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6 steps for the perfect wet shave at home

By Jake Daniels on 4th September 2019

It’s no secret that getting the perfect shave to complete your look is a true art form. One that takes practice, precision, and a little creativity. Fully cleaning up your facial hair shouldn’t be a stressful process, either; rather something to look forward to. Each time the blade touches your face is a new chance to express yourself and create a clean and sleek look.

Try out these six easy steps to ensure you complete the perfect shave and avoid any mistakes.

Pre-shave to soften your beard

When it comes to the perfect shave, timing is everything. Shaving right after the shower is one of the most ideal times as your skin will be warm and clear of dirty pores. If doing so after a shower isn’t your thing, you’re still going to want to soften up your face with warm water and maybe even a pre-shave oil.

Apply warm water (and optional oil) to a washcloth and pat your face to open up your pores, loosen existing facial hair, and clean off any oil that may be on your face. Many people say your shaving preparation is just as important as the actual shave, so getting your canvas ready for the big shave should be at the top of your mind.

Shiny safety razor, shaving brush and lather in bowl. Old-school wet shaving in rustic wooden table, with copy space.
As you begin your shave, it’s essential to apply shaving cream and avoid dry shaving, as it can lead to ingrown hairs and razor burn

Evenly apply shave cream

As you begin your shave, it’s essential to apply shaving cream and avoid dry shaving, as it can lead to ingrown hairs and razor burn. Deciding on a shaving cream that works for you can help with a smooth shave and can affect your skin differently than other types. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different brands in order to find the perfect match for you.

Once you find what shave cream is best for you, it’s time to apply it to your face the proper way. Be sure to apply the cream in a circular motion to ensure it’s thick and will lift the hairs so they’re trimmed evenly. The key to shaving cream is to allow the razor to smoothly glide across your skin and avoid visual ailments, so if you require multiple rounds of shaving, be sure to apply again thoroughly.

Choose the right razor

No shave is complete without a man’s choice of razor and plan of attack. Each kind of razor delivers a different requirement of technique and dedication, so deciding on how serious you want to take your shaving will help you decide on what kind of razor you want to use.

Grooming, hygiene, health. Bearded man shave with razor in bath in bathroom. Shaving, barber, barbershop. Macho with shaving soap on beard hair look in mirror. Skincare, treatment, therapy.
No shave is complete without a man’s choice of razor and plan of attack

Men that take their craft seriously may consider a straight razor which is a straight blade that comes in contact directly with your facial hair and skin. While this kind of blade will last a lifetime, it does require sharpening over time as well as intensive care, time, and effort as you shave. However, it will deliver the cleanest, closest shave when used properly.

Double-edged or safety blades are good for middle-tier men who moderately care about the “art” of shaving and getting a clean shave. However, similarly to straight razors, using this kind of blade requires practice and the learning of angles and techniques.

For the most convenient shave, most men use cartridge razors or disposables. These kinds of razors still deliver a great shave despite the fact that they’re only meant for one or maybe a couple of shaves. Subscribing to a razor service, like those from Harry’s, make keeping up with your razors easy so that you don’t reuse them often and allow them to collect bacteria. To complete your subscription, browse their top-tier shaving products to customize your personal needs.

Be careful with shaving direction

While many people think you shouldn’t shave against the grain of your hair, it’s a common misconception. Start your routine by shaving with the grain and doing so with short and slow strokes. Not taking your time or being rough can rip the hair out of your face causing irritation and redness.

Once you’ve completed your first pass at the skin, you can then experiment with shaving against the grain, but do so carefully. To prevent cutting yourself, be sure to pull your skin tight as you scrape against the grain to create tension and get the best shave you can.

Flat lay composition with men's shaving accessories and space for text on wooden background
Try and invest in only the very finest shaving tools and accessories

Rinse your razor and touch up

For cleanliness purposes, rinse your razor in warm water after every 2 or 3 strokes to make sure you’re getting a precisive shave. You want the entire blade to glide across your face so be sure you remove excess cream and hair from the blade every couple of seconds.

Touching up your facial hairstyle with an electric razor afterward is never a bad idea if you’re looking to clean up some stray hairs or touch up your neckline.

Aftershave and moisturize

Just like the pre-shave process and the actual shave, post-shave treatment and cleaning up are equally as important. Protecting your skin after a shave is not something to be taken lightly, so investing in an aftershave lotion that helps hydrate your skin, like this one from Le Labo is essential. Once your done shaving and you pat your face down with a cold towel to close your pores, apply your aftershave or oil.

Be sure to read the ingredients on aftershave products as well. Stay away from any products containing alcohol. Alcoholic-based oils can damage clean-shaven skin and lead to irritation and even acne.