparing the skin either by splashing it with hot water or just step in a shower before you shave. The warm water will not only soften your stubble, making it easier for your razor to cut through your hair, but it also opens up your pores. It will enable your razor to encounter less resistance as it glides across your skin.
PRE-SHAVE & LATHER UP
The next step is applying your Truefitt &Hill shaving products. We recommend starting by applying our Oil generously on the pre-heated, dried skin. That helps to lubricate the glide of the blade so you do not over-exfoliate your skin, helping to reduce razor burn and irritation. Next, prepare a genuine badger brush, by pre-heating it under hot, running water. Next, apply a few dabs of shaving cream to your skin. Using the badger brush, work the cream into the face in a circular motion to produce a rich, moisturizing lather. We suggest one of our signature glycerin-based shaving creams, for example our Trafalgar, or for sensitive skin, Utlimate Comfort Shaving Cream, which is unscented. If you like a more traditional approach, apply the brush to one of our shaving soaps to create the lather – for example our Sandalwood Shaving Soap in a Wooden Bowl.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT RAZOR
When choosing your razor take into consideration what type of skin you have, and how much time you have to shave in the morning. For a fast and efficient shave, we would recommend multi-blade razors, such as the Gillette Mach III or Gillette Fusion. Some of the barbers at Truefitt & Hill recommend Double-Edge Razor, as it gives a closer shave, although you will need to invest a little bit more time in your shave. Our Master Barber, Michael Symeon points out that “A shave should not be a chore, it should be a ceremony.” Spending more time leads to a better experience and result. As the blades for a double-edge razor are more reasonably priced, you can change the blades more frequently, which is better for your skin because there will be less dead skin cells and bacteria build up on your blade, which again helps to prevent irritation.
Whatever your choice, always make sure you have fresh, sharp blades to hand – the sharper the razor, the less drag on the skin and hair bristles. It is very important not to apply too much pressure when shaving as this creates the same kind of damage to your skin that shaving against the grain does. For best results, use gentle strokes and let the weight of the razor guide you into how much pressure should be applied to the skin.
WHICH DIRECTION TO TAKE?
It is important to use a good mirror and lighting to help you shave carefully and with precision. Always start your wet shave with your face muscles relaxed. Now that your skin is ready, and you have the right equipment, you are ready to go. If your neck hair grows in an upward direction, start from the bottom up, but only go to the point where the direction of the hair changes. Then, working from one sideburn across the face to the other, work your razor in a downward motion, again being careful not to cross the point where the hair direction changes on your neck.
We cannot stress enough the importance of shaving in direction with the grain. It might be tempting to shave against the grain in the hope that you achieve a closer shave, but in reality you just risk creating in-growing hairs, razor burn, and irritation. As Master Barber Michael Symeon points out “it is not how close you get the shave, it is how well you look after your skin, because if you look after your skin, your skin will look after everything else.”
MOISTURISE & SOOTHE
The last step of this shaving regime should be a good quality post- shave balm. This will help restore the natural moisture levels in your skin and help reduce any irritation. We recommend our Classic Aftershave Balm with soothing Lanolin and Aloe Vera extract – its original recipe dates back almost 200 years. Alternatively, try our Ultimate Comfort Aftershave Balm if you have more sensitive skin. If you use an aftershave or cologne, apply onto the pulse points (behind your ear and base of the neck) to avoid drying out or irritating the skin in the shaved areas. We recommend trying our Sandalwood Cologne, A fresh zing of Lemon, Lime & Bergamot top notes merge with the lasting subtlety of Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Tonka & Musk to create a modern, sophisticated scent.