COED Guide to Shaving

If you still haven’t got the hang of stroking your palms against a smooth cheek each morning, you probably still have a lot to learn, old boy. Take a look at these shaving tips to get the smooth finish.

  1. Avoid shaving first thing in the morning. Your face would still be puffy due to the fluids that collect in your face tissues over a night’s sleep, and the perfect shave would be hard to get.
  2. Stubble should be wetted with warm or hot water before shaving. This swells the hair shaft allowing the blade to cut the hair, not your skin.
  3. Use a sharp blade. A dull blade is responsible for many shaving cuts as it drags over your face and catches your skin along with the hair of your beard.
  4. Thoroughly massage shave cream into stubble. A vitamin and Aloe Vera based shave cream will provide a close soothing shave and protect against razor rashes and burns.
  5. Rinse the blade often in hot water when shaving and use slow short strokes. Take your time.
  6. Shaving with grain means shaving in the direction of how the hair grows on your face. It is always best to shave this way. Shaving against the grain can cause redness, rashes, razor burn and ingrown hairs, which are all painful.
  7. Use an exfoliate such as a facial cleanser or scrub to eradicate dead skin cells and open up the pores of the skin to prepare it for a close shave.
  8. After shaving, apply an oil-free moisturizer to soothe and protect the face. If you prefer an after-shave, check the label for alcohol. Dryness and stinging sensations are by-products of most after-shave products whose primary ingredient is alcohol. It may feel good at the time, but alcohol based after-shaves are actually irritating to many complexions.

51 thoughts on “COED Guide to Shaving”

  1. #6: It is true shaving against the grain causes more ingrown hairs and irritation… That is what you are protecting yourself from…

    #8: Once again, you are protecting your face from irritation… Alcohol is hard on your skin; it will only cause it to redder, rashes, etc…

    Facial irritation typically causes more acne, temporary swelling, ingrown hair, and cuts when shaving…

  2. I disagree with #6. i've never gone with the grain. I go against the grain to get a closer shave. never had irritation or ingrown hairs.

  3. #5 use cold water instead of warm water to rinse the hair off of your blades. Cold water will make the blade contract, keeping the edge sharper.

  4. As for #6 – i shave with the grain first then against it to clean up anything left, i never get irritation and I get a babybutt smooth shave every time.

    How come you didn't put on the list use a razor with a moisturizer strip or multiple blades? You know what does cause irritation – those cheap ass BIC razors.

  5. Alway rinse the blade in COLD water, not hot. This will cause the blade to contract and stiffen slightly maintaining the sharpest edge possible. Hot water will soften and distort the edge.

  6. Gotta say this is a crap list. #1, the picture suggests using a disposable provides an acceptable shave. It does not – either a double edge safety razor or a straight blade provides the best shave.

    #2, to get the closet shave you need to shave in several passes. First, go with the grain to get the hair cut off. Second, go across or against the grain, depending on what your face can handle. Third or fourth passes are OK, with the last pass being just for cleanup of the invevitable rough spots (use the back of your finger to rub your face against the grain and find them)

    #3, rinse your face in warm water to remove the shaving cream/soap. Then immediately splash it with cold water to close up the pores.

    Check out or for some very experienced advice on shaving the "right" way. This is a good start.

  7. I've found it's best to shave AFTER you've had your morning shower. This allows your beard to soften and swell, and causes much less irritation.

  8. @Scott – Hot water gets the hair out of the blade more easily imo. Plus a warmer sensation on the skin opens the pores and makes shaving a bit easier.

  9. #2 Shave in the shower.

    #6 – You will not get a very close shave going with the grain. If you stubble is long go with the grain first. Always finish against the grain to get a close shave.

    #9 Look at the ceiling while shaving your neck. Pull up on your skin to shave the areas along your jawline.

    #10 Pay special attention to the space just below your nostrils, your upper lip at the corners of your mouth, the spot just below your earlobe.

    #11 SHAVE YOUR DAMN NECK! Nothing looks more neanderthal than having an inch of shag growing off the back of your neck. Just reach back with your elbow up in the air and pull the razor up to your hairline. Easiest done in the shower.

  10. I shave in the shower using shampoo as a lubricant. Also rub my face hard with a flannel to exfoliate, soften & raise stubble. Mirrors are for wimps!

  11. This article was clearly written by a pre-pubescent boy with no experience of shaving whatsoever.

    Real men shave against the grain.

  12. It is obvious that everybody is different. There is no one common solution to get a good close shave. For some people, cold water is best. For others, hot. For some, single blade, for others, multiple blade. Some shave with, some against. You have to do what is best for you. I think the author is stating come common steps that would work for many people. But nobody would ever be able to post steps that everybody would agree on as being the best.

