5 steps to a silky smooth shave

Beards are out, which means we need to learn how to shave properly again. Here’s how it’s done.

Peter Iantorno April 21, 2015

Here at EDGAR, we're all too aware that the glorious beard trend that saw the whole of Hollywood grow out their bushy tributes to manliness is on the decline, and the death of the beard is very much on its way.

This means that in the next few months, formerly bearded men everywhere will be walking around with little bits of tissue paper stuck all over their faces. Why? Because we've forgotten (or maybe we never knew?) the art of shaving, of course! So with that in mind, here's our essential guide to a smooth, nick-free shave.

Get the right razor
Any barber worth his salt will tell you that the best thing to shave with is always going to be the old-fashioned cut-throat razor - maybe apart from this $100,000 one made from meteorite... Why is a cut-throat razor the best?

Quite simply, unlike those disposable, pathetic excuses for razors that men have taken to using in recent years, in skilled hands, a cut-throat delivers by far the closest shave. It's also super-flexible, so you can angle the blade according to the contours of the face, meaning a smoother and closer shave and less skin irritation. cut-throat razor Go with the grain - only if you need to
The great shaving question: "do you shave with the grain or against it?" It's always a point of discussion, but from a combination of speaking to our barber, asking around the office and our own personal experience, we can definitively say that neither is right or wrong.

The general consensus is that while shaving in the direction your hair grows does minimise the possibility for skin irritation, shaving against the grain results in a closer shave and smoother end result. So if razor burn is an issue for you go with the grain, but if not, going against isn't the crime some people would have you believe.

Pick your products
As much as we'd like to think real men use nothing but soap and cold water to shave, unfortunately in order to get the closest and least irritating shave, something a little more delicate is required. The most important thing when picking products - be it face washes, shaving creams, foams or even gels - is that you opt for something either unscented or using natural ingredients.

Look out for terms such as "defends skin from irritation" and "softens facial hair", as that's generally what you want in a shaving product. Elemis grooming solutionsShort strokes
While going against the grain isn't necessarily a shaving crime, one thing that categorically is a cardinal sin of shaving is the taking of long laborious strokes. Yes, we’ve all seen those adverts where the man glides the razor across his face in one motion, but the fact is that, no matter how cool it looks, it's a recipe for a slashed-up face. Short strokes and regular rinsing is the way forward - and that's non-negotiable.

Cool down
You've just performed the perfect smooth shave - no cuts or nicks to speak of and there's not so much as whisker left on your chinny chin chin. Think you're out of the woods? Not by a long shot. Post shave routine is just as important as before and during.

After your shave, put a cool, damp towel on your face to help close up your pores, and then moisturise your face - with something natural, of course - as soon as possible. Now the job is done.