For some men, shaving provides a daily ritual which helps them relax and feel their confident best. For others it's a chore, causing unpleasant side effects like razor burn, irritation and ingrown hairs.
The good news is that everyone can make shaving a pleasure, a few simple changes can transform the quality of your shave. This article will cover our approach to achieving the perfect shave.
Our recommendations in summary;
- Ditch the multi-blade razor
- Use a quality shaving brush
- Preparation is key
- Shave with a single blade razor
- Use a post shave treatment.
Ditch the multi-blade razor
Most men currently shave with a multi-blade cartridge or disposable razor. You can understand the appeal, modern razors offer simplicity and speed. The corporations that own them have spent millions on slick advertising campaigns, promoting the message that more blades is better. Razors have become vehicles to sell more razor blades and with each additional blade comes a USP for the brands that make them.
At Groom Manifest we stand defiant - one blade is superior.
- More exposure to the blade which provides a closer shave
- A single cutting edge reduces razor burn and ingrown hairs
- Less pulling means reduced irritation and shaving rash
- Reduction in costs - blades are 10 x cheaper than modern cartridge blades
- More control over the razor and the closeness of the shave
- More economical - blades last longer and there is no need to throw away plastic disposables
- Traditional razors look better and can last a lifetime.
Use a single blade razor
You will want to choose a razor that fits your lifestyle, at Groom Manifest we specialise in three types of single blade razors; Safety Razor, Cut Throat Razor and the Shavette Razor.
If speed and simplicity is your objective, the safety razor is a good place to start. You can use a safety razor straight out of the box and the protective guard limits exposure to the blade. Once the blade is dull, simply replace it with another low cost razor blade.
Cut Throat Razor
If you are the type that likes to perfect his craft, then the cut throat razor is for you. With the correct preparation and technique, the cut throat razor offers the closest shave possible. The blade requires regular stropping and honing to keep the edge keen.
The shavette razor provides the best of both worlds, the style and functionality of a cut throat razor with the ease of a disposable blade. Used by barbers and enthusiasts alike, the shavette razor is perfect for those who prefer a low maintenance approach to shaving.
Use a Shaving Brush
A shaving brush helps prepare the face by softening hairs and lifting them away from your skin. The circular motion of lathering helps stimulate the hair, allowing the soap to be absorbed ahead of shaving, allowing for a smoother shave with less irritation.
Brushes come in different varieties including synthetic, boar bristle and badger hair. Badger hair is regarded as the best material because of its lathering qualities and ability to absorb water. Others prefer the firmness of a synthetic or boar bristle brush.
At Groom Manifest, we believe preparation is key to the perfect shave. We are looking to replicate the barber experience, in the comfort of our own homes. Remember the 7P's;
Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
For most men, the best time to shave is after a hot shower or gym session when the hair is soft. Alternatively you can replicate the barber experience and use a hot towel - simply soak a hand towel in hot water, rinse thoroughly and wrap around the face for 30 - 120 seconds. Add your favourite essential oil to provide a more authentic and relaxing experience.
If you have sensitive skin, cold shaving might be the best option for you. Your beard hair will stiffen as opposed to softening, allowing the blade to cut at its closest. You may experience more of a tugging sensation but the closer shave may help reduce razor burn. Some men also prefer cold shaving as it provides an invigorating start to the day.
A pre shave scrub will help you get a smoother and closer shave by removing dead skin skills and opening the pores to prepare the skin for shaving. Massage gently into the the skin and rinse with warm or cold water depending on your preference above.
A pre shave oil can also be applied pre lather to help lubricate and moisturise your face preventing razor burn and rashes. The extra protection provided by the oil provide a surface for the blade to glide over, making this a great choice for those with sensitive skin.
Shaving Soap or Cream
A shaving soap will help soften the hair and provide a lubricant between your blade and the skin, providing a more comfortable shave. Shaving soaps require a bit more effort to lather up but will last longer as they are concentrated.
Soak your brush in warm water and shake off the excess. Some people prefer to lather in a bowl and others directly on the face. If you are lathering in a bowl, apply the tips of the brush hairs to the soap and use circular motions to whip up the lather. You'll want to follow this process for at least 30 seconds until the bubbles are small and the lather is thick. If you prefer to use a cream then you can apply a small amount to the brush and lather on the skin, following the same technique. Paint the lather onto the face covering the entirety of the beard area.
The Wet Shave
The appropriate technique for the wet shave will depend on whether you are shaving with a cut throat razor or safety razor. Check out these handy videos if you would like to find out more.
Cut Throat Razor
For further info read How to use a Cut Throat Razor
For further info read How to use a Safety Razor
Once the wet shave is completed, rinse the face with cold water, pat dry and apply a post shave balm or cologne.
You may be happy to give your face a splash of water and call it a day but we would recommend finishing the process with a good post-shave product or splash of your favourite cologne.
A quality post-shave treatment contains ingredients that hydrates and soothes, helping to condition and rejuvenate the skin. Antiseptic qualities will help clean any nicks and cool the skin after shaving, helping reduce redness and irritation, leaving the skin soft and smooth. Simply massage into the shave area and leave on the skin to absorb.
Alternatively a splash of cologne will help achieve a similar effect, whilst keeping you smelling fresh throughout the day. You cannot beat that satisfying, stinging feeling as the cologne hits the skin. If you suffer from dry skin we'd recommend an alcohol free cologne.
And finally - Sit back, relax and smoke a cigar...
Shaving with a single blade will transform your daily grooming routine, helping you achieve a close, comfortable shave. Everyone has different preferences so its all about finding a routine that suits you, your lifestyle and your skin.
We hope this article has helped you, if you have any questions or would like some advice, just comment below or get in touch!