Patrick Coddou has found a way to help men shave the right way.
I used to be like you. I used to hate shaving. But then, I learned how to actually do it the right way. My best friend and I have spent the past two years running a website devoted to testing and reviewing men’s razors. Along the way, we’ve learned a thing or two about shaving. We’ve tried dozens of razors and learned the hard way what works – and what doesn’t. Take a tip from some guys that have had more than their fair share of razor burn. If you want to shave the right way, don’t do the following three things.
Not Properly Preparing for your Shave
I’m constantly blown away by the amount of men I come across that only use hot water to shave. Unless your skin is as tough as leather, this is a terrible idea. You’re dragging a sharp piece of steel across your face – protect it!
To do this, invest in a quality shaving cream or foam that is free of harsh chemicals and parabens. We recommend staying away from shave gels as much as possible since they tend to clog up your razor. If you feel like upgrading your shave, we highly recommend investing in a quality synthetic brush and shave soap. It costs a little more upfront, but lasts longer and provides an unquestionably better experience.
Preparing for a good shave is simple, but important. Start with a hot shower (or hot towel) to get your beard moist and soft. It will be tempting to skip this step, but don’t. Follow up with a generous lather – now is not the time to skimp. There is such a thing as too much lather, but I find that most men tend to be on the other end of the spectrum. If you’re using a brush and soap, don’t be shy with the water to make sure you have a really great lather.
Now that you’re prepared to shave, there’s one important thing to avoid.
Shaving Against the Grain
This tip is not universal, but it’s an important one if you have sensitive skin. If you constantly find yourself struggling with ingrown hairs and razor bumps, there is a strong chance that it’s because you’re shaving against the grain.
When you’re shaving, it’s important to know that there is a “direction” of growth to your beard – it doesn’t just grow outwards. To prove this, rub your hand against your 5 o’clock shadow. Notice that rubbing in certain directions feels rougher than other directions, and that the direction of the roughness changes as you move your hand around your face. You’ve just accomplished the first step in “mapping” out your beard growth.
When you shave in the direction that your beard grows, that’s known as shaving “with the grain.” Alternatively, shaving against your beard growth is known as shaving “against the grain.” Shaving against the grain gives a closer shave but makes you much more susceptible to ingrown hairs. If this is something you struggle with, try going with the grain. You’d be surprised how much it can help.
Using Too Many Blades
Let’s just get this out on the table. There isn’t any solid evidence that more blades give a better shave. In our experience, the opposite is actually true. Shaving with one quality razor blade gives you just as close of a shave as your multi-bladed razor, but with much less irritation. It’s pretty simple, really – more blades mean more friction, and friction irritates your skin. Millions of men (including myself) all over the world enjoy single-bladed shaving – and prefer it to multi-bladed shaving.
Which brings me back to the very beginning. As you already know, I co-founded a blog that was dedicated to finding the perfect razor for every man. The problem is, I never actually found the perfect razor for me. So I did what any guy would do – I made it. Head on over to my Kickstarter page to check out the razor that I’ve created. It truly is the perfect razor for me – and chances are it will be for you too. But if you end up using it, just remember to prep with a quality soap and shave with the grain. We already have you covered with the single-blade part.
Photo provided by author.