I recently had the opportunity to send a few shaving related questions to Diane Wood, master barber for King of Shaves – we talked dating, 5’o’clock shadow, shaving mistakes and more… Take a look below for the transcript; there are some incredibly useful tips there. I’ve adopted the ‘shaving across’ technique for a closer shave (rather than going against the grain) and it works incredibly well with zero irritation!
1. What can you do to ensure you’re getting the best shave if you only have 5 minutes to shower in the morning.
Try shaving in the shower as it is one of the most time efficient shaving techniques and provides great results. I would suggest for men to “shave by touch” (while in the shower) using a low foam shaving gel. When you use a low foam shaving gel you are more likely to feel any areas of hairs you might have missed while shaving when compared to a canned foamy (shave) cream. Shaving by touch means that run your free hand up and down your face feeling for any sections you might have missed. You follow your free hand with your razor which will help you feel and shave any missed sections. If you do this while you are in the shower you should easily be able to feel any spiky areas that have not been shaven.
2. Do you have any tips for people who shave with the grain and can’t get a close enough shave?
Of course I do! There is more to shaving passes than just shaving ‘with’ or ‘against the grain’. Men can try shaving ACROSS the grain if shaving with the grain doesn’t give them a close enough shave. Barbers have been using this technique for years so I highly suggest guys try it at home as well.
3. What are your favourite products from the King of Shaves line?
Our Azor5 is my current favorite KoS product – I use it every day. Yes, it’s a guy’s razor but it works wonderfully on legs as it does on a man’s face. I prefer to use it with our Kinexium Shaving Oil which makes the razor just glide across the skin and prevents razor drag.
4. What’s your top tip for a perfect shave?
Here’s two of my top tips!
http://www.scform.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/22.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />Forget everything you know about shaving – lots of lather does not equal a good shave. It may feel good to have a lot of lather on your face, but the fact is that this lather is created by surfactants (similar to detergents) which dry out your skin. Foam sitting on top your skin does nothing so move on! Choose your shaving gel wisely. I always suggest you use a low foam shaving gel and always avoid shaving products that contain soap and alcohol. Both soap and alcohol are very drying on the skin (especially when coupled with shaving) and can lead to razor irritation and ingrown hairs. Using soap or water alone can also lead to dry and irritated skin.
Don’t skimp out on your razor. Stay clear of the cheap disposables or you’ll be asking for cuts and nicks. Instead use a “system razor” with multiple blades to give you a smooth, close shave. My favorite pick is the King of Shaves Azor 5. Its uniquely patented wishbone-shaped head design provides greater visibility when shaving and the ergonomically designed handle allows for a superbly comfortable shave which effortlessly follows every contour and curve of your face. Plus, the unique flexible hinge allows the super long-lasting blades to shave at optimum pressure against the skin while the large soft rubber ‘bumper’ helps reduce risk of unwanted nicks and lifts stubble for a smoother more comfortable shave.
5. I’m going on a date in half an hour, just shaved and I have red bits and a few cuts from shaving – what can I do?!
There are two products every man should keep in his shaving kit that are perfect to deal with shaving irritation and cuts. They are an alum block and a styptic pencil. An alum block is a crystal-like stone that is moistened with cold water and gently rubbed over the entire face to act as an antiseptic for razor burn. It can also help to stop bleeding of nicks and cuts. The alum block also has antiseptic properties that not only cool and refresh the skin after shaving, but also act as a balm. Simply wet the block, apply to face, and then dry with towel. Be sure to pick up a styptic pencil at your local chemist which unlike the alum block is specifically used for individual cuts and nicks and is made from the alum block crystal, then its powdered form is concentrated into a stick.
6. Do you think everything in shaving is more-or-less done now? Can we expect any shaving innovations in the next few years outside of extra blades?
Now way! I am sure there will be plenty of shaving innovations in the coming years. Perhaps an at home laser razor to magically dissolve any unwanted facial hair could be the next big thing in shaving???
http://www.scform.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/KOS1628_Diane_Wood_v1_blog.jpg 450w” sizes=”(max-width: 450px) 100vw, 450px” />
7. What can I do to prevent 5’o’clock shadow?
Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do to prevent a 5 o’clock shadow if you have a thick beard that tends to grow in quickly. Your best bet is to ensure you get a super close shave in the morning by shaving both with and then across the grain of hair growth.
8. Do you have any tips to reduce irritation for guys who shave daily?
Warm, wet hair is three times easier to shave than dry. Therefore, try to shave during a shower (or immediately following) thoroughly wetting hair with warm water for at least three minutes. Also try to exfoliate skin before shaving to prevent in-grown hairs and shaving irritation. Remember when shaving – don’t press to hard, let the blade do the work.
9. What’s the most common shaving mistake?
Shaving against the grain and not changing your razor often enough are definitely the most common shaving mistakes guys make. Once you start to feel a little drag on your razor, it is time to replace the razor head. You will not get a close shave from a blunt blade; you will be shaved on some sections of your face and not on others and you will end up with redness and blotches, which is never fun. As soon as you feel a blade is not performing properly, replace it! Believe it or not, dull razors cause more shaving accidents than sharper ones.
10. Can you get a barber-shop quality shave at home or is it something you have to pay for?
Follow the three P’s to shaving to get the perfect barbershop style shave at home. All you need to remember is preparation, product and practice. It is very important to prepare your skin to be shaven with warm water as shaving skin dry will always lead to shaving irritation. The product you use is key! Avoid traditional shaving foams as they are made primarily of soap and alcohol which are very drying on skin. Instead try a low-foam shaving gel such as King of Shaves AlphaGel Natural Shaving Gel. Its smooth formula indulges your skin with skin nourishing ingredients while providing a close and comfortable shave. Practice and experience with various shaving techniques only develop with time.
(11. Do you read SCforM?! If not, you should!)
Yes, I am a fan!
Huge thanks to Diane for taking the time to answer those questions!