You might do it half asleep. But we’re here to open your eyes to the perils, pitfalls and potential life-changing pleasure of shaving. Yes, you can do it a whole heap better. Trust Jack.
Shaving. Think about it. It’s weird, right? Every day (or those days when we want to look sharp), we drag a steel blade across our soft, bare skin in the hope that it won’t end in tears.
But hands up if it sometimes ends in blood? Rash? Horrible little red bumps? Another clean shirt thrown in the washing machine?
Yeah. Shaving. We’ve all got issues with shaving.
So what’s going on? What are we doing wrong? And what can we do to make it better?
Keep checking back with Jack. We’re here to stop those tears, stem that blood and sharpen up your act. Because, short of sporting that Tom Hanks in Castaway look, you and shaving are just going to have to get along. So we’ll talk stubble, ingrown hairs, myth-busting, razor burn and shaving, ahem, down below.
Oh yeah, we’re going there.
But for now, let’s start by killing off some of those stubborn ‘facts’ that need
1) Your hair does not grow back thicker
Shaving doesn’t alter the coarseness, speed of growth, thickness or colour of your hair. Your hair is programmed to behave in the way it does by your DNA. No shaving routine in the world is going to change that. When you shave, you slice off the top of the hair, so it has a flat terminus, not a pointy one. But that’s it. And that’s why stubble feels, well, stubbly.
Sorry to break this to you, but your hair is dead. At least, the bit that pokes out from the skin is. So that means that the hair shaft doesn’t know it’s been cut. So it can’t send any panicked news flashes about the abuse it’s been subjected to back down to hair follicle HQ, the bulb underneath the skin.
2) Shaving with the grain is better
It’s your skin, so it’s your call. But a little knowledge is a wonderful thing. Shaving against the grain can get you a closer, cleaner cut. But shaving with the grain - shaving in the direction the hair grows - is way more comfortable, and safer.
When you shave against the grain, you’re tugging the hair away from the skin. Keep doing this, and you can ‘twist’ the natural hair growth - encouraging it to bury itself in the surrounding skin, and risk ingrown hairs, which can lead to unsightly red razor bumps. So, in short, not a good look.
3) You don’t need a special shaving lubricant
Oh, where do we start? When you put your faith in cheap products, don’t come running to us when your skin gets incredibly dried out, irritated and littered with razor bumps. Fact is, a quality shaving lubricant can make all the difference when it comes to how your razor blade performs, and how you look when you leave the bathroom. Formulation is everything.
Soap simply strips the skin of its ‘acid mantle’ - sounds a bit like GCSE Chemistry, but is, in fact, your skin’s natural defence mechanism. So look for oils and lubricants that contain skin-identical ingredients. Natural. Not synthetic. Mineral oil, petrolatum and paraffin are petrochemical by-products. And they’re flammable. Want to slather your chops in that? No, us neither. Instead, look for products with healthy botanical extracts known to lubricate the skin, to help razor glide, soften the bristles, to help slice them cleanly away, and leave the newly exfoliated skin feeling soothed and protected with the shave is done.
Next time - we take a closer look at razors. Which ones make the cut? You might be surprised...