Keys to a Great Shave: Facial / Whisker Prep
Pre-shave prep is critical for a good shaving experience. From a shaving perspective, no two men are alike. We all have different combinations of skin type, facial structure, whisker type and thickness and the list goes on. Some need more or less prep and you can discover the right amount based on whether there is tugging and roughness when you begin your shave
So, I want to cover shaving preparation steps that apply to most everyone.
- Dry whiskers are similar in toughness to copper wire of the same size. Shaving a face full of copper wire creates tugging, irritated skin, nicks, cuts and doesn’t yield a close comfortable shave.
- Properly hydrated whiskers come off with the ease of a knife through warm butter.
- Two steps:
- Wash your face with soap and water to remove the protective oil coating your body provides its whiskers as well as removing bacteria, etc…
- keep the whiskers wet with warm water for at least three minutes.
- For most men, showering before they shave will take care of this. How can you tell? When you shave there should be no tugging or pulling.
- In my case, showering isn’t enough. When I get out of the shower I immediately apply a thin layer of shaving oil to my whiskers. I take care of some other tasks while it continues to soften the whiskers.
- There are different types of shaving oil on the market, thus I recommend making your own to ensure a proper softening blend. Use three parts olive oil and one-part mineral oil. This blend provides a good combination of penetration for additional softening as well coating to keep moisture in the whisker.
- Start with 3-4 drops and increase or decrease as needed. If using too little you will feel like you aren’t covering the whiskers. Too much and you’ll feel oil on your face after completion of your shave.
- If wanting to shave without showering, wash your face with warm soap and water. Take a couple of wash cloths and use hot tap water to get them as hot as is comfortable.
- Lay down, put the warm clothes on the areas you’ll be shaving and relax.
- Three minutes will suffice for most men. Use a timer if needed – it takes the full three minutes. In my case it takes 4-5 minutes.
- You can then apply pre-shave oil if desired.
Here’s to a great shave!