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Beards, moustaches and General shaving tips for Men

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Shaving for most men is either a pleasure, a ritual or a chore, but did you know that the "five o'clock shadow"," I've been out clubbing all night" look is no longer in. Things have shifted back to the clean fresh face. But, at the end of the day, all we want is a shave that is as close a possible without cuts or nicks. Everyone has their own techniques but here are a couple of tips to remember:

  • When you get up, don't head straight to the bathroom, give it about 20 minutes before you shave. This gives the face time to pull itself together, so tightening the muscles and making your whiskers 'pop out' for that really close shave.
  • Use a hot towel to soften the bristles before you begin. This feels great too.
  • If using a "wet" razor (normally a common cartridge type razor) with shaving cream always 'stretch' the skin by tensing the muscles in your face and slightly puffing up your cheeks to make your skin as tight as possible as the blade passes over an area. In some areas gently stretch you skin with your fingers.
  • Don't shave against the direction of your stubble on your face as this can give you a rash.
  • However this is acceptable on the neck area otherwise you can be left with stubble as the skin is a lot softer here.
  • Avoid nicks by easing up on the pressure when going over high areas such as the jaw line.
  • Always keep the angle of the blade the same.
  • Never shave above the natural level of your beard (i.e. just below or on your cheekbones!) unless you want to end up looking like King Kong when you get older.
  • Never reply to questions and nags from your girlfriend, wife or mom whilst shaving, this will guarantee that you don't remove half your face and end up in accident and emergency. At the end of the day, shaving is "sacred time" and tactfully let your partner know that you need to descend into a "trance-like state" at this time.
  • If you cut yourself, don't dab at it with a tissue. This will only keep the blood vessels open and not allow the blood to coagulate. Let it dry then apply a small blob of Vaseline. Bits of toilet paper are not a good look unless you fancy yourself as Mr. Bean.
  • Some guys prefer electric razors but they sometimes will not give you the feeling of a clean shave that you want and can leave some people with spots.
  • Keep your skin in great shape between shaves using drops of oil in you bath water (olive or baby will do the trick).
  • Try an exfoliant, face wash with little granules in to remove dead skin cells. You would use one of these a couple of times a week and have baby soft skin, all the better for....

Beards and Moustaches:

  • Try using shampoo and conditioner designed to promote hair growth of your beard if you suffer from acne or spots in the beard area. These products are designed to remove blockages from the hair follicle.
  • It is normal that your skin will itch during the first stages of growing a beard.
  • When shaving it off it is best to trim it down with a pair of scissors before taking a razor to it.
  • If you find your sideburns end up all 'squif'f, its because you tip your head over to one side on an angle as you shave. Simply face straight ahead and then look over to the side.

Our team of guys at VirtualHairCare.com have tried them all, but the razor that comes out best every time is the Gillette Mach3. Very smooth shave and darn hard to nick yourself with unless you've just downed a bottle of scotch! There are many traditional barbers around, and if you fancy a bit of a relax along with a professional shave, nothing beats the experience. Makes an excellent gift for your buddies, brother or dad too. Hopefully you won't have to send your girlfriend.

Hair going grew? There are a couple of easy, uncostly, yet very effective ways of getting rid of grey's or changing the colour of your hair. Click the link to find out how.

Electric Shavers

Properly used, most electric shavers can offer a shave that is every bit as close as, if not closer than a shave obtained from a blade razor. Why is this possible? An electric shaver rolls up the skin ahead of the hair, forcing it up above what would be considered the skin line where it is then cut off. You could think of this as shaving your whisker off below the skin line since the whiskers are forced up before they are sheared off. Other benefits of electric shaving are its ease of use and absence of cuts and scraping irritation. You can even shave with your shirt and tie on with an electric shaver; most men wouldn't attempt this with a blade razor. The time spent shaving is so variable with the individual that it would be debatable as to whether blade razor or electric shaving is the faster, but many men would opt for the electric shaver as the quicker, less messy, more convenient way to shave.

Try a couple of these tips with your razor:

Always clean your shavers screen and cutter regularly. On most shavers you can lift off the head frame which holds the screen, and gently brush out the stubble dust from the underside with the cleaning brush all manufacturers include. Do not touch the screen itself with the brush as it is extremely fragile. Below the screen is the cutter and this needs a thorough cleaning with the brush. Remove all the stubble dust so that it can properly apply its metal surfaces to the task of cutting off your stubble. This residue built up on the cutters can seriously impair the effectiveness of your shaver so it is best to clean your shaver after every third shave, and preferably after every shave. The weekly use of a cleaning solution is recommended.

  • The metal surfaces of your screen and your cutter need lubrication. There are aerosol lubricants that can be sparingly applied to the shaving screen while the shaver is running. This makes sure there is no metal against metal binding. There is no need to wipe it off after application and you will notice a pick up in the sound level of your shavers motor which tells you that it is then operating at its maximum power level. Do this daily, while the shaver is running, just before you shave.
  • Use gentle pressure against your beard and shave against the grain of your beard growth. Do not press down hard, or move your shaver too rapidly over your face. This will not get you a closer shave but will wear out your shaver faster.
  • Men who have sensitive skin report that it helps them to shave the most tender areas of their face (the neck area below the jawbone) first and then move up to the tougher areas of their face. Some shavers generate heat on their shaving surfaces and heat can cause irritation. So shave the tender areas of your face first while the shaver head is still cool.
  • If you have been using a different brand electric shaver to the one you are switching over to, then allow some breaking in time. Although most shavers have somewhat similar shaving principles, their "in use" applications differ. Give yourself a week or two for your face to adjust to your new shaver and if you have been using a blade razor, then you will need about 2 to 3 weeks to adjust to electric shaving. Why? Well, every time you shave with a razor you actually take off a very thin layer of skin. With electric shaving, you are shaving at or below the skin line. So, you need this 2-3 week period to get rid of the replacement scar tissue that the body produces after every razor blade shave. This scar tissue is not produced with electric shaving and for that reason you should not fluctuate back and forth between blade shaving and electric shaving if you want to achieve the maximum benefits of electric shaving. Be determined, and stick with your decision to use an electric shaver

Barber's itch.

This condition is when you develop small pustules in the beard it is accompanied by itching and considerable pain at times. It is actually a bacterial infection that you may have caught from your razor, brushes or even towels. The inflammation will be deep within the layers of your skin and can even lead to the hairs in the area becoming loose. Treatment is definitely necessary and amounts to the application of an antibiotic cream. See your pharmacist or doctor.

We would like to acknowledge the help of Shavers.com in researching this section.

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