A Beginner’s Guide to Shower Shaving
Let’s face it—shaving is a serious pain in the… (insert body part here), but like anything else, ignoring the fact isn’t going to make it go away. Still, our goal is to make every aspect of male grooming as straightforward and simple as possible, and when it comes to shaving, there’s no easier or less time-consuming method than shaving in the shower.
However, in addition to simplifying things, we also want you to look and feel as good as possible, which means putting a bit of thought and effort into the process instead of just picking up a razor and blindly scraping away at your face. There’s no denying the fact that learning how to shave in the shower will save you some time on your daily rituals and can even result in a closer shave and a smoother face, but doing it properly requires the right tools (see articles on first-rate safety razors and top of the line shaving soaps and quality shaving creams) and environment—but before we get into the ins and outs of shower shaving, it’s first necessary to look at a few basic facts to understand why it’s such a great idea.
Shaving 101: The Basics of Getting a Good Shave
Aside from using the right Probably the most basic aspect of getting a good, close shave is to soften up your facial hair before attempting to shave. In truth, you can really think of your facial hair like thousands of tiny metal wires jutting out of your face, and just like any other wire, they can be softened up and made easier to cut through heat. Not only that, but facial hair also becomes softer and easier to cut when it absorbs water.
Basically, the softer the facial hair is, the closer the shave will be (check out our awesome infographic on the science of shaving). Knowing this, it only makes perfect sense to shave in the shower, as the combination of the moisture and warmth can result in a closer, smoother shave and eliminate the problems of irritated skin, razor burn, ingrown hairs, etc. In addition to softening up the hairs, washing your face with warm water also helps to stimulate the small muscles under the skin (known as arrector pili), making the hairs stand straight up so that they can be shaved off as close to the skin as possible.
No matter where you’re doing it, it’s important to thoroughly heat up the face before shaving. Some people simply wash their face, while others use a hot towel or shave immediately after they shower. However, the problem with all of these methods is that when you step out of the shower or take the hot towel off your face, the change in temperature will cause the skin to contract slightly, keeping you from getting quite as close of a shave. Of course, this isn’t a problem if you shave in the shower, as your skin will continue to be exposed to the higher temperatures throughout the entire process.
Of course, it’s not quite as simple as this, but it’s safe to say that, done properly, shaving in the shower can reduce the time you spend on daily grooming, while also providing much better results than whatever method you’re currently using. That being said, there are definitely a few tips that can help make your shower shave easier and more successful.
How to Shave in the Shower: The Set-Up
While shaving your face in the shower has many benefits, there are also a few simple steps you first need to take in order to get the best possible results. We’ve already discussed the importance of heat and moisture in getting a close shave, but just as important is having the right environment in which to shave.
In truth, shaving should always be done in front of a mirror with plenty of light—this is true even if you’re doing it in the shower. So, the first step towards a successful shower shave is ensuring you’ve got the set-up to do it right. This means having good lighting and a decent mirror in the shower, as this will help you to make sure you don’t miss any spots and have to touch it all up afterwards. If you don’t have an overhead light in your shower, you’d be best to stick to shaving over the sink to guarantee a thorough, smooth shave.
While we’re on the topic of the mirror, one of the biggest issues of trying to shave in the shower is steam. While the heat and moisture is great for softening your facial hair and preparing your face for the shave, it also leads to problem of your shower mirror constantly getting fogged over—but luckily we have the solution to that as well.
In all likelihood, you’ll be washing your body and shampooing your hair in the shower in addition to shaving (and if you’re not; shame on you). Far from merely being important as part of your basic hygiene though, your soap or shampoo can also be the key to a close thorough shave, by preventing your mirror from fogging up.
To keep your mirror clean, simply rub a bit of soap or shampoo on it after you’ve lathered it up and rubbed in on yourself. The chemicals in the soap should help to keep the mirror clear even after you’ve washed them off. Or you can simply get a fogless shower mirror.
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Shower Shaving in a Nutshell
When it comes to the actual shaving process, there is virtually no difference between doing it in the shower or doing it anywhere else (i.e., start out going with the grain, use short smooth strokes, sharp blades (best safety razor blades), etc.). Still, while we’re on the subject, we need to take a bit of time to discuss the importance of shaving cream.
Most men remain regretfully unaware of the actual purpose of using shaving cream—to lubricate the skin. Worse still, many men think that they can achieve the same amount of lubrication by simply using soap or even just plain old water. No matter what you may think or what you’ve been told in the past, shaving cream is one of the most essential parts of the shaving process.
Whether you’re shaving in the shower or over the sink, soap simply won’t cut it (and will likely increase the chance that you cut yourself). So it’s essential that you massage a quality shaving cream into your facial hair before attempting to shave. Moreover, it’s highly recommended that you let the cream soak into your face and hair for at least a few minutes before you grab your razor, as the longer it sits, the softer the hair will be.
For this reason, many experts recommend soaping up your body, then lathering up and applying your shaving cream before washing the soap off your body in order to give the cream more time to work its softening magic on your facial hair. If you have particularity sensitive skin, you may be interested in checking out our article to find out what are the best shaving creams for sensitive skin.
When your hair is sufficiently softened and you’re ready to shave, you can then proceed exactly as you would normally, using whatever type of razor you’re most comfortable with. Just make sure to thoroughly rinse off the razor regularly and use your mirror to ensure you don’t miss any spots.
In truth, nothing about shaving in the shower is really any different from any other shave. That being said, it does provide the added benefit of saving you a bit of time on your daily routine, while ensuring you get a smooth, close shave. After giving it a shot, you’ll likely wonder why you ever shaved anywhere else.