    So stop complaining about the steps, just share what works for you so that others that may not agree with the steps can see what has worked for you.

    Take care,

  13. Get a proper shaving cream such as taylors of bond street and create a proper lather with a badger hair shaving brush. Just using these two quality products alone will solve 99% of shaving issues.

  14. This post was stupid. why did it get on digg? It just listed way to many steps to shave. damn it put shaving cream on and shave, not against the grain.

  15. Most people never learned how to shave properly. The key is lots of water, decent prep, using decent shave cream or soap with a brush, and–especially–slow beard reduction technique (shave with the grain first, relather then shave across the grain, etc.)…

  16. @all

    He forget the most important part:

    Dry your blade after use! So it stays much longer sharp (1 year and longer)..

  17. Obviously people leaving comments tell the real story. I'll add that electric razors suck big donkey toe. And yes cheap disposable razors are exactly that – cheap and disposable and they too suck big phat donkey toe. I was in the hospital for an extended period (why is a long story for another day). Anyway I was given a shave by my dad with a Schick w/3 blades and a lube strip. It was a great shave. It's not a cheapass disposable but it is a disposable. Works well if you only use them a couple of times. Yes cartridges suck toe as well. I'd love to get a real safety razor or straight razor. I used a real safety once and by far it was the best.
    Against the grain, warm water, real cream if any at all, neck and no alcohol based whatever after. Actually "real men" shave with cold water and no mirror but we're all civilized these days.

  18. I used to have the problem of ingrown hairs and with sensitive skin, my face would get irritated quite easily.

    My technique:

    1. Dab some skin conditioner for electric razors.
    I use either Lectric Shave or shaving powder.

    2. Shave with an electric shaver. I use Braun. It's worked best so far for me.

    3. Finish off with a razor blade. I use Gillette Fusion. By this point my face is smooth and I am only using the blade to shave any stray hairs the electric shaver missed for a smooth clean shave.

    Every once in while, I exfoliate my skin. This helps condition my skin and loosen ingrown hairs if any. Plus it gives my face a healthier look.

    This is solely based on my experience and what has worked for me so far. Hopefully someone would find it useful.

  19. Patrick Bateman

    In the morning if my face is a little puffy I'll put on an ice pack while doing stomach crunches. I can do 1000 now. After I remove the ice pack I use a deep pore cleanser lotion. In the shower I use a water activated gel cleanser, then a honey almond body scrub, and on the face an exfoliating gel scrub. Then I apply an herb-mint facial mask which I leave on for 10 minutes while I prepare the rest of my routine. I always use an after shave lotion with little or no alcohol, because alcohol dries your face out and makes you look older. Then moisturizer, then an anti-aging eye balm followed by a final moisturizing protective lotion.

  20. electric shavers BLOW. I am about as hairy as a medium sized bear, and those damn things just give me razor bumps.

  21. My dad says the same thing about cold water to bring the inflamation down before you shave, but then it hurts my f-ing face!

    You know, they take girls out of class to teach about what to do when they bleed – why not at LEAST try to give us a heads up on shaving?!?!?! WTF!

  22. Its funny when people make the ridiculous claim that shaving with the grain is better. Obviously these people have facial hair equivilent to a girl or maybe a house cat. For men who have real facial hair and can grow real beards, cross/against the grain is the only way to get a close smooth shave.

    Vibrating multi-blade razors are also key to getting a nice shave daily without irritation.

  23. Wash face with cold water – let the skin shrink and let the stubble out. A little salt water wash helps in raising stubble out of the skin.

    Apply cocoanut oil _before_ shaving – smooth shave guaranteed.

    Alum – greatest after shave.

  24. most of you guys are no better than girls, buncha fags have never even grown real facial hair. Shaving is such a PITA – I have lost jobs because I would have to shave every day to stay smooth, but I literally cannot shave every day and I get severe nigger-neck pretty easily. Boss was like "shave every day" easy for him to say cuz he had no facial hair.

  25. @fred

    Maybe, he had no facial hair, because he shaved? And, maybe if you were to shave, you could get a professional job? And, I'm pretty sure you could shave everyday, if you lost some weight, and moved sometimes. Lazy ass.

  26. 1) Shaving with the grain will not give you a smooth shave. You have to do a second and third pass across and against the grain.
    2) Get a sable brush and a good shaving cream/soap (Proraso is excellent and cheap).
    3) Safety razor or multi-blade cartridge both work great (just don't get the super-cheap Bics). Shave with very light pressure. Let the blade, not your hand, do the work.

  27. All bollocks.

    1 – Throw out the stupid aerosol can of foam and mach3/fusion.
    2 – get a traditional DE ‘safety’ razor (old gillette safety speed or merkur hd)
    3 – get a good shaving cream (like taylors of old bond street)
    4 – watch mantic59’s youtube tutorials on making a lather and doing a traditional shave.

