Tips For Clean-shaving Your Beard Without Pain

Categories Grooming

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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.

Think ahead

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.

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Shave properly

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.

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Post-shave care

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.