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There seems to be a lot of men today sporting the five o'clock shadow or three plus days of whisker growth. Why? Is it a fashion trend, for a rugged look or because shaving causes problems. They cycle of shaving can be a nightmare for some and an enjoyable experience for others.

The Vicious Circle

This article focuses on the person sporting whiskers because of ingrown hairs and irritation. I believe that shaving everyday or at least every other day is very important. I call waiting too long between shaves "The Vicious Circle!" And what does this mean? Overgrown whiskers, hacking through the stubble and getting razor burn or irritation, delaying the next shave for several days or more due to the bad shave, and then starting the cycle all over again is the vicious circle …

While some men can wait for a number of days before each shave and still get a close, comfortable one, a lot depends upon how fast the hair grows, how thick the beard is and / or how coarse the whiskers are. On the other hand , many other men will fall into this annoying cycle and think shaving in general is just plain awful. If you are one of the many men who are in this vicious circle consider these thoughts.

Shaving hair that has grown too long can make it more irritating, or be the cause for a higher incident of shaving bumps. This is because longer whiskers can cause the hairs to pull more than slice and clog the razor faster – which can be even more of a problem with multi-blade cartridges. In addition, the longer the whiskers become, the more difficult it is to adequately soften the hairs. Therefore, the blade edge of the razor does not cut as smoothly or cleanly. Further, the extra length may cause someone to apply more pressure in order to tackle the added growth.

Major causes of a bad shave are:

– Whiskers are not softened enough by using warm to mildly hot water just before shaving.

– Shaving against the grain on the first pass with the razor which will pull or can cause hairs to cut under the skin's surface layer and hence, ingrown hairs. Shave with the grain for the first pass and sideways to the grain after that for a closer shave. Only go against the grain if you need a really close shave or do not experience shaving bumps or irritation.

– Too much pressure with the razor – a light touch with good prep will get the job done.

– Waiting too long between shaves – the first pass over the whiskers should reduce the main stubble, and then go over any areas that still have remaining whiskers until smooth.

Be sure to use a shaving cream, gel or shaving soap between each pass to keep your skin slick and lubricated which allows the razor to glide. Shaving daily leaves less stubble for the razor to plow through. By improving your techniques and shaving regularly, the chore of shaving can actually become enjoyable.

Also , think about incorporating the use of a shaving brush to create warm lather. After all, when you soften your whiskers before shaving the use of warm lather will continue this softening process and is the secret many men have discovered as a key ingredient to achieving the best shaves possible.

Hopefully some of the thoughts presented here will help you start enjoying the shaving process more, lessen the potential for ingrown hairs, provide a smoother shave with less irritation and give you healthy looking skin.

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