Skip to content

Men's Health

Font Size
A
A
A

Getting a Close Shave

Experts share tips on how guys can get the smoothest — and least painful — shave possible
By
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Norman Levine, MD

The average man has more than 25,000 hairs as hard as copper wire coming out of his face and spends 3,000 hours in his lifetime shaving them off.

The Egyptians were the first to do it — to bathe several times a day and remove body hair, sometimes with a clam shell. (What is the Egyptian word for “ouch”?) But even though men have been shaving for thousands of years, a lot of us are still pretty bad at it. And despite wondrous breakthroughs in shaving technology — Waterproof cordless electric shavers! Four-bladed razors! — many guys still go to work with stubble and razor burn and bits of tissue staunching their daily shaving wounds. So what are we doing wrong? WebMD turned to some shaving experts to find out.

Recommended Related to Men

On the Death of My Father

My father lived with me and my family during the last two years of his life while he sank ever deeper into Alzheimer’s disease. His behavior was frequently bizarre. He might emerge from his bedroom with three of my son’s baseball caps piled on top of his head but wearing no pants. When trying to participate in a conversation, he might blurt out passionate pronouncements that made no sense at all. “Ya see, the individualism is something that’s not already formed,” he would bellow. “You gotta fight...

Read the On the Death of My Father article > >

Shaving tips for men

Roxanne Griego, administrator and director of the Arizona Board of Barbers, has been a barber for 32 years and followed her father and grandfather into the profession. The first step in shaving, she tells WebMD, is to prepare the surface of the skin. “You want to remove the hair while preserving the skin's integrity,” she says. “Massaging in the cream or shaving soap plumps up the muscle called the erector pili, which pushes the hair up, kind of like gooseflesh. This also releases skin-softening oils from underneath the skin. What you want is to push the hair up and soften it so you can cut it off in one cold snap.”

A lot of people, she adds, don't follow the instructions on the creams or soaps, or the creams and soaps do not have adequate instructions. You need to heat the skin and then massage in the soap. “Work it in, form an emulsion,” she advises.

“Shaving in the shower is good,” says David E. Bank, MD, director of the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic and Laser Surgery in Mount Kisco, NY. “Keep the water on the warmer side. You can even put a hot, wet towel over your face for a few minutes — like in those Westerns, where guys sit in the barber chair under a towel.”

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

man coughing
Men shouldn’t ignore.
man swinging in hammock
And how to get out it.
 
shaving tools
On your shaving skills.
muscular man flexing
Four facts that matter.
 
Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
Slideshow
Thoughtful man sitting on bed
Quiz
 
Man taking blood pressure
Slideshow
doctor holding syringe
Slideshow
 

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Condom Quiz
Quiz
thumbnail_angry_couple_in_bed
Slideshow
 
man running
Quiz
older couple in bed
Video