Categories
Shaving Tips

Should I Shave my Neck When Growing a Beard?

If you’re growing your beard out for the first time, then it might be slightly confusing at what point you should shave your neck. Or, whether you should even shave your neck at all and let it grow out. This is especially crucial when you’re just beginning to grow your beard out, as with a shorter beard and stubble, your neck is more visible. This is likely one of the first questions that you’ll have your when you’re growing your beard out to gigantic lengths.

The reality is that it’s a good idea to leave your neck alone for at least the first week. But after anywhere between 2-4 weeks, you should continue to shave your neck or at least keep it trimmed down. After your beard is many months of growth and covers your neck from being visible, you can then stop shaving your neck if you would like to.

Whilst this isn’t the definitive guide for shaving your neck, it’s definitely a good rough guide for starting to know when to shave your neck. Of course, all people are different and you’re going to notice some differences if you’re particularly hairy. This is also the case if you’re not hairy, and you might be able to give it a few weeks before you have to shave your neck.

The Full Timeline to Shaving Your Neck

When you’re growing out your beard, you’ll need to shave your neck at certain stages – but not immediately. Here’s a step by step guide of how you should shave when you’re letting your beard grow out.

Week 1 – Let it Grow

In the first week, you should let your entire beard grow out as well as the neck. This will give you the general ‘stubble’ look, or a dark shadow. If you have a particularly fast growing beard, then it might be the case that you’ll need to shave your neck sooner.

Week 2 to 4 – Trim the Neck

When your neck beard is growing out significantly, you undoubtedly now want to start to take care of it. If you don’t, it’s definitely going to start to look unsightly and you’ll appear unkempt. It’s really up to you whether you want to use a wet razor or an electric shaver to shave your neck properly. For me, I prefer to use an electric shaver for my neck most of the time, but you can also use a razor too.

Month 1 to 3 –  See how it goes

At this point, it’s really difficult to know when the point is that you can stop shaving your neck. Usually, it’s after a few months but for fast growers, then it can actually be around a month for you to have a thick and long beard.

Month 4 to 6 – Who cares

After 4+ months, your beard should now be long enough that it easily covers your neck. At this point, you can stop shaving your neck as you’ve now become a fully fledged lumberjack.

Should you use a razor or an electric shaver?

Your neck is a much more sensitive area than the rest of your face. It’s more sensitive, which means it’s super prone to razor burn and ingrown hairs. Because of this, you’ll undoubtedly need to take more care with your neck that you would with other areas of your body.

If you deal with ingrown hairs often, then it can pay to get a close shaving electric shaver to shave your face as opposed to using a razor. Whilst you might not get the skin close shave that some people desire, an electric shaver can be better for your skin if you’re prone to razor bumps.

Another issue that you’ll common find with neck hairs that you won’t really have with other areas of hair is that neck hairs lie on the skin in a flat position, as opposed to sticking. They’re also more likely to grow in opposite directions, which makes it even harder to shave your hair without irritating it.

If you do decide to use a razor, then you definitely need to find a good shaving cream that’s suitable for particularly sensitive skin.

If you decide to use an electric razor, then it’s important that you get the right one for you – it’s entirely personal. For me, I hate using foil razors because they just tend to cause irritation in my skin. I’m fine using a rotary shaver however, so this is my preferred method.

Things you need to avoid when shaving

When you’re shaving your neck and beard, there are a few things that you need to ensure that you don’t do to make sure you don’t look like an idiot.

  • Shaving your neckline too high – This is the most common thing that you’ll see when someone is shaving their neck. If they make the line too high, then you’re going to look stupid and you’re going to make yourself appear fatter. This is because if you shave it to high, it will show your double chin – and even if you don’t have one, it can make it look like you do.
  • No mustache or too trimmed – Unless you’re Amish, there’s very few men that can pull off the no mustache look. You should generally avoid it, unless you’re going to take extra care of your cheek line. The only guy that I’ve seen pull this off is Lebron, and even then that’s because he really takes care of his beard and keeps a little groomed mustache.
  • Keep it clean – No matter the length of your beard, you’ll need to keep it clean. To do this, you ultimately need to get something that you can keep your beard clean with. Different things work well for different people – some people opt for a beard wash, but I prefer to use a good shampoo. This is because I often deal with dandruff in my beard, and it helps to keep it completely flake free.

