Introduction: How to Shave

Picture of How to Shave

Men, we are all going to be shaving frequently throughout our long lives, and whether you like it or not, it is best to know a proper technique to get the cleanest, closest, and bloodless shave possible.

I do not know how women shave, so I left that for the women of Instructables!

Shaving makes you look clean and nicer looking all around. For men. Sure, you can go all natural, but personally, I like to keep a clean shaven face.

You want to look good for the ladies dont you?

Step 1: Clean Your Face

Picture of Clean Your Face

It is important to maintain a clean working area. This being, your face. This will get rid of dirt, bacteria, or anything else that can cause infections, or zits on your face. Shaving zits isnt a good sight.

If you already have a beard, or you just want to get rid of your stubbles, you can use a tiny bit of shampoo to clean it to ensure a clean shaving experience.

Step 2: Applying the Shaving Cream

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Now to apply your shaving cream. It doesn't really matter what type of shaving cream you use, as long as you use it. Any product with salicylic acid, which is in acne products, will get rid of razor bumps. Neutrogena has a ton of products with salicylic acid. I would try to get something with a lower percentage of the acid like, .5% to 1%.

Squirt the shaving cream into your hand so that you have enough to cover your face. Make sure you apply it evenly among your face so that some spots dont get more than others.

Make sure that you apply it in circular motions, this ensures equal application of the cream.

As for the razor, make sure it is clean, and relatively new. Old razor usage is a no-no.

Step 3: Shaving the Top Part of the Beard

Picture of Shaving the Top Part of the Beard

To shave the top section of your beard, you must shave from the top of the beard to the edge of your jaw-line in long, even strokes.

For this, you must shave downward, the way your whiskers grow. From your sideburns toward your jaw using long, even strokes.

For proper razor technique, you should apply light but firm pressure, pulling your skin taut before each stroke.

Step 4: Shaving Your Neck and Chin

Picture of Shaving Your Neck and Chin

To shave under your chin and your nick, shave from the bottom of your neck upwards. This will help prevent razor burn and ingrown hairs.

When shaving under your chin, pull the razor from your throat area toward your chin.

Remember, as you are shaving be sure to rinse your razor with warm water after every stroke or two to keep it from getting clogged with hair.

Step 5: The Upper Lip

Picture of The Upper Lip

To shave your upper lip, stretch it over your front teeth to tighten the skin, and shave downwards.

Make your mouth look like you have taken your dentures out. By Curling your lip down over your front teeth as stated above.

Step 6: Touch Ups/Moisturize

Picture of Touch Ups/Moisturize

Now you are almost finished men! Using warm water, wash off excess hairs that are still on your face. All the while, make sure you look at your face to see if you have missed any sections. Just wet your razor to shave these sections.

After shaving, use a toner (preferably containing vitamins, aloe extract etc). rather than an alcohol-based aftershave. Alcohol will dry out your skin, and possibly cause damage. It is the dreaded word, "after shave."

Apply moisturiser after toning to complete your shave.


WayneK40 (author)2017-12-26

I shave downward all over my face and neck. Wjen i am done, i wipe my face then i rinse it with very cold water. I wipe my face and then i apply mennen skin bracer.

traged (author)2015-08-19

It all depends on shaving system you are using - there are HUGE differences!

tried a few of them, some are terrible, some are quite good - but the
best one for me is Bevel system, no razor bumps, no skin irritation!

Read about it here

rav.primrose (author)2015-02-01

I HATE SHAVING...Just did it yesterday and my neck is a mess with razor burn and ingrown hairs. I'm 20 so I'm relatively new to shaving, and don't shave regularly at all. At this point in my life my acne is gone so I don't mind having a clean-shaven face, but I hate how messed up my neck gets. I'll try this solution to see if it works.

atejer (author)2011-08-07

Excellent guide on shaving, people often underestimate the use of shampoo on a beard, but I can tell you first hand that it really helps. I would also recommend using an electric razor, despite what everyone says, if you pick one that is of high quality, it can make your life a whole lot easier.
I would suggest using an authentic rating site like to find one that suits your needs.

