I, a 39-year-old man, just learnt how to shave properly

I should add as a preamble that I am, by most external appearances, a grown up. I have a wife and kids and a mortgage and 2 cars and a stable job and all the other trappings. Up until a few weeks ago, though, my shaving game had been dreadful.

While in the shower, I would take a disposable razor and hack 'n slash until I couldn’t feel any hairs on my face or neck any more. I’d shave against the grain (because you get a more satisfying crackle that way) with long, fast, pressurised strokes. Once out of the shower, I’d whack some potent alcoholic aftershave on my neck and call it a day. Suffice it to say, for years I have walked around a bright red - practically glowing - neck and mouth.

What on earth was I thinking? I suppose you get used to doing things in a certain way, and you get used to your appearance such that you become blind to how daft you’re being. A few weeks ago I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and thought ‘Heyyy… necks aren’t supposed to look like that!’. A quick review of gentlemen’s necks and faces on TV shows confirmed that bright red is not de rigueur, and some rather shameful late-night googling on ‘how to shave’ revealed that I have been doing this very seriously wrong for a very long time.

(The thing is, when I was 13 my Dad did teach me how to shave properly. When you are first starting out as an early teen, though, all that rigmarole isn’t really necessary for a few tufts of fluff. I quickly figured out that a plastic razor and a splash of water would do, and promptly forgot everything he had taught me.)

Now, I shave after my shower. I use shaving foam (some gentlemen’s guides recommend creating your own lather and applying it with a brush - nah…) and a safety razor (which, I have learnt, is a fair bit more dangerous than a disposable in inexperienced hands). I shave with the grain in short, light strokes. I put on a balm lotion afterwards, and I put aftershave on my shirts under the collar instead of on me directly (“You use aftershave during a lockdown? Why!?” - long story).

What a revelation. My neck and face are no longer an angry red colour.

Happy days. Mundane and pointless, but I had to share :slight_smile:

The best tip I ever had was to do one, light, short stroke with the grain…then rinse the razor.


I’m in my 40s, and have no clue how to shave.

Some time in my teenage years, my dad silently decided I was old enough to probably start shaving, and handed me a can of cream and a pack or razors without a word. I tried shaving, totally ineptly, about three times over the course of a couple weeks, and decided shaving sucks ass, and never did it again.

And don’t you just LOOOOOOOVE the way those smoooooth legs just slide against the sheets in bed?

(Huh? But they said “shave.” OHGAWD, you mean…)


I was raised by a single mother, and didn’t learn to shave until a couple of weeks ago. Even reading a bunch of articles and watching videos didn’t help. I looked for courses but of course they’re teaching you how to shave others (and are expensive, as they’re basically an investment in self-employment).

To fix the problem, I needed to invest in equipment, sadly. I actually have two electric razors now, plus a little bowl to put shaving cream in. One razor has an attachment that is really good at removing lots of beard hair, but the razor itself seems to do nothing, so I would end up with permastubble. I bought a second razor which basically looks like an unpowered blade razor (it is powered, though) and that cuts short hair down to nothing.

I tried asking other people for assistance, but for some reason every man I know uses an unpowered blade. All of them, without exception. I was running the risk of beheading myself shaving.

That explains the username.

Grandpa, an Appalachian Quaker farmer transplanted to a Los Angeles agri-burb over a century ago, shaved every morning, any weather, with a deadly straight razor at an outside basin fed by a cold-water tap in his little backyard vineyard. I’m lazy and use foam and a plastic disposable at the bathroom sink BEFORE showering so the mirror isn’t fogged. It mostly works.

See this staff report. That’s pretty much how my dad showed me when I turned 16 and how I still do it to this day.

I’m always amazed that people were taught things like this by their dads. My father taught me NOTHING. Not shaving, not riding a bike, not playing sports, not sex ed, NOTHING. He just ordered me to clean my room, and hit me for various reasons. I had to figure out everything for myself.

I stopped shaving about 10 years ago. Just use clippers now. And now I’m even cutting my own hair.

I like shaving this way, but I don’t get a red neck or ingrown hairs.