    If you shave with a cartridge based razor you’ve already lost.

  28. A lot of this is useless information, and sounds like a woman's guide to shaving. I've shaved against the grain for over 10 years, and have always used an alcohol-based aftershave, and I've never had a problem with "stinging, dryness, irritation." Those are just medical terms doctors use to get you to buy expensive products that you don't need. Girls always compliment me on how smooth my skin is. Don't listen to this, do what works

  29. Well, at least a couple of guys here know how to shave. Recommendations of Taylor of Old Bond Street shaving cream and a badger brush are spot-on. Even if you use a cartrifge razor, these two items will improve your shave substantially! Bateman- you're using women's products that have been re-packaged for men. Anti-aging eye balm? Herbal mint facial mask? Men don't use these things son, regardless of how many stomach crunches they can do! As for alcohol being evil for your skin – bullshit! Denatured alcohol evaporates so quickly it does'nt have time to hurt your skin. Stop being babies afraid of cutting yourselves and of a little burn! Go to and learn how to shave like men!

  30. Hey, I have an idea for all the complainers…why not get a job that DOESN’T REQUIRE SHAVING? *whacks forehead* WOW, I didn’t think of THAT!

  31. Apres swin, shower,face wash, hone+strop Yr. Grandfater's pearl handled razor.
    Add a touch of hot w. to the old mug w/ the end bits of soap. Lather ancient badger-hair brush+apply to physiognomy.
    Shave. Rinse gear. Apply Montege Bay rum, to tonsils not delicate dermis.
    Swash Yr. buckle, slip+proceed, me Heartys. Arrugh!

  32. From wikipedia — Patrick Bateman is a fictional character, the protagonist and narrator of the novel American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis and its film adaptation. Vic, you are arguing with a fictional character.

  33. No, Stephan, I'm not arguing with anyone. I did address a poster who chose to adopt a fictional character as his alter ego for this board. Most of the products he rattled off have nothing to do with shaving. When I started shaving, alcohol-based aftershaves were all that was available; no one looked like they were aging prematurely. I've been traditional wetshaving for years. I switch off between a straight (or cut-throat) and a double-edge safety razor. I can assure you, to a man, that simply using a badger or boar brush, with a quality shaving cream (Proraso, Taylor's, etc.) will improve the quality of your shaves significantly. Those who go this route actually look forward to shaving. I'm serious.

  34. My routine works well for me. If you have your own,
    go for it.

    I shave in the shower. I happen to shower in the
    hottest possible water I can stand. Wash off your body,
    wash your hair, brush your teeth ( ya I brush em
    in the shower too ) and get ready to shave.

    By this time the heat and steam should have worked
    it's magic on that facial hair.

    Use a decent shaving cream and you're already on the
    right path. No you don't need a gold plated, ivory
    inlaid, tungstun bladed shaver of wonder. . . a decent
    razor will do. ( No the battery powered quad blade
    of useless product does not qualify ) It does, however,
    need to be sharp. If it's dragging, toss that blade and
    pop in another one.

    Anyhoo, you've been steaming for about 10-20 minutes
    now depending on how long it takes you to wake up.
    You've got your razor, you've got your shaving cream,
    you're ready to rumble.

    Simple matter of rubbing the shaving cream in and. .
    well. . . shaving.

    I find the smoothest ( and least painful ) method is
    ( as stated above ) to do it in passes.

    Go with the grain on pass one. Across the grain with
    pass two and, if necessary, against it with the final
    pass. Usually some odd spots around my jawline that
    take a final pass to get properly. Slow and short
    strokes seem to do best for me. It's not a race.

    I typically don't use any type of aftershave but then
    my skin is somewhat oily on my face. Thus, dryness
    has never been an issue for me.

    I do, however, rinse my face off with cold water
    to close the pores after being in the steam.

  35. Vic, do you happen to have a business card I could look at? I'll get it from you later. I have to return some videotapes.

  36. I don't know whats funnier.
    – Arguing about how to shave.
    – Patrick Bateman, for obvious reasons.
    – Vic, for obvious reasons.

  37. Well, one thing is a hairless face, and another is a shaved face. A pre-pubescent does not need to shave daily. Nor Women. I guess a lot of men consider that using lubricant gels and vibrating devices on their face is not vary manly.

  38. Step 7 is wrong! Never exfoliate your skin before shaving. That is what the razor will do. Exfoliating before the shave only adds to the chance to develop irritation.

  39. This is all garbage. Foam? Moisturizer? Safety razors? Real men just rub marmalade on their beards and let badgers chew it off.

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