How To Get The Closest ShaveWritten by Advice Team on November 4, 2019
Everything about shaving and grooming is down to personal preference and everyone has their own routine. If you have a preference for a close shave and prefer to steer clear of stubble and a bit of growth, we’ve tackled some of the most asked questions when achieving the closest shave.
How To Get The Closest Shave
Is it best to shave every day?
Shaving every day is completely down to preference. It’s not necessary but if you prefer a clean shave and would rather not have stubble, then shaving each day is going to maintain that close look.
How do I prepare for shaving?
If you have the time to take a shower as part of your routine, the steam will soften hair and open pores in preparation for a shave. Then it’s down to whether you prefer to wet or dry shave - not sure of the differences and benefits of each? Here’s our guide to wet vs dry shaving.
Wet shaving preparation
Generally speaking wet shaving tends to achieve the closest shave but does take more time when it comes to preparation and time. If you do have the time, we’d recommend using a shaving brush to evenly lather shaving foam against the skin. A shaving brushes bristles get beneath hair and ply any that lay flat to the skin to lift. That means that hairs won’t be missed and less time will be spent going over the same spot and helps to prevent razor burn too.
Dry shaving preparation
Dry shaving has become more common in recent years as it has a tendency to save most men time on their shave and clean up after. However, the skin should still be protected and we recommend the use of a pre-shave powder or oil. Aside from protecting the skin from the blade to prevent nicks, it also creates a barrier against skin irritation which often leads to razor burn.
Should I use moisturiser before or after shaving?
On the topic of preparation, moisturiser should be used after shaving, whether that’s a cream or oil to rehydrate the skin and keep it firm and irritation free after a shave. We would recommend one that isn’t scented if you have sensitive skin and to stay away from aftershave immediately after to stop the skin from drying out from the alcohol found in most colognes.
Is shaving against the grain bad?
It’s not a bad thing but if you do shave against the grain then definitely consider shaver preparation as you’re forcing the hair to bend the opposite way, which could lead to irritation and tugging. If you want to achieve the closest shave possible, then you will need to go against the grain but shave with the grain first and reapply preparation products to then shave against it.
Does shaving upwards increase hair growth?
Not at all. Shaving your facial hair in any direction won’t increase its growth rate or thickness. When you shave your hair and it appears to grow back thicker or coarser, that’s due to its blunt tip from shaving and it grow out and back to normal overtime.
Should I exfoliate for shaving?
Exfoliating removes dirt and dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. It unclogs your pores to help you achieve a close shave by evening the surface and clearing blackheads and whiteheads. You only need to exfoliate once a week and we’d recommend using a moistoriser or oil after to put moisture back into the skin too.
How to avoid razor burn when shaving?
The main reasons for razor burn are sensitive skin and a blunt blade. Those with sensitive skin are prone to razor burn when the blade makes contact and to prevent this, we’d suggest using a pre-shave preparation oil or balm to protect the skin. An old and blunt blade can be another factor when it comes to a rash from shaving.
Cartridge razor blades should be changed every week and electric shavers should have new foils or rotary blades every 12-18months. Old blades don’t perform as well as they used to, can snag and tug hair, or due to a less close shave, can cause the same area to be shaved over multiple times.
Why do I keep missing hairs when I shave?
Generally hairs are missed around more severe contours of the face such as the jaw. To better shave around them, we’d suggest an electric shaver or cartridge blade that has a flexible or pivoting head that naturally follows the contours of the face. Hairs can also be missed because blades are sharp enough.
What’s better? A blade or an electric shaver?
That’s generally down to preference but blades do generally tend to cause more razor burn. However, as long as you’re using a pre-shave preparation and a fresh blade weekly (cor cartridge razors), that should be too much of a problem. Here’s our more in depth look at cartridge razors vs electric shavers.
If I press down will I get a closer shave?
No, but you might get a fair few more nicks and tugging of the hair. Always go for short strokes, with the grain to start with and then against the grain after. Long strokes can clog a blade very quickly and you should always apply more lather as and when needed.
A quick step by step guide for a close shave
Now we’ve answered the most popular questions when it comes to a close shave, we’ve put together a quick guide to achieve it.
You only need to exfoliate once a week and this will help to unclog pores and clean skin of any oils or excess dead skin.
Jump in the shower before you shave if you have the time. The steam and hot water softens hairs and opens pores, making it much easier for the blade to cut.
Whether you’re wet or dry shaving preparation is key. If you’re opting for a wet shave, create a good lather (don’t forget your shaving brush) and lift hairs from the skin so less time is spent going over the same spot. For a dry shave, we’d use a pre-shave preparation such as King of Shaves to protect the skin and make it easy for the blade to glide over it.
Go with the grain on the first pass to trim the hair as close as possible. Re-lather or check the amount of oil for a dry shave that remains, and then go against the grain on the second pass for an even closer shave.
Wash away any remaining product and splash cold water to the face. Cold water closes pores and stops dirt and pollution from causing spots and blackheads.
Rehydrate the skin after shaving and give it a burst of freshness with a moisturising cream or oil.
(7) Clean and Rinse
Give the blade a good clean to ensure any excess dirt or product is removed before your next shave.