Conclusion

Overall, the general consensus is that you can leave your beard for a week and you’ll get away with the stubble look. After this, you’ll have to take a bit more care of your beard and neck to make sure that you’re still keeping up appearances.

Categories
Shaving Tips

Why Use a Straight Razor?

Ah, the straight razor. The gentleman’s classic, also commonly referred to as cut-throat razor, it has been used for decades and decades in barbers throughout the world. It’s only in recent years that we’ve seen the decline in use of the straight razor, with many preferring to opt for a safety razor or a cartridge razor. And you can’t blame them – for the most part, it makes much more sense to use one of these types of razors instead.

Though, there is still some demand for an old fashioned shave with a straight razor. It’s not just the shave itself, it’s often the ritual itself that people associate with shaving. Going to the barbers has long been a tradition amongst men. Much like women would meet up at the hair salon and chat, the barbers seat has been often been compared to as a psychiatrist – a place where men can go to talk about.. pretty much anything.

And with the dramatic increase in people sporting beards the past 5 or so years, there’s no surprise that the need for straight razors has increase too. If you want to keep a defined line and ensure your beard looks sharp, then it can be imperative to use a straight razor to keep the neck clean. Let’s look at a few reasons why you should consider using a straight razor, whether by visiting the barber or doing it yourself.

Why you shouldn’t use a straight razor

Now, a straight razor definitely isn’t for everyone and there are some reasons why you might even want to avoid using one. Here’s a couple of things you might want to consider before you jump in at the deep end.

They are definitely dangerous

There’s no denying it – straight razors can be considered as dangerous (there’s a reason they’re called cut throat razors!). In the hands of the right person, a straight razor is an awesome tool that can give you a clean, close cut shave. But in the hands of the wrong, clumsy and careless person, you’re only going to cause more damage than you are good.

You need to be extremely careful when using a straight razor, otherwise you’ll undoubtedly end up with cuts all over your face – not a good look.

It takes time

The majority of guys nowadays don’t want to spend ages shaving and grooming their beards – why do you think beards have become so drastically popular? Guys just want to get into the bathroom, do whatever shaving needs to be done and get out. That’s it.

So, if this is you, then you definitely shouldn’t be looking at getting yourself a straight razor. Sure, it might be easy for your barber to use his straight razor when shaving your neck, but he’s been doing it for years! Unless you’re willing to put the time in to learn how to use a straight razor properly – which the majority of people aren’t – then you shouldn’t consider getting yourself a straight razor.

Take care

To get the most out of your straight razor, you need to keep it maintain properly. To keep your straight razor maintained and polished, you will need to regularly strop it. This is a fairly straight forward process, but it’s not for the lazy man.

How to Strop your Straight Razor

To strop your razor, you need to;

Hook your strop on the wall, bathroom cabinet or anywhere else where it’s easy to access the leather side of the strop. Ensure the strop is leather side up.

Lay the blade flat on the strop, not tilted towards either direction. We want the sharp edge of the blade and the back both to be making contact with the leather strop.

Gently pull the straight razor up and down the strop, ensuring that you’re leading with the back of the straight razor. If you lead with the sharp edge of the straight razor, it isn’t going to end will.

Run the straight razor continuously up and down the belt at least five times – you don’t need to remove the back of the straight razor from the strop, just flip the strop and run it back down.

Categories
Shaving Tips

How to Shave your Neck Properly to avoid Razor Burn

If you ask any man about their shaving regime, they’ll undoubtedly tell you that one of their problem areas is the neck. It’s undoubtedly one of the hardest areas to shave when it comes to grooming. This is mainly because it’s so sensitive that you really need to take care of it to ensure that you’re getting a good quality shave that won’t be irritated.

