Every guy knows that nothing compares to the perfectly smooth shave you get at the barbershop.
But let's face it — who has the time (or money) to visit their barber every time they want a close shave? Not to worry; we've got you covered! We spoke with Satyan Gohil, master barber at JD's Barbershop in Vancouver, and Kristina Tsiriotakis, Canadian brand ambassador for L'Occitane en Provence, who shared their expert tips on how to get a barbershop-quality shave right in the comfort of your own home. And the best part is, it's simpler than you think!
The key is to remember to always moisturize first, apply your shaving gel with a brush, shave with the grain first, and absolutely never forgo the aftercare.
Here are seven simple rules to follow for a close shave every time:
1. Use a double-edged razor
The double-edged razor has been used for centuries and is the most popular choice for a close shave, according to Gohil. There are plenty of brands out there and some can be sharpened for longevity. However, the factory edge is always far superior and you will compromise on the shave if your razor isn't sharpened properly.
2. Choose a heavier razor
Plastic razors simply do not have the weight that straight razors or double edge razors do, according to Tsiriotakis. And this weight is key to achieving a smooth shave. Men tend to press down too hard with plastic razors, which can irritate the skin. Investing in a classic grooming tool kit will go a long way to having a premium shaving experience.
3. Prep the skin
Shaving over skin that is not properly moistened is a recipe for disaster. When you visit the barber you may notice he always preps your skin with a steam towel and prep-oil. You should treat your skin with the same care when at home. Gohil recommends shaving after a warm shower. But before you start, apply a facial oil and let it sit for at least three minutes to soften the skin and swell the hair. This will allow the razor to glide along the skin with ease.
4. Splurge on the shaving gel
Using cheap products from the drugstore is also a big no-no. Cheap shaving gels and soaps can be full of chemicals and drying propellants. Splurging a little more on a proper shaving cream or gel will ensure a smooth shaving experience.
5. Always use a shaving brush
Apply a thin layer of shaving cream or gel with a shaving brush that will lift the hair for shaving, exfoliate the skin to remove dead skin cells, and boost micro-circulation in the skin.
6. Shave with the grain first
It is important to shave with the grain (the direction of hair growth) first, and only shave against the grain afterwards to remove any stubborn hairs. Be sure to reapply shaving cream as you go to keep the skin moist and to avoid razor burn and irritation. Rinse the blade often under warm water.
7. Don't skip aftercare
Just like you must prepare your skin before shaving, you must also care for it afterwards. Skipping aftercare will leave the skin exposed to sensitivity, infection and reaction. The best way to avoid this is to use a soothing and purifying aftershave product that will keep bacteria at bay and calm sensitive skin. Once the skin's oils are replenished, the skin is best able to protect itself and is less prone to sensitivity and aging. Avoid using cologne near the face immediately after shaving, as they are full of oil-stripping alcohols.
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