March 20, 2019

How to Give – Or Get – A Better Men’s Shave

shaving face with a razor

There’s nothing more luxurious for guys than getting a really close shave from a professional barber. It makes you feel like you’re one of the rich and famous, like getting pampered is something that you actually deserve. Don’t you?

Here’s how to get the shave you deserve, whether you’re being treated like royalty at the barbershop, or doing it yourself at home:

Barbershop Shaves

Not every barber is equipped to give you a truly excellent shave, so be on the lookout for one that has:

Hot Towel Steamer

The first step to a great shave is that hot towel straight from a professional-grade steamer. Your barber should gently apply a moist, hot towel to your face, perfectly positioned so you can easily breathe, while also relaxing. As a bonus, your barber might add essential oils like eucalyptus, sandalwood, or tea tree oil to the cloth. The warm water will open your pores, soften the hairs, and prepare your skin for a close shave. The scent serves as your own private aromatherapy.

Beard Preparation

Is your beard long and a bit unkempt? Do you keep facial hair close and trim? Or are you already clean-shaven and just want a baby-smooth face to impress the ladies? Consider how your barber prepares your skin and hair. They should remove dead skin cells, loosen your skin and soften the hair. That might be achieved by using an exfoliator, beard oil, or both. The idea is to make your hair and skin soft, pliable, and ready for a shave.

Shaving Product

You don’t go to the barber for any off-the-shelf shaving product. You want something special. Pay attention to the brand of shaving cream and how it’s applied. Your barber should choose a cream to specifically address your skin needs. Make sure they avoid products that contain parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, alcohol, or heavy perfumes and fragrances. And how that cream is applied matters.  The barber should use a high-quality barber brush. Among the best are silvertip badger hair brushes, but there are also many high-quality synthetic versions.

Application & Shave

A good shaving cream applied with a quality brush will get your face ready for your shave. Your barber will likely use a straight razor—a true luxury! They’ll shave with the grain of your hair, in a smooth, fluid motion, without cutting or nicking you.

Post Shave

Once the shave is done, you’re not done. Your barber should reach back into that magic hot towel steamer and apply a final hot towel. They may also place a cool towel over your face to close up your pores. Then, a bit of your favorite after shave—or one your barber can afford and you can’t. Ta da!

DIY Quality Shaves

You probably shave every day, but are you getting the best experience possible? Treat yourself to a quality shave. It’s not as difficult as you might think.

Shower Shortcut

Okay, it’s first thing in the morning and you want that luxuriant shave, but seriously, you just don’t have time. But you do have a nice hot shower that can open your pores, soften your beard, and prep your skin for your shave. Make sure you let that soothing, gently pounding spray hit your face as you shower. At the end of your shower, you’ll be ready to shave.

Benefits of Exfoliation

Exfoliation removes dead skin cells, softens and tones your skin, lifts the hairs on your face, and preps it for an extra close shave. It also helps to keep your skin clean and your pores clear. At the end of your shower, apply an exfoliator, focusing on where you’ll shave. Use your fingers to gently massage your entire face and neck, working in a circular motion. Rinse and get ready to shave.

Pre-Shave Beard Oil

A pre-shave oil will soften your beard and further prepare your skin for a close shave. Opt for one infused with essential oils much like your barber would add to a hot towel. Basil, cypress, eucalyptus, lavender, lemongrass, and sandalwood are just a few sensory scents you might like. Squirt a small amount of oil into your hands and lubricate your beard and face.

Shaving Cream and Brush

Just like a professional barber, the tools you use matter. Purchase a high-quality shaving cream free of parabens and harsh chemicals. Consider one that contains rich botanicals and skin soothers like aloe and cucumber. And don’t just settle for the first product off the shelf. It might take a couple of tries to find your match. For the brush, take a tip from your barber and choose boar hair or a quality synthetic. Don’t just use your fingers! Now, just add a small amount of cream and lather up your face.

Straight Edge Alternative

Unless you’re a trained and licensed barber, do yourself a favor and don’t be a hero. Straight-edged razors are for professionals. Choose a good multi-blade razor. It’ll work just fine. First, shave with the grain, downward from cheek to chin for most men. Next, lather up again and shave against the grain. Your skin is well conditioned now so the risk of razor burn or ingrown hairs is minimal.

Final Rinse

Rinse well and use your fingers to feel for any spots you missed. Tackle them with a one last little lather and stroke.

Aftershave Lotion

Make aftershave part of your daily routine. Make sure to choose a balm or lotion without alcohol; you want to moisturize not dry out. A cream will make your skin soft and subtle and help prevent signs of aging.

Feel that smooth face. Look in the mirror. You handsome devil!

If you’re an expert at men’s grooming, maybe it’s time to transform that talent into a career. Salon Success Academy offers professional Barbering training at our Riverside and Upland campuses. Fill out the form to schedule your school tour today.

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