Shaving can be a tricky business. When you set out to make a look for yourself, it takes a precise touch and a deft hand to do it perfectly. There is also a constant dilemma of looking in the mirror in the morning and wondering what look will suit you best and how to achieve the ideal look. What that struggle in mind, here are the best tips to help you achieve the look you want to keep you looking and feeling your best.
Have a vision
The first thing you can do to help yourself is to know exactly what look you want. From there, you can decide on the best method of shaving, so you don’t end up making it up on the fly and ending up with patchy stubble.
There is nothing wrong with doing a bit of research to find a look to inspire you. People often go to the hairdressers with a photo, whether of themselves or of someone else, to give the hairdressers a reference point. This is a similar situation and a photo can help you work out exactly what you’re looking for.
Even if you want a change, work out your ideas before you start – otherwise you may well end up with a slightly different look than the one you had in mind.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with new looks
As they say, variety is the spice of life, and there is nothing wrong with trying something new. It may be what puts a spring in your step or gets that girl at work you really like to turn her head, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Take the time to have a look at what styles are out there that may not have occurred to you and think about what might work for you. Whether it’s trying to make a good first impression, making a change for your own satisfaction or just simple curiosity, there’s never a problem with thinking outside the box with your facial hair.
Experiment with longest first
If you’re going to test a new look, and you have a few different ideas floating around, definitely look at the longest idea first!
If you try something that involves a full covering, like a full beard or a goatee, make sure you try that style first. Then you can fix the situation by trimming it down and adjusting the style.
On the flip side, if you start off trying the idea of a pencil beard and decide you’d rather try a proper beard, there’s no going back. At that point all you can do it just live with it (not ideal if you’re not happy with the look), or go to a full clean shave and wait for it to grow out again.
If you are anything like me, this may well leave you looking about five years younger for a few days, which won’t do you any favours in terms of your confidence. So definitely experiment with longer styles first if you decide to. Experimentation is fine, but experiment responsibly!
Choose the right shaving tools for the job
This is the big one. Any style will necessarily require a different tool to achieve the best results, and you can make life a lot easier for yourself by putting the thought into what tool does the job you want best. It can also potentially save you time, pain (from unnecessary nicks and grazes), and money (on wasted or blunted razors).
If you’re going to go for a clean shave, you are always best doing this as manually as possible. Use an electric razor or something to get yourself down to a base layer of stubble or short beard, and then wet shave from there. It guarantees you the closest finish, and in reality probably minimises the risk of skin damage since electric razors can potentially still nick the skin. A wet shave also allows you to achieve a clean look without leaving invisible stubble stems, as electric razors can do at that length.
However, if you are looking to trim down a beard to a stubble or shortened beard layer, your best bet would be an electric razor, preferably one with a length control. These are incredibly useful because, even with a regular electric razor, there is a large chance that you will have an uneven finish. If you’re really good, you may be able to pull it off, but for a lot of people there will be patches in the finish if you try and trim using a wet shave or free electric razor.
Finally, if you are looking for a very specific style or design, you are always better off with a proper styling razor. Trying to achieve curls and edges with a normal razor will lead to more inaccuracies (and possibly nicks) and you won’t get the look you’re after.
With these bits of advice in mind, go forth and find the look for you. There’s one for everyone!