Are you not getting your desired close shave even with your major razor upgrade? Do you feel cheated after spending so much yet getting so little result out of it?
I’ve been in that phase in my early shaving days before becoming a professional groomer. I sought solutions from shaving experts and over the years of experience I’ve come to learn that a pre-shave routine is all I needed to resolve this matter.
It might sound underwhelming, but trust me, a proper pre-shave routine can drastically change the outcome of your shaving. It has been the case for me and the numerous clients I’ve been able to satisfy over the years.
So I think I must highlight this matter and share the techniques I use from time to time, depending on the demands, beard length and skin condition.
Applying my methods before shaving will help you achieve the closest possible shave even with the most entry level shaver you have in your closet right now!
Table Of Contents
Ensure the Blades are Sharp & Clean
What I’ve found many people don’t consider before their shaving is to clean the blades and check for their sharpness. Clean & sharp blades provide the closest shave possible, and with a dull device even the best of the razors in the market won’t generate desired outcomes.
I’ve made it a part of my shaving routine. I clean the razor every time and make sure my blades are sharp enough. If not, I either sharpen them following expert methods or replace them on a regular basis for safekeeping.
Since I’m a professional barber, I have access to a huge collection of premium shavers. But for you, any shaver that can provide a close shave will produce similar aftermaths.
Pre Shave Routine for Wet Shave
On most of my wet shaving occasions, I prefer shaving right after shower as this renders my beard soft automatically.
It’s not mandatory though, because with a proper pre-shave routine and correct wet shaving techniques, you can find yourself with close shaving results at every instance.
Washing with Face Wash
It often goes amiss but washing the face with a good face wash is a great practice before letting the blades do their task. I’ve included it in my routine because a thorough wash removes all the dirt from the skin beneath the beard.
I squeeze out a sufficient amount of washing gel and scrub them over nicely all over my face, even the areas where I don’t have any beard growth. This softens down the beard strands nicely and I could get away with a fine result only with a wash and some foam.
One thing to note down is that, I generally use some lukewarm water before the shaving and cold water afterward. Learning how different water temperatures interact with your beard can help you in the long run.
Using a Shaving Soap
Washing your face with a shaving soap right before shaving can be an alternative to a face wash and foam application completely. However, it is disputed as not all hair types are suitable for such a procedure.
I personally have seen great results with a shaving soap. All I do is drench my face with water and scrub the soap all over my beard. It not only cleans out all the dirt but also softens the beard strands for an effortless run of the blades.
Also, such soaps are antiseptic so even when I managed to get myself cut, it protected my skin from any sort of bacterial infection and helped in stopping the bleeding swiftly.
One of the major mistakes that I’ve seen people make is when they avoid exfoliating before a close shave. It’s such a handy & efficient technique that I can never do without and is a part of my regular pre-shave routine.
There is a wide variety of exfoliating creams to choose from, I’ve picked one out that caters to my skin the best and is made with natural ingredients.
I tend to exfoliate after a proper face wash. Laying over some exfoliating cream on the beard is how I go about it and use my fingers to scrub gently and nicely above & under my beard strands.
This procedure cleans out all the build-ups and residue dirt from the beard strands and their roots. Otherwise such residue can make way for an uneven shave, beard patches left out or even induce shaving cuts that require a certain period of time to heal.
Lathering is one of those techniques I apply when I don’t have time for face washing or exfoliating or not in the mood to shave with shaving cream. I need to keep a lathering brush around for this at my arm’s reach but I won’t recommend it if you have sensitive skin.
It works with lathering cream. I take a small amount of it on the brush and soak my face with some water. Then I scrub the lathering cream all over my face till it covers all of my beard with a foamy solution.
This method cleans out the face to some extent but it doesn’t do as good of a job as exfoliating, so I’d suggest you keep it as a backup plan.
Applying Shaving Cream
Using any type of shaving cream, gel or foam is something I highly appreciate to achieve a close shave. This has minimized my shaving time, mitigated risks of accidental cuts and is gentle on my skin overall.
Shaving gel or cream requires some sort of scrubbing animation. On the other hand, applying shaving foam is quite straightforward. I press out a sufficient amount of foam and lay it all over my beard area to set the stage up for a fine shave.
I generally mix the shaving cream application technique with something like a face wash or exfoliation. Otherwise, shaving cream alone has never given me the finest outcome so this is something you should keep in mind.
Pre Shave Routine for Dry Shave
For a fine dry shaving outcome, I follow the techniques mentioned below frequently that have provided me with very close shaves at the shortest amount of time.
Pressing Hot Towel
For a dry pre-shave routine, I often soak my towel in hot water and press it on my face. It softens up my beard and lets the blade chop through them easily.
Also, it saves me time as I’m spared from washing or exfoliating my beard which isn’t really a swift process to be honest. However, if you have sensitive skin and a specialized shaver, even then just a hot towel press might not prove to be enough for you.
Using Shaving Lotion
My go to dry shaving technique is using a shaving lotion. These lotions are specialized for this kind of shaving and they save a lot of time as well as the integrity of my skin.
I don’t apply too much lotion on my face, just enough to lightly cover all of my beard area. I take a couple of minutes to blend it all with my skin before pulling my shaver out.
Applying Moistureless Shaving Cream
I always keep some waterless shaving cream around the house in case of a shaving emergency. When I’m in a hurry, I quickly pinch out my cream and spread it over my face.
Since it’s dry, there’s no hassle of washing the face or wasting time in general. After the shaving is done, I can get away with only a fast rinsing of my face or wiping the residue with a paper towel.
Sensitive skin is prone to irritation and they only work comfortably with certain sensitive skin shavers. To protect the skin further, I recommend using natural ingredients like castor oil, jojoba oil, argan oil or coconut oil.
The times I’ve tried out dry shaving with oil, I made sure that the quantity isn’t a lot, otherwise my face would be dripping with liquid that can’t be dealt with.
Very little amount of oil is gently rubbed over my beard so that they reach the root and my skin can absorb them. It creates a protective layer from the blade and eases up the shaving process.
The techniques and routines I’ve mentioned in this article are first-hand tested by me, so you can pick out the ones that float your boat with your eyes closed.
Such pre-shave routines are really a lifesaver and have helped me find my close shaves at every procedure. Also, I’ve managed to get rid of any sort of shaving nicks, tugs or cuts applying such techniques regularly.
Make sure to follow your shave up with proper post-shave routines to ensure your skin’s maximum health, safety and integrity.
I never make any compromise with these practices and neither should you. This will unlock your doors to the finest shaving outcomes and I recommend you pick up these healthy routines for each of your shaves from this day onward.