Shaving — it’s probably the routine that men do every single day. A grooming step that is carried through so regularly that they hardly give a second thought to how they are getting it done, except to complete the job as quickly as they possibly can.

However, if not done properly, the process of shaving off excess hair can cause irritation or hair-growth issues, especially if it’s rushed and careless. Guys, you need to devote some attention, time and focus to how you shave, especially if you to spare yourself any post-shave misery. Learn how to do it well, and it will ensure you get the smoothest and closest shave you’ve ever had,  and all without having to visit the barber or splurging on a full-service professional shave.

So, how then can a guy perfect his own shaving techniques? Here are some of the best tips we’ve discovered when it comes to men’s grooming, to help them get the best and smoothest shave possible.


Get Your Face Wet

Shaving to get rid of stubble on dry skin might help you shave that few precious seconds off your routine in the morning (pun intended), but it’s also a sure way to get razor burns or minor cuts on your face. Dry-shaving should only be done with an electric razor only — and a well-groomed gent should only leave that to days when he absolutely needs to get out of the door in a flash.

Preparation is key with this method, so start with a quick splash of warm water on your face. Rinsing your face with warm water prior to a shave will help to open the pores and soften the hair, which makes it easier to shave off as the hair follicles will be more flexible. For the best results, shave right after your morning shower, or even during your shower.


Essential Preparations To Note

Exfoliation is not just for the ladies — men can also benefit from a good scrub now and then. Start your shave with a gentle exfoliator with willow bark and borage oil that will not only cleanse deeply but also tone the skin.

A facial scrub will remove all the built-up dirt, oil and dead skin cells from your pores — all of which can cause ingrown hairs. Think of it also as clearing the way for optimal blade contact, so that you can get a closer and smoother shave. For those who have particularly thick and coarse facial hair, applying a pre-shave oil or cream can help to reduce friction over the skin when shaving and prevent any razor burns.


Shaving Foam, Cream Or Gel?

Many men use shaving foam before they start shaving, but experts do not recommend it. They believe shaving foam usually contains artificial astringents that actually promote shaving cuts and itchy skin. Instead,  shaving cream creates a richer, smoother and more moisturising barrier for shaving — all qualities that prevent your skin from drying out — so it’s best to switch if you’re currently using foam.

On the other hand, shaving gels are meant more for those with a moustache or beard. They produce a low level of foam, which allows you to see clearly for a precise shave to maintain and shape. If you’re using a pre-shave oil, put your shaving cream or gel on top of it.


Technique Is Key

This is common knowledge to any man who has ever taken a razor to his face — never ever shave against the grain, because doing so will cause ingrown hairs.

First, shave following the grain of the hair, and if it still doesn’t feel as close as you like, go across the grain — not against it. Pre-shave oil will also help with the closeness of the shave.

Pulling your skin taut before you go over it with the razor will help you to get a closer shave. But remember that there’s no need to press down on the skin too hard with the razor. Doing so will only cause cuts the hair beneath the skin’s surface, which could result in it curling when it grows back and create razor bumps.


Which Type Of Razor?

Does a traditional safety razor do a better job than a disposable one? Experts prefer the former for a high-quality shave but here’s we believe this is subjective. Some prefer a safety razor as it gives a smooth and close shave, but not all men are comfortable using it. Use what feels good in your hand. Sometimes, even the weight of a razor can make a big difference when shaving.

Whichever you prefer, make sure to change the blade in your safety razor or replace your disposable cartridge razor regularly so that you’ll always be working with a sharp and clean blade.


Post-Shaving Maintenance

Shaving can be drying for the skin, which is why moisturising is key to keeping your skin in tip-top condition after you have shaved. Use either an after-shave balm or moisturiser — both are adequate and especially helpful if you have sensitive skin, or if you are prone to getting red patches on your face post-shave.