Manually raising the hairs on the skin stops them from laying flat, and makes it easier for your razor to cut the bristles. Pre-shaving, an exfoliator or scrub will soften the bristles as well as help lift the hairs.
Use a rich shaving cream or soap, and a badger hair shaving brush for ultimate lather - the richer the cream, the more generous the foam. Shaving brushes also help lift hairs off the skin and provide an additional level of gentle exfoliation.
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Apply shaving cream to the neck first, the area around the chin and upper lip second, and thirdly to the sides of the face. Shave in the opposite order to the order of application, as the hairs on the neck and around the mouth are tougher than those on the cheeks, they need longer to be softened by the shaving cream.
Keep it cool
Fill the basin with cold water to remove excess foam and hair from your razor. Whilst marginally less comfortable than warm water, the cold water will help tighten the skin as you shave, making the blade pass more smoothly across the surface of the skin.
Press, don't push
Razors are made for cutting the hairs, not for taking layers of skin with them. Use as little pressure as possible on the razor when passing it across the skin, and you'll find that you get fewer cuts and bumps.
After shaving, apply a soothing balm or moisturiser to the skin. This will immediately help it replenish and repair itself - shaving is traumatic for the skin, and it will need help to get it back to tip top condition. If you do manage to cut yourself, invest in an alum stick to apply to nicks in the skin - alum helps stop bleeding and is infinitely more stylish than leaving the house covered in small pieces of paper.
Let us know in the comments if our tips help you perfect your shaving techniques, or if you have any tips for shaving.