To shave your neck properly without getting razor burn, you’ll need to take extra care to ensure that you don’t give it any reason to be irritated. Unfortunately, razor burn and shaving generally come hand in hand so it can be difficult to avoid – though if you know how to shave properly, then eventually you’ll learn how your facial hair grows and you can avoid irritation completely.

Here are the steps that you should take to shave your neck properly without experiencing any razor burn.

Getting rid of Razor Burn?

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much care you take, you’re going to experience a little razor burn. Even if you take every precaution known to man, some people are just exposed to experiencing razor burn. Unfortunately, there isn’t a great deal that we can do about it – except deal with it afterwards swiftly to help soothe the skin back to normality.

If you’re dealing with razor burn, then I always have one thing ready to deal with it in my back pocket – a solid aftercare balm that can help to reduce irritation. Aftershave balms work extremely well with razor burn because they’re an astringent – which basically means that they can help reduce your skin irritation dramatically. You can also consider using an aftershave balm if you’ve cut yourself whilst shaving, as they’re awesome for dealing with cuts.

Most aftershave balms contain things like aloe vera, which is awesome for soothing the skin, as well as things like witch hazel, which act as an antiseptic.

6 Awesome Tips to Avoid Neck Razor Burn

If you experience razor burn often, then there might be something you’ll be consistently doing wrong. You can help to avoid this by taking some precautionary measures which will ensure that you don’t experience any form of razor burn on your neck.

Decrease your razor blade reuse

Paying out for tons of razorblades can be a chore. Trust me, there’s no one that hates paying out for razorblades more than me – I made this whole website about how to save money on them!

But the reality is that if you’re using a razor blade again and again, it’s going to get duller and duller. And when it’s really duller, it won’t be sharp enough – this can ultimately result in razor burn. If you’re using a blade more than 4 times, then try a whole week of using a fresh razor blade and see if the issue persists. If it doesn’t, then you know that a dull blade could be causing the issue.

Solution – Buy more razor blades!

Shave post shower

For me, I like to always shave either post shower, or most of the time I’ll actually shave whilst I’m showering (it pays to get yourself a good shower mirror for this reason).

Doing this allows me the opportunity to clean my skin prior to the shave. This helps to get rid of any of the dirt and oils that my skin has picked up throughout the day, giving me an easier shave. If you shave with dirty skin, then this can increase the likelihood that you’re going to experience razor burn.

Solution – Give yourself enough time in the mornings or evenings to shave after your shower.

Make sure your razor is dry

A wet razor is a breeding ground for bacteria. You should change your razor regularly, but you should also consider where you’re keeping your razor.

Bacteria likes to grow in wet areas. That means that if you’re keeping your razor in the shower and it’s still wet, then there’s a greater chance of bacteria forming and ultimately, this can have an effect on your shave.

Solution – Ensure that your razor blade is dry after you’ve finished using it.

Shave with the grain

It can be difficult to give tips on shaving with the grain, as everyones hair seems to grow differently. This is especially true for the neck, with some people having their hair grow in an unusual pattern. You need to figure out which way that your neck hair is growing so that you can follow the grain.

Shaving against the grain will get a closer shave, but it can definitely increase your risk of irritation and razor bumps. It also makes it far more likely that you’re going to experience ingrown hairs, which nobody want.

Solution – Run your hand across your neck and work out which way you neck hair grows. Then, shave with it!

Go a little slower

Another common cause of razor burn is if you’re trying to shave too fast. Doing this can definitely increase your risk of irritation, so it can pay to slow things down a little.

Making shaving part of your routine is essential to avoid irritation. If you can, make yourself a weekly rota of the best times that are available to you to shave. Slowing down your shaving routine and avoiding rushing is another sure fire way to help avoid the dreaded razor bumps.

