Shaveology – Expert Tips & The Science of Shaving

Though you may protest that ‘Shaveology’ is just a made up word (ahem, all words are), the science of shaving is a serious topic. Men are notoriously bad at looking after their skin, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that dragging a razor across thick hair follicles on a regular basis can cause irritation.

It wasn’t until the 1970s that scientists working for Gillette properly analysed facial hair, and how it differs from those on the scalp. Facial hair is thicker, the follicles have different shapes and they grow in different directions – making their removal a trickier subject than previously thought.

This article is part of our Trimmed & Terrific Series.


You may also like:
How To Choose a Hairstyle for Your Face Shape
14 Best Beard Trimmers
The Ultimate Guide to Caring For Your Beard


Even if you use an electric shaver, there’s an art to making sure your technique is as bang-on as possible to ensure a close shave without the redness. Here we’ve compiled our most comprehensive list of tips on Shaveology to get you on your way to a fresh face, without the bumps and redness.

Start With a Clean Slate

When you first wake up in the morning you’ll find your face is slightly puffier than normal. This is because fluids under the skin settle and distribute evenly when you lie flat to sleep. By waiting for about 10-15 minutes of being vertical, your face will have returned to its normal state, making irritation less likely. It’s also better to shave after you’ve showered, as the hot water and steam will have opened up your pores and softened the hair follicles, making their removal much easier. Wash your face with a gentle exfoliant or soap-free face wash before you start your morning shave.

lay down good foundation

Lay Down a Good Foundation

Shaveology is all about maximising hair removal without irritation. Any mug can take a razor against the grain and remove every bit of hair, but to do it without turning red is a skill in itself. If you have particularly coarse / thick beard hair, start with a shaving oil. This will protect your skin from irritation during the shaving process, and is a great way to seal in natural moisture.

Whether you’re using a cream or a gel, it’s important to get a healthy lather. This means using a brush – rubbing it in with your fingers does just that – pushes hairs against the skin. A natural hair-bristled brush gently lifts hairs away from the skin. To maximise this effect, apply the cream in circular motions, making sure your product of choice coats every hair all the way around to the root.

go with the grain

Go With The Grain

No matter how many times this is iterated, men still walk around all day with bright red spots on their necks, wondering how it happened. The number one way to guarantee ingrowns don’t appear in the first place is to make sure you consistently shave with the grain. Short, slow strokes are preferential to long, fast sweeps of the blade. The pressure you apply should be enough to keep the razor flat against your skin, but no more – by pressing harder than is required you increase the chances of causing serious irritation, and nicking any bumps or blemishes.

Try to shave your lip last – these are the thickest hairs on your face, so the longer they have to soften with shaving cream, the better.

men shave with his razor

Don’t Dry Out

Aftershave may be part of your daily routine, but it’s almost guaranteed to contain alcohol – one of the worst things you can put on your skin in terms of maintaining natural moisture. By opting for an aftershave balm over a traditional scented aftershave, you’ll go an extra step in guaranteeing your skin stays fresh and hydrated, without the irritation.

Don’t Shave Everyday

Shaving causes irritation to skin, even if only minor, no matter what, so give your face a break. If you can get away with it, shaving every second day is an easy way to ensure you have plenty of time to recover and restore the natural oils which make your skin healthy. If you need to take a razor to your face daily, then try giving it a break on weekends – when you remove hairs, you also remove important oils and minerals which maintain balance and ensure even skin tone.

one men shave others with cream

Still Getting Redness?

One of the easiest rules of shaveology is simple – if your skin is so sensitive that, despite following the above principles, you’re experiencing redness – shave at night. Some skin types simply need more time to recover than others, and this can happen naturally while you sleep, instead of during the day when your dial is on display.

This article is part of our Trimmed & Terrific Series.

Have you subscribed to Man of Many? You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.


You may also like:
How To Choose a Hairstyle for Your Face Shape
14 Best Beard Trimmers
The Ultimate Guide to Caring For Your Beard