For a painless and smoother shave, it’s key to ensure your equipment is in tip-top condition and that your skin and beard (or stubble) are primed for the shave. “Preparation of the beard is the most important factor,” says Dr Douglas Altchek, a professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai school of medicine. That means showering first to help soften up the scruff.
As for the razor (which, of course, you’re going to draw with the grain), the number of blades is less important than how often you should replace them: at least every five shaves. “A razor loses five per cent of its sharpness after every shave, so after five shaves, a quarter of the sharpness is gone,” says Dr Altchek. When you’re ready, follow these three tips to enjoy your best shave ever.
Moistened hair requires less blade force to cut. Use less pressure, to reduce agitation of the follicle and create a cleaner cut along the middle of the hair. This means fewer ingrown hairs.
Finish with a hydrating post-shave cream to protect your pores and provide a more nurturing environment for the rebuilding process beneath. Think of it as greasing the union contractors.