Facial hair. You either love it or hate it. You love it when it makes its debut in your early teens and announces your entry into manhood. You similarly hate it when it doesn’t sprout at all, and you spend you’re the best of your high school days infront of a mirror, coaxing the growth of a single filament like a prize winning rare orchid gardener and announcing, with loud whoops of joy, the minute hint of a wispy strand on your prepubescent chin.
Fast forward to maturity – You love your bristles when your girl asks you to rub them over her face. You hate it when you have to trim them very other day in the midst of a global financial crisis which has led to the over inflation on the price of razor blades, let alone those fancy high tech gadget-a-ma-thingy shavers you keep wishing for and never getting at Christmas.
Either way, short of castration, and pricey laser treatments, most dudes have to live with the reality of a bi-weekly, if not daily, depilatory duty as part of their morning ablution process.
So old boy, here are a few tips to make the process somewhat easier to undertake.
- Avoid shaving first thing in the morning. Your face would still be puffy due to the fluids that collect in your face tissues over a night’s sleep, and the perfect shave would be hard to get.
- Stubble should be wetted with warm or hot water before shaving. This swells the hair shaft allowing the blade to cut the hair, not your skin.
- Use an exfoliant such as a facial cleanser or scrub to get rid of dead skin cells and open up the pores of the skin to prepare it for a close shave.
- Thoroughly massage shave cream into stubble. A vitamin and Aloe Vera based shave cream will provide a close soothing shave and protect against razor rashes and burns.
- Use a sharp blade. A dull blade is responsible for many shaving cuts as it drags over your face and catches your skin along with the hair of your beard.
- Rinse the blade often in hot water when shaving and use slow short strokes. Take your time.
- Shaving with grain means shaving in the direction of how the hair grows on your face. It is always best to shave this way. Shaving against the grain can cause redness, rashes, razor burn and ingrown hairs, which are all painful.
- After shaving, apply an oil-free moisturizer to soothe and protect the face. If you prefer an after-shave, check the label for alcohol. Dryness and stinging sensations are by-products of most after-shave products whose primary ingredient is alcohol. It may feel good at the time, but alcohol based after-shaves are actually irritating to many complexions.
- To feel better about yourself and your chinnny chin spikes, consider getting involved in the World’s Greatest Shave, a mass shearing event that aims to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation to fund free services to support patients and families living with leukaemias, lymphomas, myeloma and related blood disorders. www.worldsgreatestshave.com.
Ah. Now that you resemble a freshly shorn lamb, here are some utterly useless facts about shaving:
- Gillette Pakistan’s planned “Shave it and Break it” event in Karachi on March 30 2010 – an attempt to break the Indian record of mass shavings – was cancelled due to threats from ‘Islamic extremists’ in the area.
- The history of shaving takes us back into the Stone Age, around 100,000 B.C. when Neanderthal man first started pulling hair from, painting, and tattooing his body. He also enjoyed filing down his teeth for some reason, too. Ancient cave paintings inspected today will indicate that early man discovered other ways to remove hair from his face; in the beginning, he simply plucked them out using two seashells as tweezers. In fact, tweezers have remained throughout history as the most popular grooming tool ever invented, used by both “civilized” men and women to painfully remove body and facial hair.
- The Pharaohs of Egypt probably liked a good shave every now and then, of course using nothing less than the best made from gold and silver. Archaeologists have found razor relics that date back as far as the fourth century.
- The average shave will trim away somewhere between 20,000-25,000 hairs from a man’s face.
- Shaving cream was only made for men until the industry specifically targeted women in 1986 by manufacturing the whipped magic specifically for women!
- Shaving cream didn’t always come in aerosol cans; the method wasn’t even introduced until 1950.
- Shave gels weren’t even thought of until the 1970’s.
- Only about 30% of men who shave use an electric device to shave.
- Historians believe that caveman used clams and shark teeth to shave with – 20,000 years ago-in the Stone Age!
- Nearly 70% of women prefer a clean-shaven man.
- Some archaeologists think that many warriors shaved their heads before battles so opponents didn’t have any hair to pull … maybe they were discouraging by the practice of scalping?
Happy shaving gents! Oh and COMING SOON : Facial hair styles and which looks can make or break your bristly reputation …