It’s time for part two of my new series teaching you how to minimise or eradicate razor bumps and ingrowing hairs when you shave. Today we’re looking at finding the best direction to shave in for your unique skin. As every face is different, the references that you may have been using in the past – such as TV adverts or watching barbers shaving other men – will almost certainly not be tailored to your skin.
In the last video I discussed the three different directions you can shave in: with the grain, against the grain and across the grain. For people with sensitive skin, and in particular black people like myself who are prone to ingrowing hair and razor bumps, it’s vital that you cause minimal irritation by shaving with the grain. This means that, for instance, if your hair is growing in a downwards direction then you should be shaving in a downwards direction.
Of course, the problem is that when you have shaving foam across your face it can be very difficult to know the various directions that your hair is growing in. The answer is to map your skin, using the unique Larry the Barber Man shaving map. Here’s my completed version, and below are the steps for creating you own.
[Image of shaving map]
What You’ll Need: Cotton pads and some sticky tape. Alternatively, you can use a credit card. You’ll also need at least three days’ worth of hair growth for this system to work.
Step One: Download my blank shaving map, which shows each individual section of skin that you’ll need to map.
Step Two: For each section of the map, use a mirror to identify the direction that you think your hair is growing in. To check, simply rub a cotton pad across your hair: if lint gathers then you’re actually rubbing against the grain. No lint? Perfect – you’ve found the right direction for that section of hair! The alternative option is simply to use a credit card, rubbing the edge across your face to identify which direction the hair is growing in.
Step Three: Use the sticky tape to remove the lint from your hair, as it can become caught.
Step Four: Repeat until every section of the map is complete.
Step Five: Stick your finished shaving map to the mirror or wall, so that you can easily follow the directions mapped each time you shave.
Step Six: Enjoy shaving with the grain, minimising irritation to your skin and greatly reducing, or even eliminating, the risk of shaving bumps and ingrowing hairs.
It’s as simple as that! If you watched my first video then you’ll know that I had four other steps for reducing irritation, and my next video will be looking at another vital part of your shaving routine: exfoliation. Tune in to find out about my exfoliation technique, including a great tool that will really help – make sure you have your new shaving map to hand, as using this tool requires going against the grain. This is because of how razor bumps form: hair curls around, punctures the skin and grows back into your face. I’m very excited about the upcoming video, so please remember to subscribe on YouTube or keep an eye on the blog so that you can benefit from part 3 of the series.
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