Solution – Take your time with the razor is recommended. If you’re trying to use do the job in a minute, then you can’t complain if you end up with irritated skin.

Get a better razor

If you’re using a cheapo razor, then this can also be the reason that you’re going to end up dealing with irritated skin. And even if it’s not a cheap razor, it can still irritate your skin – sometimes, a certain type of blade just isn’t for you. It might be the way that it’s angled, or that it’s only a 2 blade as opposed to a 6 blade.

Either way, you should try out a bunch of different razor blades to try and find out which one works best for your needs.

Conclusion

Overall, this is my method for shaving my neck to avoid irritation. If you try this and it doesn’t work for you, the likelihood is that you’re shaving against the way that your neck hair grows. Everyones hair grows differently, so a swift shave for someone can be a bad shave for someone else. But if you follow the rest of this guide, then you’ll be sure to give yourself the best chance for a quality neck shave.

Categories
Shaving Tips

How Long Does Razor Burn Last?

If you’re new to shaving, you’re likely to experience something that makes every adult up and now the country shudder; razor burn. And even if you’re an experienced shaver, then you’re still likely to experience some form of razor burn every now and then. If you’ve shaved recently and you’ve experienced razor burn, then it can be incredibly uncomfortable. It’s a common question; how long does razor burn last if you’ve irritated your skin by shaving?

The good news is that the majority of times, razor burn will subside within a few hours. There are times where razor burn may persist for a day or two, but this is unlikely to occur for the majority of people.

It’s definitely one of the more annoying parts of shaving, but unfortunately the majority of us will deal with razor burn. Lets look at why we get razor burn, what we can do to prevent it in the future and what you should do now if you’re already experiencing it!

Why do I get razor burn?

The reality is that some peoples skin is just far more sensitive to razor burn than others. This can be down to a number of different factors – some of which you’ll have no control of. Here are some of the reasons that you may be experiencing razor burn.

  • Genetics – Unfortunately, some people are just more exposed to experiencing razor burn than others. There isn’t much you can do about this.
  • Oily skin – Partially down to genetics, but also down to an abundance of other things, oily skin can make you more prone to razor bumps. Oily skin is a result of excess sebum, and there are a ton of ways to help reduce the oil in your skin; a good moisturizer is usually the first step, as well as clearing up your diet.
  • Old razorblades – There’s a reason God (or some other kind person) invented razorblades – so you can switch them easily. Using a razorblade too many times is just asking for razor burn. Fortunately this one has an easy fix – pick up some new razor blades and change them frequently.
  • Keep your razor dry – The wetter your razor is, the more likely it is to pick up bacteria. This can undoubtedly contribute to your razor burn, so it pays to keep your razor dry.
  • Wash first – There’s a reason experts recommend that you shave after you’ve had a shower. Throughout the day, your skin picks up dirt and oils which make it more difficult for your shave. Keep it clean to ensure that you have a fresh shave.
  • Shaving against the grain – You can’t just pick up a razor and run it over your skin randomly. You need a plan to ensure that you’re not shaving against the grain (which means shaving against the way your skin naturally grows). This is especially true if you’re shaving your neck, which is one of the most sensitive areas for shaving.

If you follow these simple tips, you should be able to reduce the chance that you’re going to experience any sort of razor burn. You also might want to consider slowing down your shave, as if you’re in a hurry then this can also contribute to how gentle you’re being with your skin.

How do I get rid of Razor Burn?

Sometimes, razor burn is unfortunately an inevitability and you’ll have to deal with it. This is part and parcel of shaving, so it can pay to ensure that you can deal with irritation when it arises.

The best way to get rid of razor burn is to invest in a good quality aftershave balm. This acts as an astringent, which helps to reduce any irritation you’re experiencing in the skin. It’s also a really good idea to use an aftershave balm to help clear out any cuts that you may have experienced from your shave – most aftershave balms contain something like Witch Hazel, which is an antiseptic.

Things like aloe vera work awesome for dealing with razor burn, so it’s best to try and find an aftershave balm that contains these ingredients too.

