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The Ultimate Men's Shaving Guide

By Luke Chapman - 3 years ago | Updated
man shaving in mirror

Before you set out time for your weekly or daily shave it’s important you have all the right tools for the job to ensure the cleanest, closest shave yet.

Luckily for you we’ve rounded up everything you need and answered a few frequent questions when it comes to men shaving. Whether you need the perfect brush or the best razor, we’ve got you covered!

Men's shaving brushes

Is a shaving brush necessary?

A shaving brush is often the most overlooked part of your grooming or shaving routine, but it's one of the most important products - it's no coincidence that every revered salon has a wide range readily available. A premium shaving brush is what distinguishes a basic grooming kit from a deluxe one, giving you the luxury treatment with high-quality materials. They help you create the smoothest and closest shave; the strong and soft bristles lift your facial hair and allows your razor to seamlessly glide underneath. The texture of the bristles also produces a rich lather with warm water and shaving cream, gently moisturising your skin and helping you guide the razor.

How do you use a shaving brush?

The first step in the process is to wet the brush with warm water to saturate the bristles and make them extra malleable. Next, either run the shaving brush over the soap or shaving cream if you have it in a bowl, or apply some shaving cream to the middle of the bristles. Once you have the perfect lather, massage it into your facial hair in circular motions. This lifts the facial hair and makes it easier to cut them with the razor.

Now you're set to shave.

Taylor of Old Bond Street Medium Shaving Brush

£29.95

Men's razors

How do I use a straight razor?

A good, clean shave is all about preparation. You can get away with poor preparations once or twice, however, if you make it a regular practise then you'll cause long-term damage to your skin and your razor. Suffering from redness, razor burn, bumps and irritation isn't worth skipping the first vital steps.

Firstly, massage a pre-shave oil onto your skin and then lather your skin with warm water. Now, time to wield the razor. Open the razor up into an L-shape, and then hold it against your face at a 30 degree angle. Glide the razor with the grain, moving it in fluid, short and gentle motions without pressing too hard against your skin.

Once you're satisfied with your shave, rinse your skin thoroughly with warm water. Finish off with applying 2-3 drops of after shave balm to soothe and calm your skin.

Murdock London Pre Shave Oil

£22.00

Taylor of Old Bond Street No. 74 Ivory Mach 3 Razor

£45.00

Men's electric shavers

How to use an electric shaver?

Firstly, you need to wash your face with warm water to remove any dirt and make your beard supple and soft for when you begin shaving. If you have a wet shaver, the best time for a shave is immediately after you come out of the shower.

We suggest using a pre-shave oil or balm to soothe your skin and facial hair and make it easy to manoeuvre the shaver. Unlike a razor, it's best to shave with the grain as opposed to against the grain, which often causes irritation and ingrown hairs.

If you're debating about whether to get a rotary shaver or a foil shaver, there are a few key differences: rotary shavers are more precise and smoother, though take a bit longer. For a quicker and simpler shave, we recommend going with a foil shaver.

BaByliss PRO Cordless Single Foil Shaver

£44.10 £56.00 (22% off)

Does my facial hair need to be dry to use an electric shaver?

It doesn't have to be dry, but it certainly helps. Your hairs are much more malleable when dry; they're crisper, smoother and effortlessly fall off against an exceptional electric shaver. There is much less chance of dry hairs getting caught in the shaver once you're finished, which saves you the hassle of a strenuous cleaning regime after every grooming session.

It is possible to shave your facial hair when it's wet, though it requires a state-of-the-art electric shaver to perform a stellar result. Many innovative brands now offer electric shavers for wet skin, which are ideal for when you've just come out of the shower and want to look slick and sharp.

Why is an electric shaver better than a razor?

We're not here to knock manual razors as you well know, they've been a staple of men's bathrooms for a reason. However, people may prefer electric shavers as they can be more cost effective; instead of having to shell out for a new razor every few months, a high-performing electric shaver lasts for several years.

An electric shaver allows for more versatility with your shave, helping you to create either a crisp, close finish or smooth, finely sculpted stubble. If you're not sure about the stubble, you can always adjust the setting and opt for a closer shave.

Wahl Lithium Beret Trimmer

£102.90 £120.00 (15% off)

Shaving lotions and creams

What does shaving cream do?

There are many benefits to using shaving cream. It makes shaving safer for your skin, much easier and helps keep your razor in prime condition.

The ingredients of shaving cream helps your facial hair maintain its natural oils, as well as providing a smooth texture so they're easier to shave. Potent shaving creams also nourish and moisturise your skin, and protect it from any dirt and debris that inevitably appear when shaving.

On a more practical level, shaving cream helps you guide the razor and help you get any hairs you may have missed.

How do I use a shaving cream?

Shaving creams are super easy to use. Even if you're a beginner to shaving, you'll get the hang of shaving cream in just a few moments. Firstly, give your shaving bottle a rigorous shake before use, otherwise it will come out in a liquid consistency that's impossible to use.

Secondly, squeeze a small amount onto the palm of your hands, then massage into your facial hair. The thicker the facial hair, the more shaving cream you want to use. Shave with the grain, using the remaining shaving cream as a guide to the hairs you still have left to shave.

Do I need shaving cream and lotion?

Though shaving cream and lotions are slightly different, you often only need one. Shaving creams are ideal for when you're just starting off in shaving, offering a helping hand when you're maneouvring the razor.

Shaving lotions have a multi-faceted versatility, also acting as a moisturiser, which makes them a welcome addition to any grooming kit. If you're new to shaving and wants to get the benefits of a shaving lotion, it may be worthwhile adding both to your shaving set until you settle on the one for you.

What Are The Differences Between Shaving Cream And Lotion?

Shaving creams and lotions are fairly similar, but there are a few subtle differences. The obvious difference is the texture: shaving cream is thick, foamy and light, whereas lotions can be thinner and spread easier. Shaving lotions also often leave a cooling sensation and a light fragrance on your skin, which can provide a refreshing boost.

Weleda Men's Shaving Cream

£7.96 £12.50 (37% off)

Paul Mitchell MVRCK Skin + Beard Lotion

£5.95 £7.00 (15% off)

American Crew Moisturising Shave Cream

£6.95 £10.03 (31% off)

Hermès Terre D'Hermes Aftershave Lotion

£49.00 £62.00 (21% off)
Luke Chapman

Written by Luke Chapman

After six years of experience in content writing, Luke followed his passion for male grooming, particularly fragrances, hair styling and natural skin care.

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