Would you believe me if I told you the best shave of your life depends equally on the steps you take before you even touch a razor? Believe it. Proper preparation is vital to getting a great shave.
Your pre-shave routine should always revolve around one main idea: how can I make my shave the easiest on my skin? Remember, you are using a sharp blade, like a knife, to cut facial hair. Plus, this said knife will be shaving your skin in one of the most sensitive areas on your entire body - your face! No matter what kind of skin type you were born with, having a proper routine in place will not only protect your mug but also take your entire shave to the next level.
For Our Bearded Friends
The first thing to take into account is your beard length. If you've been growing out a beard for awhile and your friends are starting to compare you to Gandalf the Grey, then you may want bust out a trimmer or some clippers to get that beard trimmed down.
Why? Using a razor on long beard growth increases the chance of pulling and plucking, which can lead to painful, ingrown hairs. Think painful. You might as well just use tweezers. Moral of the story: trim it down to a good, shave-friendly level.
Warm water is your best friend when prepping for a shave. If possible, start with a nice, warm shower. The combination of warm water and steam will soften your hair while simultaneously opening up skin pores. If you don't have time for a shower, then grab a damp, warm towel to prep your face and pores. Add in a light massage to your face with the towel to maximize benefits.
Once your beard is clean, it's time to map your beard grain. This step is especially important when shaving with any safety razor, because you should only shave the first few passes with the grain. By shaving against the grain, you increase the possibility of irritation and razor bumps on your skin. For a much more detailed overview, read our How to Map Your Beard Grain article.
Grab a shave bowl, mug or container and fill it with hot water. Let it sit for a couple of minutes to heat the bowl up. Once properly heated, dump out the water. Side note - if you're in the market, our Marble Shave Bowl is designed to retain heat three times longer than ceramic counterparts. Imagine warm, barberstyle lather in the comfort of your bathroom. Shameless plug over.
Next, take a finger scoop of your shaving cream and rub it into the bottom of your bowl or container. Run your shaving brush under water and begin to whip up a lather. It may take a little muscle, so don't be shy. Whip it good! The end result and thick lather will be well worth it. Need help? You can see a complete how-to lather video by our founder here.
Time to apply! Use a circular motion with your shaving brush to create a rich, protective layer that covers all of your facial and neck hair. Be sure to reapply lather between passes if a second or third shave is necessary. Remember, the goal is to protect your skin at all costs, and you will reap the rewards.
Wanting to try out some new products in your shave den? Our Silvertip Synthetic Brush and Ultra Lather Shaving Cream are dynamic at creating a thick cushion of lather to protect your skin while simultaneously moisturizing and exfoliating. Win. Win.
Now - go get the best shave you've ever had. You deserve it.