Shaving is most often a daily routine—but are you doing it correctly? Nomad Barber expert and founder Miguel Gutierrez breaks it down for you, step by step. “Men are constantly suffering in their lives through bad shaving,” he writes. “Taking that little bit of time for yourself will allow a much more clean and comfortable shave.” Read on for his professional advice.
When prepping the skin, you want to first gently get rid of any dirt you may have accumulated from the day or night. Wash your face with warm water several times and apply a light coating of your favourite cleanser.
Though not always necessary, a light scrub/exfoliator can really give your face an extra boost. This removes any dead/dry skin and really lifts your whiskers off your face. Wet your hands and add some product to them. Gently work this into your skin using circular motions, covering the whole face— not just the area you’re going to be shaving. Next, rinse thoroughly. This will allow your whole face to feel fresh and clean to start (or end) your day.
It’s time to prepare your face. If you use a brush and bowl, lather up some shaving cream until it's nice and fluffy, and work the thick foam in circular motions all around the beard area. If you don’t have a brush, you’ll want to use a shave gel/foaming gel and apply it with your fingers in a circular motion. The circular motions gives your hairs an extra lift off your face, so the razor has very little work to do.
Tip: Study the direction of hair growth on your face beforehand; this is essential for a proper shave.
Whatever razor you’re using, you’ll want to shave with the direction of the hair growth. If it feels like it’s pulling or uncomfortable, you’re probably shaving the wrong way. Start this first pass on the face with the grain, and don’t worry too much about getting every single bit perfectly. Start on one side, then the other, and then cover the middle area around the chin and lips. Most often, the neck area changes direction the most. Make a point of always going with the grain for a really comfortable shave. Shaving consistently against the grain for years can cause ingrown hairs, scarring and general discomfort.
Now re-lather yourself with a lighter lather. Make sure it’s nice and wet, as this will be a quicker pass than the last time. Follow the same steps as above, and if you’re feeling comfortable enough to do so, try going sideways with the grain (still not against) to get it that little bit closer.
Wash your face off with warm water, then follow it up immediately with cold water. This will calm the skin. Since you’ve just taken off a top layer of skin, using an aftershave balm to soothe it is always a good idea.
For extra protection, use a little bit of your favourite moisturiser to add a barrier of protection. This is especially important during the winter months, when skin is at its driest.
And there you have it: the perfect, professional shaving routine in 7 steps. It’s all about being comfortable. Take the extra time to care for your skin and you will look great, feel confident, and be ready to conquer any challenge the day throws at you.