Using a razor is the last thing you would consider when you grow a beard. Isn’t it right?
I mean come on… Who can blame you?
If you liked using a razor, why would you start growing a beard in the first place.
There’s something that you might haven’t thought about though.
No matter how strange this sounds like, a razor is possibly the most important tool in your bearded toolkit if you want to shape your beard properly.
Think about it.
Beard trimmers and scissors are excellent for beard maintenance. But do you believe these are necessary when you want to style your beard?
Let me explain…
Why would you want to style your beard with a razor?
Beard trimmers and scissors should be used on different occasions for different purposes.
Why do you use beard trimmer to shape your beard?
There are 2 reasons why you would do this.
- Maintain your beard length at a certain level in order to look slick and properly groomed.
- Style parts of your beard such as moustache, cheeks and sideburns.
Now, why do you use scissors?
With a pair of scissors, you mainly want to style parts of your beard where more precision is required than that a beard trimmer gives you. That said, you can use the scissors to:
- Style your sideburns, moustache and chin.
- You cut and maintain your facial hair easier when you grow a long(er) beard.
So far so good.
But again, why would a razor be better than these two tools when you want to style your beard?
There’s only one reason. Beard trimmer and scissors suffer from styling precision in certain areas.
Let’s say for example, you want to define and clean the neck and cheek line from hair. With a beard trimmer is nearly impossible if you want to do this right. Not to mention with a scissors. And this is not the end. Think how complicated it gets when you want a beard style like goatee or Van Dyke.
Do you see now why it’s important to learn how to style your beard with razor?
Good! Let’s get go to the next step and find out what kind of razor you’ll need.
What type of razor do you need to shape your beard?
Depending on your available budget, your skin type and the convenience you’re looking for, there are a few type of razors you can choose from.
Cartridge razorsIt can’t be get any simpler than this.
Cartridge razors are available literally everywhere. They offer a relaxing and cut free (usually) shaving and it’s easy to replace them.
Few cartridge razors like the Gillette Fusion, has a blade on the back side of the cartridge head, that offer excellent precision when you want to define the lines of your beard.
For men with sensitive skin, I would advise a cartridge razor that has as less blades as possible.
Safety razorsCompared to cartridge razors, I feel that safety razors offer greater precision while they are more friendly to sensitive skin.
Now, if you want to make sense of cents, I’ve got some good news for you.
Even though safety razors can be a bit pricey as initial investment, the “running costs” are very low. Since you use disposable blades, shaving with a top safety razor can get as cheap as a dollar per month, depending on how many times you’ll be using it to shape your beard.
Straight razorsIf you’re looking for the ultimate precision tool in shaping your beard, look no further.
Straight razors are the type of razors that every barber use for shaping your beard or moustache. If the pros are using it, there has to be a good reason behind it.
The precision however comes with a price. And the price is the difficulty in handling it. If you haven’t used a straight razor before, it might be a challenging task for you.
You need to learn how to hold and carefully shave with it to avoid cutting yourself. It’s very sharp and it requires excellent technique when you shave with it. If you don’t pay too much attention, the overly exposed blade of a shavette (if not cut throat straight razor) can scare you off from using it and possibly give your face a couple of cuts. Though, it is worth trying it at least once since it gives you a very nice shave at the area you wish to shape.
Sounds good boss! Teach me how to style a beard with razor then
Styling a beard with a razor is almost similar to shaving with a razor. The idea is that it requires similar preparation as with shaving and the process is of equal importance.
Step 1: Face preparation for grooming
Just like with shaving, good preparation of the skin that you’re about to shave is required. Therefore, you can do the following:
Get a warm shower before you start styling your beard or soak a small towel in warm water. Then, apply to the skin that you’re going to shave and hold it on your face for 1 minute or so.
As said, it’s exactly like shaving your entire face. That being said, warm water helps the pores of your face open up and softens up your facial hair. This combination will make your styling with a razor a much simpler and painless procedure while you reduce the chances of getting skin irritation and razor burns.
Step 1.5: Pre shave productsBefore we talk about step 2, I would like to bring preshave soap to your attention. This is excellent especially if you have an overly sensitive skin. After you apply some soap, the razor will glide nicely over your face and neck, giving you a close shave.
How do you apply it?
Very simple! Since you have your face wet already with warm water, take the pre shaving soap and start rubbing it on the areas that you’d like to shave. For better results, rub the pre shaving soap against the grain so your face and whiskers get lubricated nicely.
Step 2: Lathering
Lathering your face can be done with several different methods and products.
Shaving brush with a shaving soap or cream is again recommended for guys with sensitive skin. The shaving brush is able to reach deep in your skin pores and softens the whiskers way more efficiently than with pressurized lathering products.
Once you find the ideal lathering product for you, apply on the beard area against beard growth, that you would like to shave.
Step 3: Mapping the shaving area
What do I mean by mapping? Once you apply the lather, it’s not very clear the area that you have to shave. It’s time to get your hands dirty again.
With your fingernail, draw the lines on your cheeks and neck in order to shave no more than the required beard area. On your neck area, draw the line from the edge of your jaw down to just above your Adams apple. Different people may draw different lines but that’s what usually the area that most guys shave.
Step 4: Start shaving that beard off
Now comes the part that you hate. Take the razor in your hands and start shaving the areas that you mapped already. You did that, didn’t you?
If you have a sensitive face, try to shave with the grain no matter if you’re using a safety razor or just any cartridge razor.
You can make things easier for you if you pull the skin on the opposite direction of your shave. This way, you will see the beard line that you want to shave better and be more precise without shaving any precious beard off.
Step 5: Clean up the mess
Now that you’re done shaving, rinse your face with cold water to see the results. Hopefully, you’re satisfied. If not, wait until next time you shave.
You rinse with cold water in order for your pores of your skin to close faster. This way you reduce or even prevent your skin from irritating.
When you finish rinsing, dry your face with a clean face towel. I recommend use a clean towel every time you shave. It’s your face we’re talking about and it’s the only thing that you don’t cover when you go out of your house.
Step 6: AftershaveI assume that you dried your face well enough before you apply aftershave. Otherwise, you’ll dilute it with water and the after shave will lose its properties.
Apply the aftershave on the areas that you shaved and what I would personally recommend is to rub the after shave against the growth of your hair. I feel that this way you reach deeper in the pores of your skin. This works very well with my face when I shave.
The aftershave will keep your skin soft and hydrated, making it irresistible to touch. But don’t let anyone have this pleasure.
Step 7: Take a selfie!
You deserve it! You see the great job that you did with styling your beard with a razor and it’s your moment of glory.
Take your best pose (without a t-shirt preferably) in front of the mirror, flex your muscles and ready for the picture.
You’re a star my friend!
How and what tools do you use to style your beard?
One of my favorite youtubers, Nick Shaves, made an excellent video on how to style your beard with a razor. I believe that it’s one of the most comprehensive videos. I hope you like it too.
Image Courtesy: Bigstock.com/pinkypills