Coconut Oil

If there’s one thing that I’d recommend to combat an itchy neck, it’s definitely this. Using coconut oil for your razor burn is one of the best ways that you can combat your irritation. Coconut oil is typically awesome for your skin, so it’s a good idea to find a moisturizer that contains it if you want to use coconut oil for your skin. It’s a good anti-inflammatory product, which does exactly what it says it will

I’d better say that coconut oil certainly isn’t for everyone. You’ll find that whilst it works excellently for some people, others hate it – it tends to be people with oily or dry skin that don’t find coconut oil works well for them.

Conclusion

Overall, if you’re experiencing razor burn then you shouldn’t be too worried – it should be gone within a few days. Though the bumps can be annoying, and there are a few things that you can do to try and get it to cool down a little faster.

Getting yourself a good aftershave balm is the first step you need to take to ensure you avoid razor burn if you’re experiencing it often. This can help whilst you identify the case – possibly a blunt razor or you’re shaving against the grain. If you can identify the cause, then eventually you can avoid razor burn and ensure your skin stays smooth and cool.

Categories
Shaving Tips

Safety Razor vs Cartridge Razor

Likely the two most popular types of razor to use for shaving are the safety razor and the cartridge razor. Although not many people know the difference between the two, they both work very differently against your skin. Whilst there are benefits of both, it’s important that you know which one is better for your skin.

Essentially the main difference between the two is that whilst a safety razor works with a single blade that you insert yourself, a cartridge razor relies on a specifically designed 2-6 blade cartridge that’s used to for your shave.

This is a simplified explanation of the difference between the two, so let’s have a deeper look at the differences between a safety razor and a cartridge razor.

Safety Razor vs Cartridge Razor – What’s the Difference?

A safety razor is just another word for a double edged razor, or a DE. It’s often incorrectly referred to as a straight razor, which is a totally different thing. It’s essentially made up of a typically metal handle with a guard at the top where the user can insert a normal razor blade. It’s a much more manual shave than using a cartridge razor.

A cartridge razor is exactly as it sounds. It’s normally a metal or plastic handle which has a simple to attach cartridge at the top of the razor. Inside the cartridge is a group of blades. Typically, there are usually anywhere between 2-6 blades. In recent years, we’ve seen more blades becoming a more popular option for use for shaving.

Both cartridge razors and safety razors are designed with the same goal in mind – to shave closely down to the skin. As opposed to shavers, it’s really a testament to a good razor if you can cut skin close and not leave any form of stubble (although it might still grow back fairly quickly). There are pros and cons of each of these methods of shaving, and we’ll have a look at the benefits of each type of razor.

Benefits of Using a Safety Razor

Cost

Undoubtedly one of the biggest reasons that you should opt for a safety razor as opposed to a cartridge razor is expense. This is only proven by this website, where some shave clubs charge in excess of $2 per cartridge. If on average you pay $2 a week (based on shaving 3-4 times a week) over the year, this will easily add up to $100 just on razor blades. If you need to shave more frequently, then this can be $100s of dollar over an entire year.

With a safety razor, they all use the same blades which you can buy in bulk to help save cost. You’re unlikely to pay more than $0.10 per razor blade if you’re purchasing them online. This means that you can often get 100 razor blades for around $10, so it’s easy to see the big difference in price between the two.

Close Shave

I’ve used both of these methods of shaving extensively, and in all honestly I can’t say that a safety razor does get much closer to the skin for me than a cartridge razor. This may be due to the fact that you really have to concentrate with a safety razor, so I may be dubious of cutting myself – I don’t know. It does undoubtedly cut closer, but not a great deal as a cartridge razor already gets pretty close to the skin.

I do have friends that swear by using a safety razor, so there must be some benefits of using a safety razor to cut closer to the skin. It can be difficult to learn how to shave with a safety razor, however it can be worth your time.

