There is probably no better coming-of-age ritual for a man than the first time he is taught to shave. From the very beginning that a man’s face meets the sharp, cold, metallic blade a part of a routine is formed which most men follow throughout their lives.
This beautiful routine of a real man…
It is also usually your dad or an older brother who has taught you how to shave, so you tend to adopt their way of doing things without question. For me it was my grandfather.
Now, over the years shaving equipment, beard styles and technology have rapidly changed and transformed but there is no reason to believe the fundamentals of shaving will ever change. Unless something reaaaaally bad happens to men at some point. Women will get their revenge sooner or later.
But the one question that crosses every man’s mind at least once; should I shave before or after a shower?
Well, lets look at this a bit deeper and try to figure out the advantages and disadvantages of both.
Shave Before Taking a Shower
The only thing you need to pay attention to when you shave is how soft your hair is and whether or not your pores are open. Dry hair could literally be as hard as copper wires for a lot men and you really don’t want to go through the brunt of shaving when your hair is in this state. You need to reduce the hair’s strength by about 70-80% to be able to shave nicely. The best way to do this is warm water.
Actually soaking facial hair in warm water will help soften it up and be razor-ready. You need at least 3 minutes of soaking for this and applying a washcloth soaked in warm water will do just fine.
Here’s the thing with shaving without a shower,
It’s damn quick! There’s just no fussing about here. You get the washcloth, soak it in water, let it lie on your face for a while and you are good to go (start shaving I mean). Also, a man just needs to shave sometimes without taking a shower.
Here’s another thing,
Times have changed and now there are more men using electric shavers than ever before. Of course razor blades haven’t gone the way of the dinosaur just yet but a lot of men absolutely swear by their electric shaver. I was one of them myself not too long ago. In fact, I started off with electric shavers when i was younger (I’ve since switched to traditional safety razor but that’s a story for another time).
A lot of men who’ve used these devices to trim away hair will tell you shaving dry is the best option. I ‘m not proud to say this but I agree, electric shavers are simply designed to work better on slightly dry hair which has traces of natural oil in it.
The shave is so much better when an electric shaver meets dry hair. Soaking hair in water will actually make it much less manageable and that’s not ideal when you want the hair to stick into the electric shaver mesh.
So if you, like millions of men in the world, have decided to go with an electric shaver, shaving before a shower is the best option.
The best part about shaving before a shower is that you can wash away all the stray hair that could be all over your neck and chest after shaving when you eventually have a shower. That tingling sensation on your face will last a whole lot longer after a nice shower post-shaving.
Shave After Taking a Shower
All this talk about men shaving without showers might have you wondering why our fathers ever taught us to shave after a shower in the first place? The traditional way to shave has always been after a nice and refreshing shower. But are there any advantages to this or do we simply do it out of habit?
Truth be told, there are a ton of advantages to shaving after showers instead of before. Remember how I mentioned hair needing to be soaked before a shave earlier? Well what better way to soak your facial hair than to have a shower with warm water.
Usually showers last a few minutes for most guys and this is more than enough time to get your hair all soaked up and ready for shaving. The steam while showering causes the pores on your face to relax and open up. This gives easier access to the hair follicle and results in much closer shaves.
Your skin will soften up after it has been soaked in the shower for a while too making the shaving experience even better. The task of shaving need not take up too much time either. You can simply shave while you shower. Just invest a bit of cash in a fogless mirror and save tons of time by combining two grooming chores together.
Alternatively, if time is not exactly an issue and you really want to get the best results for your face, shave right after a warm water shower. The pores are open, skin is soft and the fog on the mirror has faded away too.
Note: Just remember, don’t wait too long before you shave.
Pores will start closing up right after you are done showering and if you wait too long it might be too late. Head to the sink before you do anything else for some after-shower shaving action.
The Verdict: Shave before or after Shower?
Personally, I prefer shaving right after a hot shower. Sometimes, when I am pressed for time, I shave while showering to make it quick. As I ‘ve already mentioned in previous posts my facial hair is very thick and takes some time to soak up water and soften up enough for a clean smooth shave. But warm water lets me get a shave so close I’d rather not try anything else.
Also, during weekdays I tend to shave with a cartridge razor for speed purposes so I need to soften my facial hair up and use shaving cream or soap before I start. Taking a shower beforehand makes things much easier to build up lather directly on my face.
But the point is, shaving before or after showering depends on your preferences and lifestyle.
Technically it is better to shave after taking a shower but that doesn’t mean a shower is an absolute must when it comes to shaving.
Go ahead, try them both and see what suits you best.
Few tips to make shaving a more pleasant experience
1. Prepare your face for shaving
No matter if you shave before or after shower, make sure your face is properly prepared for shaving. And that is having your facial hair soft. This can happens in three easy ways:
- Washing it with warm water
- Showering before shaving
- Putting a wet towel on your face that you’ve previously soaked in warm water
Soft hair is easier to cut and it reduces the chances of getting razor burns or nicks and cuts.
2. Pre shave oil can make the difference
If you prefer shaving before taking a shower, a good pre shave oil can make a huge difference in your shaving session.
It enhances lather by offering greater slickness, it softens the skin and adds an extra layer of protection between your face and the razor.
Pre shave oils are best for men with sensitive skin. If you haven’t used one already, I highly recommend giving it at try.
3. Prefer traditional latherers
Shaving soaps or traditional shaving creams are superior to popular pressurized foams. They offer better lubrication and thicker cushioning which prevents the razor from digging deep into the skin.
You’ll be surprised how skin irritation is going to be reduced after using one of the above two types of latherers.
4. Use shaving brush
On top of the traditional latherers, shaving brush will make your shaving experience a pleasure. Especially if you prefer shaving before shower, you will notice that your shave becomes more comfortable and the razor glides easier on your face.
The reason is that the brush exfoliates the skin, removes dirt and dead skin cells while swirling on the face, and makes the lather reach deeper into the skin making the hair softer to cut.
So, go ahead and choose your very best shaving brush and enjoy the outstanding shaving experience.
5. Traditional shaving equipment reduces irritation
From my experience, a good safety razor reduces skin irritation no matter if you shave before or after showering.
One of the reasons is that it requires less passes. This practically means that the blade scrapes your skin less times. With a multi-blade cartridge razor, you’ve got many blades scraping your skin while only the first one or two are actually cutting your facial hair.
Moreover, safety razor shave with sharp blades that slice the hair instead of pulling and breaking it. This kind of hair damaging can lead to irritation, beard itch and ingrown hair.
6. Keep the razor well maintained
No matter if you shave with a cartridge or a DE safety razor, you need to keep it at its best state.
First, make sure that you don’t overuse the blades. Shave three, maximum four times with the same cartridge or blade. The more you use a razor, the more dull it becomes and it can lead to skin irritation.
Furthermore, keep in mind that the blades should remain sharp so that it doesn’t damage your hair or skin while shaving. We already talked about what happens when the blades aren’t sharp enough.
Same thing applies to electric shavers that aren’t properly maintained and the blades aren’t as sharp as in the beginning. The difference is that electric shavers with poorly maintained blades damage the hair rather than irritating your skin. This is something that many men notice who decide to grow a beard. They eventually get beard split ends from previously damaged hair that result from this kind of poorly maintained shaving equipment.
So when do you shave? Is it better shaving after taking a shower or it just doesn’t matter?
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