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Men's Grooming: Shaving (2)

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       One of the key factors in getting a good shave is softening the facial hair prior to shaving. To do this, take the small towel and wet it using water that is as hot as you can tolerate. Wring out the excess water and lay the towel on your face (or press it to the face) and leave it there for about five minutes. The heat and moisture will combine to soften the facial hair, making it easier to cut. If you are pressed for time in the mornings, you may find it useful to shave after you shower or bathe. The heat and moisture of the shower perform the same function as the hot towel and will save you the time.
 
       Next, apply a small amount of shaving cream or gel to your hands and work the lather over the whiskers to be shaved. Allow the product to sit for a moment, further softening the skin and whiskers. At this point you can proceed with the shave.
 
       Turn on the water until you have a warm flow and wet the blade end of the razor. Then start at the top of the cheek and pull the blade across the skin in the direction in which the hair is growing. {This is important. You should ALWAYS shave in the direction of hair growth. Shaving against the direction of growth can lead to ingrown hairs and cause great discomfort.} The facial hair grows in different directions in different areas of the face and neck, so be prepared to stop and change directions often.
 
       Use short passes with the razor to prevent over-clogging the blades. After each pass with the razor, rinse the blades under the running warm water to remove the cut hairs and dead skin cells that get lodged there. {Note: The use of warm water in rinsing the blade is to make rinsing easier. Oils from the skin can harden and make unclogging the blades more difficult. However, if you have especially sensitive skin, or feel some irritation when shaving using warm water, switch to cold water. This will make shaving more comfortable for you.}
 
       Continue shaving with short passes until you've removed all of the facial hair you wish, then rewet the towel you used at the beginning to soften your whiskers using cold water and wipe away any remaining residue of shaving cream. The use of cold water will soothe any irritation you may have experienced and will tighten the pores of the skin.
 
       If during the shave you happen to nick yourself, you should use a cotton ball or wad of bathroom tissue with alcohol and press it to the cut. This will disinfect the cut and help to stop the bleeding.
 
       Follow up your shave with your choice of aftershave balms or skin moisturizers to keep the skin soft.
 
       Some men, particularly African-American men, have a problem with shaving even with electric razors. Their curly hair type makes them prone to ingrown hairs in great numbers when shaving. For these men, it is recommended that they use a depilatory cream or powder to remove the unwanted facial hair. There are a number of manufacturers who make such products specifically for men, which are designed especially for use on the more sensitive skin of the face.
 
       If you do develop an ingrown hair after shaving, use a topical cream containing hydrocortisone on the affected area. The hydrocortisone will help to shrink the inflamed tissue and relieve the itching associated with the ingrown hair. If the ingrown hair does not clear up after a few days of this treatment (or if it appears to get larger or more painful) consult your physician. In some cases, ingrown hairs could become infected and result in scarring or pitting of the skin.
 
Stacy - Hair Stylist     ©Hairfinder.com
 
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How to shave your head
Clipper cutting techniques
 
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