The most common men’s shaving & beard grooming questions answered
I’ve been a male grooming expert for nearly ten years now, and in that time have been asked hundreds of different questions about skincare, the best ways to shave and how to maintain the perfect looking beard.
Some questions, however, crop up time and time again. With this in mind, I thought it would be very useful to answer a few of them in one go.
So, if you’ve ever wanted to know how best to avoid razor rash, deal with ingrowing hair and trim your beard, read on…
If you’re giving yourself a beard trim (rather than shaving it all off), what’s the best way to get an even shave?
I would say that you are best off going to your local barbershop where you can have an experienced barber give you a perfect beard trim. But if you insist on doing it yourself, facial hair does tend to grow in all different directions so make sure you use a guard on the clippers and go over the beard in all different directions to ensure you remove all unwanted hair and use a mirror to visually check it’s even.
When using a razor, how do you work out which way to shave underneath your chin and around your neck as there are so many different directions to go ‘with the grain’?
Here is one quick way to find the grain. Start off but looking closely in the mirror to see in what direction your hairs point. Each area may be different. Also, pay attention to the angle, your hair likely doesn’t point straight up or down everywhere, it may grow diagonally.
Glide the long edge of a credit card along your skin to see in which direction you are pulling the hair up, and which one you are laying it down. The direction in which you are lifting the hairs is against the grain, and the direction in which you are laying it down is with the grain.
Is it okay to shave against the grain of your hair?
Many people advise not shaving against the grain because of ingrown hairs, redness, irritation, and many other maladies, especially for sensitive skin sufferers. However, with a little technique, a light hand, and good equipment shaving against the grain is not only possible but will leave you with a smooth, and long lasting shave. So perhaps start off with just shaving with the grain but as your technique improves you can then look to shave across and then against grain. The important thing is to learn how your skin reacts and to use a clean, sharp blade at all times.
How can you avoid shaving rash when clean shaving?
Prepare the skin properly before shaving, either shower or use a hot towel. This will open the pores and make it easier to shave. Use a good quality pre-shave oil, this adds an additional layer of protection and helps the razor to glide across the skin. This helps to eliminate nicks and bumps. A very under rated product. To finish off the shave I would suggest using The Bluebeards Revenge Post-Shave Balm, this is specially formulated with witch hazel and aloe vera to nourish the skin after shaving. I would also advise using a sharp, clean blade at all times. Use quality products. If you have not already done so switch to using a safety razor. A safety razor like The Bluebeards Revenge ‘Scimitar’ or Merkur 34C allows for a much better cutting angle, ensuring a closer shave than you could ever achieve with a multi-bladed cartridge razor.
Why do so many men who don’t have ginger hair have ginger in their beards?
It’s all down to genetics! If you’ve got red in your beard then someone at some point in your family had red hair.
If I want to grow my beard longer, should I still trim it every now and then and if so, how often?
Definitely!! This will help thicken the beard hair, making it look more definitive and shaped. If you just leave it to grow it will end up looking scraggly and messy.
What are the advantages of wet shaving?
Reduce razor rash and burn: Wet shaving is much more likely to ensure a smooth, clean shave with less irritation such as razor rash and burn.
Barber shop luxury: Lathering a quality shaving cream like The Bluebeards Revenge or DR Harris Arlington with a shave brush and going to work with your specially crafted razor – there can be a real luxury feel associated with a wet shave.
Exfoliation: When you shave the razor doesn’t just remove the stubble from your face, it also removes the top layer of skin to provide exfoliation that’s just as effective as many scrubs on the market.
What can I use to make my stubble less scratchy for my partner?
I tend to find that recently cut beards and stubble are the worst for being scratchy, particularly around the moustache area. When facial hair has just been cut it is more sharp and rigid than the worn down ends of hair that hasn’t been recently cut. If you don’t already, I would try and use some beard oils and moisturisers to help to keep facial hair smooth.
Where does beard become chest hair?
This is down to each individual. I would personally say that anything from the bottom of your neck up is beard hair. Anything below is chest hair.
My hair grows through a bit patchy, is there anything that can help with that?
A lot of my clients suffer with this! I have heard of a few different remedies; one of my clients uses eyebrow tint to dye his lighter, finer beard hair to match the darker hair and make it appear fuller. Another client uses hair fibres to thicken up his facial hair. But a lot of people find that as they get older their beard hair naturally gets thicker.