Nowadays shaving is perceived just as a duty in relation to an aesthetic necessity, but during the past it was a real ritual, during which a series of techniques were always followed in order to obtain a well-cut beard.
Actually, knowing how to shave and reserve the right time and attention to the beard is essential, also to avoid cuts and possible irritations of the skin. Let’s figure out together all the best shaving techniques.
A good shaving process, first of all, requires enough time, so it is not allowed to think “the sooner I do, the better it is”, but taking all needed time to shave. The best moment is in the morning, since the skin is usually much more moisturized so it is easier to use the blade onto the face.
Before shaving it is important to remember to wet the beard: it is recommended to start by rinsing face and neck with warm water then warmer and warmer. The best would be taking a shower: contact with water for many minutes will make beard particularly soft; another solution could be that of using a towel, got soaked with hot water, to leave on the face for a while. This procedure is necessary because hot water can relax and soften the skin, enlarging pores and simplifying the blade usage. If you use shaving cream, it is recommended also to soap and then rinse, always to facilitate shaving.
To soften even more your skin, it is crucial to emulsify and distribute shaving foam. In this case it is indispensable a shaving brush, an accessory now too much abandoned, but to be absolutely purchased to get the best shaving ever. The choice of the brush is really important: the market offers industrial or handmade items, with synthetic bristles or natural ones, like horse, pig or badger fur. To understand if a brush is handmade or not, it is enough to grip the handle and pass a finger horizontally, at the beginning of the bristles. If you feel a certain stiffness it is an industrial brush, but if you don’t notice any rigidity it will be an artisan shaving brush. Regarding bristles, synthetic ones are usually made of nylon and in case of natural ones badger fur is the best one.
Badger bristles are the most suitable for beard, because they do not break, they are soft, they imbibe water and they are long lasting. Generally brushes are made with three kinds of fur of different qualities: grey badger – the less valuable one, having a not flexible fiber, but suitable for soft creams and normal skins – badger I° – really fine, light colored, able to distribute cream fast, massaging your skin and making it silky – and silver badger – of a finer quality, white colored with a black shade, it produces a foamy and intense cream giving a tonic effect. Koh-i-noor, in its body care catalogue, proposes shaving brushes made with all three badger fur qualities, but also the Eco version, with synthetic bristles studied for the production of shaving brushes. Handles are made of resin, singularly lathed and hand refined; they are available in classic black, white or transparent versions or with turtle effect.
Before and after usage the brush has to be properly soaked (better if using hot water), dripped and then used to whip shaving foam in a little bowl: foam has to be solid, with no bubbles; otherwise, it will mean that too much water has been added. Foam now has to be put, with circular movements, onto the face lightly wet, doing complete circles using the extremity. Using an artisanal shaving cream without preservatives of vegetal origin will let your skin be soft, silky and scented. Koh-i-noor, for example, makes sandalwood, bergamot or almond tree shaving creams.
Successively it’s time the proceed with shaving: to reduce friction with the skin it is necessary to choose a quality blade, better if a multi-blade, just like Mach 3 or Fusion heads (Koh-i-noor razors are completely handmade). Razor has to be used following the direction of the hair, not pressing, simply leaning it and proceeding a few centimeters at a time, being careful not to incline it too much to avoid little cuts. Blades have to be always rinsed twice the usage to remove hair. Once shaving is finished it is necessary to rinse well your face and applying an aftershave gel.
Once you have finished to use the brush, it is better to rinse it, then drip it under water to remove all foam, so that it won’t damage fur. Finally it has to be hanged upside down onto the holder to let it dry right.
This post is also available in: Italian