When people that see me often ask how I can grow such nice, rugged stubble one day and have a pristinely clean shaven face the next (free of cuts, bumps, or any other impurities), I often delude to the fact that most men really don't know how to shave. Especially for the shorter guys like ourselves, our presentation is key to making great first impressions.
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I don't know what exactly caused the switch from wet shaving to the modern disposable and cartridge nonsense, but it is time to get serious about shaving because it is an integral part of your manhood and a major reason which separates you from that other gender that doesn't have an arrow pointing upwards.
With that said, it is strongly recommended that you drop the modern disposable and cartridge razors and switch to a high quality double edged safety razor or if you're feeling really virile, a straight razor. Which leads us to step 1 of this guide.....
Drop The Plastic And Switch To Wet Shaving
Straight razor and DE razor shaving is probably the most manly and macho way to remove your facial hair. Your grandfather probably did it, and he's been through 2 major wars right? Just take a look at three of the of the prime benefits of wet shaving:
- You start shaving with real razors (that are actually sharp) and you create the lather yourself with the soap of your choice that is free of harmful chemicals as found in most of today's popular canned creams. And you get to use a shaving brush made of badger hair to actually create and apply that lather on your face.
- You end up saving money in the long run. Forget those plastic cartridge blades or disposable razors that cost you several hundreds of dollars a year, especially if you shave at least 5 times a week. The primary cost of a wet shaving set might be around $100 initially for everything you need to get started, but the upkeep is literally a small fraction of the cost with cartridge or disposables. You will end up saving money just in the first year! And you're using a higher quality shaving method too! Is that not a win win?
- You obtain a new hobby after you switch over to wet shaving. The overall experience of this style of shaving that has somehow surpassed us in recent decades is unmatched. The first moment that you put those soft badger (or synthetic nylon if you're vegan) bristles on your face, you will truly become cognizant of what you have been missing out on. You will get the closest and smoothest shave of your life on top of that, and you will never go back.
As you can see, if you are a man who thrives on performance and quality, it should not be missed with your grooming routine. Switch to wet shaving now and join the ranks of real men. So if you're ready, let's go on to the next step.
Nail The Routine, Win The Shaving War
You might already know and already practice some aspects of a proper shaving routine, however if you're not going all the way you might as well not be trying at all. For that barber shop smooth shave that comes with no messes, it all starts on the routine. Just like you need to oil your engine to get it ready for the impending miles to come every so often, you must do the same to your face before you shave. Here is the basis of a real man's shaving routine, one who is confident, starting from the beginning:
- Begin with a hot shower: Opening up the pores is essential for gliding through those pesky hairs freely and evenly without any accidents from occurring. Especially if you're switching to wet shaving, you need to be absolutely SURE that you spend enough time in a hot shower with the warm water running on your face for a bit. One tip for expediting the pore opening process is to exfoliate your face while you're in the shower, but it is not mandatory UNLESS you have sensitive skin in which you then cannot skip this step. And for those men who dislike the comfort of warm showers and only stick to the cold ones, you can skip the shower and just run a tower under hot water and put it on your face for 4 to 6 minutes.
- After the shower, wash your face with a pre-shave glycerin soap: This many seem odd to you now, but after the first use you will notice a significant difference in the quality of your shave. There are plenty on the market, but look for ones with Vitamin E, D and of course glycerin. Just massage a little liberally on your face and then rinse it off with warm water. You are then ready to then begin actual shaving.
- Run hot water through your razor: You don't want to put cold steel on your face while shaving. It will lead to an increased chance of cuts and ingrown hairs. Instead, keep everything consistent with warm water and make sure your razor is warm and ready for the ensuing shaving to occur.
- Shave with the Two Pass Method: Now if you've listened to what was said before and switched to wet shaving, you probably have your lather created and are ready to apply it on your face with the shaving brush. The most ideal method of shaving I have found for almost every person is the two pass method. There is also the three pass method, but that should only be used when you are completely comfortable with the two pass method and execute it flawlessly.
This method goes as follows:
- Start with shaving WITH the grain and make short and slow passes with your razor. Do not apply any pressure to your razor and instead let it just glide through the lather. When you finish up just do a quick rinse with lukewarm water and reapply more shaving lather.
- The second pass will be going across the grain. If you're unfamiliar with this, it simply means going from the jaw under your ear and shaving towards your nose. Repeat for both sides of your face. The only difference here is that when you get to the neck, you should shave from south to north instead of going across. Then rinse off and you're one. Once you get comfortable with this type of shave, you can add the third pass which involves going completely against the grain for the closest shave possible. Going across the grain usually does the job well enough though.
5. Conclude with a cold water rinse and moisturize: Cold water will close those pores back down and ensure that you avoid any ingrown hairs from cropping. Applying a natural moisturizer is my next and final step here, as that is what I found to have been the most effective and beneficial for my skin. I choose coco butter, but anything that is free of any chemicals will do.
Now that concludes this guide on shaving like a real man does. If you follow all the steps above word for word, you should notice a significant improvement to your daily shaving routine both in terms of personal feeling and potency.
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After switching over to wet shaving I realized that I had been shaving the wrong way previously. You can choose to follow or stick to your own bland and partially effective disposable razors, but the primary routine will still work either way.
But if you do switch over to wet shaving, you will see just how shaving like a real man feels like when he utilizes a primordial method that highlights the proper way of male grooming.
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