7 Steps to Getting a Closer Shave for Movember

Come the first of October, men across the country will start displaying a stiff (and hairier) upper lip to their daily shaving routine. This annual ritual is known as Movember, and is a globally recognised charity that seeks to raise awareness of men’s health issues by staging a communal growing of the moustache. 

Founded in 1999 by a group of men in South Australia, the movement is now a worldwide phenomenon, but before you go neglecting that ‘Gillette Mach-whatever it is now,’ the rules are quite strict; the first rule of Movember (and we’ll overstep the obvious joke alluding to fight club), is that you must commence the month with a completely clean shaven face! It’s no good if you sport a Mario Bro Mo all the year round, or simply prune that fisherman’s beard you’ve been lovingly growing – you need to start off with a face smoother than Roger Moore’s trouser pleat, and that’s where we come in! Presenting 7 steps to ensure you get the closest shave of your life...

Step 1 – Shower

Have a shower before you shave. Facial hair will absorb water up to 30% of its volume, and becomes weaker when swollen. If this isn’t possible, rest a warm flannel upon your face for a couple of minutes. Either way, the warmth will expand your pores and cause your stubble to rise.

Step 2 – Exfoliate

Washing your face before a shave is incredibly important. You are dragging a blade across your skin, and if you do happen to cut yourself you certainly don’t want to cause infection.

Exfoliating is taking things a step further. It removes dead skin particles and raises the stubble off your face. However, only use a face scrub once or twice a week, and use a less abrasive product if you’re shaving daily.

Step 3 – Lather Up

It’s best to use a shaving brush when applying the foam; it will further help to remove dead skin particles, will again raise the stubble from your face, and will result in you using considerably less shaving foam, which is a plus for both nature and your bank account!

Once you’ve applied a full white beard of foam, leave it to soak in for a minute or two (perhaps brush your teeth!) to really soften up those hairs.

Step 4 – Shave

Make sure that blade is red hot before shaving  - this will ensure it glides nicely across the skin, and cuts through the hair like butter. Don’t apply the blade too strongly either. It is better to shave with a slighter force, but apply it multiple times. Rinse your razor in-between swipes to remove the hair and skin gunk.

Step 4.5 – the razor

Instead of waiting for the inevitable ‘six blade’ movement, why not invest in a quality straight razor, which is also known as a cut-throat razor, but moving swiftly on... Despite the supposed years of research into shaving, which only ever results in adding an additional blade to the set-up, the traditional straight razor still achieves the closest shave yet. Not only that, but it can be sharpened, meaning you no longer need to remortgage your house when buying new blades, and it really wakes you up in the morning!

Step 5 – Shave (continued)

It’s time to debunk the myth – don’t shave against the grain, and don’t cross the streams (Halloween joke for you!). It might achieve a slightly closer shave the first time round, but such a shave is arguably too close. By this we mean it can cut stubble beneath the skin, leading to both ingrown hairs and razor burn – neither of which are worth it!

Step 6 – Rinse

It's important to wash your face afterwards as well before. Use a facial wash with a high concentration of tee tree oil, which is a natural antiseptic, and use cold water as this will encourage your pores to close up again.

Step 7 – Aftercare

If you moisturise, then do so following your shave. Show that skin some love! If, for whatever reason, moisturising isn’t for you, then use an aftershave condition, or beard oil if you’re sporting a little designer stubble. Still not convinced? Shaving is the only regular activity that can remove up to two layers of skin at a time, and so if you’re shaving daily, that can become pretty strenuous on the face.

Whatever you use, try to find products with little or no alcohol in as this can prematurely age the skin.

Got any great shaving tips yourself, or planning to cultivate a tash this Movember? Drop us a line in the comment box below. And if things don’t quite go to plan, and your newfound fuzz looks less Magnum PI and more magnum ice cream, why not avert those stares to a Be An Athlete snapback!

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*As with all exercise/fitness/health regimes always consult your physician first


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Be An Athlete is a premium sportswear brand. Through the Be An Athlete blog, we hope to share health and fitness tips, in addition to exploring fashion, lifestyle and popular culture. If you would like to get in contact, please email Ryan@baaclothing.com