Frequently asked questions when learning to shave
Quick fix guide to that perfect shave.
Written by Stephen Whyman
Voices - Advice
Young people share advice based on their experiences.
Is shaving difficult?
With a bit of practice? Not a bit!
Do you have to do it often?
At the start no, probably once or twice a week, or maybe even less, but as you go along it’ll be more like every second day to every day and even twice a day (If you absolutely have to be a Prince Charming). That’s why you should try not to start too early. Feel free to be a complete scruff if you want. It is up to you! When should you start? Like puberty, it’s a different rule for everyone. You’ll know yourself if your face looks like something out of the zoo.
Dry shaving is just that, no gels, foams or water. You just need an electric razor. I wouldn’t bother with this option until you’re older. Electric razors aren’t cheap and there’s no point in buying a crappy one that won’t last for a decent length of time and leaves your skin as red as a rose. Dry shaving is quick and easy, but it can leave your skin dry and irritated and the odd time it leaves you more prone to acne/pimples/spots.
Ultimate wet shaving guide
There’s a huge range of razors out there and you’ll find them in any chemist or supermarket. I would strongly advise not using disposables unless they’re the new ones with two or three blades because most haven’t any kind of lube strips or sponges, which help prevent a lot of skin cutting. You really need to find one that’s right for you, but I find the ones with three or four blades to be the most effective. I know the cost can also be high, but remember that one razor head will probably last you for up to a month if you are only starting out. Also I would suggest shaving gel over foam because I find it moisturises your skin better. It’s up to you.
- Wash that skin. Use warm water and soap. It gets the face ready for the razor (which should be kept clean), softens the hair and opens the pores.
- Soak up. Wring your face cloth in warm water and leave it on your face for a minute. This helps soften the hairs a lot.
- Lather up. Gel is best here. Put a blob in your hand and use your fingers to spread it out upwards and away from the face. Don’t have it too thick because it’ll get stuck in the razor blades.
- Start shaving. I know this might seem simple but don’t just fly in there and chop away.
- Shave with the grain. Basically, the direction the hair grows in.
- Keep dunking your razor in warm water.
- Use long and slow movements in one direction when shaving – don’t rush.
- Start with the sides of the face. Then the moustache and finally under your mouth. These guys are the toughest and need the most time under the gel.
- Don’t drag. When you are moving the razor to a new spot, lift it off the face, because if you drag it you’ll get shaving cuts.
- Close up. Close your pores by placing a soaking facecloth in lukewarm to cold water and leave it on your face for a minute. Wash away any remaining foam, but don’t dry your face, let it dry naturally. Feel the skin with your fingers for any missed patches, particularly on your chin line.
- Finish up. Use after shave balm or gel, not lotion, as this contains alcohol and irritates your skin. The balm soothes after shaving. Also try aloe-Vera gel, it’s cheaper and soothes better. Try your sisters/mum’s moisturiser for a smoother and not so dry face. You can then dab some cologne or other smelly stuff onto your neck.