GROOMING: The Perfect Shave
From the excitement of your first top lip fluff to the perpetual ever growth of manhood, shaving becomes an intrinsic part of daily life for most men, unless you’re auditioning for the role of Jesus in Superstar, or your wanting to sport the kind of look a 70’s porn baron would champion.
Years ago the choice of razor was limited to the cut throat blade and rather rudimentary electric shavers, now however there is a blistering array of choices. This week we’re focusing on the wet shave. It is by far the most time consuming method of de-hairing your face fleece but the results are much more pleasing; clean, close and smooth.
Alex Glover, Master Barber at Murdock’s concession store in the menswear department of Liberty in Soho created a video to help demonstrate the perfect shave.
1) Cleanse and Exfoliate
Start your regime with a warm liquid face wash which will cleanse the skin of grease and any contaminates which might later cause skin problems such as spots.
Glover says: ‘With the exfoliator you should just use gentle circles, lightly pressing into the skin so you can feel the granules moving around, but your not scratching your own skin’.
Exfoliating your skin is the perfect way to remove dead skin cells from your face and will give you a brighter more youthful complexion.
2) Pre Shave
A good shave is all in the preparation, Glover suggests using a pre shave oil, which will help ‘nourish the skin and soften the beard before the shave’. The Murdock Pre-Shave Oil is £24.00 per 100ml
If you’re not in a rush and happen to have hot towels (we’re not birthing anything) soak a clean towel in near boiling water and drape over your face for 3 to 4 minutes this will: ‘Soften the beard hair.’ explains Glover.
The heat from the towels will also open up your pores and make the hair follicles much easier to shave.
3) Lather Up
This is the bit that as a kid would thrill me, the brush, the lather, it was all too exciting. Nowadays we tend to slap on some shaving cream and get busy with our blades, but taking a little extra time and using a badger brush will result in a shave you won’t regret as you walk down the street without bits of toilet paper stuck to your face.
You need around a 2 to 3 centimetre by 1 centimetre dollop of shaving cream and mix it in a bowl with a wet badger brush. Soak your brush in water, before whipping the shaving cream into a ‘glossy looking lather’, Make sure the brush stays wet, which will help soften the beard further. Brush on the lather on to your face in circular movements, until you look like Santa.
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4) Using your blade correctly
Shave downwards from the sideburn down, in long cheek length motions, completing the entire cheek before moving onto the other side. If your hair grows downward, you can continue down the neck, but if your hair grows sideways you would shave in an upward motion, towards the jawline. Taking your time around the Adams apple and around the jawline as to not make any cuts. ‘Make sure your blade is at 30 degrees to the skin’, says Glover ‘that allows the blade to sweep across the face quite smoothly and it’s the perfect cutting angle.’
You need to ensure that the blade you use is sharp and new. Dull blades tend to tug at hair and cause a lot of pain and is more likely to cut you. The more blades your razor has the better. Stay away from any razor that has less than 3 blades. Keep a stock a spare blade heads for your razor and change the head regularly.