If you want to go against the grain these days, it’s time to go clean-shaven.
See what we did there!?
In a time when bushy beards seem to be king, perhaps the clean-cut among us are the real modern-day rebels?
And why the heck not?! It’s a timeless look.
Steve McQueen in The Great Escape. Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry. Daniel Craig in Casino Royale.
Through the ages, Hollywood’s leading lights have proven that a follicle-free face doesn’t mean you can’t hold a swagger.
Surely we’re ready to call time on the idea that the bearded bros have a monopoly on masculinity?
But shaving beard hair and pulling off that chiselled look takes time and know-how. In this guide, we’ll equip you with all the knowledge you need to look and feel like a million dollars.
When to shave – is there a right time?
Well, there are so many ways to answer this one. If you’re a teenager, the answer is: as soon as something resembling wispy fluff starts to sprout on your face. Trust us, it’s not a great look!
But that could be a whole other article on adolescent angst. Let’s assume most of you reading this are on the, ahem, more mature side.
So, the real answer is: it depends.
It depends on your motivation. Why are you shaving off your beard?
If you’ve simply decided it’s time to try a different look, then what are you waiting for? No time like the present!
Of course, there are a few other reasons why you might decide it would be advantageous to get rid of your facial fuzz. The big one that springs to mind is if you have a job interview coming up.
While attitudes have changed a lot in recent years, there is still a suspicion that your beard could count against you, particularly in the white-collar world.
Our advice is, don’t wait until the last minute. Have your first clean shave a week or so before the interview. That’ll give your skin time to calm down and get used to a new shaving routine.
The first shave after a long break from the razor can be a bit of a shock to your delicate dermals. The last thing you want is to leave it ‘til the morning of the interview, only to find out your Mach 3 has turned your jawline into a red, rashy mess.
In fact, allowing yourself plenty of time is solid advice, even if you’re a seasoned shaver. While shaving beard hair doesn’t have to be a laborious chore each morning, it’s never something you want to rush.
Plan ahead, allow yourself plenty of time, follow the tips in this article and you’ll be good to go.
Trimming your beard
Before we dive into the world of razors and shaving cream, let’s take a quick pit-stop. This is for those of you who don’t want to go full Shoreditch, but equally want a little bit of something to decorate your mug.
A short beard or even a little stubble can be a great halfway house. It can accentuate your jawline and add that little bit of ruggedness to your overall look.
Brush or comb through your beard
Make your life easier by getting rid of any knots or tangles first. Gently work through the hair using your brush or comb. A comb should be enough for shorter beards, while a special beard brush might be a bonus if you’re boasting something bushier.
Trim evenly using a guard
The most reliable way to get an even result when shaving your beard is with an electric beard trimmer. Your trimmer should have a selection of attachable guard heads, each one giving a different length of cut.
Pro tip 1: start small
If you’re experimenting with lengths, start by taking off a little at first. You can always take off more later. Re-attaching hair? Not so much!
Pro tip 2: make sure it’s dry
Make sure you do all of this with a dry beard. That way you’ll know what it’ll look like when it’s dry (which is how you’ll wear it, after all.)
Use scissors for the final touches
You can add precision to your trim with beard scissors. Catch any stray hairs and tidy up any hard-to-reach areas that your beard trimmer might have missed.
How to shave your beard
So you’ve decided to take the plunge. It’s probably been a while and you’ve completely forgotten how to shave your beard. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered:
Put down your razor
Huh? That’s right, razor down. For now. Ever tried tackling a scraggly beard with a humble Bic? Not a good idea!
Trim your beard with your beard trimmer
Before your beard sees a razor, it needs to be short. Like, less than half a centimetre short. Use your trimmer to bring the length right down. If you’ve got a particularly long or unruly beard you can do this in stages.
Wet your face
Use warm water to moisten and soften up your skin.
Apply shaving foam or gel
Gently spread your foam or gel over the wet skin in the areas you want to shave.
Shave using your razor
Time to pick up that razor. Shave in the direction the hair is growing. This helps avoid ingrown hairs down the line. It’s better to use short strokes to prevent excessive tugging at the hairs and consequent irritation.
Rinse the razor regularly
Regularly rinse the razor to avoid hairs becoming clogged. This is especially important if you’re using a multi-blade razor.
Rinse your face
When you’ve shaved the full bearded area, you’re done! Now simply rinse off your face and gently pat dry with a towel. Next you’ll want to follow the after-care tips you can find below.
How to shave your neck beard
The neck area needs special attention when it comes to shaving beard hair. That’s because the skin in this area is particularly sensitive and susceptible to shaving rash. Here’s the lowdown on how to shave neck beard hair without getting razor burn:
Shave with the grain
This is important wherever you’re shaving, but crucial here. If you go against the grain, you can expect those unattractive little red bumps that ingrown hairs bring.
This is so important on your neck. Short strokes. Make sure you have plenty of foam or gel to keep things moist and to ensure a smooth glide of the razor.
Give your neck some aftercare
Nowhere needs a post-shave pampering like your neck. Follow the tips below to keep your skin looking and feeling smooth as silk.
Basic post-shave grooming tips
Rinse thoroughly with water
Make sure you have cleaned your face completely of shaving foam or gel. This will reduce any chance of spots or pimples developing.
The shaving process can leave your skin very dry. Grab a quality moisturiser to give your skin the goodness it deserves.
Replenish razors regularly
Make sure you’re using a razor that’s up to the job. Take time to top up your supplies in advance. A blunt razor increases friction and therefore makes shaving rash more likely.
Does shaving increase beard growth? The answer everyone is looking for
Sadly, no. Shaving will not make your beard grow back quicker or thicker. If you’re suffering from patchy growth, all is not lost, though.
If you’re younger, your beard may well still be developing. You might not see your full beard growth until your thirties, or even forties. Good things come to those who wait, young jedi.
Nowadays there is also the option of a beard transplant to give your facial follicles a boost. And the results can be amazing, believe us.
Beard Shaving Takeaways
In this guide on how to shave beard hair, we’ve clued you up on the key things you need to know to get that sharp, clean cut look. Let’s recap.
- We found out that you need to have the right clobber before you get started. Get yourself a decent beard trimmer and a shaving set with quality razors and foam.
- We learned that you gotta be gentle. Treat your skin kindly and you’ll be rewarded with a smooth look.
- We found out how to shave neck beard hair while avoiding the dreaded shaving rash and ingrown hairs. Reminder: short, delicate strokes with the grain.
- We answered one of the great mysteries of our time. Does shaving increase beard growth? Sorry, no. And Santa’s not real. Deal with it.