Esmagamus (author)2011-03-21

Seeing the gilette bottle there reminded me of how we can be deceived by a brand.

I had always been advised a certain foam from Nivea. I did get reasonable results, for a price. One day I tried the supermarket brand and not only was it a lot cheaper, it also makes my skin a lot smoother and the blade glides like it's not cutting at all.

JakeTobak (author)2007-06-03

Shaving is for women. Real men wear beards.

Esmagamus (author)JakeTobak2011-03-21

Married men do. But single?

Gage987 (author)JakeTobak2009-12-20

 Real OLD men wear beards.

Damn straight!

i hated beards, but then they grew on me

Cryptonat (author)mattface2007-07-05

Beards RULE! But unfortunately my jobs says I have to shave.... I can't even have a neatly trimmed beard. *cries*

fenris (author)Cryptonat2008-05-02

If you sit still for that, then you don't deserve any better treatment than that. Try standing up on your hind legs once. You might find you like it.

texabyte (author)Cryptonat2007-10-29

I would quit that job or tell your boss it's your face not his

Cryptonat (author)texabyte2008-02-12

Well, when your job is an apprentice jeweler, you have to be clean. I get away with a goatee and mustache though. I'm lucky to have that.

texabyte (author)Cryptonat2008-02-12

cool job

Cryptonat (author)texabyte2008-02-12

Hey, thanks.

Firebert010 (author)texabyte2008-02-11

Many establishments have the same rule. Customers tend to think you're cleaner when cleanly shaven.

bowmaster (author)mattface2007-09-03


fenris (author)JakeTobak2008-05-02

"Shaving is for women. Real men wear beards." I agree with the second part of that, and I know I am in the minority in these oh-so-enlightened days, but I would simply delete the first sentence of Jake's post and modify the second to say, 'Real people don't shave anything, nor cut their hair either.' (I look just like my avatar, and you can bet your *** I am not about to change that.)

lewisz (author)2011-01-18

im a teen whos never shaved before and school starts in a few weeks. truthfuly, i don't know the rules to shaving. how long will can a disposable razor be used for? how frequently should i shave? can i use someone elses razors? and how much presaure should i put on the razor? the subject makes me very nervos because my younger brother has started shaveing and everyone expects me to know how to do itand i don't. and i don't know what to do if i cut my self. please help

SecretGuideToShaving (author)2010-10-24

I got a shaving instructable too:

zamirii (author)2010-06-18

i find that shaving against the grain gives a closer shave. It doesn't matter all that much which razor you get, the fusion or whatever you like. What I will recommend is the ones that vibrate. the vibes give a closer shave and i get a decent one whether I take my time or even just use water like i tend to do when i'm running late for work.

jakee117 (author)2007-11-27

im thirteen and 5 minuites ago I shaved for the first time ... then I found this would have been helpful then... but I just used a razor, nothing else, and it turned out fine thank you for the help for an ignorant teenager !! lol

The Landon (author)jakee1172010-02-17

haha same situation here

BigD145 (author)2007-06-04

I've heard that using warm water to rinse is a bad idea. Your blade swells and you lose the sharpest edge. I don't know any studies on this, it's just what I've heard.

sumguysr (author)BigD1452008-08-22

I've found that if my rinse water is either too cold or too warm my blade just sort of rubs instead of cutting. I usually run both hot and cold water with more cold than hot.

garrettmikesmith (author)BigD1452008-02-18

it's true. and cold water closes pores, reducing ingrown hairs

bowman (author)2008-04-03

I didn't realize shaving was an issue that needed instruction. Especially when we consider the caliber of people here. Nice job anyway!

Tecno (author)2008-03-23

Man i followed the instructions perfectall but i cut myself!

