Old school salesmen used to say, “There’s two thing you do everyday – Shave and Sell – and if you don’t do both, you’re a bum.” We’d like to think we’re not bums, but let’s face it, most mornings you feel like simply not shaving, and yes when you were fifteen and sixteen you could get away with skipping every other morning, but not today, not when our generation is next in line to inherent the businesses from our forefathers. These six tips wont necessarily make you a better business man, but they’ll at least give you the appearance of one.
6. Avoid razors with multiple blades: This is the first time where more is not necessarily better. A razor takes microscopic layers of skin off with the facial hair, so the more blades you use, the more irritated your skin can become. Essentially it becomes like shaving your face three or four times. If you don’t like shaving, then why shave two or three more times than necessary?
5. Tons of lather, need not: It’s a myth that using more lather decreases your chance of razor burn. Razor burn is a result of a lousy razor or improper technique, not your shaving cream. The best creams contain aloe vera (that soothes the skin), and should be applied a minute or two before actually shaving.
4. Shave with the grain: Shaving down in the same direction of the hair will result in less pull, and help you avoid cutting your facial hair to short. Shaving with the grain is another way to minimize skin irritation. Be cautious, facial hair growth is different for every man.
3. Exfoliate: Using a simple face scrub or mask before shaving can help open your skins pours and loosen any dirt or dry skin from your face. You can buy over the counter creams containing Vitamin A that will help with many skin problems, making it easier to get a clean shave without further irritation.
2. Shave in the shower, or just after you shower: Avoid shaving before you shower. Shaving over a dry face irritates the skin more and leaves you feeling raw. When you cut through tough hair, it often causes the hair to be pulled from its follicles, increasing the risk of ingrown hairs and razor burn. The warm water of a shower opens your pours and makes the hairs softer, making it easier to cut through without irritating the skin. If you can’t shave after the shower, wash your face with hot water for several minutes before applying the shaving cream.
1. After shave: A man can follow all five of the previous steps and still manage to leave the house looking like he ironed his face. This is a result of applying the wrong after shave.
Avoid post-shaving formulas that contain alcohol and plant extracts like menthol. Macaulay Culkin had it right in Home Alone, that really stings.
Just because some after shaves are bad doesn’t warrant you from skipping this important and final step. Pick an after shave that will moisturize the skin, not dry it out. An alum block (antiseptic) is used by barbers at the end of their hot towel shave so you know it works.
Cleanliness and good grooming are a matter of male pride, and buying the right shaving products to help doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Many shopping malls have incorporated “shaving stores” and any good pharmacy will have a section for men’s grooming products. Be cautious with what you buy, it’s your face at stake.
If you have an afternoon free, treat yourself to a hot towel shave and visit your local barber shop. They carry on the tradition of the “Man’s Saturday Afternoon” any afternoon.