Grooming: Keeping it smooth
Whether you are shaving it all off or keeping it neatly trimmed, believe it or not, you may be doing it all wrong. Chief Executive Officer of Totally Male Spa Sandra Samuels took us through a man's shaving regimen - the right way.
First of all, he needs to start with a clean face. Samuels encourages all men to invest in a facial soap or cleaners as bath soaps have detergents that dry out the skin.
If a black man is using electric shears, then he can shave in any direction he chooses because the shears do not cut too closely to the skin, so ingrown hairs are not encouraged.
However, if he is using a razor, he needs to first use a shaving cream, which allows the razor to run smoothly against the skin, avoiding irritation and razor burns. Men should also shave in the direction in which hair grows and not against the grain. Shaving against the grain promotes ingrown hairs.
If a man has ingrown hairs, Samuels recommends having them professionally removed. However, if a man is going to do it on his own, she suggests that he not pluck out the hairs. Instead, she recommends using a sanitised needle or a pair of pointed tweezers to ease the hair out of the skin and then trim it. Plucking, she said, would not reduce the recurrence of ingrown hairs but promote it.
While shaving, holding the skin taut is very important but not to the extent where the skin is too stretched. If the skin is stretched, when it is released, the hair will go underneath.
After shaving, the skin should again be washed with a facial soap or hot rag. Men should also use a post-shaving lotion or an aftershave. If a man uses a post-shaving lotion, this should be followed by an anti-bump spray. The aftershave would have low alcohol content, so it does not need to be used in combination with an anti-bump spray.
Men should ensure that their face is moisturised after shaving. Samuels recommends ORS Tea Tree Anti-Bump Shave and Aftershave Lotion, which is what she uses on her clients.
Using alcohol as a replacement for an aftershave is an absolute no-no. Samuels explains that this is too harsh for the face and will burn the skin. There is no substitute for post-shaving lotions or aftershaves.
What you do on your face is as important as the tools you use. Ensure that they are always clean and sanitised. Even if you clean them after use, do some form of sanitisating the next time you use them to ensure that they are clean. Samuels recommends any Gillette razor.
Men who use shears should remember to change the blades. Never allow the blades to get dull. Samuels' recommendation: Andi's T-outliner. She believes that it is best for men of African descent.