Achieve a Closer Shave, Gentlemen.

Shave(verb): to remove hair by cutting it off close to the skin with a razor. The wet shave is a ritual that's generally passed down from generation to generation. I remember as a little girl getting to watch my grandfather and father shave was one of the most mesmerizing things to see. The process was so fascinating: inserting a fresh blade into the safety razor, splashing the face with hot water, the lathering process with a shave brush being whipped in circular motions from the neck up and the music of the blade gliding across the whiskers. It's a sound one can not forget.

Below are some tips I have learned from previously working behind the chair, performing straight razor shaves and from my previous place of employment (a corporate shave store):

Enjoy the Ritual

-Don't rush -Stop using too much pressure -Use a clean blade (if it's dull, toss it out) -Make sure to use a post shave moisturizing product!

Want a better shave experience? Here are my recommendations: -Make sure your skin is clean. Shaving a dirty face leads to bacteria being pushed into the skin, which can cause irritation.

-Shave either during a hot shower or right after. This opens the pores (allowing the hair to be more exposed), softens the whiskers, and ensures your beard is properly moistened. Also, less strokes. NEVER shave a dry face!

-Apply a pre-shave oil such as V76 by Vaughn Pre & Post Detailing Shave Oil. Shaving oil allows the razor to glide nice and smooth against the skin and also acts as a barrier between the blade and your skin (i.e. cut down on the razor burn) When applying: use a dime size amount, and starting at the base of your neck, work in an upward motion to help lift the whiskers for a closer shave. Have a beard? V76 by Vaughn Pre & Post Shave Oil makes for a wonderful beard oil too! Rub into the body of the beard, coating from skin to end.

-On top of the oil, add a quality shaving cream. Look for one that has moisturizers such as V76 by Vaughn Clean Shave Hydrating Gel Cream.This gel-to-cream softens the most stubborn of stubble while the Vitamin E beads soothe the skin for a superbly comfortable finish. It can be used with or without a shaving brush. Why a shaving brush, you may be asking yourself? Well a shaving brush is the most important tool in any man's shave. It acts as an exfoliator to remove dead skin cells that can clog a hair follicle, which cause the dreaded ingrown hairs. It also helps to kick out any hairs that may be trapped, and lifts the whiskers to their highest point to achieve a clean, close shave. Badger hair is my recommendation when it comes to shaving brushes. It is the softest and retains the most amount of moisture providing the richest of all lathers when used with shaving cream.

-Using a sharp razor blade, go first WITH the direction of the hair growth (aka with the grain). Take a close look at your neck and face and really check out these growth patterns. If you are one who experiences razor burn/bumps, don't go against the grain, this can only cause the skin to continue to flare up and be irritated. No irritation and/or looking for a closer shave? Make sure you re-lather if you will be going against the grain (I recommend doing a cross grain pass before going against).

-After you have completed the shave, rinse your face with COLD water. This will close the pores that were just opened and help tighten the skin. Make sure to pat not rub your face with a clean towel to dry.

-ALWAYS end with a moisturizer! Shaving can remove up to two layers of the skin. By adding a hydrator with packed nutrients such as V76 by Vaughn's Hydrator Hair and Face Mist, your skin will be soothed, refreshed and ready for the next time you put a blade to it.