The Perfect Shave

It’s your wedding day and you want to look good. Brides might spend hours on their hair and make-up. For grooms it’s easier, but there’s one thing you need to get right: the perfect shave. No nicks, no irritation, no red bumps. Just a comfortable, close shave.

Follow these tips and you’ll be a well-groomed groom.

1.  Get the right kit. You will need:

  • A good quality multi-blade razor (Gilette Mach 3 or similar)
  • A good quality shaving soap or cream (for example, the ones sold by Trumpers)
  • A decent shaving brush to apply the soap or cream (the best brushes are made from badger hair, and are a great investment)

2.  Understand your beard. Leave your beard to grow for two or three days and then have a good look at it in the mirror. Make a mental note of which direction your hair grows in. It might grow downwards on your face, sidewards on your neck, or even upwards around your adam’s apple or near to your ears.

If you want to get the perfect shave then you need to learn this pattern carefully.

3.  Practice makes perfect. It will take your skin at least a week to get used to a new shaving regime. So try out these techniques for the perfect shave well in advance of the big day, and stick with them.

4.  Have a hot shower. This will soften your skin and your beard and open the pores in your skin. If you haven’t got time for a shower, splash your face with hot water.

5.  Apply the shaving cream. Wet your shaving brush, dip it in the shaving cream (or rub it in the shaving soap) and then apply it to your skin. If you have bought good quality cream or soap then you will find that a little goes a long way.

Work in circular motions – this will encourage your hair stand up rather than lay flat. The final brush stroke should be against the direction of growth (which you learnt earlier). The idea is to leave the hair standing on end, held in place by the shaving cream.

6.  Shave. Use short strokes in the direction of the hair growth. Some men like to shave “against the grain” to get a closer shave. However, it’s rare to be able to do this without irritating your skin, so for most men the advice is to follow the direction of your hair growth.

Wash the blade very frequently. Do not push down hard – if you have a sharp razor then it shouldn’t be necessary (a razor blade cartridge should be replaced after a maximum of one week).

It’s fine to go over the same area of your skin several times if necessary. Don’t forget to keep rinsing that blade.

7.  Rinse and dry. Rinse with cold water to help close up the pores of your skin. Pat your skin dry with a towel (don’t rub). Apply moisturiser if you wish. You’re done – congratulations!

You’ll get the closest finish with a wet shave, but you prefer to use an electric shaver then check out these tips for using an electric shaver.

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