The big, bushy, hipster beard is slowly shrinking and the clean-shaven look is back in fashion —here’s how to easily go from one to the other.
A clean shaven face is a much more comfortable option for the sweltering summer months. If you’re tossing up whether to give your full-on lumberjack the chop, a clean shave can irritate your skin, so follow this foolproof guide to shedding your whiskers pain-free.
If you take the leap from bushranger to clean-shaven overnight, you’ll be jumping into a pit of in-grown hairs and irritated skin. Instead, trim your beard down to stubble then wait for a week before shaving. Even with that layer of stubble for protection, your skin will feel naked — it hasn’t seen the world for months or years, after all — so moisturise with a sandalwood pre-shave oil to soften the beard and minimise friction when you eventually do whip out the razor.
Take it slow
Your first shave in a while isn’t the sort of thing you want to rush on a Monday morning when you’re itching to get out the door for that crucial 9am meeting — you need to take your time. Give yourself the barbershop treatment by opening up your pores with a hot towel (a steamy shower does the same thing) and exfoliate before you shave — it removes dead skin and gets your whiskers standing upright ready to be shorn.
Follow Men’s Style’s five basic steps to successful shaving (www.mensstyle.com.au/grooming/the-five-basic-steps-to-successful-shaving/) for a simple routine with the razor in hand. Essentially, lather a quality shaving cream with a shaving brush then use a razor-sharp blade for a smooth, one-pass shave with the grain that won’t irritate your skin or cause ingrown hairs.
The whole process or chopping off your facial mane will have depleted the moisture in your face, so gently apply a moisturiser to ward off that tight, itchy feeling. Don’t rub your face dry with a towel too aggressively — that will redden the skin and amplify razor burn — and don’t whack on an alcohol-based aftershave right away — that stinging sensation is irritation. Instead, while your face is still a little damp, soothe your newly exposed skin with a moisturiser then protect it with an after-shave balm or gel to lock in that moisture.