How and how often a man shaves should depend upon his hair-type, his skin-type, and his grooming needs/preferences. There is no one, correct way for men to shave their faces; shaving regimens should be determined on a face-by-face basis.
Men Prone to Ingrown Hairs
Men prone to ingrown facial hair—typically men with curly hair—should use depilatories rather than razors to remove facial hair.
Unlike when shaving with razors, a procedure that should be preceded by thoroughly moistening the facial hair with copious amounts of warm water, depilatory creams and powders generally require application to dry facial hair. After the depilatory has been applied and allowed to work as directed, a washcloth moistened with hot water should be used to wipe off the treated facial hair. Once all the treated hair has been removed and the face washed with warm water, isopropyl or ethyl alcohol should be used to rub onto the shaved areas of the face, the way aftershave would be applied to clean-shaven skin. Thereafter, petroleum jelly should be massaged into shaved area before a moisturizer of choice is used to moisturize the entire face.
Twenty-four hours after hair removal, and thereafter once per day for approximately seven to 10 days, a facial scrub or sloughing cream should be used to cleanse the “shaved” area, thereby removing any dead skin that may obstruct the free growth of facial hair. Typically after using a depilatory, new growth will be evident after three or four days. Once hair growth resumes unimpeded, the facial scrub may be used approximately twice per week to cleanse the entire face.
Depilatory creams and powders should not be used more frequently than once every two weeks. For best results, they should be used approximately once per month. A man who uses depilatories, then, should be prepared to have some facial hair between applications. But because of the razor-less system of hair-removal, the incidence of ingrown hairs and “razor bumps” will be significantly reduced. So if the tradeoff is having to occasionally sport a beard, then so be it. One of the most effective depilatory products is Magic®, which has been produced by SoftSheen-Carson® since 1901.
Some men prone to ingrown hairs find using electric razors to be effective.
Men Who Shave With Razors
When shaving with a razor, it is essential that the procedure be preceded by a proper cleansing and moistening of the facial hair. Many men, therefore, shave their facial hair immediately after taking a hot bath or shower. Use of a facial scrub or sloughing cream to provide an overall cleansing of the face in addition to removing dirt and oils from the facial hair is an essential prelude to shaving. In addition, during the cleansing process, the facial hair is softened by the warm water, thereby facilitating the removal of the hair by razor.
After the face has been properly cleansed, the facial hair softening in the process, shaving cream or gel should be generously applied to the face.
A new razor should be used for each shave. Besides a new razor providing a closer shave, used razors are notorious for harboring bacteria that can occasionally cause infection to sensitive skin. And, ironically, a dull razor is more likely to accidentally cut the skin than a sharp one.
Whether a man shaves in a downward direction or an upward one is a matter of personal preference. Most men tend to shave in a downward direction from the cheeks to the jawline, then in an upward direction when shaving the neck and throat. Throughout the process, the razor should be rinsed clean with hot water so that its blades are not impeded by accumulated hair and shaving cream. A second application of shaving cream followed by a second passing of the razor is generally sufficient to achieve a smooth shave.
After the desired facial hair has been removed, the face is rinsed with warm water then dried with a clean towel. Ethyl or isopropyl alcohol should then be rubbed onto the shaved area (the way aftershave is applied), then petroleum jelly should be used to moisturize and gently massage the shaved area. Thereafter, a facial moisturizer of choice should be applied to the entire face.
Men who shave with razors without the incidence of ingrown hairs and razor bumps oftentimes must shave once per day in order to maintain a clean-shaven face. But daily shaving is stressful on delicate facial skin. Special care, therefore, should be taken to ensure that the skin is properly moisturized after each shave; and whenever the face can go unshaven for a few days, the interruption should be indulged—to the delight of the skin.