When I was in high school the topic of shaving would occasionally come up among my friends and from this we shared the methods that produced the best results (and least discomfort).

I also recall receiving a free razor and can of shaving gel from Gillette when I turned 18 or so. My friends did, too. Was this a thing for anyone else? This was ca. 2002.

I was 18 in 1998, but I remember something like that. I started with the Sensor, then the Sensor Excel, then Mach3, then Mach3 turbo, and then stopped there. I have multiple Mach3 and mach3 turbo handles and usually buy the blades in bulk and they last for years. I shave in the sink and look in the mirror. hacking away in the shower sounds terrifying. I also have a OneBlade but I don’t use it for actual shaving, just trimming down. I’ve only shaved my neck and cheeks for several years. The rest gets the trimmer. Other than an ill-advised “Amish beard” type thing in my late teens, I went until around age 30 clean shaven and I realized I look terrible that way (at least compared to heavy stubble or a short full beard).

I’m another one whose training in shaving was the equivalent of “here’s a razor, figure it out yourself.” I didn’t do too badly, all things considered. But growing a full beard at 39 was one of the nicest things I’ve ever done for myself; for the past 27 years, I’ve only had to shave my neck.

The staff report that kk_fusion links to says, “most men can’t tell the difference between a double and single blade shave.” Maybe, but the big advantage of the Trac 2 over a safety razor when it first came out in the 1970s was, it cut way down on the nicks. And when triple and quadruple blades became common, I quickly found that even cheap disposable triple blades gave me a smoother shave, just in terms of being gentle on the skin, than a quality double blade.

Drill sergeants taught us how to shave in basic training. Everyone had to shave, whether they needed to or not (“peach fuzz” wasn’t allowed).

Bolding mine. I shave in the shower and look in the mirror while doing so. I have a small mirror hanging from a hook on one side of the shower. When I’ve finished soaping, shampooing, and rinsing, I hold the mirror under the hot water for about five seconds, slap on some shave cream, and grab the safety razor I keep on the shelf inside the shower. When I’m done shaving, I rinse my razor and head under the shower, turn off the shower, grab my towel, dry the mirror and then proceed to dry myself.

Advantages: All of the surfaces I’m shaving are wet and well softened - so well softened that weekends I’ll just do a quick shave of just the noticeable stubble with no soap or shaving cream; No mess of bits of shaving cream and stubble to clean up; No shaving cream left in any nooks and crannies.

Disadvantages: The expense of the mirror in the shower - my current mirror is a double sided hand mirror purchased for $6.99 ten years ago, so I understand if many would be put off by such an extravagance, The time taken fiddling with the mirror - which can top ten seconds total for holding under the shower and drying it with my bath towel at the end

But terrifying? I’m not sure where the terror comes in.

My son did too, and because of this he has decided to remain loyal to Gillette; no matter how expensive. :confused:

I too shave in the shower with razors from Dollar Shave Club, their medium quality razor. So I change blades every weekend. However the real game changer for me was finding a good shave cream. IMHO canned shaving cream sucks and just dries out your skin. Do yourself a favor and get yourself a tube of Cremo. A little dab the size of dime will make your face slick. I shave in 3 different directions to get a close shave. First the big stuff while shaving down the cheeks and under the chin, then against the grain from the neck up, then horizontally while rubbing my cream hand over the stubble, then hitting it with the razor. I then blast my face with water from the shower. After I’m dried off I rub Neutrogena lotion on the skin that’s been shaven.

I’m honestly skeptical of the value of shaving cream if your whiskers are well soaked. I never bother with the stuff anymore, and see no reason to use it again.


I’ve experimented with several different shaving methods during my adult life. What I do nowadays is to take a shower, making sure to leave the lather from the soap or shampoo on my face for at least a minute or two before rinsing. Then get out, towel off, and shave at the sink using just a wet razor.

I use an old fashioned straight razor and shaving gel. And a lot of styptic pencil. It’s kind of a contest. Speed versus blood loss . On a good day, no bleeding but I’m late leaving the house. On a bad day people stare at my bloody collar. But I like it. It’s a challenge.