Brennn10 (author)2007-06-03

Lol funny you asked this. I have started shaving my upper lip. It makes me look quite unattractive when I have hair on my upper lip. I learned alot from making this that I will use in future life. The main reason I made this Instructable was for the the learning experience. -Brennn10

lemonie (author)Brennn102007-06-03

Some people don't get the 'It makes me look quite unattractive when I have hair on my upper-lip" They go around with 'bum-fluff' looking silly but felling 'grown-up'. Credit to yourself for knowing when it's time to shave. L

garrettmikesmith (author)lemonie2008-02-18

i know. my brother has ridiculously bushy sideburns. i call him pube-face.

Sure...We all know you just want the shirt ;)

Erik Lindemann (author)2007-06-03

Yeah, I've tried using this "proper shaving technique" in the beginning of my shaving life. I've since found that that gives me a pretty piss poor shave seeing as all the hairs on the bottom of your face don't point in the same direction. I say for the best shave you gotta shave towards your chin at all points of your face. This works for me because it seems that all the hairs on my face point outward from that point.

wow, i just noticed that

looking4ideas (author)2008-01-26


chuckr44 (author)2008-01-18

You didn't mention that moist heat makes the hairs softer and more easily shaved, which is why some people shave in the shower, while their facial hairs (or other hairs) are soft from the hot water. Also, I did try that 5 blade Fusion razor, got a freebie in the mail. It really does work well, not that I would buy their overpriced blades. But, there you go, it works really well. You do not get more cuts the first few times you use the razor with 5 blades either. After how many shaves does one toss their old blad and get a new one? I use mine about 30 shaves, that's the max. When the razor starts to pull the hairs more than cut them, it's time for a new razor.

ker-boom101 (author)2007-12-28


KentsOkay (author)2007-12-25

Hmm, any advice on shaving chest/body hair? I tried shaving it and got a bleeding nipple, OMS THAT HURT!!!

jakee117 (author)2007-11-27

thank you westfw also for the help to a first time13 year old kid learning how to shave!!! ha ha

Sunbanks (author)2007-11-22

I think you should make an instructable about how to shave legs and you should demonstrate it. That would be fun to see.

rerat (author)2007-06-03

I'm growing my beard now, but can anyone make up a straight razor shaving Instructable? I like being..different, making colognes, printing t-shirts, ya know.

trebuchet03 (author)rerat2007-06-03

haha.... being different by shaving with a straight blade :p I wouldn't necessarily call that "different" as much as I'd call it eccentric or "old" :D Other than an instructable... Go to a barber shop and ask for a shave -- they'll do a straight blade shave. Then, pay close attention to what they do.

Brennn10 (author)trebuchet032007-06-03

Yea my barber shop has been around since the late 1800's, they use a straight blade for the back of neck. Old School rules.

texabyte (author)Brennn102007-10-29

Damn straight

ve2vfd (author)Brennn102007-06-04

I use a straight blade for my face :) Once you take the time to learn how it's done, it becomes FUN to shave.

awoodcarver (author)2007-06-04

I learned with a straight razor , you need very steady hands but you get a closer shave imho .Try hair conditioner when you are in the shower it works very well. Treb different would be shaving with your pocket knife .

westfw (author)2007-06-03

Facial hair will be much softer and easier to shave after a hot shower. Soap is a reasonable substitute for shaving cream, and you CAN shave without anything (especially if you're young or have fine hair.) You trade off the lubricating and softening effects of shaving cream for the visibility you have with a clean face. I've never used any post-shave products other than washing off with soap and water.

upriverpaddler (author)westfw2007-06-03

Agreed. I shave IN the shower. There I have maximum moisture absorption and no need to clean a messy sink. It just all goes down the drain. I also use moisturizing shampoo instead of cream. And for me its against the grain on the face and with the grain on the neck to avoid razor bumps.

tgray (author)2007-06-03

I have always heard the opposite - saving against the grain of your hair (from the bottom of the neck towards the chin) will cause razor burn and ingrown hairs. Perhaps someone else can confirm. Thanks.

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