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The 8 Essential Steps to a Perfect Shave

Before you shave, you must know your beard and the direction of hair growth on your face. Spend a few minutes one day to find out which direction it grows on different parts of your face.  On your face and chin it usually grows down towards your neck.  On your neck and around your throat, it can grow in various directions.  And finally, shave after you have cleansed your face or used an exfoliator (see our Skin Care Guide).


1. Shave after you have been awake for at least 30 minutes and after a hot shower. ...More Details
Allowing this time enables your skin muscles to tighten after sleep and lift the hairs away from your face.  A hot shower ensures your hairs are softened by the moisture and the heat and steam opens up the hair follicles, enabling the hair to be cut more easily by the blade. If you can't shower, cleanse your face with warm water or use a face cloth soaked in hot water, wrung out and placed over your neck and chin.

2. Apply pre-shave oil for extra lubrication. ...More Details
A pre-shave oil provides extra lubrication for the razor as well as creating an extra barrier between the blade and skin, assisting in preventing razor burn, ingrown hairs and irritation.  This is especially good for growth longer than a day and men with tougher beards.

3. Next apply your chosen shaving lubricant (cream, gel, or soap), preferably with a shaving brush, or by hand.  Leave on for 2 minutes if possible. ...More Details
The choice of lubricant is yours, but our advice is to avoid aerosol foams which contain nothing much but air.  A shaving brush, used with cream or soap, is a great implement because not only does it assist in gentle exfoliation of the skin and raising of the hairs, it also creates a rich lather on your face.  Let the brush stand after you have lathered up because there will be enough left on it for step 6. Make sure you leave the lather on your face for 2 minutes to allow the moisturisers to do their work on your skin.

4. Using your razor, shave in slow, short, careful strokes in the direction of your hair growth.  Clean the razor after each stroke. ...More Details
When shaving let the razor glide over your skin and do not press.  As you are shaving, use your free hand to gently stretch the skin in the shave area to create a flat surface for the razor to glide.  Regularly rinsing the razor in clean water to remove foam and cut hairs will prevent it from clogging and give you a smoother shave.  Remember to replace the razor blade after every 4-5 shaves.

5. Start from the sides of your ears.  Then work your way down the cheek.  Do the other side.  Then shave between your nose and top lip. Leave the chin and neck to the last. ...More Details
This is the recommended order in which to shave your face.  The hairs on your chin and neck are the toughest, so it's a good idea to leave them to last, allowing the shaving lather to soften the hair more.

6. Reapply shave lubricant and shave lightly again as above, this time against or across the grain. ...More Details
Before this step, check where there may still be stubble on your face and concentrate on these areas.  As in step 4, use the razor lightly.  Shaving against or across  the grain after you have done the first shave means you have removed most of the hair already and this allows you to get a smoother shave without risk of ingrown hairs or irritation.  At this point, if using a brush, wash it thoroughly in clean water and store with the bristle hanging down to allow excess water to drip off.

7. Rinse your face with cold water and pat dry with a towel. ...More Details
The cold water not only cleans your face but helps to close the skin pores.  We recommend patting dry with a towel rather than rubbing to minimise further irritation and to avoid stretching the sensitive post-shave skin.  If you have nicks or cuts, use a moistened Alum Block.  Alum Blocks have hemostatic properties to stop bleeding.
8. Apply non-alcohol based after shave balm or moisturiser. ...More Details
We do not recommend traditional after-shaves which burn and dry your skin. Use rather a post-shave balm or gel with rich, soothing and moisturising properties. Some, with particular essential oils, can also act as an antiseptic.

The Essential Elements and Tools

1 Lots of water
2 A clean towel 
3 A shaving brush
4 A razor with a sharp blade (remember to replace the blade after every 4-5 shaves)
5 Pre-shave oil 
6 Your choice of shaving cream, soap, or gel 
7 After-shave balm
8 Alum block (optional)

      If you would like a copy of this Guide, please email us guides@artofman.com.au



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