Nowadays everything is going faster. But sometimes in life you just have to slow down and take your time. Every day millions of men all over the world have to deal with the most basic and important decision in daily life. How to keep their beard. To shave and achieve that smooth perfection or to grow a stubble or even a full beard? But most of all? How to wet shave?
Well gentlemen, needless to say, a gentleman shaves. Indeed, it sounds a bit too harsh as a statement, but, let’s just think about it. If you really want the best in life, how many times it comes easy? Never? Almost…unless you win the lottery, or you are blessed by luck, whatever you do, you have to fight for it. There is no success without sacrifices. There is no achievement without dedicating time to what we want to master.
It’s so sad to see nowadays that more and more people choose the easiest way just because often it’s also the fastest. Time is money, no doubt, but if you take your time to become good at something, you’ll be paid back in terms of satisfaction, results and even confidence.
It is the case of wet shaving, which in most cases turns into a moment of pure pleasure. So why not taking your time and start to learn how to shave properly?
How often to wet shave
That being said, the next question is…alright, but how often? Many people believe that to be a wet shaver you should shave daily and reach the famous bbs each time. I don’t agree.
For years I thought that would be the only way. I was wrong. After trying and experimenting, I came to the conclusion that what might be good for someone, could be a nightmare for others. Nevertheless, it is true that our skin adapts and, if properly stimulated, it will be stronger and will heal faster. But there is a limit. How to know what is your limit? Just trying!
If you shave every day and you have no skin irritations etc., well, keep shaving as you like. If not, give time to your skin to heal. Simply shave every other day or even less frequently. Remember, it’s your skin and you have to learn what works best for you. The best part of wet shaving, is not how often, but how you shave. There is the real pleasure.
A gentleman doesn’t shave every day because someone else told him to do so. He aims to perfection by nature and he knows what the best way to reach it is.
And now let’s see how to get the perfect shave.
How to wet shave
First of all, we cannot achieve any good result without two fundamental things:
- a good technique
- the right tools
In this article we will analyze the proper technique which will bring to a quality shave.
The ideal moment to shave is after a good sleep in the morning, when our skin and facial muscles are relaxed.
To shave properly we have to go through at least two phases:
- with the grain (wtg)
- against the grain (atg)
These two passes usually are enough to reach a close shave. You can reach an even closer shave with an additional pass, across the grain (xtg). Usually xtg is in between the other two passes, but there is no problem in doing it at the end.
At this point you should have a very close shave or a baby butt smooth aka bbs. If you have a coarse beard, you might experience some points where you can feel a bit of hair. It’s absolutely normal. All you have to do is to finish your shave with touch-ups, meaning you just go on the spots that are a bit rough.
Ok, but is it with the grain from up to down and against the grain vice versa? NO! That’ts the biggest mistake of all. When it comes to shaving remember there is only one big rule: Your mileage may vary (YMMV). In other words, everybody is different and what works for someone, might not work for another. Face mapping is the key. To know how your hair grows, when you have a little stubble, touch your hair with one or both hands.
With the grain: you don’t feel any resistance.
Against the grain: you feel the scratch.
Across the grain: from one side to another perpendicular to the hair.
Tips for the perfect shave
Most important is to soften the hair. The softer the hair, the easier the cut.
A good habit is moisturizing the skin before going to sleep. You can apply any facial cream, lighter if you have an oily skin, richer if you have a dry one.
Ideally you should shave after a hot shower or rinsing your face thoroughly with warm water before shaving.
But always remember the most important rule: YMMV. If cold water works for you better than warm, go for it. If you prefer shaving in the evening before going to sleep, enjoy it.
Shaving is pure pleasure, one of the last real pleasure and beauty routine that a modern gentleman could experience. Why rushing and miss the joy that a good shave can bring? Start a new day with a bbs and trust me, it will affect the whole day. After all, every day can be different, but it all starts with a good shave!