Make a foamy beard with a can of squirty shaving gel. Let the tap run. Take a razor. Proceed to rake it up and down your face until red raw. Slap on a splash of aftershave. Try not to scream.
We’ve all taken a leaf out of Kevin McCallister’s book at some stage of our lives. Unfortunately not all of us grow out of it...continuing to make rookie mistakes with the razor; either out of stubborn tradition or simply not knowing any better.
So, hoping to find out what the most common mistakes are and what you need to do about it, we spoke to Jacob and Ollie from award-winning London barbers Murdock, who set us straight on a few things.
The Murdock were team were speaking at the Society of Master Craftsmen Evening, hosted by premium Belgium beer brand, Affligem
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Not bringing the heat
"A lot of guys forget to prep the skin beforehand. Or they consider it hassle. But you must heat your skin up first to open up the pores. Have a shower beforehand or hold a hot towel over your face for a minute, holding your head over a sink of hot water."
Thinking all pre-shave products are the same
"Although pre-shave products are more popular than ever, many men fail to realise some may suit them better than others. For dry skin types, use one with almond oil as this will soften the follicles, making it easier to cut the hair. If you have oilier skin, however, then you’re best going for a shave soap - and the best ones are made from clay."
Thinking that shaving brushes are only for your granddad
"They're not just for show - a good brush before and during a shave will move around the water and the soap, lifting up the stubble. And as well as cleanse it, a good brush will also get any dead skin out the way which would have just got in the way of your blade."
Making a big foam beard
"High street shaving foams are full of chemicals specially designed to make it froth up all because guys have an image in their head of what movies and adverts have told them shaving should look like. This Santa beard is nothing but marketing - and the chemicals don't help your skin. To get a good shave means getting the right consistency between water and either cream or soap, and using a brush to get a really good lather on it."
Thinking five blades are better than one
"Another ultra-macho marketing ploy that men fall foul of is the ‘three blade’ or ‘five blade’ design. If the first blade going in a certain direction doesn’t cut the hair, four more aren’t going to do it either. Going back to a single blade method, even if it's a safety razor, is the best way to go. The old ways really are the best."
The closer the shave the better
"One of the biggest myths of shaving is that the best shave is the closest shave. It’s not, it’s actually the most balanced. There’s no point trying to shave every inch as close as you can get as you’ll just end up cutting yourself – some parts of your face are naturally easier to shave than others. Be patient with a razor and it will treat you well."
Believing all stubble is the same
"Some people have much thicker stubble than others. Those at the thicker end of the spectrum tend to think that if some of the stubble it is still visible then they've not had a complete shave. When in fact some stubble underneath certain areas of skin will always be visible, and by going against it or digging in too deep, you’re at risk of making that area ingrown."
A quick splash and you're done
"Once you've finished, wash the soap oil and hair off with cold water. But don't walk off - spend another minute to finish properly. Start by grabbing a cold flannel and laying it on your face for 30 seconds. This is the most natural way to close the pores back down, reducing inflammation. Then use some pre-shave oil or balm. Aloe Vera is good, as it repairs damaged skin, and so too menthol as it will help stop the inflammation."
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