When it comes to shaving, it’s really easy to fall into a routine and just to keep doing what you’ve always done even though you’re not happy with the results. In today’s guide, we show you how to break with bad old habits and we discuss the 5 biggest shaving mistakes men make.
How I Started – With A Cartridge System (It Sucked!)
When I was a teenager, my dad showed me how to shave with a cartridge razor system, and that’s all I knew, and so I just kept doing it even though I didn’t like the result and I didn’t like the process. Apart from that, it was quite pricey. However, you don’t know what you don’t know. Fortunately once I did know what a quality shave looked like and how much money I could save there was no way back for me.
We Believe Every Man Should Experience A Great Shave Day In, Day Out
As you might know, at the Gentleman’s Gazette we take shaving very seriously. We even created a 300+ page in-depth guide to shaving. We added videos to it and to get to that result we surveyed over 3,000 men who tested over 150 products so we really could find out what works and what doesn’t. Over the years I learned a lot about shaving, and so we came up with five biggest mistakes that men make when they shave.
5 Biggest Shaving Mistakes
Mistake #1 – Using A Blade That Is Not Sharp
In my opinion, it’s the biggest problem because we’ve become accustomed to cartridge razors and they use dull blades. Do you ever notice that the big marketing campaigns of the cartridge razor systems never mention the sharpness of the blades?
Number of Blades Doesn’t Matter – Blade Sharpness Is Most Important
They usually talk about the number of the blades, the lubrication strip, the handle, the vibration, the light, and whatnot. However, they forget the most important thing – sharpness, because without the sharp blade all the other things are pretty much useless. Of course, with so many blades they have to make a dollar and also if they have a dull blade you have to replace it more often which makes more money especially considering that they usually cost between a dollar or two and eight dollars a piece.
Cartridge Razors Are The Wrong Choice For 99.999999% Of Men
Unless you have very thin hair and perfect skin and I’ve never seen a man who had perfect skin, a cartridge system is pretty much useless. In my experience shaving with a cartridge system also left me with an uncomfortable feeling of ripping my hair and nicks and cuts.
DE Safety Razor: Sharper Than Cartridge + Lower Cost But Tricky to Use
So the next step up from a cartridge system is the double edge razor or safety razor. It’s a kind of razor your great-grandpa probably shaved with, and it’s still around today.
The two big pros of a DE safety razor are that you get a much better quality shave at a lower cost in a cartridge system.
The cons are there are hundreds of handles for DE shavers on the market and just as many blades. The problem is you have to find the exact right combination of the blade and the handle that works best for your face because if you don’t, you end up with an uncomfortable shave. You either have a blade that is too sharp or something that is not sharp enough, and so it requires a lot of testing and a lot of money.
I Wasted Over $1000 Until I Found A DE Razor That Worked For Me
After spending way over $1000, I figured out that for my skin and my hair I needed a very sharp blade and so I went with a Feather blade and a very aggressive razor.
Straight Razor: Sharp But Too Impractical & Time-Consuming
The next step in my evolution to a perfect shave was a single blade razor. Traditionally you have a straight razor, and it’s just the ultimate experience. It’s what you get at a luxury barber shop at the same time it takes 45 minutes to an hour, and you need the right technique, and it’s a huge pain in the ass and unless you truly enjoy shaving it’s not something you’ll ever do.
Mistake #2 – Not Doing The Proper Prep Work Routine
No matter how you shave, you always want to incorporate a proper prep work routine because you’ll end up with a better shave and your skin will thank you for it.
Step #1 Hot Water – That’s It No Step #2
It all starts with soaking your face in hot water because it opens the pores of your skin and softens your hair. For a real luxury treatment, you can also use a moist towel. I just put it in the microwave for about 30 seconds and keep it on my face for roughly a minute or two. It feels amazing! Of course, if you don’t have that extra time in the morning, I suggest you just take a warm hot shower beforehand, and that’s all you need before you shave.
Mistake #3 – Not Using Proper High Fat Lubrication
If you think about it, the shave cream lubricant is the only thing that protects your skin from the sharp blade. You need a lubricant so the razor can do its job without nicking or tugging your skin. The truth is there’s no such thing as over lubrication.
Unfortunately, most men don’t lubricate enough. Lubrication in the shaving world comes from fat. So the higher the fat content in your shaving cream, the better it is for your skin.
Canned Shaving Creams, Gels & Aerosols Are Bad For Your Skin
Sadly, most shaving creams and gels on the market today are designed to be just cheap, and so they skip the essential oils in the shaving cream. Instead, they go with chemicals and alcohol which dries out your skin, and often they add air simply, so it looks more than it is. As a rule of thumb, never use any shaving creams that come out of a can because they’re low in fat and they don’t lubricate as well. Ideally, a high-fat quality shave cream should be lathered up with a brush that was soaked in water beforehand because that yields a rich lather and the brush will lift the hair follicles from your skin.
Mistake #4 – Focus On The Upfront Cost & Convenience
The mistake most men make is to focus just on the upfront cost as well as the convenience and not on the actual quality of the shave, the cost per shave and the overall value. Most men today don’t want to spend a lot of money upfront and want something that’s easy and convenient, and I don’t blame you. The problem with that low upfront prices that it’s very expensive and a midterm at the long run.
Cartridge Razors Are The Most Expensive Way To Shave & They Provide A Bad Shave
For example look at the cartridge systems, the handle just costs about five to ten dollars and sometimes they even throw it in for free. However, the cartridge itself costs anywhere from $1 – $8 and so you quickly add up the cost if you just shave for a few months. Once I experienced a really good quality shave I couldn’t go back to a cartridge system anymore. So with a quality shave system, you have to invest a little more upfront, but the cost per shave goes way down.
Mistake #5 – Giving Up After Trying A New Shaving System
Honestly, I’ve seen it over and over again. Someone is unhappy with a cartridge system or with their electric shaver, so they upgrade to a different shave system. Now they try it once, and they don’t have the proper technique, they think it’s not working for them, and they go right back to what they know. The problem here is not the system it definitely works. However, you likely have not developed the right technique yet, so I encourage you to keep going. Give it a couple of weeks. Once you’ve mastered that first intro period, you will truly realize how easy and convenient it is for you and what kind of a shave you can get from it.
For example, with a DE shaver you hold it slightly differently than a cartridge razor and ideally you do multiple passes.
First, you go in longer strokes with the grain because it’s more comfortable on your skin and it gets off the long hairs from your face.
With the second pass, you go against the grain in short strokes and always make sure to clean out the blade with hot water in between that way you get a better result than if your blade is clogged.
At the end of the day shaving mistakes are easy to avoid. With a bit of hot water, quality shaving products and a sharp razer, shaving is super convenient and straightforward, yet it’s different than shaving with the cartridge razor or with an electric shaver.