A “How to Shave” guide for the son I may never have and therefore may never know…
by Uncle #1
1) Shower before shaving: this loosens and relaxes your skin, and softens your facial hair for a way better shave. Some people opt to shave first, then shower and wash their face off of the shaving cream and stubble – improper. It is easy enough to wash away shaving lotion with your hands or a washcloth.
The suitable exception: a teenager who’s only got a bit of bumfluff on his chin to scrape off, and he is in a hurry.
Caveat: if you shave only your mustache and chin area, those areas will grow much thicker than your other facial areas (neck and cheeks and sideburns). My expert opinion is that you want a nice, even, consistent growth on your entire shaving area.
2) Never use products with alcohol in them. Alcohol, when applied to your skin, or when otherwise consumed, dries your skin too much. So, no alcoholic aftershave. We have come a long way since the bottle of Old Spice with the ship on it. While you are at it, avoid products that have a thick lather. This goes for shaving cream as well as shampoo – generally an unhealthy option for your hair.
3) You are shaving an area, not a bunch of stubble. What this amounts to is that, if you find a piece of stubble creeping out of your skin that you can’t figure out how to shave, you pluck that baby with a high quality tweezers. Shaving it will make it grow out thicker. Pluck it and it disappears. Pluck it after a hot shower, and it will come out clean and whole, root and all, and not damage your skin.
Cf. the Unibrow. No one wants to see a mongoloid facial feature like a unibrow. Pluck those hairs after a hot shower, when your skin is relaxed and your hair is soft. Shave that shit and it will grow back stronger. You don’t have to groom your entire eyebrow, or even trim it, especially if you sweat for a living (and your thick eyebrows catch the sweat and keep your eyes from stinging). Simply pluck the hairs between your eyebrows, and do the same with random stubble on your upper cheek area.
Soon enough, you will have a consistent facial growth area to cover with high-quality shaving lotion and to shave. The same area every time…
Try to shave and shampoo only once every 3 days or so. Not necessary to do it more frequently, with obvious exceptions (dust in your hair, hot date, etc.).
Here We Go…
1) Before showering, brush your teeth and set out your razor, shaving cream (brand: The Art of Shaving Shaving Cream, Unscented, 5 fl. oz.), and non-alcoholic aftershave lotion.
2) Hot shower. Dry your eyes with a towel while showering, but keep the rest of your face constantly wet. Do not dry it. Very last thing – rinse your feet with hot water.
3) Dry off your body (back, armpits, scrotum sack, feet), but not your face.
4) Blow your nose thoroughly.
5) Splash your face with quite warm water.
6) Apply “Art of Shaving” shaving cream evenly to your designated shaving area. You only need an amount about the size of a chick pea – that is plenty. Pluck any renegade hairs high up on your cheeks, out of your personal shaving area. Otherwise, you will grow old and be shaving your lower eyelids.
7) Steady stream of pretty warm water for rinsing off your blade. Not cold water. You want to keep the temperature of your skin consistent and warm, and this includes the temperature of the water with which you rinse your blades.
8) When first practicing how to shave, start with 3 blades. I use 5 now, but after I shave, my skin is unbelievably smooth and soft. Worth the cost.
9) Slow, even strokes. Always with the grain (i.e.: downwards towards your neck). Rinse the blade with warm water and don’t let it get all clogged with stubble.
10) Go even slower over your lower neck to avoid “razor bumps”. Takes practice, but check me out next time you see me: no zits, no raw, red razor burn bumps.
11) TOP-SECRET TIP HERE: When done shaving, you need to shave again!!! You have enough residual lotion on your skin – no need to add more – just splash your shaving area with nice warm water and you are ready for a second go!
12) BREAK THE CARDINAL RULE: Shave against the grain:
— from the bottom of your neck upwards (very slow and smooth. Stick your chin out)
— from the side of your cheeks, from your ears and jaw, towards your mouth
— from the edge of your mustache to the point under your nose
— from the area around and under your mouth towards your lips
— from the middle of your chin to the right and the left
13) Rinse your blade well. Set it down somewhere safely where it can air-dry.
14) Splash all of your face thoroughly with luke warm water.
15) PAT-DRY your face with a very soft, almost fleecy, but never linty towel. Do not scrub or rub your face – gently pat it dry.
16) Cut your nails, clean your ears, do other stuff so your face can air-dry.
17) When the time is right, gently apply a smallish amount of non-alcoholic, pleasant-scented lotion to your clean, smooth, dry face.
LASTLY) Go forth into the world. Flirt with old women: tell them that you like their smile. Call men “Sir”. If you are in line at Wawa, and Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” is playing, sway slightly to the tune. Inform unsuspecting people of non-trivial trivia, such as Eddie Van Halen played the lead guitar and solo on “Beat It”. When you get carded, which you will with such a clean shave, accuse the person of flirting with you, and, even if it’s not true, tell them you regret that you are already taken.
FEEL AS GOOD AS YOU LOOK
Depositphoto/Zametalov, Jorvik, Wavebreak, Feedough