Movember, the month-long mission to grow facial hair in a health awareness campaign, is about to end. It is not limited to guys from the opposite side of the world, because even here, guys have kept their facial hair untrimmed to support the campaign.
If you have survived this itchy mission, you probably had enough of your friends telling you how dirty you look, your parents nagging you stop this non-sense, or your best friends asking you what medication are you on. But before you grab those razors, read these tips first on how you can avoid cuts when shaving.
Keep your facial hair wet when shaving
Keep your beard and mustache thoroughly wet before you start shaving. The hair absorbs 30% moisture from the water, which makes it weak. Hence, it is easier to cut. Ideally, shaving should be done after taking a bath so that hair is properly moisturized. If you decided to shave without having a bath yet, keep your facial hair wet and let the water seep in for a couple of minutes. Avoid shaving on dry face to minimize razor burns and cuts.
Put a load of shaving cream
Rinsing with water is sometimes not enough. If you prefer a smoother shave, invest on shaving creams that has a high concentration of lubricants and moisturizers. Like rinsing with water, you should let the cream stay in your beard for a couple of minutes, before picking the razor. This helps lock in the moisture and weakens the hair’s structure for a cleaner cut. There are various types of cream you can avail in the market, but pick something that is less foamy. The lesser the foam, the faster it is to come in contact with the skin.
Use a shaving brush
Your hands are not enough to properly spread the cream around your beard. To ensure smoother cut, use a shaving brush. This tool helps raise the hair, so it will be easier to cut. It also spreads the cream up to the skin, which prevents the razor from damaging layers of your skin.
Use quality razor
Keep your razors sharp. If you have been using the same blade for a few times already, it is time that you pick a new one. When shaving, remember that you are also scratching layers of your skin. If you use a blunt razor, you’ll be irritating your skin that will cause irritating rash. Your skin will look blotchy and will feel throbbing. A dull blade can also pull your root hair, which will lead to razor burn. When it comes to razor, a single blade is good enough but double-blades are preferable for smoother cut.
Keep razors clean
Before re-using a razor, be sure that it is sanitized. Bacteria can easily spread on your blades. Chemicals and dead skin cells can also get stuck around the razor. These elements can easily enter your skin pores, which can lead to folliculitis and skin abscesses. This is painful infection, so always sterilize blades before using. Dab a few drops of soap on your razor and clean it with hot water. Then, brush it with a toothbrush bristle to remove buildup. Afterwards, apply alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to make it good as new.
While brushing, dip the blade in water from time to time. This is to remove the hair, cream, dead skin, and other build up that prevent the blade from cutting sharply.
Don’t shave against the hair direction
Some men like their facial hair clean shaven, so they cut it as short as possible. To achieve this, they shave against the grain (direction of hair growth.) But this only produces ingrown hair and razor burn. It is ideal to always shave along the grain even if it is not as clean as you want it to be. If you like, you can first do it with the grain, and then re-shave going sideways. But be sure to lubricate it with cream.
Avoid going through the same part repeatedly because it also causes more irritation and cuts.
Wash off and use an aftershave
When you are done, rinse and dab an aftershave on your face. Aftershave disinfects your skin to avoid folliculitis and other skin irritation. It also softens your skin, and tighten pores. However, avoid alcohol-based aftershave because it dries your skin and cause more irritation. Try using tea tree oil, which moisturizes your skin and gets rid of germs.
Finish off with a moisturizer
About two layers of your skin are removed when you shave. That is why you have to moisturize it after shaving. Moisturizers protect your skin from further irritation and can also avoid breakouts. Pick a lotion or a balm that also soothes and refreshes your skin.
You did a great job of supporting the Movember campaign! If you enjoyed sporting that beard and mustache, grow them longer—some men actually look better with a facial hair. But if you did not, you probably need to bookmark this page, for your reference after a day or two.