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Movember has come and gone. It’s now time to shave that thang, and start getting your kids to voluntarily kiss you again. But you worked so hard to grow the mane, you can’t possibly “just shave it” can you? No no friends, the Daily Dad is here to give you a couple fun loving December ideas and a Shaving-101 review in case this past month was a long one for ya.
What you will need is a pair of scissors, a hair/beard trimmer, a razor (duh), a lubricant (yeeep), a moisturizer and an imagination.
Consider a brave new weekend warrior look first.
Your boss was OK with the beard. Your wife grudgingly agreed. Your kids hated it – just admit it. Now take the first weekend in December to reward yourself by having some fun with the beard. Seriously, have you tried a Fu-Manchu ever? No that thing you tried to do in high school DID NOT COUNT. We’re talking about Sgt Peppers and the Lonely Hearts Club Band style Fu fellas. You know the upper lipped thing they all wore on their album cover right? Why not now?
Then there are some other really cool post-Movember ideas you can consider. Do you have the words to describe the guys below? Probably not, but here’s to thinking that “X-men’s Wolverine” comes to mind. When was the last time you really put a great effort into a “side-beard”? Oh never? Well, we can’t blame you for not rocking the side-beard to work, but if there ever was a time to put some metal spikes on the back of your hands and run around the backyard with the kids acting like a super hero – now is the time.
Unfortunately the time will probably come when you will choose to go back to the smooth-baby-bottom look. You will take 5 years off your face without question, which is sure to offset the insulation you will lose. So how do you make sure you don’t throw a wrench in the system and give yourself a weeks worth of razor burn? Here is a step-by-step refresher course.
Start with a sharp pair of scissors and cut away as much as you can grab with your fingers. Another option is a beard/mustache/hair trimmer. You do not need to go out and buy one, but if you are considering bringing back the mane in the future, a trimmer of some sort is a requirement to keep your beard tame. No matter what you buy, it must be adjustable. The hair trimmer will have different guards and the beard trimmer will be adjustable. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. Shaving a beard directly off is painful and time consuming and you will be face burned all night long.
weapon razor of choice.
Tired of paying $45 at the grocery store every time – EVERY TIME – you need to get a new round of razors? Still wondering why something that costs 10 cents at the hardware store is upcharged to $5 when it’s repurposed for your face? Yeah you are not alone. That is why there are some really cool online subscription services that are coming out that are offering great quality razors at a cheap price. Notably Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club. Dollar Shave club has a hilarious YouTube bit where they extol the virtues of their business model and describe how “Our Razors are F**king Great“.
The point is that it is getting cheaper and more automated for you to shave now than ever before. No, you don’t need the vibrating razor with 10 blades and a flashlight. Yes you do need more than a disposable razor. Ouch! Keep the beard another week and sign up today at one of these online clubs – they even have illustrated guides based on how much you shave so you get the right amount of razors every month or quarter.
Choose your lubricant wisely.
Especially if you have not shaved in a long time you will want to choose your next step wisely. There are a plethora of options out there. Some are foam, others are gel. The cremes are coming back in style in a hurry – and they are great on your skin and for softening your hair. There is a great website, MenEssentials, which have a plethora of unique lubricants that will leave you feeling fresh, soft and manly. The LEA cream shown below is for sensitive skin and has a lemon after-scent. It’s a bit more expensive, but is a great product for men who take their face seriously.
Take your time.
This is the most often forgotten step but the most crucial. You must walk away from the mirror for 1-2 minutes after you are fully lubricated. IF you choose to skip this step you are not letting the gel/foam/cream do its thing. When you let it rest on your face before you attack it with a razor blade, you’ll notice the difference. The shaving cream will continue moisturizing your whiskers, leaving them soft and wet. Just put the razor down slowly and walk away… for 2 minutes… you can do it…
On the first pass, always shave with the grain. This usually means shaving downward, but not always – check in with your scruff. Going against the grain (shaving the opposite direction that the hair grows) makes for a closer shave, but it also produces the most irritation and cuts. If you have a tendency to get bumps or rashes, or if you often get ingrown hairs, or if you simply consider your face too pretty to abuse, start shaving with the grain.
Fellas, it’s okay to make several passes at your whiskers. When you shave with the grain, you’ll notice that you don’t cut off as much beard as you do when you shave against the grain. You will also notice you don’t bleed as much – bleeding sucks – try not to bleed ok? It’s perfectly acceptable to shave once, apply another coating of lather, and shave again. It won’t make you any less manly. Slow down.
You should be running your razor under a stream of, ideally, warm water. This keeps the blade warm and thus cuts hair better and smoother, and it keeps your blades clear of debris. You can pull your skin taut to increase the tension on the blade but do NOT apply pressure to the razor on your face. We repeat, bleeding sucks. Pushing down into the skin with the razor increases bleeding and razor burn.
You managed to get this far. Check out your fine work. Clean up the random spots of shaving cream and be on your way out the door big daddy. Some guys like a post shave skin nourishment. That’s fine, just don’t rub with a towel, as that can irritate the freshly shaved skin. Use a generous amount of moisturizer that is free of perfumes and other potential irritants (e.g. baby oil) if you suffer from dry facial skin. Never apply deodorant, anti-perspirants, perfume, or anything that stings on just shaved skin – think Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone. Ouch!