How to Cleanly Shave a Thick Beard

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That thick and luxurious beard you’ve been growing has finally reached its peak, and you’re now thinking about surprising everyone with an unexpected clean shave.

This is a scenario many bearded men toil with from time to time. While it’s great to have a thick face of hair, it’s always nice to keep things fresh. After all, they do say that a change is as good as a rest.

If you want to make the big switch from thick beard to clean-shaven, there are a few steps you will need to take in order to ensure the closest possible shave with minimal discomfort.

1. Trim first

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Don’t make the mistake of diving straight into the process with the sharpest razor you can find. Not only will this take a long time, it will be painful and uncomfortable. Pulling at long hairs will ruin your razor blade and leave you screaming in pain, and there is a chance you’ll be left with a nasty rash afterwards. Instead, trim your beard down to stubble with a trimmer, and then reach for the razor.

2. Get your face ready

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Jump in the shower or steam your face to soften the stubble as much as possible. Give your face a thorough clean, and look for any ingrown hairs that could cause you pain during your shave. Use exfoliating products to get your skin as smooth as possible, and finish off by rinsing with cold water.

3. Select a shaving gel

Choose a shaving gel that contains a moisturising agent. Use an unperfumed product in order to reduce the risk of breakouts afterwards. If you have sensitive or particularly dry skin, look for shaving gels instead of foams. Gels are glycerine-based, so they actually attract moisture to the skin.

Whatever you use, it’s important to ensure that all areas of your beard are covered. Pay particular attention to the area of your neck around your Adam’s apple — an area where a lot of shaving cuts occur.

4. Choose a quality razor

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Most razor cuts are caused by blunt blades, so always choose a quality razor with a lubrication strip. Choosing a multiple-blade razor should reduce the number of strokes needed to remove hair — a good way of minimising irritation afterwards.

5. Shave with the grain

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Although you’ll have trimmed your thick beard first, the stubble you’re shaving will probably still be relatively thick. It’s therefore important that you take your time. There will be a lot of hair in your razor after every stroke, so rinse the blades thoroughly with cold water each time. Always shave with the grain, and hold the skin taut with your hand to minimise the chances of irritation and cuts.

6. Moisturise

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Even the best of blades and shaving foams can’t stop moisture being stripped from the face during a shave. So once you’re happy that your shave is complete, rinse your face and neck with cold water. Dab your skin dry with a towel, and apply a balm, moisturiser or aftershave (whichever you prefer) to rehydrate your face and minimise the chances of razor burn.

Following these simple steps should make the transition from bushy beard to clean-cut and chiselled smooth and pain-free.

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