One stroke shaving

Because a safety razor gets closer than a cartridge razor, you generally only need to go over an area once to get rid of the hair. One of my biggest pet peeves with using a cartridge razor is having to go over the same area several times to ensure all of the hair is gone. This is because cartridge razors are designed so they are difficult to cut, which also means that they’re not as effective as shaving close.

Negatives of a Safety Razor

Convenience

The main issue with a safety razor is the massive learning curve that you have to go through to use it properly. I don’t care what anyone says – yes, it gets easier to use a safety razor but it undoubtedly takes longer than using a cartridge razor. This is true even if you’re an expert – with a cartridge razor, you might have to worry about irritation but not cutting yourself.

Flying

This is probably the main reason that I never decided to go with safety razors in the first place. I’m a hairy, bald guy – I need to shave. A lot. So, there’s not a day or two that I can go without shaving, otherwise I’ll end up looking like a distant relative of Sasquatch.

Razors alone are actually considered a weapon, meaning that you can’t actually fly with your razor blades. Although the likelihood of you getting stopped might not be that high if it’s in your razor, you aren’t allowed to take safety razors in your hand luggage. This is probably because it’s so easy to take them out and use them as a weapon, so I do understand.

Expensive for the handle

In the long run, the cost of cartridge razors can undoubtedly add up and a safety razor will be cheaper. But in the beginning, a good safety razor handle can actually cost you quite a bit of money. The higher quality safety razor handles can cost up to $100, but you don’t necessarily need to spend this much to get yourself a decent safety razor handle.

Benefits of Using a Cartridge Razor

Ease of Use

Using a cartridge razor is undoubtedy the easiest way to shave – this is probably the main reason that they’ve become so popular. It wasn’t until Gillette popularised them in the early 1900s that cartridge razors became so popular – nowadays, they outsell safety razors and straight razors significantly.

With a cartridge razor, they’re usually at least two bladed – though my favorite razors to use are 6 bladed razors like the Pace 6 from Dorco. This means that it’s easier to ensure that you’re cutting your hair with the razor – this can be an issue with safety razors, as they are only one blade.

It takes a lot longer to shave with a safety razor than a cartridge razor. You undoubtedly have to be more meticulous. This isn’t something that the majority of people want when they’re shaving – then want to get in the bathroom, get the job done and leave.

Cheap at first

You can pick up a half decent cartridge razor for a really good price online. You’re really just paying for the handle, so there isn’t a great deal of cost associated with this. The issue with cartridge razors comes with the blades, of which the cost can add up a lot over the course of month and years. This is especially true for shave clubs, which usually charge an extra fee for delivering the products to your door.

Negatives of a Cartridge Razor

Expensive in the long run

Unless you find a really good deal on cartridges, then the cost can add up exponentially. Although many companies claim to be competing with ‘corporate monster’ Gillette for price, many of them are as, if not more expensive. There are some ways to get razor cartridges at a good price – the best way is undoubtedly to buy them in bulk to save costs.

Irritation

The Safety Razor Fan Club – not, that’s not a real thing.. yet – swear by using safety razors to help reduce the irritation that’s so commonly associated with shaving. Razor burn is no joke, and it can be one of the most annoying parts of shaving – especially when the burn lasts longer than you’d expected.

This is  real problem with cartridge razors for some people – they just can’t seem to avoid getting razor burn when they use their razors. Although you can look at using different cartridge razors to avoid razor burn and learn how to shave properly – especially your neck, the worst place for razor burn – for some people, this type of razor just isn’t a viable option.

Conclusion

Overall, it’s very difficult to tell which type of razor will actually be better for your needs. Your best bet is to actually try each of these individually and find out which one works better for your skin – it can be difficult to know how your skin will react without physically trying it yourself.

If you have more time to invest in learning how to shave properly, then you may want to consider a safety razor. They can cut closer than a cartridge, and they’re undeniably cheaper in the grand scheme of things. Though if you’re likely the majority and just want to have an easy shave, then you’re better off going for a cartridge razor as they are much easier to use.